The Seattle Times won a Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the shocking murders of four police officers in suburban Lakewood last November. The Pulitzer committee cited the Times’ “comprehensive coverage, in print and online,” of the killings – the worst act of violence against law enforcement in state history – and the 40-hour manhunt for the shooter, Maurice Clemmons. The Times mobilized to cover the breaking news, to profile the slain officers, and to investigate Clemmons’ criminal record in Washington and Arkansas, his home state, and his release from Pierce County Jail.
Two crime stories were the finalists in the same breaking-news category for which the Seattle Times won: the Newark Star-Ledger was a finalist for its covering of 44 arrests in a corruption scandal that involved local officials, several religious leaders, and others; and the Washington Post was a finalist for its “compelling coverage” of the Army psychiatrist who killed 13 people in a shooting rampage at Fort Hood in Texas. In the investigative reporting category, Barbara Laker and Wendy Ruderman of the Philadelphia Daily News won a Pulitzer for “resourceful reporting” that exposed a rogue police narcotics squad, resulting in an FBI probe and the review of hundreds of criminal cases tainted by the scandal.