Date assigned: 15 August 2002
Assigned to: Nicholas Kristof of The New York Times.
What: Determine how often bloodhounds and their handlers err. Since bloodhounds are the only positive evidence against Steven Hatfill, determine whether they may have erred in his case. Be sure to find out whether bloodhounds can pick up cues from their handlers and respond to that, rather than scents.
Why Nicholas Kristof? Because he has been the biggest and most important public backer of the theory that Dr. Hatfill is guilty. If Kristof is wrong, as seems likely, he owes this investigation to Hatfill. (And, an enormous apology to Hatfill, and. possibly, an offer of resignation to the paper. Those familiar with the Times will not expect either, if Kristof is proved wrong.)