Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Cold Case Squads

A long time feature of U.S. Law Enforcement are the cold case squads.  These dedicated cops are a shining credit to the Justice system, and many, many cases have been solved, even decades after the murder.  These specialist teams should be a feature of every Police Department in the world.  At the end of the day, murder is murder, and the killer or killers should not be allowed to get away with it.

    A good example was the murder of Robert Haugen in California in 1988.  His home was found ablaze and after the fire was extinguished, his body was found.  An autopsy revealed that he had been stabbed eighteen times, and blood was found all around the apartment.   Suspects were interviewed, given polygraphs and alibis checked, but nobody came on the radar.  In 2001, the case was handed to Sgt Yvonne Shull, and she kept the case file and kept digging.  On the birthday each year, of the victim, his mother would call the Police for an update.  Eventually, a hit came upon the DNA database, and the name was Paul Smith.  At the time of the murder, he was interviewed but was thought not to be involved, partly due to his job as a bible translator for a church.  Yet another example of how church people cannot be involved in evil acts.  Smith was in jail in Las Vegas, interviewed by Sgt Ray but denied any involvement.  Ray showed him the DNA match results.  Still he denied it.  He was extradited and put on trial.

    However, it was discovered that Smith was trying to find a hitman to kill Ray and any potential witness.  The Police put a sting operation into play, with a cop portraying himself as a killer.  Smiths` girlfriend ended up going down for conspiracy to commit murder, as Smith was running the plot through her.  Smith was convicted and received life without parole, but his arrogant and aggressive behaviour in front of the Jury helped sink him.  There has never been an explanation for the crime.

    There has been an attempt bto set up cold case units over here, and indeed, some are operational, but ultimately, it will suffer from the usual British fuck-up.  Whatever happens in the States, we are thirty years behind, and as where they get it right, we fuck-up.  Nothing new, then?