Talk To A Not so Complete Stranger

Thursday, Oct. 15

Day after day I see Joseph. He lives at the very end of my hallway and sometimes I see him when I leave my room. The hall way is very long so when I walk to the door and he does as well, we are walking towards each other for quite a while. If we make eye contact there is an awkward silence because its too far away to say something, yet he is right in my eye site and there is nothing else to look at. I usually walk really slowly on purpose so that he gets to the door way earlier and will not feel the need to wait to hold the door, or that we walk down the stair case at the same time. Other than that, I see him at soccer practice, where all we say is “Hi”. One time I needed to get to an appointment and I had no one to drive me, so I asked him for a ride. I decided to take that as an opportunity to introduce myself to him and start a little conversation. Joseph usually plays video games with his friends in his free time. His parents are separated and his dad is not a big part of his live. He also has a step dad. Joseph also does not like to party very much and never drinks or takes any drugs. He told me how once his friend almost died in an accident when he was drinking alcohol, therefore he does not like to do it. Also that his mom would get “really really” mad at him is what he told me. Joseph is the kind of kid who is not very outgoing. He is quiet at soccer practice and reserved. Nonetheless, he is exceptionally polite and helpful. People like him and I have little in common. I still think that he is a great guy and I have the feeling he would probably not expect that I think this way.

I hope he does not think I just talk to him to make him drive me around.

Lead Exercise

September 14, 2021

Store owner, who refused to resist, was robbed of $382 at a local store robbery last night.

A robbery at ‘BJ’s Drug’ in 450 Stanley Street, left two masked men with $382.65 from the cash register. The robbery took less than a minute. One of the two men took the money form the register while the other held a gun to the store owner’s head. The getaway car was parked in front of the store with its motor still running.

Even though Barney Joseph Jr. kept a pistol under his counter, he decided not to reach for it during the robbery. He reportedly didn’t feel like it was a smart thing to do. 25 years ago, his father was shot in a similar accident when he did reach for the pistol under the counter while being robbed. Joseph Jr. said that he’d rather part with his money than his life.

$100,000 Lawsuit Filed Against Amburn’s Produce Market

September 9, 2021

A lawsuit was filed against Amburn’s Produce Market after a woman slipped and broke her hip.

The woman called Ellie Maston filed the lawsuit against Amburn’s Produce Market for negligence. The accident occurred on April 2nd of this year.

Because Maston slipped on green beans that were allegedly left on the floor and broke her hip, she is suing the produce market for $100,000.

The lawsuit reads “suffered permanent bodily and mental injuries, incurred medical expenses and lost income”, filed by Maston.

Local Man Dies In A Car Crash On Highway 28

September 9, 2021

A 65-year-old man called Moyer Quick from South Iowa City, died yesterday in his car after his vehicle crashed into the rear-end of a truck.

According to the report, he tried to pass a car on the highway when his truck collided with the truck of a 17-year-old boy called Randy Radin. The impact sent both trucks into a ditch on the side of the road.

Three people were hospitalized. Two of them were passengers from Quick’s vehicle and are in a “fair” condition. Randy Radin however is still in a “critical”.

Patric Stewart, a South Iowa Highway Patrolman, said that the accident occurred on a road that was clear and dry and is still under investigation.

Scavenger Hunt

As an assignment for our Journalism class, we were supposed to talk to two strangers and collect one item from the conversation. This exercise was supposed to make us more comfortable in approaching people. “Talking to strangers is one of the things people fear the most” is what professor Fugslang explained when assigning the task.

The first person I talked two was Brandon who works at Buck’s. I see him multiple times during the week when I get my meal exchange, so decided this time I was going to talk to him for a bit when the situation arose. He told me about how he was glad that the shift was over almost over since it was already 10:30 pm. I asked him what kinds of hobbies he had and he replied that he liked listening to music and he also makes music in his free time. He always seemed like a very kind person because he is very courteous and also remembers my name when he greets me. Hence I was interested to find out a little bit more about him. He signed one of the napkins with his names for me.

The second person I talked to was Jim Sykes. I wanted to interview him anyways for my story “Okan’s Outage”. Since I never talked to him before, this came in as a good opportunity for having a conversation with a stranger. I also interviewed my coach Tom Maxon for the story, however, we are not strangers so the conversation was less formal and I did not feel nervous. For Sykes it was a little bit different because I really had to think about how I will approach him and what kind of words I would use.

