Linda Byron is an Investigative Reporter with KING 5 News in Seattle. Her work primarily focuses on cops, courts and crime. She has covered stories across America and internationally, traveling to Italy three times to cover the murder trials of Seattle student Amanda Knox and to Brazil to interview Seattle fugitive Martin Pang, who killed four firefighters.
During her 26 years with KING 5, Linda has earned the respect and trust of police officers, gaining unusual access to behind the scenes operations. In 1989, she spent a month patrolling Tacoma’s hilltop with a pair of detectives waging a crackdown on gangs, reporting and producing a documentary and news series which won a Regional Edward R. Murrow Award. More recently, she rode along with Seattle gang detectives as they addressed a surge in gang wars, and spent a whirlwind week “imbedded” with Seattle’s elite robbery unit as they hunted down the criminals behind a violent home invasion. Her reports were honored with two Northwest Emmy Awards.
Linda has also developed a specialty in the investigation of police misconduct. Her series “Bully with a Badge” won a prestigious National Edward R. Murrow Award in 2012. Using public records and internal sources, Linda identified problem officers in the King County Sheriff’s Office and exposed a system which tolerated officer misconduct, while ignoring citizen complaints. As a result of her reports, one deputy was fired, a second was disciplined and the department began overhauling its internal investigation systems, a process that continues today. The FBI also began investigating one deputy for committing possible civil rights violations.
In 2012, Linda also turned her investigative eye on the Seattle Police Department’s resistance to reform after the Department of Justice announced it had uncovered a “pattern and practice” of illegal force by Seattle Police officers. Her reports on how other cities addressed similar problems revealed lapses in Seattle’s plan and changed the public discussion about police reforms.
Over the years, Linda’s reports have won her regional Emmy awards for numerous stories including: “The Search for the Green River Killer”; “Bank Robber’s Best Friend”, which exposed how outdated alarm systems used by most banks help robbers evade arrest; and “Thief of Hearts”, a riveting jail house interview with a con woman who left a trail of bankrupt husbands across the country.
Linda’s reports on the death of a woman patient from liposuction at a local body contouring center won an Emmy Award for Continuing Coverage and a Society of Professional Journalists Award for Investigative Reporting. The series of reports prompted the State Health Department to take action: One doctor’s license was suspended, a second doctor agreed to stop practicing in Washington and the clinic agreed to revise its practices.
Linda was named “Journalist of the Year” in 2012 by the Washington Association for Justice and is part of a five member investigative team which was named the “Dream Team” in Seattle Magazine’s 2012 Issue of Most Influential People.
Linda has a Master’s Degree in Broadcast Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia and a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from Seattle Pacific University. She has served as a guest lecturer and panelist at Seattle University on topics including police use of force, ethics and accountability.
Before joining KING 5’s investigative unit, Linda was a general assignment reporter and filled in on the anchor desk for KING 5 Morning News. Her broadcasting career also includes stints at KUTV News in Salt Lake City, Utah, where she covered the police beat, and KBCI TV in Boise, Idaho, where she anchored the 6 pm and 10 pm newscasts.
When she’s not working, Linda enjoys golf, skiing, cooking and watching the Seattle Sounders take on rivals at Century Link Field. She is married with twin daughters.