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New Hampshire Attorney General Addresses Dartmouth College MurdersAired January 30, 2001 - 12:31 p.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: We are going to take you live to a news conference in Hanover, New Hampshire. Let's listen.
(JOINED IN PROGRESS)
PHILLIP MCLAUGHLIN, NEW HAMPSHIRE ATTORNEY GENERAL: ... developments as rapidly as we can. And we represent and understand that you are the conduit to that community. In that sense, we are completely respectful of the function which you play. And we understand the extraordinary importance of your role to account to the community for what it is we are doing here and for what has happened here.
I would like now to turn my attention to a couple of other matters that have been of some concern to me. I was listening to one report last night. And the culture of the particular media was such that it was reported in such a way that there was an issue of alarm in this community. So I want to speak directly to the question of whether or not my office believes that there is cause for public alarm in this community.
The kind of alarm that there should be here would be the sort of alarm that there would be in any community where I live or where you live if two lovely and highly respected individuals were murdered, as occurred here. We would of course all be alarmed to some degree. The question presented is whether or not we have specific information that causes us the kind of concern where we want to communicate to the community that there's some special danger out there that's not otherwise obvious from the circumstances.
And I would like to just give you -- particularly those of you who are out-of-state media -- an example of how my office has dealt with a situation like this in the past. Between one and two years ago, in Concord, some individual -- who remains at large -- literally planted two bombs in public facilities adjacent to the Statehouse. One went off and one was disarmed. Thereafter, we received numbers of messages from this person telling us that he would again plant bombs.
If we had been controlled by just case investigation, we would not have disclosed that information to the public. But we weren't. First and foremost, our duty is to public safety. And when we had information that suggested another bomb would be planted, we immediately deferred to public safety and gave that information to the public. If we had information here which caused us to believe that there was a danger that we could identify, that the person responsible for these murders might in fact be a menace to the community at large, we would tell the community.
And we have absolutely no bases to tell the community that. And it would be irresponsible if I suggested that. So what I would like to do is to leave it: that we do not want to sound any irresponsible alarms, that what we are attempting to do here is to be measured and responsible in the way in which we present these issues to the press.
VAN SUSTEREN: We are going to take a moment and take us away from Phillip McLaughlin, who is the attorney general of New Hampshire, giving a briefing on the double-homicide in Dartmouth -- in Dartmouth College.
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