Morningside’s CRJS Chief – John Gonsler

Morningside University premiered their Criminal Justice Department in 2020. Therefore, John Gonsler is not only a new faculty member, in Fall 2021 he also makes up 50% of the entire department. Given this erosion of the new department, the Journalism Class decided to interview Gonsler who does not appear to be the ordinary Professor when it comes to real life experience. He is very expressive and outgoing in the form of his responses, his body-art and facial hair.

Gonsler’s story begins in the classroom as a student, until realizing that it was nothing for him. He decided to drop out of college and aimed to become a police officer. However, he speaks on how this was also not what he wanted. His experience with corruption and sheriffs who were “dirtier than pigs’ dicks” scared him off. But Gonsler is not the person to be scared at all. He continues about his experience as a correctional officer and his encounters of death threats and how him and another correctional officer had to take care of 160 inmates, equipped with only pepper spray and handcuffs. Gonsler must have a thick skin, and that is not because of the amount of tattoos he as. He continues about the everyday life with gangs, murderers and “people that stood out”. Once, he shares, prisoners complained about the awkward taste of their water. When looking inside the hot pot, there were three baby birds. It came out that one of the prisoners collected dead baby birds. When being asked why he put them in the hot pot, he said he dropped them and they got dirty, they needed a bath. “I was there for six months and I could write a fucking book about interesting stories”.

Gonsler’s story ends in the classroom, nonetheless, the presence of maniacs in his life remained. The former police officer and correctional officer did a master’s degree around serial killers and got to interview the terrorist Ted Kasczinsky known as the Unabomber. After finishing his bachelor’s degree in anthropology and his master’s in U Michigan and Indiana University, he applied for a Job at Morningside. Now the only maniacs he deals with are college students.

What we can take away from Gonsler’s interview is that he did not know right away what he wanted to be and that this is nothing to worry about if one finds themselves in the same spot. Perhaps this is why Gonsler enjoys being a professor for intro classes. ” I like that people are taking classes that they don’t need to and then find some meaning in them”.

News Comment #6

The news article “100-year-old former Nazi camp guard goes on trial in Germany”, written by ‘the associated press’ and published on the 7th of October, reports on the trial of Josef S. a former Nazi SS guard.

Josef S. is accused of 3,518 counts of accessory to murder from 1942 to 1945. 100 year old Holocaust survivor Leon Schwarzbaum was also present at the court. Further the executive vice president of the Auschwitz Committee found the announcement that the suspect would not comment on the allegations as “disappointing”. The article also briefly tackles a similar case, in which the 96 year old suspect skipped the opening of her trial. She was a former secretary for the Stutthof camp’s SS commander. Her trial is rescheduled to the 19th of October.

I personally think that this is very news worthy and still relevant. Even though the Holocaust happened 80 yeas ago, antisemitism has been around prior to the Nazi regime and is still existing today. The Holocaust only counts as the peek of the persecution of Jews and it should always be remembered as a terrible and inhumane act. Any doubts about its existence should be eliminated out of respect for the victims and survivors and therefore the topic should still be discussed in our society today. One may argue whether it is necessary to prosecute a 100 year old man, however, I think it is important to spread the message that no one who supported the Holocaust should be allowed in our society. Especially people who deny the holocaust and who believe that it did not happen should be reminded that there are survivors and that there are consequences for this type of behavior.

News Comment #5

The news article “Trump’s new interviews and appearances show that a storm is brewing” by Brian Stelter tackles the latest statements Trump has made publicly when interviewed for example with Dan Ball.

