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A tragic death, a stolen urn, and how the media helped

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It had been a long time since I last heard from John Putnam. I met him in person once when we attended a court hearing at an old, eerily quiet courthouse in Llano, Texas, but we’ve had countless conversations by phone. And when the phone rang at my desk at the San Antonio Express-News a few days ago and I heard John’s familiar voice, I was dumbstruck by the latest news:

Someone had stolen his sister’s ashes.

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