Our Backstory, Season 1: The history and consequences of priest abuse in New Mexico

Trailer: Welcome to “Our Backstory”

From KOB-TV in Albuquerque, New Mexico, our investigative team examines, discusses and reports on topics with relevance not only in our state, but across all 50. These are the extra details, extra soundbites and extra tidbits of information that may not have fit into our TV coverage, straight into your ears.

For the latest news from KOB, visit our website.

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Episode 1: A grain in the sands of abuse

For years, abuse by Catholic clergy in one northern New Mexico archdiocese was rampant. We talked to two survivors about their experiences, and confront one of those former priests themselves.

For KOB 4’s original report on Sabine Griego and his victims, click here.

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Episode 2: The court battle

Before reporting on the crisis of priest abuse in New Mexico, we went to court to fight for the unsealing of documents that would become the bedrock of our reporting. An Albuquerque attorney joins us for a discussion on that legal fight.

For more on KOB 4’s court fight, as well as links to other reports in this series on KOB.com, click here.

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Episode 3: An isolated hell – Part 1

In the first of this two-part report, we travel to a town that is small even for New Mexico, and to a lonely abandoned building where unchecked sexual abuse by one man was rampant over 40 years ago.

For KOB 4’s original report on Hacienda de los Muchachos, click here.

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Episode 4: An isolated hell – Part 2

In the second part of this two-part report, we return to the lonely town of Farley, New Mexico, where dozens of boys were abused at an isolated ranch-turned-isolated hell. What, and who, brought an end to it?

For KOB 4’s original report on Hacienda de los Muchachos, click here.

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Episode 5: Not a pedophile, not a priest

In an act of good faith to try and repair its trust with the public, the Archdiocese of Santa Fe in late 2017 released a list of what it referred to as 74 credibly accused priests.

A few months later, a pair of lawsuits allege that the list is inaccurate.

For KOB’s original report on this story, click here.

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Episode 6: Who’s to blame?

Hundreds of abused boys and girls swells to hundreds of thousands when you examine the clergy abuse crisis on a national scale. Many of the factors that led to priest abuse in New Mexico parallel trends across the country, and even around the world.

On this series finale of Our Backstory, we talk to New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas and the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests about the ongoing fight to hold the right people accountable, as well as why a culture change is needed as much as a legal one.

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For the podcast website, click here. 

Organizers offer refunds, tickets to 2019 Zozobra for those left outside park after ‘miscommunications’

David Lynch
September 03, 2018
Link to original story on KOB.com: https://www.kob.com/new-mexico-news/zozobra-organizers-offering-refunds-tickets-to-2019-event-for-those-left-outside-park-after-miscommunications/5055703/

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Two days after hundreds of hopeful Zozobra attendees were stuck outside Fort Marcy Park in Santa Fe when Old Man Gloom went up in flames, event officials in a statement said miscommunication was to blame for congested entry points, and they were implementing a plan to give refunds to those left outside. Continue reading →

Albuquerque marred by three deadly shootings in 12 hours

David Lynch
July 29, 2018
Link to story on KOB.com: https://www.kob.com/albuquerque-news/albuquerque-marred-by-three-deadly-shootings-in-12-hours-/5009195/

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The weekend began on bloody terms for the Duke City, as several Albuquerque Police investigations sprouted from three deadly shootings on Saturday and early Sunday.

All three incidents unfolded over the span of about 12 hours, resulting in three dead victims, and at least one still recovering in the hospital from her wounds.

At around 2:30 p.m. Saturday, police responded to a double shooting at the Giant gas station at San Mateo and Menaul in northeast Albuquerque. According to APD Officer Daren Deaguero, investigators believe an unidentified man shot a woman before turning the gun on himself. Continue reading →

APD investigating multiple violent incidents in east Albuquerque

David Lynch
July 24, 2018
Link to story on KOB.com: https://www.kob.com/albuquerque-news/apd-investigating-multiple-violent-incidents-in-east-albuquerque-monday-evening/5000794/

ALBUQUERQUE. N.M. – Albuquerque Police say they are investigating multiple violent incidents Monday evening in the eastern part of the city, including a deadly triple stabbing near Gibson and San Mateo.

One unidentified victim is in critical condition following that incident at Eastern and Palomas in southeast Albuquerque. The conditions of the two other victims are not yet known, but APD says they do have a suspect in custody. Continue reading →

‘It’s on’: Bank robbery suspect shot at officers during pursuit that ended with fatal Smith’s shooting

David Lynch
June 28, 2018
Link to story on KOB.com: https://www.kob.com/albuquerque-news/its-on-bank-robbery-suspect-shot-at-officer-during-pursuit-that-ended-with-fatal-smiths-shooting/4967947/

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Albuquerque Police say concern for the public and a chaotic car pursuit involving gunfire factored into an APD officer’s decision to fire rounds at a chronic bank robbery suspect earlier this month in southeast Albuquerque.

47-year-old Richard Rivera – who had a criminal history dating back to 1995 – died when a veteran APD officer shot at him in the parking lot of Smith’s at Coal and Yale on June 16, APD Lt. Ray Del Greco said at a Thursday morning press conference.

It was the culmination of a vehicle pursuit that began when Rivera and 39-year-old Jennifer Rael held up a Verizon store in northeast Albuquerque—the pair’s third armed robbery in less than a week, Del Greco said.

