During the week following the tragedy, journalists attempted to explain this event in terms of broader news themes, including other recent school shootings and the escalation of gun violence in the United States. News media covered the girls' funerals, which, though private, entailed a long cortege of buggies traveling down a public highway, a scene widely photographed and published or aired in media. Based on clues in Roberts's suicide note and final phone call to his wife, reporters speculated about his motives, ultimately inconclusively. Given the absence of a logical explanation for what had happened-and given their lack of access to the grieving families within a community that even in normal times goes out of its way to avoid media attention-reporters then turned to the timeless theme of innocence lost. The story became one of "when worlds collide" (a phrase used by three newspapers), a cultural feature about what happens when the evils of the "outside" world make their way into a small rural community.