I just wanted to say “Thank You” for your very kind words concerning my retirement in your June 20th posting. I would also like to take this occasion to thank the people of the City of New York for giving me the opportunity to serve them for the past 32 years. It was an honor and certainly a privilege that I will never be able to repay.
And you are certainly correct when you speak about the Christine Diefenbach case. It was always my firm intention not to retire without bringing some form of closure to the Diefenbach family, hopefully in the way of arrest of the individual(s) responsible for Christine’s death. Each and every time I spoke with John Diefenbach I could see and feel the heartwrenching pain of a father who felt the loss of a loved helpless child and was unable to prevent what occurred.
People in this city may not realize that each and every Detective assigned to the New York City Cold Case Squad is responsible for and may carry up to and beyond 20-30 cold case homicide investigations. It is certainly not like TV. For many years we detectives assigned to Cold Cases realized that we were up against all the odds as far as resources, uniform details taking us away from our investigations, and the undermanned units. But we always felt that we were doing “God’s work”, and that if we hung in there long enough, the reward would come in the end in the form of an arrest.
Recently, the straw that broke the camel’s back was a supervisor who just could not understand that these cases do not get solved overnight, that he needed to trust his detectives who are in fact working for him and doing the right thing each and every day. A detective in NYC can put up with a lot of BS, but not when his direct supervisor doesn’t trust him or the unit in general. This is not the first time he has taken the same wrong train to the wrong station, and gotten off at the wrong stop. Who loses? People like Christine’s father, John Diefenbach. [Murder has gone up this year and so will the number of cold cases.]
I take pride in the cases which I solved in the past ten years in Cold Case, and in those that I could not solve but always gave 100% effort in trying to do so. I pray each day for the success of the Unit, and hope that it is able to withstand the onslaught of one vicious individual. Lastly, thank you for your friendship, and for bringing some of the cases that we work on into the public eye. You gave a small glimpse of a very large and difficult picture to the people of this city. You may print this in your blog if you wish. Hope to speak with you soon. Although I will be retired on June 26, 2006, I will always consider myself Det. Thomas J. Wray, NYPD.