Matt C. Abbott
Wikipedia contains baseless claim about slain priest
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By Matt C. Abbott
May 20, 2019

Wikipedia is a mixed bag, for sure. Entries must always be scrutinized for accuracy. Disputes arise over use of certain news sources. Edits can be made, re-edits can be made, and users/editors (who can be anyone) can be blocked.

I'm not a Wikipedia user/editor, nor do I want to be.

On the page about the late Father Alfred Kunz, whose 1998 murder remains unsolved, a user/editor wrote: "Some locals believe, knowing the personality of Mr. Kunz [sic], that he was possibly murdered by a local who knew he had molested one of his male students at St. Michael's."


The user/editor cites a 2009 story from The Capital Times that contains no such claim. In other words, the user/editor fabricated the claim and made it appear that it comes from a legitimate news source.

I brought this to the attention of Lt. Kerry Porter of the Dane County Sheriff's Office, who responded: "As you are probably aware, there is no evidence to support the claim made concerning molestation."

Another Catholic writer commented: "That edit was most likely made with malice."

The rest of the Wikipedia entry on Father Kunz contains enough outdated information that it should either be deleted or significantly revised and updated.

Recently, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel ran an in-depth podcast series on the case. Click here to read and listen to the materials. It's quite interesting – and, most importantly, features well-researched and accurate information.

Update as of May 22, 2019:

Since this column was published, the baseless claim has been deleted from the Wikipedia entry. I'll continue to monitor the entry for inaccurate information.

© Matt C. Abbott

 

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Matt C. Abbott

Matt C. Abbott is a Catholic commentator with a Bachelor of Arts degree in communication, media and theatre from Northeastern Illinois University. He also has an Associate in Applied Science degree in business management from Triton College. He's been interviewed on MSNBC, Bill Martinez Live, WOSU Radio in Ohio, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's 'Unsolved' podcast, WLS-TV (ABC) in Chicago, WMTV (NBC) and WISC-TV (CBS) in Madison, Wis., and has been quoted in The New York Times and the Chicago Tribune. He can be reached at mattcabbott@gmail.com.

(Note: I welcome thoughtful feedback and story ideas. If you want our correspondence to remain confidential, please specify as such in your initial email to me. However, I reserve the right to forward and/or publish emails that are accusatory, insulting or threatening in nature, even if those emails are marked confidential. Also, if you give me permission to publish a quote of yours, please do not contact me at a later time to request that I delete your name. Only in limited circumstances will I quote anonymous sources. Thank you and God bless!)

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