What others think: Help solve crime if you canPolice are sometimes critiqued for not finding the bad guys fast enough, or not at all. But the facts show that they generally catch up to their men or women.
By: The Bismarck Tribune, The Jamestown Sun
Police are sometimes critiqued for not finding the bad guys fast enough, or not at all. But the facts show that they generally catch up to their men or women.
It’s good news that an arrest could be made at any time in the 2001 slaying of Chandra Levy.
The Washington, D.C., intern’s remains were discovered a year after the time when she vanished. The case was extensively covered in the media because, in part, Levy had a romantic involvement with former U.S. Rep. Gary Condit. Never a suspect, he was questioned, and publicity in the case is believed to be the reason he lost a re-election bid in 2002.
The lesson here is that cold cases can heat up. Something as complex as DNA evidence, like in the Levy case, can suddenly make a huge difference as can something as simple as a phone call with information that seems irrelevant.
There are 14 cold cases listed on the North Dakota attorney general’s Web site at www.ag.state.nd.us/BCI/ColdCase/coldcase.html
They range from the 1962 homicide of Larry Phebus in McKenzie County to the 1996 missing person case of Sandra M. Jacobson in Burleigh County.
The introduction on the site reads as follows: “The North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation is working with local agencies across the state on unsolved missing person and homicide cases. These cold case files get harder to solve with every day that passes. Your assistance could make the difference. If you have information about any of these cases, please contact the Bureau of Criminal Investigation at 1-800-472-2185. Help us bring these criminals to justice!”
Seven of North Dakota’s cold cases are listed as homicides, and the other seven as missing persons.
The circumstances are not pleasant, but brief reminders might jog a memory or soften a hard heart to reveal information.
Among the unsolved cases is a 14-year-old boy who died of asphyxiation and a 14-year-old girl killed by strangulation.
Two men were shot and another was cut in half and put in garbage bags.
Another was found in the trunk of a car wearing only underwear and covered with a green sheet, and another man died of hypothermia after being beaten and thrown into a water-filled ditch.
A mother and her 5-year-old son were never seen again after leaving a relative’s home to go get gas for her car. Another mom dropped her son off at his grandpa’s, went to run some errands and never returned.
Such crimes and tragedies are all too real in life, making living for many that much more difficult, especially those who have lost loved ones without knowing why.
That certainly isn’t a final or comforting resolution, but the facts and solving of cold cases can bring some needed closure.
Check out the North Dakota cold case Web site. Help if you can.