The February 2001 issue of the online version of the fictional Liberty Tree newspaper (Vol. 1, Issue 1) was released on February 1, 2001. It is the first in a series of Liberty Tree issues to be released to promote Grand Theft Auto III.
The issue is given a gray-and-red color scheme with "News Never Smelled So Good" as its present motto.
Spate of grand theft auto has brought menace back to our city streets, but is helping local business!
Liberty Tree News Bureau
February 1st 2000 2:57pm EST
As you may have noticed, Liberty City has been plagued in recent months by a spate of car jacking, the worst in the greater Liberty City area since 1997, when the menace first came to our city streets. Although incidents of carjacking have increased 80% in the past fiscal year, this time it's not all doom and gloom for Liberty City. The city and its residents, long bored with their reputation for extreme violence and crime rates that make other urban areas look like toy town, are not taking it lying down this time. Instead, in time-honored Liberty City fashion, they're fighting back and making a drama out of a crisis.
For awhile insurance companies and the unprepared were terrified by the prospect of being forcefully evicted from their car at gun point, however those with the forethought to prepare for the worst are discovering the worst isn't that bad! Licensed hand gun sales in the greater Liberty City area are up 35% while gun shops have increased five fold, bringing valuable work to the beleaguered under-qualified of the region.
Meanwhile, although 15 people have been killed in auto-related assaults in the last six months, at least 3 of those were the assailants themselves, teaching those hapless hooligans a thing or two about flat lining! Although the police are officially against vigilantism, with Police Chief, Jim Ramirez, commenting "People shouldn't threaten crazed psychopaths with violence. 99% of people are killed by their own weapon. Especially in suicide cases", unofficially, police are thought to be encouraging the brave few to have a go against the forces of darkness. Local resident, Glen Morley III, admitted "I'd never handled a gun until yesterday, but thanks to a couple of beers with my local police office last night, I now feel like the toughest guy alive. Hell, anyone tries and car jacks me and they'll be sorry. I'll blow their god-damn brains out."
New innovations are also coming to the world of auto-protection in Liberty City, making Liberty City an area of global innovation for the first time since Thomas Crapper thought about, but rejected, the idea of building a factory here. Several of the world's best and just a few of its wackiest, have thought about the problem, with May's Protect Your Car conference at The Liberty City Conference and Social Center promising to bring self-defense into the 21st century. Now that's something every criminal should be aware of!
Liberty Tree News Bureau
February 1st 2000 12:11pm EST
LIBERTY CITY (RS) - Stan Wayridge
Statistically, Liberty City remains a safe place to live, work and play, especially for the house bound, and those in prison. However conflicting results amassed by the Liberty Tree has found that crime is on the rise. In 1996, the FBI found that Liberty City residents were 38% less likely to be a victim of a violent crime than the rest of the nation, unless those crimes included mugging, murder, car jacking or assault.
In the last year, the Liberty Tree has seen significant increases in serious violent crime citywise: Part I offenses (Murder, Rape, Robbery, Aggravated Assault, Burglary, Larceny, Motor Vehicle Theft, and Arson) are up 11%, Violent Offenses (Murder, Rape, Robbery, and Aggravated Assault) are up 73% and murder has increased four fifths from last year's 23% of what it had been previously. Police Chief Daryl M. Zolotowski says, "Liberty City is dangerous... especially at night. I know the tourist board won't thank me for saying this, but it ain't a nice place right now. Luckily what with cable, the internet and the video games my kids play 24 hours a day folks should know how to keep themselves busy while indoors."
Residents that live near Chinatown were quoted saying "we don't let kids go out at night" and when asked about feeling safe at night one resident said "dude, I ain't felt safe in this city at night in years, I stay home and watch TV and play with my guns."
Liberty Tree News Bureau
February 1st 2000 10:32pm EST
LIBERTY CITY (RS) - Paul Civille
Hot after his inaugural celebration newly elected President George W. Bush is making Liberty City his first stop on a nationwide big city tour. "I'm so sick of seeing the guy's face," store owner Rudy Chi said. "I wish'd he'd picked somewhere else." The President's first day will be filled with meetings with the mayor and local city officials followed by a dinner and reception where he will address a local chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution.
Local city advocates are hoping to meet with Bush and bring to light the city's rapidly increasing crime infestation. Education, investment in the arts and child care are also hoping to be discussed, but most agree that little can be accomplished without the President first attempting to tackle Liberty City's expanding illegal trafficking problem at its major ports. John Norris a city inspector for all shipments in and out of the airport, says, "No one can control this airport, if he can he's a better man than I am!"
Liberty Tree News Bureau
February 1st 2001 03:37am EST
LIBERTY CITY (RS) - Jayne Kwiatowski
The man they tried to destroy, Barry Harcross, has returned to the US now that all charges have been dropped and has come home, to Liberty City. You may recall how back in 1997, the FBI falsely accused Mr. Harcross of laundering money for the mob in his construction business, of importing more than flowers from his Colombian office, and of doing a whole host of other crimes too slanderous to mention here. Luckily, after large tracts of evidence were deemed inadmissible, and three key witnesses decided against lying in court, all charges were dropped. After leaving the country briefly, Mr. Harcross has returned from his South American sojourn keen to put the past behind. He told The Liberty Tree "Thanks for believing in me, Liberty City. I want to get on with my life. These allegations were nonsense, and I want to do what I do best, bringing jobs and investment to our great city." Apparently, Mr Harcross wants to begin by buying the city's most respected newspaper and online news service. Good luck, sir! We wish you well.
News from the rest of the world didn't seem very interesting today, especially when compared to that cute tale about that old woman's cat stuck up a tree, or the human interest story about the dangers of eating too many chicken wings. Besides which, I don't even own a passport. Who needs one? This is God's Country! Who wants to go to goddamn Palestine anyway? Not me. Hell, I don't even want to go to London, and that's right by Detroit, in Mexico.
- The issue includes advertising for Sex Club 7 (which links to the Rockstar Games website) as well as the Liberty City (also links to the Rockstar Games website).
- The issue hilariously includes "Executions" and "Grave-Robbing" among the links on the left-side navigation bar.
- "Car Jacking Back in Vogue", "Crime Report Card: Stay Home and Watch TV!" and "'The W' to Drop in on Liberty City" erroneously date the articles as being posted in 2000 rather than 2001.
- "Car Jacking Back in Vogue's" mention of 1997 being the year vehicle theft began to occur in the city is likely to be a reference to the first Grand Theft Auto, which was released in 1997.
- "'The W' to Drop in on Liberty City" marks the only time a real-life American president is mentioned in a GTA setting. In addition, the article is accurate in referencing George W. Bush's recent inauguration; in real-life, he entered office on January 20, 2001.
- Barry Harcross' return to Liberty City, as reported in "Man Cleared of all Charges Returns to Liberty City", will eventually lead to the arrival of Donald Love to Liberty City by March 2001.