Reporter Ed White and Investigations Editor Del Wilber uncovered how police failed to prevent DeAngelo Martin, a Detroit serial killer, from murdering four women and raping two others. Wilber and White clearly laid out the complicated timeline and allegations and highlighted how Martin targeted some of society’s most vulnerable. Mike Householder crafted an excellent video, and White did an interview with AP radio. The AP’s investigation began when Maddy Peek, a senior at the University of Maryland working on a larger police project with AP, came across a 247-page Detroit police internal affairs report detailing major missteps in how officers handled alleged rapes.
Wilber and White immediately filed public information requests with police and prosecutors to obtain never-before-seen files detailing 15 years of bungling that stretched back to 2004. Independent of the investigation, Martin eventually pleaded guilty to four murders and two rapes.
The scoop garnered nearly 100,000 page views on AP’s website and had a 100 percent engagement score through the first seven days of publication. It was picked up by the Washington Post, ABC News and many other digital platforms. In Detroit, the local television stations reported on AP’s story, and the Detroit News sent out an urgent alert with a link to the story.