Get the Story Straight

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Published: December 13, 2007

The major New York-area newspapers misrepresented Anastasiya Andreyeva, FCLC ’08—the student who has been charged with the murder of 30-year-old Aleksey Kats. The coverage failed to give a fair and accurate representation of what actually happened.

Andreyeva was a Dean’s List student, whom her professors called bright and brilliant. But you wouldn’t know that from reading reports about the murder in any of New York’s daily newspapers. Other news outlets barely mentioned that she was a Fordham student or that she maintained a high grade point average.

What they chose to focus on instead was the alleged lesbian affair (or a sex triangle, depending on which paper you read) that Andreyeva was supposedly engaging in with Elina Kats, Aleksey’s wife. And that potentially false fact is what newspapers like the Daily News and the New York Post chose to focus on, instead of providing an accurate account of who Andreyeva is or what happened.

According to multiple sources, including some of her friends, the alleged lesbian affair/sex triangle is not true, but the Post chose to take that angle anyway.

Two of the headlines printed in the Post are as follows:  “Lesbian ‘Killer’s’ Mental Woe” and “Lesbian ‘Killer’s’ Bitter Truth.”

These headlines are sensationalized and inaccurate.  First of all, the Post is entitled to say only that Andreyeva is charged with murder—not that she is a murderer.  Secondly, they cannot prove that Andreyeva is a lesbian or that she was having a lesbian affair.  So why define her that way in the headlines?  Wanting to get more people to read the articles is not a valid reason.  The Post completely neglected the fact that she is a student who has a history of mental problems—mental problems that sources say seemed to be getting worse in the weeks leading up to the murder she is now charged with committing. This is far more important—and, if true, the likely cause of her aberrant behavior—than sensationalizing her sexual orientation in an effort to make the articles more interesting.

Even further, the Post and the Daily News can’t get their stories straight.  The Post reported that Andreyeva killed Kats while his wife was asleep in another room, but the Daily News reported that Andreyeva killed Kats in front of his wife.  That is a crucial detail that should have been carefully researched before being printed.

The Observer wants to represent Andreyeva and the circumstances surrounding the murder in a fair manner.  She was a Fordham student, and, like anyone else in her situation, she deserves to have the press tell her story as accurately as possible.

On that note, we’d like to offer our deepest sympathies to the families of the victims and of the accused.