Del Greco said police were able to track the pair, in a stolen U-Haul van, not far from where the Verizon store is located. Rael told investigators the pursuit began after Rivera turned to her and said “It’s on” before pulling out a firearm.

The subsequent chase involved Rivera firing so many rounds at officers that Rael told investigators “she couldn’t keep count,” Del Greco said.

When a spike strip deployed by APD failed to stop the van, they attempted two pit maneuvers. After the first attempt, lapel video shows the officer firing five rounds at the van.

The pursuit continued briefly before the van was finally stopped at the Smith’s parking lot, after the third pit maneuver. The officer can be seen in lapel video leaving his cruiser, pursuing Rivera on foot while yelling at him to stop and then firing six shots as Rivera approached the Smith’s entrance.

Surveillance camera footage shows Rivera turning back to look at the officer and reaching for his right hip before the shots are fired.

“He was afraid Mr. Rivera was going to either shoot him, an innocent bystander in the parking lot or someone inside the Smith’s store,” Del Greco said, adding multiple witnesses told investigators they heard Rivera say twice that he had a gun.

Rivera died at the scene after attempts by officers to revive him were unsuccessful. Rael, meanwhile, was taken into custody.

Police later searched the van, where Del Greco said they found a cell phone taken from the earlier Verizon store robbery, a gun legally bought by Rael for Rivera earlier in the month, and empty shell casings.

 

 

 

UNM provost to leave for Georgia Tech; had briefly served as president

David Lynch
June 28, 2018
Link to story on KOB.com: https://www.kob.com/albuquerque-news/unm-provost-to-leave-for-georgia-tech-had-briefly-served-as-president/4968055/

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The administrator responsible for helping to navigate the University of New Mexico through some turbulent waters while serving as president has landed another gig.

Chaouki Abdallah will be returning to his alma mater of Georgia Tech as the executive vice president for research later this summer. He recently was at the forefront of UNM’s administrative affairs for over a year while the university sought a new permanent president—first as the acting president, then interim before the board of regents officially recognized him as the university’s 22nd presidentContinue reading →

Farmington Fuel revelingin CMWS experience

Note: This story was originally published in the Farmington Daily Times, and can be viewed here. Photo by Matt Hollinshead of the Daily Times. 

FARMINGTON – The Farmington Fuel’s first-ever Connie Mack World Series experience is quickly becoming one for the ages.

Just like it did during its City Tournament championship run, the Fuel continues to battle — and thrive — on the big stage.

And after winning its CMWS debut, a 4-3 walk-off victory over the Colton Nighthawks on Monday night at Ricketts Park, this team looks to keep pushing its limits.

But even if they play the iconic event for each of the next 14 years, the chances are slim that they would win again like they did Monday night at Ricketts Park.

“This team, they just battle through anything,” said Fuel pitcher Dawson Merryman, who threw 3 2/3 critical innings in relief. “They believe they can do it. They want to be here, and they want to do it.”

Down 3-2 entering the bottom of the seventh inning, the Fuel looked for some magic. After Cade Acrey and Danny Carpenter both reached base to start the rally, the Fuel seized its chance.

Cameron Stephenson put the ball in play for Farmington with runners on first and second, but the Nighthawks’ third baseman threw the ball to a Nighthawk-less first base.

The crowd erupted as the ball rolled away, and Carpenter fed off that atmosphere and energy from the crowd as he dashed home all the way from first.

“It’s just the fans and the crowd, the experience of being here is amazing. I’ve never experienced something like this, it’s just an atmosphere that’s unexplainable,” Merryman said.

The Fuel last played on July 21, when it beat Flat Bill in the City Tournament finals to earn its golden ticket to the CMWS.

With its first-ever CMWS win in the books, they hope more wins soon follow.

“We know we have an uphill battle, but we have a lot of great kids,” coach Kim Carpenter said. “We have a lot of heart, so we’re going to keep fighting. We’re going to fight as hard we as can.”

David Lynch is a digital producer at KOB4 in Albuquerque. He can be reached via Twitter at @RealDavidLynch.

 

 

Connie Mack World Series coverage (Video)

A video package shot for the Farmington Daily Times at the Connie Mack World Series, between D-BAT and Lamorinda.

https://uw-media.daily-times.com/embed/video/37373235?placement=snow-embed

 

Another package shot for the Daily Times, for a game between the Dallas Tigers and hometown Farmington Fuel.

https://uw-media.daily-times.com/embed/video/37374195?placement=snow-embed

 

 

The truth is out there: Visiting the alleged Roswell UFO crash site

On July 5, 2018, the iconic site of the alleged Roswell UFO crash of 1971 was opened to the public for the first time.

The story of the five UFO enthusiasts who came from all over the country (and even outside of it) for the initial tour can be read here.

Click any of the below pictures to enlarge.

 

The truth is out there

Note: This story was first published in the Albuquerque Journal, and can be viewed here. 

 

By David Lynch

Just before 11 a.m. on July 5, 2018, Candelaria “Candy” Ruiz walked across a crater about an hour and a half’s drive from Roswell in southeastern New Mexico to find some shade.

She settled under a small tree at the crater’s edge and watched as a small group walked around the remote area, which, on this day, compensated for its lack of cell service with multitudes of historical significance and wonder. Continue reading →