VICKIE WAREHIME, Baltimore County Police: We do know that all the hostages are safe. Mr. Palczynski was shot and killed by police. We can't stress enough how much we appreciate the cooperation between the community and the media.
TERENCE SMITH: Such praise for the press is rare these days from the police. But these comments were heard in Baltimore last week after the bloody end of a 10-day manhunt and a tense, four-day hostage crisis.
It all started when this man, Joseph Palczynski, killed four people and then held a family of three hostage in this apartment building. The media staked out the police command center around the clock, and repeatedly took cues from the authorities as to what they should tell their viewers, and when.
BILL TOOHEY: You must go live.
JAYNE MILLER: You want to go live? We are on live right now.
BILL TOOHEY: No, no, no. Mr. Henninger is coming out.
TERENCE SMITH: With 27 years in the business, Jayne Miller is not used to the police telling her how to do her job. On this night, she agreed it was in the interest of public safety to cooperate when Palczynski's attorney, David Henninger, wanted to talk via the television to his client, who was barricaded inside.
JAYNE MILLER: David, Channel 11's camera is right here. Look right here.
DAVID HENNINGER: Joe, this is Dave. Joe, look, I'm here for you, Joe.
TERENCE SMITH: Later, Miller, who has covered Baltimore for 18 years, was one of a number of television reporters who was asked by police to correct an erroneous report that Palczynski called 911 to inform police about the hostage situation. Police feared Palczynski would be "agitated" by the incorrect report.
JAYNE MILLER: We want to clarify some information from earlier that we reported. According -- what the police department earlier has -- told us earlier is that Joe Palczynski himself had called 911 earlier this evening. That is apparently not correct.
TERENCE SMITH: At another point, Miller, on her own, held up a report on a hostage escape until it was clear to her that the information would not alert the gunman.
JAYNE MILLER: We believe, according to people in the neighborhood, that the woman who came out of the window is Lynn Whitehead.
ANNOUNCER: Live from WJZ-13 --
TERENCE SMITH: WJZ, the CBS affiliate, became a player in the drama when Palczynski, still holed up in the apartment, called reporters in its newsroom on two occasions. The station chose to hold news of the calls for two days, and finally described them in a special broadcast that was aired after the crisis had ended.
VIC ADAMS, Anchor WJZ-TV: Right now we want to go to something we've had for a couple of days now. Joseph Palczynski called Eyewitness News, but out of safety for the hostages and for the police operations and everyone involved, we decided to hold on to it until just now.
VOICEMAIL: Sunday, 2:50 p.m.
JOSEPH PALCZYNSKI: I've been trying to communicate to the police all I want to do is talk to Tracy Whitehead, my girlfriend. I love her dearly. I did not mean to kill those people.
KATIE LEAHAN, Anchor/Reporter, WJZ-TV: It was just after 3:00 p.m. in the eyewitness newsroom when I heard someone yell out, "Katie, he's on the phone."
TERENCE SMITH: This time, the killer talked directly with a reporter.
KATIE LEAHAN: Joe Palczynski asked me to pass his ominous warning to police. "Any attempt to free the hostages will be met with severe penalties."
TERENCE SMITH: In a role reversal, the station had turned the camera lens on its own decision making process during the crisis.
SUZANNE COLLINS, Reporter, WJZ-TV News: I think I want to hear more from police on what the expert hostage negotiators think it will cause before we decide.
TERENCE SMITH: At one point, police were called to WJZ to hear the taped message. The chief police negotiator asked the general manager not to air the tape of the conversation until the crisis was over. Throughout the crisis, the police sought and received cooperation from the Baltimore stations, including copies of videotapes.