Reconstructing a life: Journalist finds discarded slides and live streams the ensuing mystery


posted Friday, July 15, 2016 at 1:49 PM EST


New York Times journalist Deborah Acosta stumbled upon a fascinating mystery on a New York City sidewalk. She noticed a few Kodachrome slides scattered around and followed them like breadcrumbs to an entire bag filled with them.

She immediately recognized the possibility that this could become an interesting story and began recording herself picking up the slides. Shortly thereafter, Acosta used Facebook's live video streaming service and people became quickly interested in the images and the story behind them. Who took them, why were they on the sidewalk, and who would throw all of them away?

As online commenters came up with their own theories, Acosta travelled down the rabbit hole. She found an envelope among the slides, and readers immediately began to help piece together who the person was. I don't want to ruin the story for you, so check out the video below to see how everything unraveled.

The found slides not only allowed Deborah to solve a mystery, but also to discover a life that had been lost. It's surprising how much you can learn about a person without ever having met them by viewing their photography.

Journalism is changing. Whether or not that's a net positive is up for debate, but what's clear is that streaming technology allowed Acosta to seek help in solving a mystery and provide viewers a look into an interesting life.

(Seen via Reddit