Saturday, June 12, 2010

A Lot More than Peeping

Who decided to call the perpetrator in a series of recent crimes in Minneapolis a Peeping Tom?

In today's Star Tribune, a story by Matt McKinney and Paul Walsh is headlined Peeping Tom Grows More Brazen. The term is used in the lead, but is not directly attributed to the police spokesman. ("A man police believe to be a serial Peeping Tom who victimized two women...")

The definition of a Peeping Tom is that he peeps. He looks. Every definition I've seen uses adjectives like "furtively" or "secretly."

This guy started out doing a lot more than that. In the first two cases:

...the man spoke to women through unlocked lower-level apartment windows. In at least two cases, he threatened the women with a gun, saying he would shoot them if they didn't do what he said, according to police records.
In the first of those cases, he also cut the screen out of the window. In the third, most recent case, he broke in through the window and the woman fought him off and got away.

What part of any of that involves peeping? And who labeled it that way, the police or the Strib? Doesn't it obviously trivialize what this guy has been doing?

1 comment:

Blissed-Out Grandma said...

Good point! Reporters and editors should be careful about using cliches and expressions anyway, but this shows the serious reason.