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February 13th, 2014

I Thought I was a Dogged Researcher!

Josh Levin shows how it’s done. This is a little different for this blog, but unsolved cases are a part of this fascinating and terrifying piece about Linda Taylor, the woman Ronald Reagan liked to use as an example of how the welfare system was broken. Apparently, he didn’t know the half of it. From the story:

“When I set out in search of Linda Taylor, I hoped to find the real story of the woman who played such an outsize role in American politics—who she was, where she came from, and what her life was like before and after she became the national symbol of unearned prosperity. What I found was a woman who destroyed lives, someone far more depraved than even Ronald Reagan could have imagined. In the 1970s alone, Taylor was investigated for homicide, kidnapping, and baby trafficking. The detective who tried desperately to put her away believes she’s responsible for one of Chicago’s most legendary crimes, one that remains unsolved to this day. Welfare fraud was likely the least of the welfare queen’s offenses.”

You can read the full piece here.

This picture is a detail from a photograph from the piece.

Taylor

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January 7th, 2014

Well Researched Article about Recent Unsolved Murders

It’s called, Tale of Two Cities: Even as murders hit record low in NYC, a mountain of cases languishes in outer boroughs as cops focus more manpower on Manhattan cases, and it was written by Barry Paddock, Sarah Ryley, Rocco Parascandola and Rich Schapiro.

“A Daily News investigation examines case status of all homicides in 2013 and finds disparity in detective staffing levels between Manhattan and outer boroughs.”

Graph

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November 26th, 2013

Joe Giacalone Cold Case Site

I just became aware of the website of a retired NYPD detective, Joe Giacalone. I don’t know the guy and have only taken a quick look so far, but he has a number of posts about cold case investigation.

Also, a quick update on the Baby Hope case, from a New York Times article last week.

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October 9th, 2013

Baby Hope’s Mother Identified – Great Work, Investigators

I’ve posted before about Baby Hope. While working on my book The Restless Sleep I asked a friend of mine who works at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner which case haunted him the most. He didn’t hesitate when answering: Baby Hope.

Baby Hope (they put her age at between three and five years old) was found stuffed into a blue and white picnic cooler in a park off the Henry Hudson Parkway on July 23, 1991. The details they were able to glean about her brief life from the autopsy are grim.

Apparently they have just identified the mother! So, what was Baby Hope’s name? And why did the mother never report her missing?? You can read more about the new developments in this New York Times piece.

The picture below comes from a Daily Mail piece about the case that appeared this summer, when the Cold Case Squad made a new push to solve that case, a push that was clearly successful. Now that they know who Baby Hope was they can start to question those who knew her.

Great work, NYPD, the Bronx Violent Felony Squad, Forensic Investigations, NYPD attorneys and everyone else who worked on this case, and thank you for hanging in there and not giving up on this case.

Update: Baby Hope was Anjelica Castillo. She was born in Elmhurst Hospital Center in Queens in 1987, so she was 4 years old when she died. Her cousin Conrado Juarez, 52, sexually abused her and killed her and his sister, Balvina Juarez- Ramirez helped him dump Anjelica’s body. He’s been arrested, Balvina is deceased.

Update: Another New York Times piece about Baby Hope, this one featuring Jerry Giorgia, the former lead detective on the case.

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