Charlottesville Breaking News
Getting arrested has never been something to boast about, and thanks to a new weekly publication, it may have gotten even more embarrassing.
Launched June 1, Crime Times offers page after page of mugshots of offenders booked on crimes ranging from disorderly conduct to first-degree murder. At a time when most local publications are free, this tabloid– distributed across Charlottesville and surrounding counties– sells for $1, and yet it's flying off the shelves.
"We asked for 10 the first week," says Mike Brown, owner of Brown's convenience store on Avon Street (formerly Stoney's Grocery). Now, Brown says, he sells 100 copies within days of delivery and calls it "our best-selling publication."
Over on Market Street, it's the same story at the Lucky 7. "We get a big stack of them, and they're gone by the end of the week," says employee Tony Lechmanski.
Sure enough, says Crime Times publisher Wade McMurray, demand for the publication runs high– from an initial print run of 5,000 to 16,000 today. He expects that number to go even higher as he considers moving into the Fredericksburg and Fairfax markets.
"It's been going up by about 1,000 copies a week," says McMurray.
The publication is a family affair. First, 64-year-old McMurray, a truck driver now on disability, helped his brother launch a similar mugshot publication from Lynchburg to Roanoke. When that publication took off, McMurr...