The Globe Makes Like the Herald and Fails


1197992074We like the Globe for many reasons. Its investigative reports leave us outraged. Its utterly ludicrous lifestyle pieces make us laugh. We also feel smart(er) after reading the stodgy daily.

But Boston’s most popular paper doesn’t do lurid crime writing very well. Which is why we were surprised when it elected to run a story about Daniel Tavares Jr. on the same day the Herald’s lurid series about the murderer ends.

Here’s how the Globe’s story opens.

Ma and Pa’s Roundup is the kind of hole in the wall where everyone turns to look at the rare newcomers who venture through its doors, which is exactly what happened the night that Daniel T. Tavares Jr. came striding in.

Tavares had a tattoo of a raging bull on his neck. He announced he had a stash of crystal meth in his pocket. He said he had ties to the Mafia and owned his own tattoo business. And he let it drop that, by the way, he had killed three people back in Boston.

Tattoos, meth, and murder are pretty scary. But the Herald uses fewer words to sum up Tavares.

Daniel T. Tavares entered the Massachusetts prison system in 1991 as a mother killer and a “skinny little runt” with an eighth-grade education and serious mental health problems. Sixteen years later, he emerged a violent con and troublemaker, who managed to flee cross country to pursue a love affair with a prison pen pal.

Not only does that give us a clear picture of the criminal, but it’s a pretty damning indictment of the system that let him out. Though the Globe gets around to that a couple paragraphs later.

[H]ow a mentally ill, drug-abusing killer was unleashed on a rural community 3,000 miles away, exposes breakdowns throughout the criminal justice system in Massachusetts, a Globe investigation shows.

Bo-ring! Thank God we have the tabloid to give us the good stuff.

Massachusetts State Police and the state security detail assigned to the governor’s office notified officials in Washington. But Bay State authorities made no move to go there to pick Tavares up. There was a no-rendition order from the Worcester District Attorney’s Office and, later, a New England states-only rendition order.

“We don’t have the resources to put an intercontinental warrant out on everyone who defaults,” [Worcester District Attorney Joseph] Early told the Herald.

“It’s really pissed off a lot of people around here,” Ed Troyer, spokesman for the Pierce County Sheriff’s Office in Washington, told the Herald last month. “How does a guy who’s already killed his own mother get out here without us knowing about it?”

They’d never let “pissed” get through on Morrissey Boulevard, even though that seems to be the predominate sentiment among everyone involved. It was a good try, Globe, but let the tabloid do what it does best, and you guys can go back to spotlighting things.