See a Crime; Call the Line 

Too often, vital information on crimes fails to reach the police, because the people who hold it fear retaliation or do not want to testify in court. In northern Nevada, there is an alternative: Secret Witness, a private, nonprofit organization that provides a safe channel for providing information to law enforcement while keeping the identity of those providing the information protected and anonymous.

richterDon Richter, who has lived in Reno since 1954 and has a house in PebbleCreek, is the founder of Secret Witness. He will discuss the program at 10 a.m. on March 26 in the last Monday Morning Lecture of the season.

Richter and a small group of citizens formed Secret Witness after a six-year-old girl was kidnapped in 1977 by a pedophile who raped and murdered her. Richter said the group decided to be an independent nonprofit, so they could be a “lean, mean, crime-fighting machine.” There are no salaries, rent or overhead. 

Since its inception in 1979, Secret Witness has received more than 105,000 anonymous calls and helped solve more than 1,000 crimes, including reward payments of more than $300,000. It functions in Reno, Sparks, Carson City and the surrounding communities of northern Nevada.

Richter was a financial planner and received the Optimist Award for Outstanding Community Service for aiding law enforcement. He has served on numerous commissions and boards for Nevada, Reno and the University of Nevada.

Tickets to all Monday Morning Lectures are $4 per person at the door of the Renaissance Theater.

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