Thomas Peele is an investigative reporter and author. His 2012 book Killing the Messenger (Random House) chronicled the Black Muslim Movement and the 2007 assassination of Oakland, CA, journalist Chauncey Bailey. Peele served as the lead reporter on The Chauncey Bailey Project, a reporting collaboration credited with forcing authorities to bring all of Bailey's killers to justice. Peele, a journalist for 30 years, is an investigative reporter for the Bay Area News Group newspapers, where specializes in public records and public accountability reporting. He routinely writes enterprise stories about government malfeasance and corruption. He also writes a monthly column, The Watchdog, on government transparency and freedom of the press. Before moving to California in 2000, Peele was a staff writer for the Atlantic City Press in New Jersey where he covered casino gambling, government corruption and organized crime. He began his career at Newsday as a prep sportswriter while a college student. Peele holds an MFA in Writing from the University of San Francisco and a BA in journalism from Long Island University.
A examination of the Black Muslim movement and the 2007 shotgun killing of Oakland, CA, journalist Chauncey Bailey.
Reviewers called the book "a crackling work of nonfiction, impossible to put down" and "a masterpiece of contemporary historical narrative." It was compared to Truman Capote's "In Cold Blood" and works by Jon Krakauer, James A. Michener and David Simon.