As exciting as it sounds (and sometimes is), being a crime reporter can involve a lot of downtime. Whether you're sitting in the hallway outside the chief's office while she prepares a carefully worded statement or pacing behind the tape at a crime scene waiting to grill investigators, the job often has a hurry-up-and-wait kind of feeling. That's extra-true for the those covering the Long Island killers case. Without a crime scene to haunt or any real witnesses to interview, reporters on the story spend a lot of their time hanging out in a parking lot at the end of
"People are throwing the football. It's just sitting and waiting," said one reporter who has spent a few long days in that parking lot. And with news running short but national interest piqued, some networks have resorted to increasingly wacky tricks to create stories.
A reporter recalled the time cops organized a bus to take photographers from the parking lot to the bushes so that they could get photos of people searching. A team from CNN tried to take along a family member of one of the victims secretly, wired with a small microphone, in order to interview her surreptitiously while they walked the remote bushes. "One of the photogs who has dealt with this person realized who this was, and … all of a sudden they're on this bus and everyone is turning around taking pictures of this woman." When the bus erupted into a scrum, police had to stop and remove her. "When she got off the bus she said something like, 'I wanted to see where my sister was but now I guess I can't.' "