Providence Journal investigative reporter Malinowski dies

August 12, 2016 GMT

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — W. Zachary Malinowski, an award-winning investigative reporter for The Providence Journal, has died following a battle with ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease.

The newspaper reported that Malinowski, known as Bill, died at home Thursday. He was 57.

During his 30-year career at the Journal, Malinowski covered a range of stories, from organized crime to public corruption in the administrations of former Rhode Island Gov. Edward DiPrete and former Providence Mayor Buddy Cianci.

His former reporting partner, Mike Stanton, said Friday that Malinowski had a hand in covering “every big corruption case that you could name” going back decades.

In 2014, the New England Society of News Editors awarded Malinowski two prestigious honors. He received its “master reporter” award, and was also named Sevellon Brown New England Journalist of the Year for his work in the series “The Cost of a Bullet,” about the human, societal and financial toll of gun violence.

Last year, he was covering the 3 ½-month murder trial of former New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez, when he learned he had ALS. Still, he finished covering the trial. Stanton pointed out that Malinowski’s last story for the Journal was about Hernandez — written while he was out on medical leave.

“He loved cops and crime and corruption, and he was great at digging it out. He was terrific at developing sources,” Stanton said. “He loved what he did. He would have kept doing it if fate hadn’t intervened.”

Stanton called Malinowski a down-to-earth “blue collar kid.” He and other colleagues remembered him as a newsroom mentor and dogged reporter with an unassuming manner, who just as easily related to mobsters, police officers and high-ranking politicians.

Prior to working at the Journal, Malinowski worked at The Denver Post and the Tempe (Arizona) Daily News.

He is survived by his wife, former Journal photographer Mary Murphy, and daughter, Molly.