I am an old school reporter from the “golden age” of local television news. I cultivated sources, conducted in depth records research, worked the phone, and used “shoe leather”— by finding people to talk to face-to-face in order to get the story. I believe that today there is too much “repeating” of what’s said and not enough original “reporting”.
My peers in journalism recognized me with the highest awards of television news. I am a Peabody Award winning storyteller. My stories impacted millions of people during thousands of hours of reporting on television and in online media. During some assignments, my reporting literally occurred under fire while I was embedded with the U.S. Army during the invasion of Iraq.
I received three Alfred I. duPont Columbia Journalism Awards for Investigative Reporting. Judges described my Gulf War report about the censorship of religious services for U.S. soldiers, “as the story every other news organization missed.”
My journalistic ethos was to illuminate important public issues, right wrongs, speak truth to power, change flawed public policy, and in some cases save people from harm by violent criminals. Serial killers were caught and terrorist networks exposed. Corrupt public officials did time in federal prison behind my reporting.
I am a member of the FBI’s North Texas Chapter of InfraGard which was formed in response to the 9/11 terror attacks. I belong to Investigative Reporters & Editors (IRE). It is a non profit organization dedicated to improving investigative reporting around the world.
True Crime Reporter Show Podcast
The True Crime Reporter Show features stories ripped from my reporter’s notebook. I’ve come face-to-face with evil men and women. I take my listeners into crime scenes, courtrooms, and maximum security prisons.
Detailed storytelling and research are the earmarks of my reporting. My police beat covers the gamut from serial killers to terrorists.
I bring a probing interview style and a compelling voice to the audience. I take them inside the minds of criminals. Listeners hear from detectives, fugitive hunters, profilers, and prosecutors.
This show is not for the faint of heart. The question for listeners is this. Will you be able to sleep with the lights off when your spouse or roommate is away? Will you ever look at your coworker or a stranger the same? Will I be in the wrong place at the wrong time with a violent psychopath?
Recognized by my peers as one of the nation’s premier investigative reporters, I received the coveted George Foster Peabody Award for Investigative Reporting and three Alfred I. duPont Columbia University Journalism Awards for Investigative Reporting.
Alfred I. duPont Columbia University Journalism Award presented to Robert Riggs in 1997 for Investigative Reporting.
Dallas Crime Commission Awards First Ever “Excellence in Crime Reporting Award” to Robert Riggs
The Dallas Crime Commission awarded its first ever “Excellence in Crime Reporting Award” to me in 1999. My series of reports uncovered how black tar heroin traffickers from Mexico preyed on teenagers in Plano, Texas. Dozens of teens suffered deadly overdoses unaware that the “Chiva” they were taking was heroin.
American Bar Association Awards Silver Gavel Award To Robert Riggs
The American Bar Association awarded me its Silver Gavel award in 1994 for my investigative series Free To Kill. I uncovered systemic corruption inside the Texas parole and prison systems. The investigation spanned more than three years and exposed allegations that Kenneth McDuff, a notorious serial killer, had paid bribes to receive early parole. Dubbed a “killing machine”, McDuff left a trail of bodies after his release from prison. He became the first person in Texas history to receive three death penalty convictions for murder.
I discovered that McDuff’s release was just the tip of the iceberg. Dozens of violent criminals were released under a corrupt system. They spread a wave of terror across Texas in the 1990’s.
Free To Kill — An Investigation Into The Parole of Serial Killer Kenneth McDuff by Robert Riggs
My investigative reports about the McDuff parole scandal prompted the federal prosecution of top state officials and the first overhaul of the Texas penal code in twenty-years. The legislature enacted a mandatory life sentence for violent offenders named the “McDuff Law”. American Justice on the Arts & Entertainment network produced an hour-long report about my investigation of McDuff in 1999. It continues to air today as among the series most popular episodes.
Investigator for Congressman Wright Patman
Prior to my journalism career, I served as an investigator for the late Congressman Wright Patman of Texas. Representative Patman, as Chairman of the House Banking Committee, attempted to launch the first congressional investigation into the Watergate Scandal.
Patman’s Administrative Assistant, Baron I. Shacklette, a legendary investigator on Capitol Hill, helped me hone investigative skills.
I served as the Chief Investigator for the Joint Committee on Defense Production. Our investigations picked up trails of corruption where the Watergate investigation left off. While working for the Committee, I reported to its Joint Chairmen, Congressman Patman and Senator William Proxmire.
The Committee’s investigation of a defense contractor’s bribery scheme contributed to the passage of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
I held a Top Secret security clearance from the Department of Defense and received training from both the GAO and U.S. Army.
Texas A&M University Outstanding Alumnus Award Robert Riggs
Texas A&M University honored me as an Outstanding Alumnus from the College of Architecture in 2001. The College recognized my achievements in journalism.
I was the first non-practicing architecture graduate to receive the award in its 100-year history.
Watch my YouTube Channel to view more than 200 of my news reports as well as other media.
True Crime Reporting by Robert Riggs