Continued praise for The Story Never Ends

2012 June 25
by bpadmin

T. W. Burger, former staffer at the Harrisburg Patriot-News, for ROCKtheCAPITAL blog:

“I wish I’d had him as a boss somewhere along the road as I was learning the trade. I like to think I was pretty good. Joe would have made me better.”


“From the beginning, he was in it for keeps. Working as an undercover informant reporting on the capital city’s underworld was an assignment that easily could have led to his death.”


“In 1950, the paper sent him upstate to witness the electrocution of two men in the state’s electric chair. The experience sickened and infuriated the young reporter.”


“He discovered, with the help of a contact in the city police department, that county authorities were taking children away from people on welfare and giving the kids to farmers to use as labor. Joe found it was apparently true, at least at one farm, and had his story. Or would have, but the farmer claimed Joe and his photographer had invaded his privacy (he hadn’t Joe said) and got the county district attorney on his side. Joe’s editor dropped the story like a hot potato.”


“In 1953, he uncovered the identity of a serial killer who had been killing truckers along the Pennsylvania Turnpike, a story that won him and the paper a nomination for the Pulitzer Prize.”


“Two years later he exposed the existence of gangs in the state prison system, and followed that by exposing a federal cover-up by reporting that six soldiers present at nuclear bomb tests in the American Southwest had suffered eye damage because of the tests. The feds had always held that nobody was hurt in the “safe” nuclear weapons testing.”


“The ‘A-Bomb’ story was Joe’s last big scoop for the Harrisburg paper. He was on his way to a long and successful career at the Oregonian and Northwest Magazine in Portland, where he brought the latter national recognition and provided nurture for a number of authors who went on to literary success.”

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