GW alumnus Doug Most said he is “floating on a cloud” after being tapped 1998 Journalist of the Year in New Jersey and publishing his first book.
Most’s book, Always in Our Hearts, tells the story of Amy Grossberg and Brian Peterson, a teenage couple from northern New Jersey who killed their newborn son and threw him in a Delaware hotel trash bin in 1996.
“For the next 20 months, this case consumed my life,” Most said. He wrote more than 150 stories about Grossberg and Peterson’s case for The Record, a Bergen County newspaper that is the second-largest daily in New Jersey.
“This was a big case for (the newspaper) because these kids were from our backyard,” he said. “They were both from Bergen County.”
After the pair was sentenced in July 1998, Most took a four-month leave of absence from The Record to write the book, the culmination of the nearly two years he spent covering the case. In a piece entitled “How the Book Was Born,” Most writes that people were fascinated with Grossberg and Peterson’s story but “paid little attention to why they did it.”
“I wrote this book to fill that void, to explore that question,” he wrote.
He said neonaticide, the crime in which babies are killed shortly after they are born, never was considered a problem in suburbia. But Most said Grossberg and Peterson changed that.
“Amy and Brian gave a new face to the crime – white, upper-middle class, suburban and college-bound,” Most wrote.
Most wrote that writing the book was “cathartic” for him. He also said he could relate to Peterson.
“I also had a serious high school girlfriend, and my only concern was her absolute happiness,” he wrote. “I was constantly putting myself in Brian’s shoes and wondering at what point I would have stopped protecting my girlfriend’s demand for secrecy and betrayed her trust.”
Most is covering transportation issues for The Record and said he is enjoying the accolades. He credits much of his success to the days he spent at GW.
Most graduated from GW in 1990 but said he still fondly remembers staying up until 5 a.m. working on The GW Hatchet, where he spent his freshman and sophomore years as a sports editor.
Always in Our Hearts was released in bookstores this month, and Most will sign copies Thursday at the Barnes & Noble bookstore at 3651 Jefferson Drive Highway, in Alexandria, Va.