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  1. #1

    Why won't the police tell us what is going on?

    Research reveals that 99% of crime is not revealed to the media


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Missouri Ozarks near Cabool, Missouri
    This is a huge pet peeve of mine. I'm a program director of a community radio station. Getting information about crimes, missing people, etc from law enforcement is like pulling teeth. The sad part is that so many times it seems they that they have let the case go cold before releasing crucial details that might have been helpful earlier.

    A few years ago a man abducted a child in Springfield, MO and a description of the man, child, car and license number were immediately sent out to area media. Almost 30 miles away a driver realized that the license number and description he just heard on the radio was the car immediately in front of him. He called in on his cell phone and the abductor was caught and the child was returned safely.

    So why is it a few years later and all of this information seems to be kept secret? A woman disappeared about 10 miles from us. We found out a week later when we saw a poster. A call to the law enforcement agency got no new information other than "the investigation is continuing".

    And there was the case of the missing young children in our own county. We found out about it because one of our listeners had seen a mention on a TV station 60 miles away. A call to the sheriff's office got us nothing. They refused to provide a description of the missing children. They refused to provide a location. And yet told us that if anyone sees anything to let them know. There were two more updates...we got those by tuning in the distant TV station. Despite quotes from the sheriff's department itself, the department denied talking to any media sources and that they were not providing information to anyone. Unfortunately the two children were found deceased in a river. Then the sheriff's office managed to send us a press release touting their skills and officers in locating the bodies and closing the case.

    I understand that law enforcement may have to deal with very sensitive information and that all leads, no matter how ridiculous, must be checked out. But why is there so much secrecy and unwillingness to provide what could be useful information to the media and public?

    Which is more valuable?:

    1. "Two children are missing from a residence in the county. The sheriff's department has released no names, descriptions, ages, or the location of the residence. Please contact them if you have any information."
    2. " A child was abducted from a residence located at XXXXXXX. The child was seen getting into a white XXXXXXXXXXXXXx car with the license # XXXXXXX."

    Had to vent. I see so much of the secrecy going on and I feel it hampers the effort to locate missing people.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Well to begin, police business is police business. Policy dictates that most things that go on within a police department is to be held with the greatest confidentiality, for the privacy of crime victims, criminals, and the police themselves.

    Now you may be sitting here, thinking at me, "But if the public was informed what is going on, cases would be solved quicker!!!1!" That is the civilian way of thinking. Evidence, theories, and suspects must be kept entirely to the police. The media has no right to know and society is better off without them knowing.

    Just take a second to think a moment here and lets pretend that they do talk to the public about everything. The police, after conducting a crime scene investigation goes up to the reporter on scene and goes "Well from what we can conclude, the unknown suspect of the crime wears size 11 shoes, has a dog and a cat, and seems to have left tiny pieces of tree bark that we suspect came from his gloves." You know what would happen in this scenario?
    a) The tree-cutter would quit his job, get rid of his pets, and wear oversized shoes to mask what the police has identified. Then after a good 10 hours of cleaning to get rid of all the pet hairs, he goes and throws his gloves into his BBQ and grills up some food as an alibi. Then once he is done with dinner, he goes down to the Goodwill with all of his shoes and donates them "from the goodness of his heart".
    b) The public knows all the details of the case, so they can rehearse and confess falsely to a crime for whatever purpose (paid off by real killer, homeless & in need of shelter and food, just wanting to take the glory of a serial killing or whatever).

    Police withhold information from the public so that when these murderers do commit crimes and are brought into the station, they can grill them until they slip up with a detail only the murderer would know and thus get busted.

    Oh and by the way, awful source. Really horrible. Never bring up sites from .co.uk sites. Those are tabloids, not news. And TheGuardian is especially horrible.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Quote Originally Posted by techpuppy View Post
    2. " A child was abducted from a residence located at XXXXXXX. The child was seen getting into a white XXXXXXXXXXXXXx car with the license # XXXXXXX."

    Had to vent. I see so much of the secrecy going on and I feel it hampers the effort to locate missing people.
    The police are not psychics. If they haven't given out information about the license numbers and vehicle make or model, it's because any witnesses to the crime were entirely unhelpful in that matter. Not everybody who sees something suspicious goes "Oh hey, better commit that license plate to memory, maybe there'll be an investigation and I can help". Its not like the police can just pull plates out of their ass, you know.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    I have a simple answer to this. The answer is that it is not any of the public's business. There are far too many things that can go wrong should every detail of a crime (or even certain parts of) be released to the public. Some of us here at WS might be trusted to keep confidentiality, but the vast majority of people would not, thus causing chaos and possible detriment to an investigation.

    I know that a lot of people here hate LE and feel that they are all corrupt, but they do this for a living and most of them know what they are doing. The media has absolutely no right to know because, frankly, they far too often don't get the details right on even the smallest story.

    I just got angry about the JVM show about 5 minutes ago. For a long time, JVM hasn't been watched in our house because of her salacious drama and incorrect information, but I wanted to watch her because of the little Springfield, Mo girl. It wasn't 10 minutes into the show before one of her talking heads started berating LE for taking 3 1/2 hours to get to the home of the suspect. I personally wish LE would give LESS information in a lot of cases.
    My book, More Than Just A Pretty Face, about the unidentified photos of Rodney Alcala, will be published in 2017. Please visit and join my Facebook group to get all of the most recent information.


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