The Chicago Tribune’s Web site appears to be doing everything in its power to grind the city’s tourism industry to an absolute halt. We’ve been checking in periodically over the past few weeks, and without fail the lead stories have been of death, danger and destruction.

The week started off with a terrifying bang:

“Hazardous porches go unfixed” (beneath which we have the mandatory fear question: “Check: Is your porch on the list?”).

Next came “5-car wreck hurts 7,” followed, in order, by: “BTK suspect pleads guilty” with “a look at the victims”; “Suburban man in copter crash”; “Trice: Sex assault haunts woman”; “Governor signs 2 hate crime bills.”

That’s a lot to stomach for a Monday morning!

And if you think the Tribune will go easy on you today just because it’s the start of a glorious holiday weekend, think again.

The top story on the Web site:

“Crime horrifies neighbors: Police are ‘scrambling’ in the case of a Buffalo Grove father and daughter whose bludgeoned bodies were found in their burning home.”

Followed by:

“ID sought for body in trash bin”
“100 tips in Oak Park slaying”
“Bone discovery a homicide case”
“Summer spike in rapes”

We guess the tips in the Oak Park slaying and the bone discovery are good things — but somehow, not quite positive enough to counter the trash-bin corpse and recent rape spree.

The list goes on:

“Team of GIs missing”
“Update: Van crash kills 1, hurts 8”

And the worst, most terror-invoking interrogative of them all:

“Chicago’s taverns endangered?”

Which is really too bad, because we suspect that after reading those earlier headlines, shaken Chicagoans are seriously in need of a drink.

And since we began writing this item, yet a new headline has appeared on the site:

“New: Residents flee shaking condo.”

Good for them! We only hope they’re fleeing far away from the bludgeoning, bashing and smashing that apparently runs rampant in their crumbling, rumbling, trembling city!

Samantha Henig

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Samantha Henig was a CJR Daily intern.