Thursday, April 11, 2013

Witness to History: The Hunt for the Green River Killer

On Wednesday, April 10, 2013, the National Law Enforcement Museum held the seventh event in our Witness to History panel discussion series, which focused on the topic of serial killers—specifically the case of the Green River Killer—through expert analysis and the insights of those involved in the investigation. Many thanks to all who were able to join us.

More than 100 people attended the event, held at the Naval Heritage Center, and sponsored by Target®. The panel discussion was moderated by Craig W. Floyd, Chairman & CEO of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.


Each panelist offered a unique perspective on the case. Congressman Reichert shared the emotional moment he experienced, as Sheriff of King County, when they realized they had finally found the Green River Killer, after a 20-year investigation. "I got ya, asshole" were the Sheriff's words of relief as Ridgeway was escorted to jail.

Jana Monroe offered her comprehensive understanding of the nature of serial killers, explaining there is no formula that links every serial killer together. She did say that, in her personal and professional opinion, Ridgeway's motivation "appeared to be a desire for control over his victims," which was reflected in the horrific way he mangled his victims' bodies.

Dr. Keppel recalled the letters he received and conversations he had with infamous serial killer Ted Bundy, who reached out to authorities to, apparently, give them information about the psyche of a serial killer. Though, Dr. Keppel said that Bundy did not tell authorities anything they did not already know about the Green River Killer. After the discussion, a Q&A session allowed audience members to interact with the panelists.

"We were thrilled to host yet another successful Witness to History event," said Memorial Fund Chairman & CEO Craig W. Floyd. "Our excellent panel brought invaluable experience and knowledge to the discussion," he said. "Thank you to all who were able to join us."

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Eagle 1 to the Rescue: Helicopter Lives Up to its Name

Earth Day was created in 1970 to bring public awareness—and activism—to environmental causes. The idea, first proposed by then-U.S. Senator from Wisconsin, Gaylord Nelson, has swelled to the worldwide movement it is today. So as we celebrate Earth Day on April 22, check out these amazing wildlife rescue photographs from our collection. 

Photograph: Eagle 1 Rescue, May 7, 2002. 2012.9.1 & 2.
Collection of the National Law Enforcement Museum, Washington, DC.
Image Courtesy of Maryland Department of Natural Resources & Tom Darden.

Like most stunning photographs, these have an equally compelling story. On May 7, 2002, a mining company called Maryland Rock Industries (MRI) alerted Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) that seven bald eagles were stuck in a 10-acre silt pond at Goose Bay, Maryland.  This pond was part of a recirculating system required for processing mined rock and sand, used to settle unwanted byproducts. Perhaps beneficial for the mining process, the pond’s sticky makeup proved to be a dangerous trap for animals—especially birds, who can get stuck in the sludge, rendering them unable to fly.

The size of this pond made rescue by foot or boat impossible. Maryland Wildlife officials called on the National Park Service Park Police helicopter, aptly named Eagle 1, to help. In the daring rescue, pilot Sgt. Ron Galey flew the helicopter just over the wet silt pit, narrowly avoiding getting stuck in the mud, while paramedic Sgt. John Marsh and Maryland DNR Wildlife Biologist Bryan King plucked the eagles from the surface.

Four of the seven bald eagles were treated and later released. Maryland Governor Glendening honored the rescuers, saying, "The rescue effort demonstrated the resourcefulness of our State and federal workers, but more importantly it revealed their strong commitment to working together to achieve a common goal."

Between 2000 and 2004, Maryland Rock Industries reported 20 endangered bald eagles had become stuck in the silt ponds at Goose Bay. Following the rescue and investigation by U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and Maryland DNR, the company altered its mining practices, waiting until the bald eagles had migrated out of the area to drain water from the ponds. This effectively stopped the eagle entrapments at Goose Bay.

On Earth Day, as we celebrate and learn about conserving our planet, we should remember some 15,000 law enforcement officers who work every day to protect our natural resources around the country. When it opens, the National Law Enforcement Museum plans to proudly display a National Park Service helicopter, also named Eagle 1, as a symbol of the courageous actions of individuals—like those involved in this story—who do their part to protect all living things.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Law Enforcement Haiku for National Poetry Month

We're celebrating 
National Poetry Month 
with police haiku

Yes, that is a haiku (albeit not a particularly good one, but you get the idea). And because April is National Poetry Month, Museum staff members have been doing a bit of haiku-writing, keeping with the law enforcement theme. So before you're completely blown away by our poetic prowess (or lack thereof), it's your turn to write a haiku related to law enforcement and share it with us!

To refresh your memory, a haiku is a poem of Japanese origin made up of three lines—five syllables in the first line, seven in the second, and five in the third. Here's another example, along with a photo from our collection.

Photograph: New York City, May 27, 1937. 2008.44.1. Collection of the
National Law Enforcement Museum, Washington, DC.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Candy Delivers a Sting

There’s more than one way to serve an outstanding arrest warrant. For Anne Arundel County (MD) Sheriff Ron Bateman, it just took a little creativity.

The Keystone Valentine’s Day sting was inspired by a 1907 photo
of Sheriff Bateman’s great-grandfather, a Baltimore City Police Officer.
The box was decorated with the scales of justice.
As one may imagine, it proved a difficult task for Sheriff Bateman and his force to track down offenders, some of whom were "unavailable" whenever officials sought after them. So, according to a 2010 news release from the Anne Arundel County Sheriff’s Office, Sheriff Bateman devised a plan to corral these law-breakers who had expertly dodged arrest.

Sheriff Bateman's deputies dressed up as drivers for the made-up “Keystone Candigrams” company. The deputies delivered fake boxes of “Keystone Candigrams” chocolates to persons with outstanding arrest warrants on Valentine’s Day.

The Keystone Candigrams delivery truck advertised with a double entendre, “Just one and you’re hooked.”

Unfortunately for recipients, the deliveries weren’t so sweet. The office made 15 arrests with the delivery of the fake chocolates.

Apparently, some jokes can serve a greater purpose.

Happy April Fools’ Day from the National Law Enforcement Museum!