Web Site Hit Counter

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

US TV anchorwoman Anne Pressly found badly beaten at home

October 21, 2008
timesonline Chris Ayres,
Little Rock Arkansas

A blonde television news anchor who had a cameo role in Oliver Stone’s new George Bush biopic W. has been found beaten almost to death in her Arkansas home — only hours after going to the cinema to see the film for the first time. Detectives say that they are baffled by the motive for the attack.

Anne Pressly, 26, a popular face to viewers of KATV in Bill Clinton’s home state, was last night described as being in a critical but stable condition, although her prospects for a full recovery remain unclear.

Detectives are trying to establish if Ms Pressly was the target of a random home invasion robbery — a source of much dread to many Americans after a few recent high-profile cases — or a specific attack by either a stalker, a fellow filmgoer, or someone who knows her.

In W. — a highly satirical take on George Bush’s life and presidency by one of America’s most liberal film-makers — Ms Pressly plays a conservative TV commentator who praises the US leader’s infamously premature “Mission Accomplished” speech, delivered on an aircraft carrier after the invasion of Iraq.

“[It] is possible that it is something other than robbery,” said Cassandra Davis, a police spokeswoman.

Ms Pressly’s bloodied and unconscious body was found by her mother at 4.30am on Monday, 30 minutes before she was due on the set of Daybreak, a morning TV show on the ABC network’s affiliate station in Little Rock.

The news anchor, who had failed to respond to one of her mother’s routine wake-up calls, was still bleeding badly from her head. Her handbag was missing. The police initially said that Ms Pressly had been stabbed and had suffered “severe wounds”. It was later established that the 26-year-old’s injuries were inflicted by a blunt object to the head and upper body.

The night before the attack, Ms Pressly had dined at a restaurant with a friend, Mallory Hardin, before going to see W. with other friends. Later she exchanged text messages with Ms Hardin, saying that she was delighted with her brief performance. “If there’s one person that doesn’t have an enemy, it is Anne Pressly,” Ms Hardin told NBC’s Today show.

Ms Pressly won her role W. after travelling to Shreveport, Louisiana — where much of the film was being shot — to work on a story about the region’s thriving film industry. Stone’s casting director noticed her, and offered her a walk-on part.

According to KATV, Ms Pressly’s most notable journalistic achievement was an interview with Vice President Dick Cheney — also satirised by Stone’s W. The interview also happened by chance.

No comments: