|True stories by Murl Harpham|
HE SHOULD HAVE STAYED A BROADCASTER
A young man worked for a local radio station as a news reporter and a broadcaster. Prior to the 60’s cops and news people had a mutual respect and trust for each other and it was very common for the local news people to ride with the officers and do first hand accounts of their stories. This was before the drug culture and protesters took over the country and the lawyers started putting shackles on the police to protect the rights of the criminals. Cops were afraid to talk to news people because it could jeopardize their cases because of discovery, pre-trial prejudices, gag orders, etc.
Getting back to that young reporter. He was intrigued by what he saw riding with the officers and decided on a career change. He was hired as an officer and everything was going well for him until one warm summer night in ’58.
Late in the evening a man left his house to walk to work and unbeknown to him his 5-year-old son hopped on his tricycle and tried to follow him. As he rode down the street on his trike another man on his way to work struck him. As he claimed later he got out and checked the boy and felt he was probably dead so he threw his body over an embankment. He got back in his car and drove off, but the trike was hung up under his car and he drug the tricycle for over 100 feet and stopped again and disengaged the bike and threw it over the embankment.
He had broken a headlight and so he returned home and replaced it with a dead bulb he had in his garage. It was a sensational case and created a huge public outcry.
A couple of days later we had the case solved and went after the suspect at his place of employment. There were three us. One was the former radio reporter. When we confronted the suspect, the former reporter went crazy and went after the suspect. We had to restrain him. It was his last day.