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Editorial Detective work

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

Detective work is nothing like the movies.

There is little of the glamour, and splash of easy celluloid arrests.

Cases can run up hours, days and months of police time as investigators check over details, again and again, looking for a vital clue they may have missed. Often it is arduous and vexing work sorting through endless dead ends and false tips.

Violent crime cases can be particularly frustrating with family begging for news, and city bosses peering over shoulders for quick results.

One must commend then the work behind the arrest of fugitive Miguel Valerio, who was brought back to New York recently to face charges in the murder of Kilkenny man Francis O’Loughlin.

For two years, the O’Loughlin family and the detectives from the 108th Precinct hunted for clues about the whereabouts of Valerio, who police suspected had pulled the trigger. As Chief William Allee told reporters last week, Valerio seemed to have just disappeared into the night on Sept. 5 1998, when O’Loughlin died.

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For two years almost nothing was heard. Had Valerio disappeared to the Dominican Republic? Or perhaps Puerto Rico? In the end, the suspected killer had squirreled himself away less than 200 miles away in Maryland.

No glamour here. Just two years of hard work, low-key listening, checking and re-checking. And that’s real detective work.

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