SPCA: A sad tale, and a lesson in research

I referred earlier to some info that was being spread via email about Dave Garcia, the SPCA employee at the center of the 20/20 story.

That info made it into the DMN yesterday, along with news of Garcia’s resignation.

Several thoughts here:

  • This doesn’t necessarily make 20/20’s report any more valid — it’s still a swiss cheese mishmash of mischaracterizations. But, it makes the SPCA’s rebuttal seem less high-minded.
  • If 20/20 had really wanted a "gotchya," it was right there waiting for them.
  • This calls the SPCA’s judgement in its use of Garcia into question. Can a convicted rapist and kidnapper get a job as dogcatcher? Yes. Should he be positioned as a media darling poster-child for the organization? Probably not.
  • Are there no media organizations that make a public records check of article subjects SOP? This should have come out months ago.
  • Herein is an object lesson, both in enabling users to report relevant news and in maintaining civil discourse. In the continuation is the email I originally declined to post. I think it is clear that something of this tone can’t just be posted willy-nilly. But, once we’re operational, it’s the kind of thing that becomes a hot lead for a professional reporter to check out. Or better yet, the user posting it provides the proof.

From: [sender redacted]
Sent: Sunday, July 24, 2005 10:44
To: mikeorren (at) pegasusnews (dot) com
Subject: Why is our local
news not reporting this story?
Frank David Garcia
Convicted of Kidnapping and Rape of Teenage Girl

Dave Garcia,
Director of Humane Law Enforcement, dgarcia@spca.org SPCA of Texas, 362 S.
Industrial Dr., Dallas, Texas 75207 Office: 214-651-9611 Ext. 101, Fax:
214-651-9244, is a CONVICTED criminal.

On the 29th of October, 1973, Mr. Frank David Garcia was sentenced to 9-12
years for "Kidnapping while armed with a deadly weapon". He also was sentenced
to 9-12 years for "Rape while armed with a deadly weapon".

[Unverified section redacted] GFN hopes and prays you don’t jump off a 100′ (foot) tall
bridge and find your self on the solid deck of a "Tug" boat.

[Unverified section redacted]

Stay calm, Mr. Frank David Garcia, Director of Humane Law Enforcement for the
Texas SPCA, GFN will try to take it easy on your convicted felonious butt.

PS: Don’t bend over while in a prison shower to pick up the proverbial
"soap". (Editors Note)

GFN will have more on this breaking news on our website or our next

Mike Orren is the Chief Product Officer of The Dallas Morning News; President of Belo Business Intelligence; husband to Crystal Orren; and a Mungarian at Munger Place Church in Dallas, TX. All opinions herein are mine alone.