Letter: It's easy to check records

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, February 6, 2007

This is in response to the Jan. 30 article about Matthew Hopkins.

Matthew Hopkins is a convicted sex offender. The Post ran the Jan. 30 news story about Hopkins’ achievements in a Scrabble tournament and then posted his telephone number, stating Hopkins wanted new members for his Scrabble club.

The Post needs to screen the subjects of its stories more closely. All the editing department had to do is check this Web site: http://webapps6.doc.state.nc.us/apps/offender/-search1. It will provide information about convictions to any novice.

My question is, did Hopkins contact your reporters and initiate the report on himself and ask the reporter to post his telephone number for new members to his club? If so, was he trolling for new victims? If he initiated the interview, his parole officer should take action immediately.

I hope the Post has learned its lesson in this incident. Sexual offenders are usually manuplative, slippery snakes that will use any method to lure youngsters into their spider webs. The Post should have known better.

— Vera Bennett


Editor’s note: Matthew Hopkins did not request that we do the story or specifically ask that the phone number be included.