The Paparazzi Chase

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PARIS: There was a price on Princess Diana's head: $200,000, which is how much the tabloid Globe shelled out to the winning paparazzi for the August 26 cover story that broke the princess-and-the-playboy romance. "That's ten times what they're worth," says Steve Coz, the editor of America's preeminent rag, the National Enquirer. "That sends a message to the international paparazzi: pictures of Di and Dodi are priceless," he said. "You're going to win the lottery if you get them."

The tabloids can begin their penance by refusing to purchase or publish any photos taken during that fatal pursuit. For now, the five paparazzi have been detained by police. Two motorcycles and a motor scooter have been seized, and a criminal investigation has been launched. The rags which inquiring English minds snap up so hungrily can never again be harmless fun.

Those last lovebird pictures of Diana were taken from afar, with telephoto lenses. Last night, the glass-eyed hounds had drawn close, on their motorcycles, because they saw a fortune dangling in front of them. And then the dark blue Mercedes, with its precious cargo, careened off a cement pylon and into oncoming traffic. The driver and Dodi were instantly killed; Diana would live to see a hospital. Yet even as the car horn still screamed under the weight of the driver's lifeless body, eyewitnesses saw a "professional-looking" photographer bent before the wreck, snapping away, getting the shot.