Most Active Stories
- How one Bay Area city is causing national controversy with local gun control
- What makes a street dangerous? Decoding deadly Van Ness Avenue
- A musician, going deaf, fights for a life in music
- The Spiritual Edge: Bay Area Jews head to the desert to reclaim their Biblical roots
- "Hello Gorgeous!" Cheyenne Jackson & the SF Symphony
Cops & Courts
"Killing the Messenger": an investigation into the death of Chauncey Bailey
In downtown Oakland, on August 2nd, 2007, journalist Chauncey Bailey was shot to death on the street, as he walked to work. The murder was a brazen act – committed in broad daylight in front of multiple witnesses. Yet the truth about who was responsible for the death of the longtime newsman – and why he died – was almost buried by a rushed criminal justice system.
The murder and its lack of a substantial investigation sparked an unprecedented collaboration between Bay Area journalists, who scoured thousands of documents and interviewed hundreds of sources. They were putting together the pieces of how Bailey was murdered because of a story he was working on about a North Oakland business and organization called Your Black Muslim Bakery. That journalistic investigation ultimately helped put the conspirators responsible for Bailey’s death behind bars.
Thomas Peele was a reporter on what became known as The Chauncey Bailey Project. He’s written a new book called Killing the Messenger about Bailey’s murder and the history behind a Black Muslim cult that was tolerated by Oakland officials for decades. Peele sat down to talk about his work with KALW’s criminal justice editor, Rina Palta.