WNYC and Missing Persons
Before Joseph Mitchell, the veteran profiler of New York characters, wrote for The New Yorker, he reported for several New York papers, among them, The New York World Telegram. There he reported on George L. O'Connor, the broadcasting detective of the police Missing Persons Bureau, on May 9, 1936:
"...Every weekend throughout the winter he goes swimming among the ice floes and grapefruit rinds in the surf at Coney Island; he is in fact, President of the Icebergs Athletic Club. He writes sentimental poetry. He used to be a tap dancer with a Primrose and Dockstader minstrel show, and at 48 is still able to make a lot of noise with his shoes. 'However,' he said today, 'I think my most important accomplishment, is my Missing Persons human interest broadcast. I am a keen student of psychology, and I take these stories from the original files, stories of broken home ties, and broadcast them over WNYC, the municipal broadcasting station, at 1 P.M. on Sundays. I write a poem about each case and finish up with that, and I feel the broadcast is an important police serviceâ€¦â€™ "