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Tony J. Smith is a journalist for the Liberty Tree in Grand Theft Auto IV. He writes many articles for the Liberty Tree's website www.libertytreeonline.com.

Online Articles

Ochoa Takes Aim at Illegal Weapons Trade

Keeping our constitutional rights off the streets of Liberty City?

"Idealistic Liberty City Mayor, Julio Ochoa, vowed to rid our city's streets of illegal firearms yesterday, "Our gun laws are in place for a reason. It is my duty as Mayor to enforce those laws - whether that means prosecuting the thugs possessing weapons here in Liberty City, or the salespeople providing those weapons out of state." Mayor Ochoa's task force has launched cases against Ammu-Nation stores as far a field as Los Santos and Vice City. The mayor boasts of low crime rates in the city and a high murder conviction rate.



However, police brutality and corruption have dogged his time in office. There are also allegations of statistical tampering. Lawyer Tom Goldberg has pointed out that the high conviction rate comes from the clearing of so called "cold cases" after examination with new forensic evidence, "Mayor Ochoa and the Liberty City PD are using statistics to blind the people as to the true nature of life on the streets of this city. It's dangerous - your children are not safe."

Last year over 10,000 illegal firearms were recovered by the LCPD. There were over 500 gun-related homicides. Is Ochoa's campaign a case of too little, too late? Will his jaunts to sunnier cities save our children from their almost certain fates? The sale or possession of firearms is illegal here, in Liberty City. Does that mean that weapons are only in the hands of people willing to use them for evil? It remains to be seen. "

―{{{2}}}

Red, Black and Blue?

Police accused of brutality against protestors

"Reacting to angry citizens' groups claiming that police brutality is on the rise, Liberty City's Police Commissioner for Public Affairs, Tom Pireni, told reporters, "Our police are here to make you feel safe. Sometimes you are acting in an unsafe manner or not standing in a designated free speech zone, at which point we have to take action quickly and violently."



After a major scuffle at the Broker Bridge earlier, citizens lined up, showing welts, bruises and bullet wounds from what they say is a macho police force gone seriously overboard. Some passersby had other opinions. "You Americans bring this upon yourself," Natalya Shironova told Weazel Radio, "When we fix elections, all dissenters are rounded up and sent to salt mines. It soon stops anyone from complaining." "

―{{{2}}}

Worse Things Happening at Sea

Body of ship's captain found in Humboldt

"Another day, another body dragged from the Humboldt River. This time it is ship Captain, Zorba Philippidis - his body bloated and partially consumed by water rats. Autopsy results cite drowning as the cause of death but reveal massive quantities of alcohol in his system. Captain Philippidis recently arrived in East Hook Bay on his ship, the Platypus. All members of the crew of this ship remain unaccounted for since it was unloaded.



A Spokesman for the National Office of Security Enforcement in charge of customs and border protection is concerned. "This is a major security breach. One member of this vessel's crew is dead, the others are likely to be in our country without visas. Please, if you see anyone who looks remotely foreign, report them to the nearest police officer. These people are likely to be criminals, terrorists and sexual deviants - they're not from here." "

―{{{2}}}

Taxi Hike

Liberty City Cab Prices Sky Rocket

"Before the War on Fun stormed the shores and alleyways of Liberty City, when Star Junction was equal parts grit, glamour and gutter, pills were popped, noses were white, and highball glasses shattered in passionate domestic violence altercations. It was a time when the only tip you left for a cab driver was a stain on his back seat and helpful suggestions regarding his mother. Now citizens are hostages in their own city - held handicap by taxi prices that have gone through the roof.



Liberals are complaining that our war mongering President has driven up the price of gas. Conservatives say immigrant cab drivers are greedy, un-American pro-union bullies and we should close the borders. The Taxi Drivers Association says the price increase is due to the increased risk of terrorism in Liberty City. We think it's because all the hipsters and neophytes have moved out of Algonquin and into Broker and drivers can't tell the difference between an unwashed trust fund kid who dresses like a street urchin and an actual hobo, so they cut their losses and overcharge everyone.

