Mugshot mag selling fast
BATON ROUGE - A man turned mugshots into a business with his new magazine called Parish Heat.
The tabloid hit news stands last week and has already created a buzz.
"I would buy [it] because I want to know it could be my child's bus driver. There's so much going on in the world today," paper supporter Rhonda Ducre said.
"If you're in the paper, of course you're not going to want people to see what [you] got arrested for, but in the long run, I think it is a good idea," paper supporter Justin Magee said.
The paper publishes every single mugshot taken in the parish every two weeks. No one gets left out; no matter how severe or small the crime may be.
"If I get arrested, I'll be in the paper," the owner said. He asked to go by only his first name, Tony, for his family's safety.
He started the paper to show just how bad crime is in the parish, he said.
"All of it is public. I'm not making anything up. I'm not putting anything out there that's not already out there. I'm just compiling it into one paper," Tony said. "Anyone can go out on the website and see what sex offenders aren't in compliance. Nobody really knows where to go to do that. I'm doing that for you."
Baker Police Chief Mike Knaps believes the paper will curb crime.
"I look at it as a deterrent," Knaps said. "If you don't want parish heat making money off of you, don't commit a crime, don't disregard your child support and you won't be in it."
The paper prints "innocent until proven guilty" on the bottom. But people still question what could happen if someone is cleared of wrongdoing.
"What if that person is not guilty then what happens?" Ducre asked. "Do the paper put out a recant statement?"
Parish Heat will take the mugshot off its website if someone is found innocent.
"It was worth putting them in a car. Driving them all the way down to parish prison and booking them. I believe if that much effort by the police department is done, I believe it's justified being in the paper as an arrest," Tony said.