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Consider this:

MUNCIE -- An autopsy has shown that 62-year-old Chester R. Jordan was alive when he was attacked and killed by three pit bulls Friday.

What happened to this man is horrible, and a full reading of the story reveals one of the reasons for the autopsy: The medical examiner needed to determine whether the mauling killed him or came after he had already died.

So write that:

MUNCIE -- An autopsy has shown that 62-year-old Chester R. Jordan died from injuries he suffered in an attack by three pit bulls Friday.

The current opening paragraph (which we in the business call a "lede") is a study in obviousness. One of the requirements for dying is that you have to be alive beforehand.

(Hat tip to Jim Thomsen for the item.)

By the way, noted colleague John McIntyre of the Baltimore Sun has a nice rundown on copspeak -- the sort of things that are found in police reports but should not be found in reports about police reports.

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