Thursday, August 9, 2012

Sometimes we don’t report everything we know. Here’s why. #ColdCase

Police have asked us not to release all of the details that we know about the murder of Sean May.

May was a popular prosecutor in Adams County. He was murdered Aug. 27, 2008 near his pregnant wife. Police have received hundreds of leads, but have not conclusively identified the killer.

There is a $125,000 reward for information that solves this cold case. Anyone can call Crime Stoppers at 720-913-STOP.

Here’s why I am not reporting every detail. 

In high profile murders, police tell me there are a handful of people who come forward claiming they know information about the murder.  Some of those who come forward are criminals looking to get a reduced sentence for giving information. Some might be tipsters who heard someone else talking about a murder.

It can be tough for police to know who to believe.

I know exactly where he was shot and how many times and so does the killer.

One of the ways police officers figure out who really knows information about a crime is by asking basic questions: How many times was the person hit? Where did the bullets hit the person? How else was the person injured? Where exactly was the person killed? Was the person shot from behind or in front?

The real killer, or someone who knows information from the killer, could answer those questions.

Someone who is acting like they know information, might not accurately know all of the details.

At 9NEWS, we critically think about and discuss each request by police to withhold information. I believe in the value of being transparent to viewers. A lot of times we post information that makes police departments or government agencies unhappy. There are times though, when information in the public can affect a police department’s ability to solve crimes. I believe this is one of those cases.

It seems that solving this crime, is more important than the public knowing where or how many times someone was shot.

I’d like to hear your opinion. Did I make the right call?