Goerge Hatt was found guilty of 1st degree murder in the brutal death of Andrew Spencer by a jury this afternoon.
(More details to come later this evening)
I received an email from a person who was at George Hatt’s trial, I believe it may have been intended for the Herald but I think this gets the point across with details…
I used to be an avid reader of the Herald. When I moved to Everett 13 years ago, I subscribed to delivery and was a loyal reader for many years. I have found that as time goes on, I am more and more in awe at the bias of the stories written.
Ive noticed that not only are the stories inaccurate and bias, but poorly organized.
One such story has hit me at a personal level and that is the coverage of the recent murder trial in Everett of George d. Hatt.
I believe I sat near Ms. Hefley and not once did she or anyone else bother to ask anyone from the victims family anything.
The first article was riddled with errors of facts and hearsay from the trial and seemed very much in favor of the defendant and I felt it was even disrespectful to the victim, whose name is barely mentioned well into the second paragraph. And again, why didn’t the writer get deeper into the thoughts or emotions of the people involved?
I was there throughout most of the trial, with Andrew Spencer’s mother, father, son, and many other family and friends and I can tell you first hand, that this was a very intense roller coaster ride for all of us.
Why didn’t the coverage include any statements from the family, friends, or anyone for that matter?
The facts were arranged in such a way that I felt the writer was conveying sympathy towards the defendant and making the victim less of a victim and more of a deserving criminal.
If you had talked to anyone you might have heard a different story altogether. And if you are going to reprint things that the defense says, why not print the entire story, instead of leaving out bits of important information that are pertinent to the eventual outcome the jury came to?
To top it off, the 3rd and final article that came out on Friday morning was not even worthy enough to be put on the front page as had the first two articles.
This trial was so important when the writer wanted to make the crime seem justified, but when justice was served, and not in the writers obviously bias manner, the story took the back seat to yet another article about the homeless problem.
Here are some key facts Diane Hefley left out:
Andrew Spencer lived in Granite Falls and was a father.
George Hatt was squatting on the property he claims was robbed by Andrew Spencer.
There has been nothing to date that proves Andrew ever robbed or vandalized George Hatt’s possessions.
The Herald would know this if instead of opinions, the writers did a bit of research themselves before throwing together some courtroom banter and hitting spell check, print.
George Hatt has an even longer list of felonies than Andrew Spencer. George Hatt showed absolutely no remorse for killing Andrew.
George Hatt did not just shoot Andrew, he tricked him into thinking their dispute was settled and then lured him back with lies, he shot him at close range, twice, then threw him in a shallow hole, said he would forever be known as kissing his own ass, then jumped on this back, not once, but several times, breaking ribs, etc, then proceeded to club the deceased with a 50lb barbell, all before throwing some dirt on top, pouring various chemicals, and staging a bonfire for 3 days before fleeing.
The body was not recovered in one piece, and was only recognizable because the head had been protected from the brunt of the fire. Even if you could justify a self defense plea, or sympathize with him for being robbed, even if you could justify this murder in any way, there is still the fact that what was done to Andrew after he died was horrific enough that no one showed up the day they showed the pictures of his remains in court.
And telling also, is that the one and only day anyone showed up in support of George, was the girlfriend who was also there the night he killed Andrew, yet she was never called to the stand as a witness because her testimony kept changing and she was deemed a hostile witness, She is, by the way, facing charges in another case out of Tacoma from just a few months ago, involving prescription fraud.
These two career criminals have been known to talk about other individuals that have been victims of theirs in the past, it is rumored that George is quoted as saying he “stopped counting his victims after 22”.
Why then, is the Herald painting a picture of a person who was an unfortunate felon who was merely teaching a robber a lesson ?
Its easy to say what you want about Andrew Spencer, because he isn’t here to defend himself, but the courtroom was filled with people who knew him, including his parents.
George Hatt made sure to slip into his testimony that his dad is a retired fire captain in Ventura County, CA, yet no one flew up or drove up from California in support of his defense. And no one from the Herald bothered to give any real thought to how these three articles sounded to the victims family. Or anyone else who reads them and doesn’t know the full story.
My father, before his untimely death when I was 15, used to tell me, “It is better to keep your mouth shut and let everyone think you are stupid, then to open your mouth and prove it.” And the old tried and true cliche rings out as well, the one that says if you dont have anything nice to say, dont say anything at all.
I suppose you could say I’m guilty of that one, as I really dont have anything nice to say with regards to these articles, however, I think I speak for all those of us who knew Andrew Spencer, when I say, he was a kind person with a big heart and a checkered past, who once went out and bought shoes for several people in winter time who had no warm shoes.
I didnt know him for very long, and in fact, I tried to dislike him based on the things I had heard about him, but he was such an honest and sincere person who expressed regret for his past mistakes.
One couldn’t help but like him, with his warm smile and easy laugh.
I cant say George Hatt was even the least bit sorry or remorseful for anything he did to Andrew. I’m repulsed just thinking about the pictures of his mutilated body, and the horrifying scene George staged to look like a campfire, complete with lawn chairs set around a firepit, where underneath lay the broken pieces of a man he thought had robbed him, a man who he actually had used as one of many identities he stole over the course of his 2 years in Granite Falls, to sell vehicles and drugs and numerous other shady deals.
Ask anyone about him, and they’ll have nothing good to say. He even sent letters from jail telling his girlfriend to arrange a false witness to help get him acquitted of the murder charges he faced. He signed it “The Granite Falls Grim Reaper”. Of course, he tried to say in court that that was not his signature, but even without an expert in handwriting, anyone could see that it was indeed the same penmanship.
Andrew Spencer may have once had “Bad Boy” Tattooed on his wrists, but even more true is the one george hatt has in large letters across his chest that reads “Hell Awaits”.
Shame on you, Herald, and you, Diane. I thought you would at the very least, quote reactions or comments from the victims family, in lieu of Andrew not being alive to speak in his own defense.
His story ended the night a man took his life, and now you disregard who he was and what a loss we have suffered with your carelessly arranged words.
While it may just be another day at the office for you, his children will be at school and hear the snickers of other kids whose parents read your articles and spoke with disdain about someone you nor they, ever knew.
Its your loss to never have known him, our loss because we loved him.
The articles written by Diana Hefley lack feeling, empathy, and smear the facts, alot like George Hatt.