From Los Angeles to Maryland, the hot trend in cold cases is special units of retired detectives who are coaxed off the golf course to comb old files for new leads, reports USA Today. These retreaded sleuths usually work two days a week as unpaid volunteers to bone up on DNA evidence and other new wrinkles in a case. They combine science with their street savvy in questioning witnesses to relieve overloaded staff detectives of some of law enforcement’s most tedious work.
Two of these special squads showed last month that they can get results in resolving mysteries, one in Colorado Springs and another in Los Angeles. Robert Charles Browne, 53, who has been in a Colorado prison since he pleaded guilty in 1995 to killing a 13-year-old girl, was persuaded by a retired detective to admit to 48 additional slayings. And in Los Angeles, retirees Bob Wachsmuth and Richard Adams successfully worked a hunch that a photographer on death row since 1988 for slaying two aspiring models may have killed others.