L.A. Donors Will Pay Out That Hefty, Chris Dorner Reward After All

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
May 8 2013 12:48 PM

L.A. Donors Will Pay Out That Seven-Figure Chris Dorner Reward After All

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A picture provided by the LAPD of alleged suspect Christopher Dorner is displayed during briefing on Feb. 7, 2013

Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

In something of a surprise, it looks as though the donors who had vowed to hand out a $1 million reward for information leading to the capture of Christopher Dorner will follow through with that promise despite the presence of a loophole that had many—including me—speculating that they'd keep their cash for themselves. NBC News with the details:

Josh Voorhees Josh Voorhees

Josh Voorhees is a Slate senior writer. He lives in Iowa City. 

The couple tied up by Christopher Dorner, the man who found his burning truck and a tow-truck driver who spotted the rogue ex-cop will split a $1 million reward offered during February’s epic manhunt, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.
Dorner was a former LAPD officer and a U.S. Navy reservist who targeted police officers and their families. He killed four people, including two law enforcement officers, and wounded three others in a nearly one-week manhunt. From the 12 claims filed, a panel of three judges selected three claimants to receive the reward.
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A panel of three judges selected the winners from a dozen applicants who had staked a claim to the cash. Eighty percent of the reward will be given to James and Karen Reynolds, the couple who was briefly held hostage by Dorner after he broke into their condo while on the run. Dorner later stole their SUV and fled the scene. Minutes later, Karen called 911, the Los Angeles Times explained in February, setting "in motion the chain of events" that led to Dorner's shootout with a state Fish and Wildlife warden and then later the standoff at the cabin that eventually went up in flames.

Daniel McGowan, who found the white pickup truck that Dorner carjacked after wrecking the Reynolds' Nissan, will receive 15 percent of the reward, with the remaining 5 percent going to R.L. McDaniel, who spotted Dorner at a gas station early in the manhunt.

The promised reward ballooned to roughly $1.3 million while Dorner was still on the run, but a handful of donors pulled out after the ex-cop was killed—something that technically prevented the tipsters from meeting the carefully-worded alive-but-not-dead criteria that required the fugitive be "captured and convicted." It was that apparent loophole that left many people—including those who ultimately will see the lion's share of the cash—doubting the reward would be given out. "We heard nobody was getting that because he needed to be captured and convicted," Karen Reynolds told reporters shortly after the manhunt ended.

As Slate's Justin Peters argued back in March, however, this was one of those times where the spirit of the reward was more important than its legalistic terms. In the end, it seems, the California donors agreed.

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