No matter what I write about or what big stories I cover, I will always consider myself a police reporter. Doing the “cops” beat is usually reserved for the young, the inexperienced, the unlucky. I did it for several years, first at a few papers in New England, then at the St. Pete Times.
I loved it. Still do. I jump at the chance to write a good crime story. For me, writing about crime is a way to explain a part of the world that most of us will never experience firsthand. I try to treat victims with respect and the accused without bias.
Florida is an especially great place to be a crime reporter. Florida is never boring. (Wouldn’t that be a great state motto?)
So here’s my latest crime story. It was actually written by my friend and AP colleague Bert Mohr in Mississippi, but I did half of the reporting from Polk County.
If you don’t have time to read it, the story can be summed up like this: Man allegedly kills Catholic priest in Mississippi, then tries to take his ex-wife and two kids to Disney in Florida with priest’s car and money.
Someday I’ll post my favorite crime stories from my Times days (the one about the 350-pound drag queen stealing wedding dresses from consignment shops will be on that list).