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updated 1/9/2004 3:10:09 PM ET 2004-01-09T20:10:09

Last Thursday, a nationwide manhunt turned up four grisly murders, three terrified girls, and a bloody suspect who tried to end his life as the police closed in. 

Police suspect Jerry Williams Jones murdered three of his in-laws and then strangled his 10-month-old baby daughter to death.  The alleged murderer then waited calmly until his three daughters returned from school. 

As soon as all this was discovered, police officers launched a manhunt to track down the beast who committed these murders.   First, they named Jones as their suspect.  Then they launched an Amber Alert.  And then they gave America the suspect‘s license plate number. 

The alleged murderer was tracked down after a citizen saw Jones‘ license plate that was broadcast nationwide on cable TV outlets all day.  He then immediately called the police. 

For years, elitists have sniffed at cable news outlets like this one for covering what they declare to be “sensational stories.”  But Thursday‘s tragic story ended on a happy note after a nationwide news coverage alert led to the recovery of these three girls.  The Amber Alert, Georgia law enforcement officers, and cable news outlets teamed up to save three of these little girls, just like the wall-to-wall coverage of the D.C. sniper case a year ago ultimately helped lead to the arrest of John Muhammad and Lee Malvo. 

Knowledge empowers people.  And we learned again how, together, we all can make a difference. 

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