Maki Becker - The Buffalo News

Share this article

print logo

Maki Becker

Maki Becker is the breaking news and criminal justice editor at The Buffalo News.


Myo Thant's journey has brought him from Burma to Buffalo. On Thursday, the former political prisoner who was an aide to Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi became a U.S. citizen in a downtown courtroom."I'm kind of sad," admitted the slight, 35-year-old man minutes after being sworn in as one of the country's newest citizens. "I feel this is selfish. I cannot be hap…

A 15-year-old Cheektowaga girl fired the rifle that killed a Kuwaiti-born teenager Sunday after an overnight party, apparently believing that the weapon wasn't loaded, police said Monday."They thought the gun was empty," Cheektowaga police Capt. John Glascott said.Monday, investigators were trying to piece together what took place in the garage apartment on Ivanhoe Road, w…

They come from a time when you could trust a stranger, and your children and grandchildren took care of you.But more and more, Erie County's elderly are finding out the hard way that not everyone out there has a heart of gold -- and the network of people looking out for them is worried it will only get worse as the elderly population continues to grow."Most common," said p…

This pup tale sounds incredible -- but Jim Benson knows in his heart it's true.Benson, 32, who suffers from several serious ailments, believes his dog, Chief, saved his life by pawing the phone to summon help when Benson collapsed from a seizure."I think my dog's a hero," Benson said, "and a really good friend."Chief came into Benson's life back in 2001, when Benson took a…

Police were looking into the possibility that as many as four robberies that took place Wednesday evening and overnight could be connected.Chief of Detectives Dennis Richards said there are some similarities between at least two of the cases and that an investigation is under way.The incidents took place within a small area, between Grant Street and Main Street and West De…

Police responding to a report of three shots fired on Florida Street at midday Tuesday made a grisly discovery -- the body of a 20-year-old Buffalo man lying faceup in the middle of the street."He was found dead," said Detective Sgt. Daniel Figueroa. "We're still questioning witnesses."Members of the young man's family identified him as De'Mar "Antrone" Sellers, who recent…

Around the corner from a landing pad for helicopter rides and the construction site of an indoor water park, a person walking through a desolate, wooded area off Whirlpool Road made a grisly discovery Jan. 24.Wrapped in a sheet, amid garbage and large animal bones, were the remains of 22-year-old Cassey Joyce Cichocki, who had disappeared more than a month earlier.She was …

The Barkers never thought they would see her again -- the elegant, bronze statue that was the centerpiece of a memorial garden for their teenage daughter, Dara, who died of leukemia in 1992.But something extraordinary happened last week, something Dr. Marilyn Barker called "a Buffalo miracle because of the Buffalo Police Department."Detectives and patrol officers from the …

Dr. Jeffrey Meilman earns a living in Amherst doing face lifts, liposuction and breast implants for the middle class and wealthy.He also travels overseas every year to perform free reconstructive surgery on impoverished and disfigured young people.He is Jewish, yet he was inspired by the late Pope John Paul II.He's often heralded as a miracle worker. In reality, he can nev…

County and state leaders held their ground Saturday during a negotiating session over whether the county should share $30 million with cities and town from money collected every year from the "temporary" 1 percent sales tax.But there were signs that the game of political chicken could end amicably as both sides met behind closed doors for an hour after the public airings t…

T-shirts bearing the menacing words "Stop Snitching" are popping up all across Buffalo's East Side and in cities across the country, worrying law enforcement authorities who believe they are being worn by thugs to intimidate potential informants and witnesses."We've seen a bunch of them," said Lt. Kenneth Bienko of the Homicide Unit, ". . . in the houses we go into, on the…

A deadly toxin that contaminated large batches of Diamond pet food is believed to have sickened hundreds of dogs up and down the East Coast since mid-December, including at least six in the Buffalo area."We have seen multiple cases in the Buffalo area," said Dr. Karen Fischer, a veterinarian at Five Corners Animal Hospital in Orchard Park, whose office has been inundated b…

Radiant sunlight from a domed skylight illuminated the circulation desk in the middle of the newly constructed North Jefferson branch library Thursday afternoon."The light is so beautiful," said Frank E. Merriweather III, a photographer with the Buffalo Criterion, whose father's name will grace the $5 million structure when it opens in February. "I hope it will be one of t…

No bullet, suicide bomber or IED could stop these Marines.They were wounded, yes.But 14 men from the Buffalo-based India Company of the 3rd Battalion, 25th Regiment have lived to tell the tales of their brushes with danger in Iraq.And today, the Marines, who have been home since October, will be awarded Purple Hearts, in the drill room of the Navy and Marine Corps Reserve …

A teenager approached a Buffalo woman coming out of a Bailey Avenue deli Monday evening, offering to sell her some jewelry.She looked at the baubles and quickly realized something was up.There, among the loot, was her mother's bracelet.It was the lucky break Northeast District police had been waiting for.For the past six weeks, police had been on the hunt for a gang of tee…