18 June 2015

Publicity, Not Secrecy, Is The Secret To Catching Culprits (Again)

A woman heading in to work at a florist shop in North Carolina Thursday morning led police to a man accused of gunning down nine people at a historic African-American church in South Carolina the night before.

Debbie Dills spotted the black car being driven by alleged gunman Dylann Roof at around 10:20 a.m. and called a friend, who notified police, NBC station WCNC in Charlotte reported.

"I paid close attention to the pictures on TV, but I thought, 'No. It can't be him,'" Dills, of Gastonia, N.C., told the station. "I noticed the car. And I noticed the boy's haircut," Dills said.

Dills, who was on her way to work at Frady's Florist, followed the black Hyundai along Highway 74 while the man she called, Fred Frady, called Kings Mountain Police, who notified Shelby Police and led to Roof's arrest, the station reported.

Roof, 21, is accused of opening fire at a Bible study meeting at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston at around 9 p.m. Wednesday, killing nine people, including the church pastor, the Rev. Clementa C. Pinckney, who is also a state senator.
From NBC News.

To be clear, I don't presume, at this point, that Roof is definitely guilty or definitely innocent. Police identified him as a suspect, for reasons I don't know, and made the information public.  That question depends upon the evidence that was used to identify the suspect.  But, there is no doubt that sharing information about the person who they suspected widely and publicly was pivotal to apprehending their suspect who was hours of driving and a state line away from the scene of the crime.

Earlier reports had attributed the arrest to an apparently random traffic stop, but it turns out from this report that the stop wasn't nearly as random as it was first described as being.

1 comment:

andrew said...

CNN says that two law enforcement officers have confirmed that Roof has confessed to the crime and says that he did it to start a race war.

If true, that jives with the general experience that terrorists and mass murderers are generally not too concerned with trying to distance themselves from blame and often indeed like to claim credit for the crime.