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April 6th, 2014

Bratton and the Future of the Cold Case Squad

I wonder what the return of Police Commissioner William Bratton might mean for the NYPD’s Cold Case Squad? Bratton was Commissioner when the Cold Case Squad was put in place, and he was very supportive of the squad. I read that he increased the LAPD’s Cold Case Homicide Unit when he was their Chief of Police. In direct contrast, former Commissioner Ray Kelly allowed to the NYPD’s Cold Case Squad to shrink from 49 detectives in 1996, the year they were established, to an all-time low of only 7 detectives. I know the focus shifted to counter-terrorism, but that’s 7 detectives covering roughly 10,000 unsolved murders going back to 1985. The squad is currently up to 8.

The Chief of Detectives wants to beef up the unit, I’ve heard. I know it’s never going back up to 49, but surely they could use a little more help.

The earliest picture I could find of the NYPD’s Cold Case Squad.


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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.


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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.”


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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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