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Save Me

In: People

Submitted By gaurav2research
Words 412
Pages 2
Crime analysts are always trying to find new ways to apply their skills and hone their craft. The vast majority of us are thinkers; we are curious problem solvers who believe that our ability to benefit our agencies is limited only by the latitude we are given. It is understandable then that we should seek out more opportunities to apply our skills and make more positive impacts within our jurisdictions. It is this general attitude that led us to get involved in investigating cold cases. How We Got Started Mark had, for several years, been consulting with our Coroner’s Division as a forensic anthropologist. During this time he came to learn that there were numerous coroners’ cases in which the identity of the decedent was unknown.
These cases were kept in three-ring binders on a shelf in the Sergeant’s office.
Over the years, in the course of this forensic work, we would discuss these cases and the progress that was being made on them. The conversation usually ran along the lines of us asking “any luck with that 1980 homicide victim?” and the sergeant answering “well, we’ve gotten so many new cases that I haven’t been able to even look at it yet.” This went on for a few years and through two different sergeants. One day we, as a crime analysis unit, were brainstorming about how we could broaden our “client base”, as it were. We had been successful in integrating ourselves into our Investigations Bureau and had been involved in numerous major cases. And, of course, we had always been active in producing tactical and strategic analyses for our patrol personnel. But we knew that we could be doing more, particularly given the size and responsibilities of our agency. It was during this brainstorming session that we remembered those dusty binders on the Sergeant’s shelf. Surely there must be a way that we can help with those old cases, we thought. When we asked ourselves “what makes a case go cold?” we came up with four inter-related factors. We see these factors as being links in a chain of causation, with each link decreasing the chances that the case will be successfully solved. A lack of evidence at the outset is probably the primary reason why a case can become stale. This may seem an obvious point, and it is. But we may borrow from Edmund Locard and say that, just as every contact leaves a trace, every

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