Rantz: Seattle media ignore or lie about Quran, meth connection to murder case

Apr 4, 2022, 6:00 PM
Tyrone Bernard Wells charged with first-degree murder in the killing of Randee Rios (KIRO 7 TV)...
Tyrone Bernard Wells charged with first-degree murder in the killing of Randee Rios (KIRO 7 TV)

A prolific offender brutally murdered an innocent friend with a hatchet, bolt cutters, and a drum in Shoreline. But you won’t hear all the details from Seattle media. In fact, one outlet flat out lies about the case.

Police say Tyrone Bernard Wells, who has three misdemeanor convictions and was wanted on three separate bench warrants, confessed to killing Randee Leeann Rios after she spent the night at his apartment in Shoreline on March 27. The two had been dating.

Court documents say Wells had been awake for four days and was a meth user. He told police he last used meth the day before.

Wells also told police, according to court documents, “that he had been reading the Quran prior to Rios’ arrival and that verses in the Quran seemed to indicate to him that it would be necessary for him to kill Rios.” It says that he struggled “with the thought of whether or not he would actually go through with murdering her.”

But after the two had intercourse and watched movies, Rios fell asleep. That’s when police say Wells decided to murder her.

The details are nauseatingly graphic, but were mostly reported by local outlets. But the details about the meth and Quran were completely absent from some outlets.

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Meth? Quran? Media leaves out crucial details

Every local television outlet excluded key details that were readily available. And the so-called newspaper of record for Seattle flat-out lied. They all used the same court documents as the primary source of their reporting.

When KIRO 7 covered the murder charges, there was no mention of Wells using meth or reading the Quran in video or print. Reporter Ryan Simms did, however, use a neighbor to allege Wells suffered from schizophrenic and could have been off his meds.

KOMO’s written story did not include an accompanying video. The report offered grotesque details on the killing. But it made no mention of the meth or Quran. It didn’t even say Wells reported being awake since March 23rd.

FOX 13 noted Wells said he had taken meth and stayed up for four days. Curiously, they also left out the detail about reading the Quran from their written report. AJ Janavel, in the video report, did the same.

The oddest outlier is KING 5. The written report gives all the relevant details, including the meth and Quran reading. But the video report mentions neither.

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The Seattle Times claims no motive presented

Sara Jean Green covered the murder case for the Seattle Times and, arguably, was the most dishonest.

Though the piece doesn’t fixate on the grisly details, it gives a general overview of what took place. Green chooses not to mention the Quran detail. She mentions the meth, but downplays its role in the alleged confession.

“The charges don’t provide a motive for Rios’ slaying, but prosecutors say Wells claimed to have been using meth in the days leading up to her killing,” Green writes.

This is completely false since the court documents provide several motives: meth, staying awake for days, and feeling inspired by the Quran.

Media decides what facts you get to learn

If Wells was a white Christian who was up for days and feeling inspired after reading the Bible, these details would come out in the opening sentence online and seconds on-air. Progressive reporters and their editors view white Christians as oppressors, thus those details are worthy of mention.

But Wells is black (oppressed), a possible drug addict (oppressed), and maybe Muslim (oppressed).

The media won’t touch on those details because reporters want to protect those classes of people. Further, they don’t want to stigmatize drug addicts or Muslims, even if Wells may not be one.

This betrays the media’s agenda: they’re deciding what details are pertinent as informed by their political worldview. They routinely pick and choose to shape stories, oftentimes adding irrelevant details to get you to think a certain way about a story or subject.

Cowardly reporting does a disservice

Revealing any of those facts wouldn’t generalize black men, drug addicts, or Muslims.

There isn’t a single reporter in town that would use this to claim all black drug addicts are all violent or the Quran should reasonably inspire murder. None of those things are true. But those details are all specifically mentioned in the court documents because it goes to motive.

Was it necessary to explain how the hatchet, bolt cutters, or drum set were used in the killing? No. I don’t even mention how they were used in this analysis. I mention them as murder weapons because they’re relevant details.

And it’s not just that reporters here are so left-wing that they feel the need to protect certain identities. Some are terrified that they’ll be judged for reporting the details by Seattle’s fringe activist community.

It helps explain why cowardly local outlets downplayed Black Lives Matter-inspired riots as peaceful protests, never mentioning Antifa. But when a white suspect is accused of a crime against a black victim, even when race isn’t even alleged to have played a role, you’ll know everyone’s race after reading or watching the report.

Reporters should unapologetically provide the facts as we know them and allow the public to decide how they feel about them. If there’s blowback, so be it. Facts speaking to motive are obviously relevant and reporters leaving it out are doing so with ulterior motives.

Listen to the Jason Rantz Show weekday afternoons from 3–6 pm on KTTH 770 AM (HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). Subscribe to the podcast here. Follow @JasonRantz  on  Twitter,  Instagram, and Facebook. Check back frequently for more news and analysis.

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Rantz: Seattle media ignore or lie about Quran, meth connection to murder case