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Newspaper publishes ‘murder wrap’ in bid to catch killer

A weekly newspaper has teamed up with murder squad detectives to make a direct appeal to an Eastern European community on its patch.

The body of 33-year-old Latvian national Vasilijs Ransevs was found three weeks ago at a flat in Portland Street, Lincoln.

Now the Lincolnshire Echo has published a direct appeal to the city’s Latvian, Lithuanian, Russian and Polish communities for help in finding the killer.

It handed out 800 copies of a special edition of the paper with a four page wraparound giving full details of the murder,and a statement from the officer in charge, in all four languages.

The pages replaced the front and back page, inside front and inside back from the normal edition.

Police believe the vital clue could well lie within Lincoln’s migrant community, and the appeals urged anyone with information to come forward, a

Echo Editor Steven Fletcher said:  “The Echo has trust and loyalty within the community, and this was a way of getting the message across to thousands of potential witnesses in a different way.

“By giving it away for free, we have put the special edition in outlets which wouldn’t usually stock the Echo, and so get the witness appeal across to as many people as possible.

“We are keen to do our bit to solve this unsolved murder, and this seemed as good a way as any.

“The feedback from the city’s Eastern European community has been very positive. They say that while many of them can usually understand spoken English, they really do struggle to read it.

The cost of the special edition was met by Lincolnshire Police.

Detective Superintendent Stuart Morrison, who is leading the investigation, said this was an unusual collaboration.

“Working with the Lincolnshire Echo to use the newspaper wrap-around in several languages is a first for both Lincolnshire Police and the Echo,” he said

“I hope it will help us to target some of the communities which could hold key information to help us with our investigation.  We very much appreciate the help the Echo have given us with this and it is a great example of working together and using innovative new ideas to investigate crime”.


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  • July 4, 2013 at 3:43 pm

    Good idea. But it does beg the question why the Lithuanians, Russians and Polish are being singled out. This tactic does tend to imply that the ‘murderer’ could wrongly be of one of those origins and therefore deflect attention away from someone else.

    If this happened in my hometown of Boston – just down the road – you would have to include at least three other European languages to be fair.

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  • July 4, 2013 at 4:06 pm

    Great stuff. The Echo are really going out and trying to connect with all sections of the local community. It’s what all newspapers should be doing. Many in the Eastern European community will now feel a real connection with their local title and this could lead to a growth in readership. The paper is acknowledging multiculturalism in the community and embracing it, many titles continue to live in the dark ages and are simply a sounding board for people who are against it.
    Well done Echo! A brave move that should be applauded!

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  • July 4, 2013 at 7:28 pm

    To be honest Former journo, I suspect the police are taking more than a punt on his nationality if they are funding such a scheme with the Echo.
    I think this is a great effort by Lincs Police and Echo teams. This will really connect with the Eastern European community and hopefully add to the Echo’s readership numbers and also strengthen relations with the local police force. It’s a great example of a local paper serving every section of the community. Well done Echo!

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