One day, DLA Piper associate, specializing in intellectual property, David Messerschmitt, was professionally and personally well-thought-off.
Once, news of his murder became public, his reputation was in play. The case is still open. Those investigating admit they are baffled. Therefore, speculation grows about his reputation. Was he really the professional and person he presented at work, with his spouse and with his family?
Unless there is a break in the case soon, that speculation could harden into a belief system regarding this previously successful lawyer. It can enter the collective consciousness and the name "David Messerschmitt" could become embedded with questions about how he lived his life and why he experienced such a tragic death.
That same kind of possible damage to a reputation often happens when someone simply dies prematurely. A man in my residential complex was in his late 40s. After calling 911, he was taken to the hospital unconscious. There he died. Speculation abounds if he lived a life outside the new religion of wellness. Had he observed the fundamental precepts of healthy living he, it seems to be widely assumed, would still be on this side of the grass.
This blog has great empathy with the loved ones of David Messerschmitt. Unless the case is solved, an arrest made and a plea or conviction obtained, his reputation could continue to be damaged in the court of public opinion. If it remains a cold case, many could make a name for themselves providing dark scenarios.