Tuesday, March 18, 2008


It is hard to pick up a newspaper and not read about some reporter being found out about the story that he wrote was plagiarized. Is this a sign of the times? In my book I wrote about the news media persons who we allowed to visit our trailer operation. They were indeed few, but they had integrity to tell the stories we gave them. They were factual and sometimes these same persons were allowed to talk to our informants. These persons spent enough time with us to know what we had going on was an honest attempt at bringing down this new phenomenon known as the Mexican Mafia.

We never told them what to write, or asked to see their drafts of the stories. The persons from which I speak of are Joe Ramirez formally from television station KNBC, Steve Mallory, and the late Don Harris. There was one other that wrote stories for Reader's Digest, Nathan Adams.

Don Harris produced a video in 1974, entitled the PRISON GANGS. This film was a reality look at the Mexican Mafia. This film later became a training film for officers involved in fighting the prison gangs. This film also won several awards including the Peabody Award from Columbia University. Steve Mallory did another video on 1976 on another prison gang known as the Nuestra Familia. This also was one of the best documentaries on this gang that I have seen to date.

Joe Ramirez reported stories about this gangs on live television that he researched as a reporter for KNBC. These were also of the best quality.

Sure there are a few writers today with this same integrity. Two that come to mind are Chris Blatchford, and Bill Richardson from Tempe, Arizona.

I have recently read some stories written by others and for the most part was accurate. I have let those writers know that what they had written on the Mexican Mafia were right on.

The bottom line is that the news media can be an effective tool for law enforcement; but one just has to be cautious as to whom they trust with the story.

No comments: