‘Heil Trump’ and an anti-gay slur were scrawled on an Indiana church right after Trump’s election. The investigation led to an unlikely suspect — and the discovery of a hate crime hoax.

A well-written news story, covering a sensitive subject.

The graffiti in rural Indiana became a national sensation, part of a string of high-profile hate crime reports in the wake of Donald Trump’s victory. Late-night television host Stephen Colbert featured an image of one of the tagged walls during a monologue. The church’s priest, the Rev. Kelsey Hutto, appeared on CNN to champion the values of St. David’s, an island of liberalism in conservative Brown County.

“Doing the right thing is not always the popular thing, and if that’s why we were targeted, we’re okay with that,” she said.

The church purposely left the graffiti untouched for more than two weeks to send a message that it would not be cowed. Stang played music as the spray paint was finally scrubbed off at a ceremony of healing attended by more than 200 people. But the hatred and distrust behind the markings could not be washed away so easily — either for the congregation or for its 26-year-old organist.