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Cases in which all investigative leads appear to be exhausted are frustrating for both investigators and victims’ families. Cold cases can range from those only a few months old to others that go back for decades. Presenting profiles and actual case histories, Cold Case Research: Resources for Unidentified, Missing and Cold Homicide Cases illustrates how investigators can successfully apply resources that will enable them to reopen and solve cases gathering dust in the file room. Today’s investigators have found that, to solve cold cases, they need to be internet savvy and make the best use of the rapidly changing methodologies of the twenty-first century, but they also have to be time travelers and open the door to the past. This volume weaves together the nearly forgotten skill sets of traditional historical researchers with the latest online tools, including TLO, a premier investigative system; and NamUs, the revolutionary database for missing persons and unidentified remains. Along with practical applications, Cold Case Research gives investigators the tools they need to save time and money and to jump-start their cold cases, while keeping others from going cold in the future. Topics discussed include: Implementing cold case units People searches and working with databases Overlooked DNA in PKU cards The plight of the missing and unknown Applying historical and geographical context Online and off-line newspaper research Public and published records The use of volunteers Contact with co-victims Cold-case review teams and information-sharing resources Taking advantage of the media Using a thinking-outside-the-box approach, this volume helps fill major gaps in traditional cold case investigation training and techniques, enabling investigators to confidently reopen and crack the mystery of cases long thought unsolvable. Silvia Pettem was quoted in a January 29, 2012 article on missing persons in the Colorado Springs Gazette.
This book, now in its second edition, is the first and most exhaustive text covering the still growing popularity of cold case investigations which locate perpetrators and free the innocent. The new edition adds approximately 80 pages of content, including material on clandestine graves and investigating cold gang cases. The book merges theory with practice through the use of case histories, photographs, illustrations and checklists that convey essential, fundamental concepts while providing a strong, practical basis for the investigative process.
When loved-ones go missing, the lives of their family members are turned upside-down. As the days and months turn into years, some families are caged in by their grief, while others become proactive –– renewing police contacts, keeping up with the latest technologies, and educating themselves as they strive to become their long-term missing persons’ advocates. By inspiring hope, as well as providing answers and practical advice, The Long Term Missing: Hope and Help for Families assists families in navigating the uncharted territory they never chose to enter. Author Silvia Pettem also provides families with information to better understand how law-enforcement and related agencies work to solve missing persons cases. Along the way, she takes her readers behind the scenes, while emphasizing that every unidentified person is a missing person to someone else. With real cases, both solved and unsolved, the book also illustrates the resources available and the actions that family members, civilians, and law enforcement agencies can take to search for long-term missing persons, to identify previously unknown remains, and to bring the missing persons home. The Long Term Missing: Hope and Help for Families inspires hope and gives answers as it empowers family members of long term missing persons to be proactive and to become their missing persons’ advocates.
Designed for use by investigators in any agency, large or small, Practical Cold Case Homicide Investigations Procedural Manual provides an overview of the means and methods by which previously reported and investigated—yet unresolved—homicides might be solved. Written by an experienced cold case investigator and consultant, this convenient handbook is drawn from the author’s previous work, Cold Case Homicides: Practical Investigative Techniques and follows the successful format of Vernon Geberth’s Practical Homicide Investigation: Checklist and Field Guide. The book examines the basics of case identification and reactivation, providing insight into file retrieval and review. It discusses the legal aspects of cold case investigation and prosecution and explores how to take advantage of technology and forensics advances developed since the case went cold—including forensic and people-searching databases. Readers will learn how techniques used in current homicide investigations have an expanded role in cold case investigations. The convenient format features a summary and checklist template and includes simple, step-by-step instructions. While cold cases are frustrating for investigators and victims’ families, this book shows how modern cold case homicide investigation can best exploit the primary solvability factors of changes in technology and changes in relationships—turning the concept of time as an enemy into time as a friend.
How do you prove someone guilty of murder when the best piece of evidence—the victim’s body—is missing? Exclusively dedicated to the investigation and prosecution of no-body homicide cases, this book provides the author’s insight gained from investigating and trying a no-body case along with what he’s learned consulting on scores of others across the country. A practical guide for police and prosecutors, it takes an expansive look at both the history of no-body murder cases and the best methods to investigate, solve, and bring them to court. Taking readers step by step from the first days of a homicide investigation through the trial, the book explores the history of confessions, the use of jailhouse snitches to get information, and CSI-style forensics utilized in solving a case. It delves into the psychological profile of the type of defendant who murders someone and then hides the body and reviews methods criminals have used to dispose of bodies. It also discloses the investigative techniques police must use to catch these devious killers. Using real-life case studies, No-Body Homicide Cases: A Practical Guide to Investigating, Prosecuting, and Winning Cases When the Victim is Missing summarizes and analyzes the nearly 400 no-body murder trials in U.S. history, enabling readers to leverage the similarities in these cases with their own scenarios. The book is an essential resource for all investigators and a roadmap to a conviction for prosecutors.
Citing tens of thousands of missing persons, unidentified remains, and unsolved crimes in America, an introduction to amateur crime solving reveals how everyday concerned citizens can access online resources to help solve cold cases.
In 1954, near Boulder, Colorado, the body of a murdered young woman was found. The initial investigation turned up nothing, and “Jane Doe” was buried. Decades later, the author set in motion the events that led to Jane Doe's eventual identification and the identity of her probable killer. The new electronic edition includes an epilogue with updated information on how the mystery finally was solved.

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