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June 20th, 2006

I See Cold Cases

When I look through the FBI’s Preliminary Crime Reports for 2005, I see it in terms of how many murders will not be solved. I always talk about New York, so let’s look at the rest of America.

Good God, Texas is a murderous state (no offense, Texas). Dallas has had 676 murders in the past three years (so probably 223 unsolved). Houston’s worse. 884 in the past three years (291 likely unsolved).

Why is murder going up in a number of cities in Ohio? It’s gone up in Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, and Toledo. What’s happening in Ohio?

Also, while this blog is about unsolved murder, I couldn’t help noticing things like the number of rapes in Las Vegas. More than four times the number of murders. In Nashville it’s six times as many. A recent Washington Post article, however, talks about an encouraging decrease in rapes over the years.

A lot of murder in Philadelphia (1,055 in the past three years, 348 likely unsolved) and Phoenix (663 in the past three years, 218 likely unsolved). I had no idea Phoenix was so violent. Murder is going up in both cities, as well. And they both showed a decrease between 2003 and 2004, too. It’s not just Philadelphia and Phoenix. Murder has gone up 4.8% nationally. The biggest increases are not in the biggest cities. It’s gone up 12.5% in cities with 100,000 to 249,999 people, and 12.4% in cities with 50,000 to 99,999 people. (It’s gone down in cities the size of New York. Except not so much lately, here.) Geographically, it’s gone up to most in the Midwest, and the least in the West.

I know I’m beating a dead horse: but we’ve got murder going up, clearance rates going down, what is New York and other cities doing to support their Cold Case Squads? Which reminds me of something.

Christine Diefenbach, murdered February 7, 1988. Her murder is still unsolved.

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Tommy Wray, the detective working her case, is retiring. I know it breaks his heart to retire with her case still unsolved, but I would like to take this opportunity to publicly thank Detective Wray, on behalf of all the citizens of New York, who are largely unaware of how Tommy Wray (and many others like him) quietly, and largely invisibly, struggle to bring justice to Christine and over 9,000 others. Thank you Detective Tom Wray for so many years of fine and caring service. You did good, dude. We owe you.

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This is Wray when he was working the Zodiac case (he’s the first one on the left). I have a picture of him with his family that I prefer, but I don’t know how he would feel about my putting a picture of his family up on this blog.

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