Whatever the reason, this reporter is going to be driving home drunk, as he certainly can't afford a cab. "

―{{{2}}}

You're To Blame

Bank of Liberty gets tough on identity theft

Storyphoto 4

""Remember, identity theft is ALWAYS your fault," reads Bank of Liberty's new website. Is it not enough that 8-year-olds are hacking into our online accounts and stealing our life savings? Is it not enough that meth addicts are rooting through our trash and piecing back together our shredded documents? Is it not enough that lap dancers can no longer be trusted with our credit cards? Now the banks are turning their backs on us as well? "We're simply going to ignore it from now on," said a spokesperson for Bank of Liberty, "I refuse for my bonus to be cut because some moron posted personal details all over their MyRoom page or wired their kid's college fund to a Nigerian con-artist. We're the ones getting scammed."

"

―{{{2}}}

Mobile Meth Lab Discovered

Does This Indicate Epidemic?

Storyphoto 5

"Police say after an anonymous tip from an elderly resident in the Steinway section of the city that law enforcement officers discovered three suspects in a portable methamphetamine lab. Liberty City Police, N.O.O.S.E agents and Bureau of Narcotics officials did not release the names of the suspects but indicated meth is a serious problem in Liberty City. "Meth has destroyed the lives and businesses of cocaine dealers in Vice City, and we see the same happening here," said agent Albert Thomas. Thomas would not indicate what made the elderly resident call in the tip but said that the woman smelled like an old person and reminded him of when his grandmother showed him her junk.

"

―{{{2}}}

Crime Up, No One to Blame

Police not pointing fingers

Storyphoto 6

"Liberty City's Police Commissioner for Public Affairs, Tom Pireni, responded yesterday to the recent explosion in violent crime by laying the blame squarely at the feet of those who try to stop the police from doing their job better: the general public. He commented that, "The police don't get the respect they deserve and, quite frankly, never have. We do a very dangerous job, and have a lot of quotas to fill. To blame police priorities for rising crime is patently absurd. When arresting jay walkers or protecting film sets around the city, our officers are more than willing to get involved in any violent incidents that occur. The fact is that stopping violent crime does not put any money into this city's coffers, whereas annoying motorists is very lucrative and ensures our pensions remain intact."

"

―{{{2}}}

Seized Mobile Meth Lab Now Run by Cops

Meth-od Policing?

"In an effort to understand the growing meth threat to Liberty City, local narcotics agents have taken the mobile meth lab seized in the Steinway section and have it up and operational for educational purposes only. Agent Albert Thomas told reporters that law enforcement will not fully understand the threat they face unless they replicate the process of making and smoking the drug.



His assistant, Officer Lenny Macelton, demonstrated, "After we made a few batches in front of local schools to show them the danger, Albert and I tried the drug. Soon, you will find that you can't have normal sex," he explained. "Yes, and soon, you really want to be dominated," Albert added. "When I don't have crystal dick," chuckled Macelton, "Nothing derails a good aggro fuck like crystal dick." "

―{{{2}}}

Biker Gang Chaos

The Lost cause more problems

Storyphoto 13

"There's a war going on right here on our doorsteps. Everyone thinks that members of motorcycle gangs are friendly bearded rebels who want to take you for a ride. But there's more to that beard than meets the eye.



Recently, Billy Grey, leader of the Alderney chapter of The Lost biker gang, was released from a rehabilitation center. Members of the community were shocked that Mr. Grey got off with such a light sentence after his crimes and that he is now back on the street. During his period inside, biker crime in Liberty City had dwindled to almost nothing. However, in recent days, new skirmishes have broken out making police think that old scores are being settled. Reports have come in of shootouts and bike chases through the metropolitan area. The bodies of several suspected members of both The Lost and their arch rivals the Angels of Death have been recovered. "

―{{{2}}}

Nameless Killer Strikes Again

Will nothing stop what's-his-face?

