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Dealing with the news

I attended a meeting of the Retired Seattle Police Officer’s Association today.

The guest speaker was Brandi Kruse, a former Seattle news personality who has recently gone independent with her podcast-a refreshingly common sense take on Seattle’s hard-left political landscape—one that is destroying a once-great city.

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I first met Brandi when she was a twenty-something reporter on KIRO Newsradio. She wanted to interview me about an equivocal death investigation I was doing. I agreed to the interview. She later went to the Seattle FOX affiliate. She interviewed me on the air about my first book, Homicide:  The View from Inside the Yellow Tape.

Her appearance got me thinking about my relationship with local—and a few national—news personalities.

I know most of them well, our paths crossing several times over the years.

Most reporters covering crime stories are trying to do a good job. Our objectives didn’t always mesh. They wanted the exclusive tidbit on high-profile murders; I had to protect the case by not releasing sensitive information.

In a phone conversation with a well-known local reporter about a super high-profile murder, she begged me to give her something she could report.

“I can help you get this guy!” she said.

“Everything I say to you,” I told her, “I’m whispering right into the ear of the killer. He’s watching all of the news about this case. If he knows I’m on the right track, he may destroy evidence or do something else to throw me off. If he knows I’m not, he can relax. I want him to wonder, so he’ll screw up and make a mistake.”

In that case, that’s exactly what he did. My partner and I were right there to catch him when he f**ked up.

I also had fun with the local press too.

Whenever I was at a murder scene where multiple news cameras were filming, I sought out a patrol officer who was obviously a rookie, probably on their first murder scene.

I would walk up to him or her.

“Call your mom and tell her you’re going to be on the news tonight.”

I would then walk them away from the crowd and kneel down,.  I’d point at the ground while speaking with them or I’d point off in the distance. The news loves detectives pointing.

I wouldn’t be pointing at anything really, but invariably that shot would make it on the air.

A year or so before I retired, I was at a horrific murder scene where a woman and her baby had been murdered.

As I walked out of the house, a line of camera’s pointed in.

I was passing the cameras when one of the videographers looked at me.

“I’ve been filming you for thirty years.”

“Yes, you have,” I said. We spoke for a few minutes. He was a good guy.

The photo in the post wasn’t a fake point.  Photo credit:  Brandi Kruse.

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