Wife Charged In Shooting Death Of Okla. Photographer p.12

By: Editorial Staff AWARD-WINNING NEWSPAPER photographer John David Heckel, a staffer at the Tulsa World for 28 years, was shot to death on Mar. 29. His wife, Elaine, has been arrested and charged with first-degree murder.
Heckel, 57, was found dead in his home in Owasso, Okla., with multiple bullet wounds in the head and torso. His 53-year-old wife later presented herself at the police station clutching a teddy bear and saying she wanted to die, according to police reports.
Heckel, who began his newspaper career in 1969 at the World, was known to colleagues as a workaholic and a gifted photographer.
He received awards for his pictures from the Associated Press, the Society of Professional Journalists and the Oklahoma Press Association.
"We were all devastated by what happened," said managing editor Susan Ellerbach. "John was the consummate photojournalist. He lived his job and was always the first person to arrive at a breaking news site."
A large bear of man known for his love of food and enthusiasm for hot air ballooning, Heckel was also known for his mechanical skills in building and modifying cameras, lenses and darkroom equipment.
Tulsa World Online (www.tulsaworld.com) has mounted a selection of his photos in a feature called "Focus: John David Heckel."
It also quotes from a 1991 essay in which Heckel described his work philosophy.
Heckel wrote that he believed in "carrying camera equipment at all times, and being willing to take time out from any activity to take a photo."
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?(copyright: Editor & Publisher April 11,1998) [Caption]


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