Lou Michel, The Buffalo News
print logo

Lou Michel

Author

Lou Michel is the main crime reporter for The Buffalo News, coauthor of the bestseller, "American Terrorist: Timothy McVeigh and the Oklahoma City Bombing." He has received numerous state and national journalism awards.

Growing up in Kenmore, a young James E. Pickard recalls how impressed he was by the stories he heard from neighbors who had served as Marines in some of the toughest battles of World War II. "One of the guys told me how he was wounded at Iwo Jima and ended up in the hospital for 2½ years," Pickard said. For the teenaged Pickard, such heroism was inspirational and he…

It may take a long time – if ever – for investigators to identify the human remains recovered this past weekend from a wooded area in North Collins, authorities said Tuesday. The remains appear to be that of an adult man. DNA from the skeleton or dental records could play a role in identifying the individual, according to Scott Zylka, spokesman for the Erie County S…

On the advice of his older brother, Bill Sorokes enlisted in the Navy before Uncle Sam could draft him into the Army for service in World War II. "My older brother John told me it was a better life in the Navy," the 90-year-old Sorokes said of those long-ago words of wisdom. But the Navy was no cake walk. Sorokes recalled his cousin Sonny Kocak, who had also offered …

A Buffalo firefighter faces charges of misdemeanor possession of marijuana and driving with a suspended license, according to police. Roderick Peoples was off duty May 16 when he was stopped by officers on East End Avenue at Atwood Place after they determined his 2010 Ford Edge's registration was suspended. Police said they observed marijuana in the vehicle and arrested…

Shawn J. Sivertson stole "a few dollars"  from a donation jar at a convenience store in 2012, then returned to his apartment in University Heights. Police showed up at his apartment on Winspear Avenue and shouted for him to come out with his hands up. When he refused, officers forced their way in and took him into custody. But they did not have a search warrant. Wa…

The son of one of Buffalo's greatest war heroes had a surprise for those who turned out to pay tribute Sunday to C. Wade McClusky Jr. on the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Midway. To welcome the son of the naval aviator who played an instrumental role in winning the pivotal World War II Pacific battle was exciting enough. But when Maryland resident Philip M. McCl…

Matthew Albert, a former Erie County assistant district attorney and Western New York animal rights activist, has been charged with assault in a domestic-related incident, Buffalo police said. Albert, 38, of Buffalo, allegedly choked his girlfriend Thursday night in his West Side home, according to authorities. In addition to assault, he was charged with harassment and …

The white SUV that killed a 60-year-old Buffalo man on the 2300 block of Bailey Avenue in a hit-and-run accident on May 26 has been found and two people of interest are under the scrutiny of police. "The suspect vehicle in the hit-and-run has been recovered and brought to the police garage for forensic analysis and we have identified two people of interest," Buffalo Pol…

Buffalo Police Capt. Mark Makowski and Homicide Detective Sgt. Carl Lundin were among 20 officers cited for their service at an awards ceremony Thursday. Makowski received the Distinguished Service Award for his "behind-the-scenes work" since 1997 in coordinating security at major events in the city. Lundin accepted the Commissioner's Leadership Award for overall per…

An overdue tribute will be paid to C. Wade McClusky Jr., the Buffalo native credited with playing an instrumental role in helping win World War II's pivotal Battle of Midway. Philip M. McClusky, the deceased war hero's only surviving child, will attend a series of events at the Buffalo and Erie County Naval and Military Park and at his father's alma mater, South Park Hi…

Frank Cortese is one of the few people who fought on both sides during World War II. He started as a sailor with the Italian navy, fighting against the Allies. After Italy surrendered, he continued as an Italian sailor fighting for the Allies. As most familiar with history remember, Italy entered the war on the side of Germany and Japan, before surrendering in Octob…

Visitors to the Buffalo and Erie County Naval & Military Park will not have to pay an admission fee on the Friday of Western New York Armed Forces Week in future years. That's because the day has been designated Lt. Commander Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Day to honor the legacy of the late owner of the Buffalo Bills, who was a Navy World War II veteran. Wilson served on …

When rescue workers and citizens began performing first aid on Buffalo police Officer Joseph Acquino, whose right ear was nearly torn off, a startling discovery was made. Clutched in one of Acquino's hands was a large plastic bag containing more than 100 smaller bags of suspected heroin. Two law enforcement sources say Acquino had grabbed the drugs during a struggle …

More than 350 police officers, public officials and relatives of officers killed in the line of duty gathered Monday in St. Joseph Catholic Cathedral in Buffalo for the 2017 Law Enforcement Memorial Service. Buffalo Mayor Byron W. Brown told the families of the fallen officers that their loved ones would never be forgotten. He also thanked officers for fighting crime ev…