The Curious Case of Allan Detrich

What do you do when you’ve been disgraced from your job after altering 79 photographs (revealed so far) and are fired? Turn to what was your hobby — storm chasing.

So was the path that former Toledo Blade staff photographer Allan Detrich followed as he, the phoenix, temporarily rose from the ashes when he found himself in the middle of the aftermath of the Kansas tornado disaster. His photos ran on the Fox and CNN Web sites, and he was interviewed (repeatedly) over the phone on CNN as an eyewitness.

Really? Can we be sure? We have his photos, which can’t be trusted (or, perhaps, did he learn his lesson?) And he says he saw things first hand, but, again, did he? Or, was he watching on the TV, or a fellow storm chaser’s footage?

How prophetic, Detrich’s blog, from April 9th, just four weeks ago:

I will not miss the news business anymore … I am off to pursue other opportunities with my storm chase partners…I will be spending valuable time with my family, time they have so selfishly donated to my career over the years. It is time to give back to them…if you want to keep up on my storm chasing, feel free to stop back in a few weeks.

Then, lo and behold, Detrich turns up in “the news business” again, reporting on both CNN and FOX, which also prominently displayed his images in their front pages overnight and on Saturday morning. Where’s that family he was giving back to? Are they continuing to “donate” to his career so he can be out chasing storms?

It certainly is curious to see Detrich back in the news, but what can we trust from him now?

[tags]John Harrington, Allan Detrich, photojournalism, Kansas tornadoes[/tags]

6 Responses to “The Curious Case of Allan Detrich”

  1. Whether or not Mr. Detrich was in Greensburg for the tornado on May 4, 2007 is easily verifiable. Any of the members of MESO who were there with him can attest to his presence as can many of the residents of Greensburg whom they assisted. Although it is unacceptable by NPPA standards, his editing of photographs was very minor (removing a power cord, removing feet from underneath a banner, etc...). To insinuate he is fabricating a story about being in Greensburg because he was caught making minor edits to photographs is more irresponsible than the edits themselves.

  2. You have not been around Allan long enought to make any comments. He is a LIAR. He acts are selfish and self centered. HE put 2 team member in harms way so he could take photos. He utilized an official vest to gain access. and for the record he added to the photos just as much as he removed from the photos. He was dishonest during the investigation. HE accidently submitted that many photos. Thats just wrong

  3. Allan didn't put two storm chasers in harms way. Some glory hound that was with meso took untrained photographers with him into a dangerous situation so someone would be on hand to film his heroics. Allan couldn't do anything to help in the situation, so he returned to do what he WAS trained to do. Shoot pictures. The only people put in harms way were the photographers. one had enough sense to leave.

  4. @Wes,

    Lying is not minor!

    The question is credibility and Allan Detrich has none! He fabricated photos! Plain and simple, he lied with his work and broke an oath as a photojournalist. He has called into question everything he has ever worked on or will ever cover in the future. How can you ever believe something he says from a scene when he has been caught creating photographs that never existed? If he can add a basketball to a photo that didn't have one, then what stops him from adding something else to a storm photo or coverage to make himself look better and get more money??

    Allan Detrich worked in a business that demanded honesty and integrity and he was kicked out because he failed on both counts.

    IMHO, the only way to believe anything Deitrich says or does in the news business is to be standing right next to him.

  5. Dietrich is not only a lair, he actions in Greensburg were also cowardly. you may contact me at [email protected] for the all out true story about what he did in Greensburg. There were no heroics done by him or his group. I know because I was the President at the time and there. His actions had most of the members leave the team after that night.

  6. Correction: Allan Detrich was not fired from The Toledo Blade, he resigned. After being caught lying to editors who discovered the first of what turned out to be at least 79 digitally-altered photos submitted for publication in 2007 alone.

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