Someone wrote and asked if you had to be a family member to ask the Cold Case Squad to look into a case, or could a friend of the victim make the request.
From Vito Spano: “Yes, anyone can refer a case to the Cold Sase Squad, you don’t have to be a family member. The important issue is what information you have concerning the case. It doesn’t have to first hand information.”
Vito reminded me of a case one of his detectives had. A woman was strangled by someone who collected soda cans. Someone “came forward because she felt her friend was murdered by this guy and nothing was done by the police since the incident in 1991. Not only was he collared for murder of the friend but also for two open rapes.”
From Wendell Stradford: “Yes, they can ask, but we will want to know what their relationship was/is to the victim, and is the family aware that you are making inquiries. Also we would ask that before we did anything, that they have the victims family contact us. As you know we don’t need anyone’s permission to look into a case.”
I asked Vito, “what if the person doesn’t have any information, they’re just a friend who would like the cold case detectives to take a look and see if there’s anything they can do?”
From Vito: “We’re getting into a situational thing. What is the rational for the referral? I would want to know why the person is asking that the case be looked into. Is there some compelling reason? Is the person a concerned citizen, or is there something else? I would never automatically say ‘no’ to a request. I would want to look at the case and take a look at the person referring the case.”