Storyphoto 14

"The serial killer our unimaginative police force and media cannot name has struck again. This time, a jogger in Alderney got the chop as a headless body was found in some bushes by the river. The body had been badly mutilated and taken advantage of, and police have still not identified the victim. Local residents are starting to panic. One local heavy-set woman, Siobhan Phillips, told us, "They say keeping fit is good for you; well, it wasn't good for this man - he went running and had his head chopped off by a maniac." Of greater concern for many is the failure by our police force to name the killer. Surely a man who chops off heads for fun could inspire a funny nickname or moniker of some sort?

"

―{{{2}}}

Hate Crimes in the Park

Suspected gay basher in Middle Park

"As if Middle Park was not dangerous enough, a suspected gay basher is on the loose. Several gay men have been attacked over the past weeks. Deputy Mayor Bryce Dawkins believes that this spree of beatings is down to a lack of family values. "Homosexuality should not be flaunted around parks where impressionable young children or I might see."



Others have been more forthright. The Police Commissioner warned that, "This man is a repeat offender and must be stopped. Hate crimes have no place in our city, unlike financial fraud, insider trading, counterfeit goods, or political corruption." Suddenly, a walk in Middle Park doesn't sound like a good idea. "

―{{{2}}}

Dog Meat Has His Day in Court

Making a meal of justice?

Storyphoto 18

"Vito "Dog Meat" Menotti stood in front of a judge at the Civic Citadel today in order to give evidence against his fellow mobsters. Menotti, having admitted to a series of murders here in Liberty City in the early 90s, has accepted a plea deal from the DA. This will allow him to gain a new identity in the witness relocation program in some horrible town in a desert state, providing his testimony leads to the conviction of his criminal cohorts. Mr. Menotti, a long-time senior-ranking member of Pavano crime family, gained his moniker from his ownership of a dog food processing plant. Menotti now admits that this gruesome plant was a good means of laundering money and disposing of the unfortunate victims of his mob hits.

"

―{{{2}}}

Biker Lawlessness Continues

The Lost causing more trouble on LC's streets

"The Police Commissioner has stated that, besides terrorists and peaceful political protest we don't approve of, the next biggest threat to civic order within Liberty City is motorcycle gangs. A recent barroom shootout resulted in several young Asian men dead at the hands of leather-clad, bike-riding harbingers of death.



We could not reach a member of The Lost Motorcycle Club for comment but a spokesperson for the Angels of Death denied any member involvement in this altercation. He claimed that they are, "just a bunch of guys who like to get together, get drunk and then ride choppers. We keep our noses clean." If lines of methamphetamine have a sanitizing effect, then this guy might be right. "

―{{{2}}}

Algonquin Attorney Murder

LCPD vow to "Kinda look into it, I guess"

Storyphoto 21

"A Lawyer, Tom Goldberg, was murdered in his high security Algonquin office today. Mr. Goldberg was believed to be engaged in pursuing corruption charges against high ranking members of the LCPD along with several members of City Hall. Previously, Mr. Goldberg had been involved in cases against the mafia, class action suits against food companies and also won a case against the Strike Lite match company for failing to put a warning on their matches that the product could cause fire if used correctly. In a moment of hubris, he also unsuccessfully sued God for letting it rain on his parade. The killer gained entrance to the offices of Goldberg, Ligner and Shyster where Mr. Goldberg was a partner. Dick Shyster, another partner in the firm, eulogized Mr. Goldberg in a press release, "Tom will be sorely missed by all the people he got off. I'll be taking over a lot of his cases, so hopefully I'll get a media profile as big as his and eventually run for political office myself."

"

―{{{2}}}

Angry Newborn Murders Father

Tantrum goes too far?

"Some of us never have successful resolution of the Oedipus Complex, a situation that turned deadly in Rotterdam Hill. Joshua Hampton, age 6 months, was arrested by police after a neighbor called in a report of strange noises at the apartment next door. Police found the body of Abraham Hampton, 31, stuffed under a baby changing station in their Rotterdam Hill apartment and, just like Laius and Jocasta, Joshua and his mother were already planning their wedding.

