Member Carolyn Pickering Lautner dies

This story was posted on June 23, 2011.


Indiana Journalism Hall of Fame member Carolyn Pickering Lautner died June 16 in Indianapolis. She was 86.

A memorial service celebrating her life will be at 1 p.m. June 29 in Northminster Presbyterian Church, 1660 East Kessler Blvd., Indianapolis. Leppert Mortuary is handling arrangements.

Lautner was an award-winning journalist for The Indianapolis Star for 35 years, earning five Lester Hunt awards for investigative reporting, a special award from the Seventh Federal Circuit Court of Appeals for trial coverage and the Frances Wright Matrix Table award in 1972. She gained national fame as the first reporter in the country to expose the cult led by Jim Jones, a self-styled pastor whose “flock” was forced to drink lethal cyanide-laced Kool-Aid after Jones’ charlatan methods were exposed by the press, according to her obituary that ran in The Star June 23.

The first woman police reporter in Indiana, she worked 40-hour weeks while an undergraduate at Butler University during the World War II years, when many male journalists were in the military.

She also was an athlete, organizing and competing in golf in the Indianapolis area, and after her retirement, she had a successful second career in real estate sales.

Lautner was inducted into the hall of fame in 1996.


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