I'm sure that when were all JW's that we believed many of these stories. But there was never any real facts behind them. It was alway "some sister or brother" or this or that happened. Never any names or places. The one about the sister calling on the rapist/murderer etc. I have heard the same story from Mormons, Moonies and Christians.
Know what you mean about the magazines.
I recently went to see someone who was having a "bible study" with JW's, she was getting a bit suspcious of some things. She had a couple of the latest magazines there. I had seen the odd one since I stopped getting them 6 years ago. On looking through them it was like I had never left, the wording, the articles, the pictures were just the same. On looking through the study book "What Does the Bible Really Teach?" again its wording and phrases haven't altered. Important subjects were just glossed over or dealt with in a couple of paragraphs. The subject of the "cross" was dealt with in three short paragraphs. It came across as "Jesus didn't die on a cross because we say so" apart from the usual juggling with the word "stauros" no in depth discussion was made. I thought, with the evidence I now know I could get an hours discussion out of it easily. But if you are dealing with someone who doesn't know the real evidence then you can just gloss over it.
Better stop there I feel one of those moments were I'll just go on and on about them.