"

―{{{2}}}

Sex And Death In Bohan

Shoot out in strip club

Storyphoto 24

"When customers arrived at the Triangle Strip Club in Bohan they were hoping to see some flesh - but not this much. After a violent shootout, many bodies, chunks of meat, and viscera were strewn around this gaudy exotic dance venue. Amongst the dead are the brothers who ran the club, Javier, Jesus and Jose Trunchez. The three were known associates of criminals including the recently released crack kingpin Dwayne Forge. Police say the shootout was not the result of a drug deal gone bad but rather a dissatisfied customer. The killer is said to be a male with a European accent. Other strip clubs such as the known mob hangout Honkers in Alderney have increased their security.

"

―{{{2}}}

Convict In Tunnel Escape

Suspects still on the loose

Storyphoto 30

"An audacious prison escape, like something you might see on a Weazel Network show, occurred ninety seven feet under the surface of the West River earlier. A convoy carrying convicted felon, Aiden O'Malley, was ambushed by two trucks. O'Malley was being taken from a police station in Algonquin back to the Alderney State Correctional Facility. Two men used the trucks to block the convoy from the front and the back in the middle of the Booth Tunnel while they freed O'Malley. O'Malley, 48, who is American born but spent much of his adult life in Ireland, was serving a twenty-year term for his involvement in a string of robberies.

"

―{{{2}}}

Deputy Police Commissioner Murdered

LCPD vows to find killer

Storyphoto 32

"Today, the LCPD is hungry for blood. They're out to find a killer who took one of their own, Deputy Police Commissioner Francis McReary. McReary was gunned down in a small courtyard park in Algonquin. He was apparently killed with a high-caliber rifle shot from some distance. McReary's recent career has been mired in controversy. Some news outlets claim they have evidence of bribe-taking and corruption by Mr. McReary, claims he strongly denied until his death. In an unrelated incident his brother, Gerald McReary, a convicted felon, was recently arrested again on racketeering charges.

"

―{{{2}}}

High-Caliber Crime Kills Cop's Brother

Violent assassination on streets of Algonquin

Storyphoto 33

"Deputy Police Commissioner, Francis McReary, witnessed his brother's murder as he was assassinated in an Algonquin park. Derrick McReary, 52, had recently returned to Liberty City from Ireland. Before he had left the country, he had been registered as an informant with the LCPD and investigators are taking this as a likely motive for the murder. In unrelated news, a third brother, Gerald McReary, was recently arrested on racketeering charges.

"

―{{{2}}}

Majestic Massacre

Diamond dealer dead

Storyphoto 34

"A horrific massacre has taken place in the penthouse of the Majestic Hotel. Diamond dealer Isaac Roth and several business associates were killed in a bloody shootout. All the guests, including important dignitaries and movie stars, were evacuated. The management of the hotel said they did not know when the hotel would reopen. Police are looking into Mr. Roth's alleged mob links in order to find a motive for the killings. Roth had been known to import illegal "conflict" diamonds.

"

―{{{2}}}

Body Of Escaped Convict Found

Abducted and Murdered?

Storyphoto 35

"Police have confirmed reports that a body they recovered was identified as Aiden O'Mally - the convict and possible one-time terrorist who was sprung from a prison van recently in a violent attack. At the time, it was presumed that O'Malley had friends in criminally high places. Now it seems he was freed so he could be silenced, or punished for past crimes. Police have no leads on what might have been behind the need to silence or kill Mr. O'Malley, 48. O'Malley was born and raised in Dukes but spent much of his adult life in Ireland and Britain, where he was thought to have links with several paramilitary and terrorist groups. Some experts claim that, since the ending of the Troubles, several former activists have returned to Liberty City and are engaged in the settling of old scores, while also getting involved in new forms of crime including drug dealing.

"

―{{{2}}}

300 Year Itch

Torres sentenced

Storyphoto 36

"Elizabeta Torres, a drug dealer from South Bohan, was handed a record prison sentence at the Civic Citadel yesterday. Liberty City Judge, Mitt Burrows, slapped her with a 300 year stretch for thirty counts of cocaine distribution. It is also believed that Torres murdered Bohan community leader, Manny Escuela, and documentary film maker, Jay Hamilton. They have been missing for several weeks but police cannot bring charges until their bodies are discovered. The District Attorney submitted hundreds of hours of surveillance audio in the trial. These tapes provided evidence of her working with international drug rings. The last tape before her arrest, played at her trial yesterday, features a heated conversation between her, a Jamaican man and an Eastern European man. Authorities have been unable to locate either of these individuals.

