Crime Stoppers originated in Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA in 1976 in an effort to solve a brutal murder case. In July 1976, a young man was working at a petrol station in a small town. During a night shift, two men robbed the station and the man was viciously shot and killed. This was the culmination of a series of robberies against petrol stations in the area.
A local detective, Greg MacAleese, believed local people had committed the crimes and someone in the community could have information. However, people were not willing to talk to the police and after six weeks, there were still no leads.
In a final act of desperation, the detective approached a local TV network, requesting a TV reconstruction of the event. The re-enactment offered informants total anonymity and a cash reward of $1000, for information leading to the arrest of the offenders.
Within 72 hours of the program going to air, a person called with some information regarding a car speeding away from the scene, which ultimately became the missing link in the case, leading to the arrest of the offenders.
An unexpected bonus emerged from this tragic event, enabling the community to assist in solving a variety of crimes through the use of an anonymous ‘tips line’. Crime Stoppers was initiated from this point and continues today.