As the author of this article is commenting on entire interviews that Trump has given, he uses a lot of paraphrasing to reflect what has been said and to summarize it for the reader. The purpose of this article is to highlight the “threat” of the “instability”. Stelter points out how Trump “lies about the last election” stating that Biden did not get as many votes as listed. The author uses an informal tone for example when using “I” when describing the process of how he got the information or also addressing the reader directly by saying “You grab the remote halfway through, rewind to the beginning, and pay attention to every word. That’s what I did when Pamela Brown interviewed Rick Hasen and Ian Bassin on Saturday”. He also has a very casual tone, given how he starts off sentences with “well,..”. The article is also meant to entertain the reader as it is not fully fact based and displays the author’s opinion as well. The sentence structure also varies between long complex sentences with subordinate clauses and short simple sentences. This gives some sort of dynamic when reading the article and prevents it from getting monotone and too hard to follow. However, when addressing his concern, he uses the words such as “we”, to create a unity with the audience and to get the reader more involved in the story. He implies that his worries should worry the reader too and suggests that as Americans this affects everyone.

Not the Average Murder Case

A Crime Story of Milieus, Nightlife and Luxurious Lifestyles in Frankfurt’s Upper Class. 

On May 9th 2018 the corpse of Irina Aizina (29) was found in Frankfurt’s largest park “Nidda Park”, with 27 knife stabs into the face and neck. Only a few days later Jan Mai (53) was arrested and put into custody.

Mai was suspected of the murder because according to witnesses, he owed Aizina money from the sale of the “First in” bar they owned together in Frankfurt’s city center. The suspicion grew when Mai’s DNA was found at the crime scene.

Irina Aizina was the owner of Irina & Co Real Estate GmbH with only a mailbox listed as the address and books with red numbers (, 2016). She was driving a luxury Mercedes GLE and invested 175,000 Euros in a bar called “First in” where she worked as a waitress. Aizina was also the daughter of Oleg Aizina, someone who is said to be linked to organized crime in Moldova (Iskandar, 2018). Not only did Jan Mai testify in court that he was “well aware of the family Aizina’s ‘potential’ ”, after her murder, family Aizina members supposedly arrived in Frankfurt “highly emotionalized” and “of unsound mind” (Iskandar, 2018).

Aizina is described by many articles as outgoing and impulsive “partygirl” (Teutsch, 2019). The Frankfurter Rundschau newspaper reports in an article how “the court learns a lot about Frankfurt’s night life in the trial about the murder in Nidda Park”.

It becomes even more bizarre when reviewing the testimonies of prosecution’s main witness Stanislava T. When being asked about her relationship to the victim, she testified that they were “best friends” and that their relationship consisted of occasional “fist-fights and cocaine” (Teutsch, 2019). 

News platforms such as the Daily Beast report on Jan Mai as being a character of “big muscle” with “connections to the Hells Angels motorcycle gang” (Huetlin, 2018).

The ‘Biss’ investment magazine released an article about Mai in 2018 stating that “among the public, Mai was regarded as a millionaire”. This assumption is further underpinned by articles labled: “Mai sells his penthouse for 1,75 million” published by BILD (Pfad, 2019) or a calculation by the court to determine his net worth at the time of the murder being 1.3 million Euros (Lang, 2019). When trying to prove that Mai was not broke, he testified in court that he also owned 50% of the house in Oberursel where his kids and wife lived and that his real estate investments resulted in 300 thousand Euro profit (Lang, 2019).

However, investigations revealed that his business’s accounts were all on the debit side and that he had no liquidity left (Lang, 2019). “Narcissism and Hybriss” is what got him involved in the murder says Judge Kaiser-Klan (Schlender, 2020). “You wanted to maintain the picture of the wealthy and successful gastronomist in public” is what the judge states in his verdict. 

The latest headlines about Mai prior to his arrest however involved both him and his supposed murder victim. During New Year’s Eve in 2017 the bar “First in”, run by Aizina and Mai at the time, made headlines in the BILD about refugees entering and molesting women. This story went around the world as it was a heated topic in Germany at the time. Only one year prior to that was the scandal of 2000 refugees raping women right after Germany opened the borders to all Syrian refugees (Noack, 2016). Since German politicians were accused of hiding this incident and only leaked documents had proven the extent of this event, Mai and Aizina’s accusations indicated another failure of German law enforcement and foreign politics. This was used by the right wing party AFD who was emerging at the time for their propaganda campaign against foreigners. However, according to the Washington Post, these accusations were proven false, when investigators found out that Aizina, who testified, was in a different country at the time of the incident (Taylor, 2017). After being asked why Mai went public with this story, he reported: “I was mad that the people in charge said that nothing happened during New Year’s, when I told my friend Kerry Redington about what was going on in that night, he offered to connect me with the BILD. When we met with the BILD in the “Frist in” bar, Aizina was there and offered herself as a witness.” The Trump supporter Kerry Reddington is an American member of the ‘local foreigner’s representation’, chairman of ‘Republicans Overseas Germany eV’ and a sympathizer of the AFD (Majic, 2017).

