The Birth of Crime Line, Crime Stoppers, and Crime Solvers Programs in the United States:
When a young college student, Michael Carmen, was shot to death during a robbery at an Albuquerque, New Mexico gas station in July 1976, Detective Greg MacAleese had no idea who was responsible for the killing. At that time Albuquerque had one of the highest per capita crime rates in the country and people were afraid to help the police. No witnesses came forward and it appeared the senseless and brutal shotgun slaying would remain a mystery.
MacAleese, who worked for a newspaper before joining the Albuquerque Police Department, knew something innovative would be necessary to encourage the public to get involved and help solve the murder. He conceived the idea of producing a video re-enactment of the homicide, guaranteed anonymity for anyone who was willing to call him with information and put up a reward from his own pocket to encourage someone to provide a lead that would help identify those responsible for the murder of Carmen.
MacAleese's plan to identify those responsible for killing Carmen worked. Within a few hours after the recreation of the murder was broadcast on television station KOAT, he received a phone call. The video image had triggered the memory of a person who heard a loud bang in the vicinity of the gas bar and then saw a car driving off. The caller told MacAleese the vehicle belonged to a resident in a nearby apartment complex. This was the tip they had been waiting for!
As a result of a thorough investigation by MacAleese and his team of detectives, two men were arrested within 72 hours and charged with the murder of Michael Carmen and several other armed robberies. MacAleese also received other calls, including one that allowed police to solve the rape of a young woman. Realizing that this type of program might be useful in fighting crime, he convinced the police department to support and partner with a group of citizens as they established the very first Crime Stoppers program.
Today, community and student Crime Line programs reach around the world and are represented by the Nation/Regions of the United States, Canada, Caribbean and Latin America, Europe, Australia, and the South/Western Pacific.
The Crime Line programs have enjoyed great success with the information received and their partnership with the Community, the Media and their Law Enforcement Agencies.
Download the Portsmouth Crime Line's Informational Brochure Here