Ex-Con Reporter Disagrees with Tuft's Findings p. 14

By: Randy Dotinga Across the Mississippi River from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the newspaper that formerly employed intern Audrey Cardenas is also investigating her death. But the main reporter on the case, George Pawlaczyk, didn't know Cardenas when she worked at the Belleville News-Democrat in 1988. He couldn't have. He was in prison at the time.
He disagrees with Carolyn Tuft's conclusion that a transient is not responsible for the crime. "My main conclusion, and it's an opinion, is that it's pretty likely that Rodney Woidtke [the transient] did it. But I believe it was a flawed investigation. They really ought to take another look."
Pawlaczyk freely admits that about 10 years ago he served 18 months in an Oregon prison for stealing valuable books from libraries and selling them. He is also a self-described recovering alcoholic.
His background adds yet another twist to the story of the death of an intern and the attempts, 10 years later, to find out who killed her. Like his counterpart at the Post-Dispatch, the 53-year-old Pawlaczyk has written a blizzard of stories about the murder of Cardenas.
"It is not a personal thing at all for me," he said.
He has worked for the Belleville paper for four years, and said his experiences in jail have helped him in his interviews with Dale Anderson, who is in prison for two other murders.
Pawlaczyk's conclusions in his stories have also been different from those reached by Gary Berkley, publisher of the News-Democrat.
Berkley thinks neither of the two main suspects may be the murderer.
Why didn't he push Pawlaczyk to reach that conclusion in his stories? "George is a big boy and so am I," Berkley said. "I don't tell him what to put in the paper."
?( Editor & Publisher Web Site: http://www.mediainfo. com) [Caption]
?(copyrigh: Editor & Publisher July 18, 1998) [Caption]


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