The History of Crime Stoppers


When a young college student, Michael CARMEN, was shot to death during a robbery at an Albuquerque, New Mexico gas station in July 1976, Detective Greg MACALEESE had no idea who was responsible for the killing.

No witnesses came forward and it appeared that the senseless and brutal shotgun slaying would remain a mystery.

CARMEN was only two weeks away from getting married and had taken an extra shift at the gas station to give a co-worker the night off. When police responded to an emergency call, they found CARMEN gravely wounded. He’d been shot in the abdomen at point blank range with a 12-guage shotgun.

The medical staff kept him alive for four hours and during that time he tried to tell the detectives who was responsible, but he didn’t have the strength to form the words.

At that time, Albuquerque had one of the highest per capita crime rates in the country and people were afraid to help the police.

MACALEESE conceived the idea of producing a video re-enactment of the homicide, guaranteed anonymity for anyone who was willing to call him with information and put up a reward to encourage someone to provide a lead that would help identify those responsible for the murder of CARMEN.

MACALEESE’ plan to identify those responsible for killing CARMEN worked. Within a few hours after the re-creation of the murder was broadcast on television, he received a phone call. The video image had triggered the memory of a person who heard a loud bang in the vicinity of the gas bar and then saw a car driving off. The caller told MACALEESE that the vehicle belonged to a resident in a nearby apartment complex.

Through investigation, MACALEESE and a team of detectives arrested two men within 72 hours and charged them with the murder of CARMEN.