This is the first time I’ve ever called someone from a news story out of my own curiosity, but I worked on my highschool newspaper and got used to calling strangers to get information. It went something like:
(Gentle voice to try to not alarm her at all):
Woman picks up “Hello?”
Me: “Hello, can I speak to Judge Smith?”
Her: “He’s not here right now.”
Me: “Is this Charlotte Smith?”
Me: “Hi, my name is _____, you don’t know me but I saw the news report many years ago about the case of the person harassing you through your TV. I can’t find ANY information about the case online, I was wondering if they ever caught the person?”
(Before calling I was 90% sure they would catch this person either as a disgruntled Cable person or someone within RF distance of their house, I assumed it would be pretty easy to catch this person)
Her: “No. They never found out who it was.” (I can’t describe to you how this one sentence sounded coming from her. Charlotte sounded like a sweet, dignified and intelligent lady, but she definitely sounded like I was reminding her about the worst time in her life.)
Me: “I’m so so sorry to hear that, that was an awful thing. Well I hope everything is alright now, take care.”
That was about it. As soon as she said the person was never caught and sounded distraught, I chose not to ask any of the questions I wanted (My number 1 question was “Did they ever have a suspect?” I totally would’ve tried to track down that guy and call him if she had a name).
I felt somewhat guilty about upsetting a sweet old lady, but her and Judge chose to appear on the news in the first place to share their story, so I was only asking the resolution to what they chose to make public.