"

―{{{2}}}

Mob War

Just like the bad old days

"In the old days it was the Pavanos vs. The Gambettis or the Ancelottis vs. the Lupicellas in a bloody war for control of various rackets within the city. Now it's all happening again. This time it is thought to also include mobsters from Alderney, who have broken away from the five families and are seeking political parity with them. Who knew mobsters were such social climbers? Well, crime expert Jimmy Cast for starters. He told us, "Mobsters are all vain - this war is not only a war for financial power, it is also a war for social control over the city. Expect more bodies to turn up before things calm down. The Alderney mob are known to be lawless and I imagine the older families will also be nervous as the DA's office uses this as an opportunity to indict several mobsters across the city in another massive crackdown on organized crime." Mayor Ochoa said, "We are close to eradicating this menace once and for all. From now on, only big businesses and the government should rob our people."

"

―{{{2}}}

Wedding Becomes A Wake

Wedding guest murdered at ceremony

Storyphoto 44

"Roman and Mallorie Bellic's wedding was like something out of a storybook, until gunfire spoiled the party. Soon, one of their guests lay dead and the memory of their union would be soured forever. The couple refused to comment upon the tragedy, but witnesses report seeing a car pull up next to the wedding party and firing shots from the window. Police are looking for the culprit. Mr. Bellic's cousin was reported to have left the scene soon after the murder. He is being sought for questioning in the case but not as a suspect.

"

―{{{2}}}

Mob Boss Pegorino Found Dead

Police cite suspicious circumstances. Duh.

"Police have found the body of Alderney mob boss, Jimmy Pegorino, on Happiness Island. Mr. Pegorino had captured headlines as the boss of a crime family with designs on power. They were thought to be seeking parity with the Five Families who had been weakened in recent years. After recent legal pressure and escalating bloodbaths in Alderney, crime pundits began to see Pegorino's crew as pretenders, not the real thing. Police responded to reports of both a boat and helicopter crash on Happiness Island. Three suspects were witnessed leaving the scene and are being sought for questioning.

"

―{{{2}}}

Serial Killer Found Dead - He Has A Name - Eddie Low

Nickname found disappointing

Storyphoto 47

"The serial killer they couldn't name has been found. Dead. The killer is believed to have killed up to 10 people over the last few months, usually joggers or nighttime strollers. Police believe he attacked the wrong person, and was himself killed in a fight. Detective Jon Atkinson told this newspaper, "It is very disappointing. I was just about to make an arrest. I'd solved the case. His name was Eddie Low. He lived in Dukes - I was literally heading over to his house when the news came in another body had turned up. Obviously, the screenplay I am writing about the case will now have a slightly different ending, in which I make the arrest, and it will carry the subtitle 'based on true events', because that will make a better story." The mayor commented, "This is not the LCPD's finest hour. We have a killer on the loose for months, and no leads; then they give him this stupid nickname - 'Eddie Low'.

"

―{{{2}}}

Mob Boss Dies Before Trial

What will this mean for organized crime in LC?

Storyphoto 48

"Mob Boss, Jon Gravelli, alleged head of the Gambetti crime family, died peacefully in his sleep last night. Mr. Gravelli, 85, had been residing at the Schottler Medical Center for the last 3 years. Although some in the DA's office argued that this was a ruse to avoid a court case, Mr. Gravelli never left hospital after being admitted. Mr. Gravelli has been head of the Gambetti crime syndicate since 1978 and under his stewardship, the family had become the most powerful of Liberty City's crime families, rivaling the Pavano family. Although he had been indicted several times, Mr. Gravelli was never convicted of a serious crime. Some believed he had contacts within the government who protected him, and for whom he would get criminal associates to perform hits and other crimes, but these allegations were never substantiated. What happens now to the delicate balance of power amongst criminal gangs within Liberty City is unknown. It is unlikely to be pretty.

"

―{{{2}}}

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