Tomas Guillen (74) was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2006.
As a journalist specializing in criminal justice issues, Tomas Guillen has covered some dark and grisly stories, and his writings have led to a New York Times bestseller and to a nomination for a Pulitzer Prize.
Now an associate professor at Seattle University, where he teaches reporting and writing, Tomas worked for 20 years as a journalist at the Tucson Citizen, Omaha World-Herald and Seattle Times. Early in his career he had international reporting experience covering two volcanoes, El Chichon in Mexico and Nevado del Ruiz in Colombia. In 1988 he and a colleague were Pulitzer Prize finalists for their coverage of the Green River serial killings in the Seattle area, and in 1995 his stories on crime laboratories won the Silver Gavel in the American Bar Association investigative reporting competition.
In 1990 Tomas co-authored “The Search for the Green River Killer”, which became a New York Times bestseller. He followed up with “Toxic Love” in 1995, a book about a poisoning case in Omaha. Tomas’ latest book, “Serial Killers: Issues Explored Through the Green River Murders”, was published this year by Prentice Hall. With his extensive background in crime coverage, Tomas has judged numerous competitions, including the Mystery Writers of America Edgar Award and, as a member of the Association of Criminal Justice Science, frequently presents research papers related to criminal justice issues. He also has discussed these topics on CNN, FOX and Good Morning America.
An El Paso native, Tomas graduated from the UA in 1974 and later earned a master’s from the University of Washington. He gravitated toward journalism because “someone had once told me journalism involved writing and making people laugh and making people cry.” But as a freshman he spoke mostly Spanish and had trouble writing a clear sentence in English. “Suffice to say,” Tomas recalls, “that Prof. Donald Carson and his fine colleagues showed mercy on me while I learned. And so did the editors at the Daily Wildcat.”