– When horrible things happen, we often ask that they not be in vain. And that was just the case when Michael Carmen was shot to death by two thugs in an armed robbery in July of 1976. As a result of that murder, detectives with Albuquerque Police Department teamed up with KOAT TV-7 to request anonymous information about the murder and offer a cash reward. In our current world of “Reality TV,” “COPS,” and “America’s Most Wanted,” it is hard to understand just what a revolutionary idea it was for the police and media to ask for the public’s assistance in solving crimes.

Michael Carmen was a young University of New Mexico student who was working at a small gas station in Albuquerque’s Northeast Height in July, 1976. He was only two weeks away from marrying his high school sweetheart. On the night he was killed, he was working an extra shift because one of his friends needed the night off.

On that fateful Friday night, two men robbed Michael’s gas station and then—for no apparent reason—fired a shotgun blast from less than 10 feet into his abdomen. Remarkably, Michael lived for more than four hours after the shooting. Several times he tried to tell detectives who it was that shot him, but he didn’t have the strength. He died on the operating table without being able to make a dying declaration.

Detective Greg MacAleese was one of the detectives working that case. The murder seemed so senseless at the time. It still remains senseless today. But Detective MacAleese told Michael’s mother that he would bring his killers to justice. And yet, after six weeks of trying to piece evidence together to solve the murder, they were no closer to a solution than they were the night he was killed.

Det. Greg MacAleese had the wild idea of asking the TV station to reenact the crime and broadcast it. Det. MacAleese approached Max Sklower, then general manager of KOAT-TV in Albuquerque, and asked him if we could reenact the crime for one of his newscasts.

The reasoning for reenacting the crime was simple. We had an eyewitness to Michael’s murder somewhere in the community. The only logical approach was to get the media to do find that witness for us. If they reenacted the crime, we might be able to trigger the memory of a potential eyewitness, someone who might have seen part of the crime committed but not understood what he or she was witnessing.

IT WORKED!!! On September 8, 1976, at 10 p.m., the first crime reenactment was broadcast on the news. The next morning we received a call from a young man who told us that he had watched and remembered some very important information. The case was solved. In addition, police received information that solved a handful of other local crimes. Local business people and citizens quickly volunteered their time, talent, and money to give birth to Albuquerque Metro Crime Stoppers.

As a result of this success, Crime Stopper Programs are now world wide. The local programs are responsible for solving serious crimes by offering rewards anonymously. The state program offers an opportunity for local programs to work together on a broader scale to enhance their capabilities, and provide on-going support and education.

There are now more than 1,100 Crime Stoppers programs throughout the world, in 16 countries. And it all started HERE in Albuquerque. And, in addition to the original program, Campus Crime Stoppers is now in dozens of local schools, providing a safe environment for our K-12 students to learn and grow.

Many thanks to the thousands of concerned citizens that have donated their time, talent, and money over the years to make our communities—and our world—a safer place to live, work & play! Click here to learn about the important captures and arrests made by Albuquerque Metro Crime Stoppers.


About Jumpin' Jack Cash

Deep connections are the most important aspect of my existence. I don’t care if people don’t know what they want. I love books. I’m cynical of love stories, although I’m romantic. I adore gardens. I like women who challenge me. I love the rain as an excuse to stay inside and dream. I'm furiously impatient. If I ask you a question best to tell me the truth as I'm likely to already know the answer. I'm a carnivore. I continuously underestimate the magic of fresh flowers in my home. I love warm rain in the summer. My mood elevates to epic proportions when the sun shines. Tell me not to do something and I'll do it twice and take photos. Running is my antidepressant. I loathe lies. I rarely forgive a lie. Loyalty and honesty are my most noble virtues, and I value them more than anything in other people. I love to love, and am able to fall in love very quickly, although it's only ever happened once. I understood myself and fixed myself only after destroying myself. My greatest excitement comes from deliberately getting lost in foreign cities. I can be extremely loud and frighteningly silent. I hate insinuations. I love storms. Justice for all. I'm a proud man, but welcome the influence of the feminine soul. I have two sisters. I’m a dreamer. I’m a deep thinker. Don’t deal with guilt trips or drama that well. I'm extremely stubborn and persistent. I'm brilliant at keeping secrets. I love driving. I become absolutely and completely lost while watching a burning fire. When the toast pops from the toaster I’m never ready and shit myself. I play the guitar, but require much improvement. Solitude and warmth of the sun are perfect together. I’ve been married once and now divorced. I’m a music junkie. Chocolate mousse is the shit. I curse too much. I find it difficult to make friends. I spent four years as a firefighter. I’ve run my own company since 1991. Bright lights, big cities. I’ve been an executive producer of a feature film. Some people don’t care, and that’s the biggest let-down of the human race. There are cures and solutions for many evils, but no remedy for the worst of them all - the apathy of human beings. The sound of the Italian language being spoken is as good as my favourite music. I hate corrupt cops. I relentlessly and passionately pursue anybody and anything that sets my soul on fire. I'm a dog lover, and all my dogs are considered family members. I have an obsession with photography. I have some close friends who are household names, but shall always remain anonymous. I’m crazy but not lazy. Losing a soulmate has hurt me badly. My two young sons are the nucleus of my universe. I love airports. I love freedom. If you are dishonest or disloyal, I can erase you from my life and memory immediately and permanently. I yearn to explore, dream about and discover as many friendships, deep connections and places, one possibly can in a lifetime.
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