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Joseph Giacalone on ID Jumpstart the Cold Case Files

Jumpstart the Cold Case Files

Jumpstart the Cold Case Files

By: Joseph Giacalone

Jumpstart the Cold Case files now! Homicide clearance rates continue to fall and violent crimes continues to rise in the United States. Now, more than ever, a focus on who is wanted for murder becomes an important task that may lead to a reduction in violence. Violence often begets violence as retaliation becomes common.

Every detective has one case that still haunts them. There were a number of cases that I wish we were able to solve during my tenure as the Commanding Officer of the Bronx Cold Case Squad. We had a person of interest in most, but lacked the physical evidence, forensic evidence, confession, or eyewitnesses.

The Last Liaison

The cold case detective is the last liaison between the public and the police. Cold case investigators can build bridges back to the community. A new focus and a fresh set of eyes maybe just what the case needed. For family members, it provides a new sense of hope and direction.

Jumpstart the Cold Case Files

A new investigator brings with them a new point of view devoid of speculation and bias. There are many points to consider before taking on a new case. Here are a few jumpstarts to get you going:

  • Was DNA recovered ever submitted? Changes in the forensic technology landscape may help
  • Did the medical examiner take nail, hair, and swabs exemplars at autopsy? Submit these items for testing
  • Was there other evidence not submitted for testing? Ballistics, fingerprints, etc.?
  • Was everything documented in official reports? Notepads and “pocket litter,” can help determine what transpired
  • Will forensic genealogy help your case?

Enlist the Help of the Public

Cold cases need the public’s help. If there were that easy to solve, it would have been closed already. There are a number of jumpstarts an investigator can use to enlist the help of the public:

  • Media – television
  • Social Media – Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, YouTube, etc.
  • Highway billboards
  • Crime Stoppers
  • Podcasts

Ideas to jumpstart the cold case files run the gamut. The imagination is the only thing holding an investigator back. Solving a cold case can be satisfying and provide much needed closure for the family.