The Madam and the Commissioner

In the 1960s, we at WSB-Television were ahead of most local law enforcement agencies in the use of  cameras and surveillance equipment.     It was not unusual for law enforcement agencies to ask for our help.    I remember one such instance in DeKalb county.   John Crunkleton was the head of the vice squad in the DeKalb county police department.   I was WSB’s investigative reporter, one of the few such journalists in the United States.   John and I had developed a  trusting relationship.    He told me about a “House of Prostituion” his squad was investigating.    They wanted to gather evidence of  “Johns” coming and going during the evening.   I agreed to film a stakeout in exchange for an exclusive on the story.  Little did we know that it would turn out to be a story bigger than  a “House of Prostituion”.       The one-story ranch home was across from the Tocco Hills shopping center.  John got permission for me to get on a store roof across from the house.   Since it was dark, I had to use infra-red film.      After I shot several  men coming and leaving,  John and his squad conducted a raid.   I was right behind them with my camera.   The madam protested.   She told John that he was not supposed to bother her….that she was paying for protection.     She named one of the “church going”  district commissioners  as the person she was paying.   John didn’t believe her at first, but then he hatched a plan.    John told her if it was true, she should call the commisioner to come over..that she had to talk with him right away.   John put me in a closet with my camera and a wireless mike on the madam.   We waited.  The closet door was slightly ajar when sure ‘nuf, the commissioner came.   In a conversation with the madam, the commissioner quickly incriminated himself.   I got it on film.  John made the arrest, we got the story and the commissioner went to prison.  John later would become the police chief in Gwinnett county.   The madam’s former house is still there.   Everytime I drive by Tocco Hills,  I  remember that night so many years ago.

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4 Responses to “The Madam and the Commissioner”

  1. Jim Newman Says:

    WOW!! Great story, Don!

  2. Jennifer Says:

    What an amazing story, and a great title!

  3. Rick Dempsy Says:

    First, thanks on your insightful post. I love your blog and find it very instructive. I admire your ability of commenting (by blogging) small things that others do not take time to mention. I found it while doing a quest on Yahoo and I definitely will return here when I have more time.Thanks

  4. Robin Crunkleton Says:

    Thanks for bringing this story out of the past. Remember it well.

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