Due to the major media exposure of this topic, the German government started an investigation and filed charges against Mai and Aizina for inventing a crime. Both of them were scheduled to appear in court only months after the murder. This caused heavy speculations in the media ultimately after the body was found of Aizina, that Mai killed her because of her lying in the news and ruining their business (Langengau, 2018). Only months after the scandal, the “First in” bar was sold for 350 thousand Euros.

Nevertheless, the murder case seems clear to the public, the verdict states: Jan Mai could not pay back the money he owed Azina, after selling their business. Therefore he enticed her into the park with the wrong information that she would receive her money there from an unanimous third party (Archyw, 2021). The only evidence is drops of blood at the crime scene that belong to Mai and a bizarre testimony by Stanislava T. who stated that Mai still owed Aizina “20,000 Euros” (Teutsch, 2019).

Jan Mai had no criminal record prior to his arrest in 2018. He is in prison since May 2018 and still asserts his innocence. His appeal for a revision of his trial was denied in June 2021 (Archyw, 2021).

Work Cited

“Aizina & CO. Real Estate Gmbh, Frankfurt a. Main.”,,+Frankfurt+a.+Main/Amtsgericht+Frankfurt+am+Main+HRB+103860.

Archyw. “Judgment against Jan Mai Is Final.” Archyworldys, 9 June 2021,

Behr, Stefan, and Hanning Voigts. “Schießerei Unter Rockern.” Https://, Frankfurter Rundschau, 3 July 2014,

Fienhold, Ludwig. “Der Gastro-Investor JAN MAI: BISS.” Kulinarisches Magazin – Frankfurt, Deutschland Und Die Welt, May 2018,

Iskandar, Katharina. “Mordfall Irina A.: „Die Ermittler MÜSSEN Ihre Arbeit Tun.’” FAZ.NET, Frankfurt Allgemeine GmbH,

Lang, Anna-Sophia. “Mord Im Niddapark: JAN M. Will NICHT Pleite Gewesen Sein.” FAZ.NET, Frankfurt Allgemeine Zeitung GmbH,

Langenau, Lars. “Ein ‘Sex-Mob’-Skandal, EINE Tote, Ein Angeklagter.” Sü, Süddeutsche Zeitung, 12 May 2018,

Majic, Danijel. “Einsturz Eines Lügengebäudes.” Https://, Frankfurter Rundschau, 14 Feb. 2017,

Noack, Rick. “Leaked Document Says 2,000 Men Allegedly ASSAULTED 1,200 German Women on New Year’s Eve.” The Washington Post, WP Company, 19 Apr. 2019,

Pfad, Daniela. “Frankfurt: Jan M. Verkauft Seine WOHNUNG FÜR 1,75 Mio.”, BILD, 14 Oct. 2019,

Taylor, Adam. “German Police Say Major Newspaper’s Story about a Rampaging Arab ‘Sex Mob’ Was Wrong.” The Washington Post, WP Company, 18 Apr. 2019,

Teutsch, Oliver. “Mord Im NIDDAPARK: „Partygirl’ Im Zeugenstand.” Https://, Frankfurter Rundschau, 6 Sept. 2019,


News Comment #4

The article “At least 1 dead, 12 others injured after shooting at Memphis-area Kroger”, published by CNN and written by Rebekah Riess, writes about the information reported by multiple sources revolving the shooting in Tennessee.

Police Chief Dale Lane gets quoted that the shooter was “found dead”. Also the spokesperson Kimberly Alexander said that “at least one patient” was taken to the hospital. However, there is no further information on the condition and the extend of the injuries according to the town spokesperson Jennifer Casey.

The article is very short and only has the necessary information in one to two sentence paragraphs. Hence there is no proper lead. Notable is also that there are no quotes used what so ever. This means that the author solely relied on primary sources when writing this article which makes it credible and a reliable source of information.