What if I were Detective Ritter?

May 10, 2011 1:49:12 PM PDT
I've said in this space before that if I hadn't become a journalist, I would have been drawn to detective work. Homicides, to be precise.

The thought of carrying a gun might have precluded the notion, but solving murders has always seemed to be a little like journalism: You search for the truth, overcoming all sorts of obstacles and distractions and people trying to throw you off the trail.

I thought about this today, after the abundance of murders we find ourselves covering. There's the Long Island serial killer, make that killers. We look at a beach and think how beautiful it is; killers apparently look at the beach and see a landfill for bodies. Trying to track the identities and then find the killers that's the challenge for investigators. (All of whom, by the way, carry guns.)

Then there's the 57-year-old woman who was stabbed several times in a gruesome murder in her apartment in Queens.

The woman's emotionally disturbed sister was arrested, after she allegedly assaulted another woman.

And finally, a murder mystery in Brooklyn, where the body of a well-respected jazz musician was found stuffed inside a trunk that once stored his mother's clothes. Stanley Wright, who performed under the name, Suleiman-Hakim, played bass, piano and drums. No cause of death yet, and no suspects or motive. Finding his killer ? searching for the truth ? would be a great challenge.

We'll have the latest on all three big murder stories, tonight at 11.

Also at 11, we're in Connecticut where a high school senior in Shelton has been forbidden from going to the prom because of the way he asked a girl to go with him.

The young man taped the request, "Sonaili Rodrigues, Will you go to the prom with me? James Tate," in cardboard letters to the school's main entrance. Seems kinda cute. But apparently the school suits in River City, I mean Shelton, didn't think so.

The young man was told that putting up the message was trespassing and posed a safety risk.


And our investigative reporter Jim Hoffer tonight has the story of a prison in New Jersey with what he calls an "out of control cell phone smuggling problem." In fact, Jim's investigation has found that no other prison in New Jersey or New York has had more cell phones confiscated from inmates than this particular prison.

Why is that a big deal? Because with today's smart phones, prisoners who are supposed to be cut off from society can in fact be totally plugged in, and in charge of, say, running crime operations. It's a disturbing and eye-opening story.

And we're taking a closer look at Mayor Bloomberg's proposed emergency alert system, which would sent automated text messages to your cell phone if you're within a certain range of an emergency. You'd have no choice. It's a great idea in terms of alerting the public kind of like the emergency broadcast system alerts that we have on television stations. Except that it recognizes the new reality: Smart phones go everywhere their owners do. It would have, for example, alerted peeps to the tornado in Brooklyn last summer.

But there are critics, people who are worried about "Big Brother" tracking them, or concerned that there isn't an opt-out feature. Seems to me that there are a gazillion ways for da man to track you, and this doesn't seem any more outrageous than the others. Just sayin'. We'd be interested to hear what your opinion is.

We'll also have any breaking news of the night, including the latest on the LIRR track delays (which may now be worse than anyone thought) plus Lee's AccuWeather forecast, and Rob Powers with the night's sports. I hope you can join Sade Baderinwa and me, tonight at 11.


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