A note to professors considering using BUSTED in the classroom


Dear Journalism Professors,

If you are looking for a book that will inspire your journalism students and also provide a step-by-step guide to investigative reporting, please consider our new book, BUSTED: A Tale of Corruption and Betrayal in the City of Brotherly Love (HarperCollins, March 11, 2014; ISBN-13: 978-0062085443).

Several journalism professors, including Mark Bowden, author of Black Hawk Down, already have added BUSTED to their syllabi for the Spring or Fall 2014 Semesters. We are scheduled to speak to Mr. Bowden’s journalism students at the University of Delaware this spring.

Mark Bowden

Mark Bowden

After reading our book, Mr. Bowden wrote in an early review: “BUSTED is a thoroughly engaging—  who would have thought such a word could apply? — trip into Philadelphia’s underworld, where cops prey on those they are pledged to protect. More than just an absorbing tale, Ruderman and Laker have written a reporter’s procedural, one that ought to be read by anyone interested in the profession, and one that makes a compelling case for the essential importance of the work. Rich with character and incident, it’s a complete original and a love letter to newspapers in their hour of dire need.”

From left: Mark Bowden, Wendy Ruderman, Barbara Laker in front of a journalism class at the University of Delaware.

From left: Mark Bowden, Wendy Ruderman, Barbara Laker in front of Mark’s journalism class at the University of Delaware. (Photo: Ben Yagoda)

BUSTED is the story behind the story of the nearly year-long Philadelphia Daily News series into police corruption that won the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting and launched an FBI investigation.

Photo Mar 02, 11 28 49 PM-001Our true-crime book chronicles how two dogged reporters uncover the secrets of ruthless kingpins and dirty cops. BUSTED begins when the reporters get a tip from an unlikely source —  a convicted drug dealer turned police informant who professes to be in fear of his life. But the informant’s story of police corruption and lies is only the beginning. The reporters sifted through boxes of archived search warrants, knock on hundreds of doors and chase down witnesses on some of Philadelphia’s most dangerous streets. What starts as an investigation into a scheme, engineered by one narcotics cop, to fabricate drug evidence and lie on search warrants soon reveals something darker: Accusations by more than 20 immigrant store owners that an elite and powerful narcotics squad robbed their bodegas of cash and merchandise and allegations that one squad member sexually assaulted women during raids.

BUSTED is told against the backdrop of the flailing newspaper industry, describing how the Daily News (and its sister paper, The Philadelphia Inquirer) lands in bankruptcy, yet prevails with limited resources.

We are happy to have the Academic Department at HarperCollins send you a copy of BUSTED for your consideration. Please contact us with any questions: wendyruderman (at) gmail (dot) com  or lakerb (at) phillynews (dot) com. If you would like more information about adopting BUSTED for your class, please feel free to contact HarperCollins at academic (at) or 212-207-7997.

Thanks so much for your time and attention.


Wendy Ruderman and Barbara Laker

Book cover-001