Jeremy Peters of The New York Times gives some well-deserved attention today to our longtime local crime reporter Scott McCabe. Along with Emily Babay, McCabe writes the Examiner's Crime and Punishment section, a very popular feature for our readers.
Peters even compares McCabe him to the host of America's Most Wanted, John Walsh, and here's why:
About once a month, the United States Marshals Service in the Washington area apprehends a fugitive caught with the help of Examiner readers. So far, marshals have rounded up 24 suspects after receiving calls from people who read about a fugitive in the paper.
The captures are the result of a weekly item in The Examiner called “Most Wanted,” which has featured a fugitive for the last two and a half years. Readers are provided a number to call if they think they have any information about the case. More often than not, they do.
The marshals said that even when “Most Wanted” articles did not lead directly to a capture, they could yield a tip that in some way helped an investigation — like an old address where the fugitive had been hiding out.
Calls can trickle in long after the article was published, as anxious associates or relatives of fugitives decide to act on guilty feelings.
“Either it’s been eating away at them or they finally got the courage to give us the information,” said Robert Fernandez, commander of the Marshals’ Capital Area Regional Fugitive Task Force. “They may be friends with the individual, and they had a falling out. Or they’ve been in a relationship and then they broke up.”
Peters, the Times reporter, dips his toes into a strange theory that our editorial page's center-right bent has something to do with Crime and Punishment's success. Our editor, Steve Smith, shoots that one down pretty effectively in a quote near the end.
Perhaps a few of our readers set down their copies of The Road to Serfdom and call the cops when they recognize a fugitive outside their offices at the Heritage Foundation. But our excellent local coverage is a huge draw for The Examiner. Our news racks wouldn't all be empty by noon if we weren't being read daily by Washingtonians of all ideological stripes.