Ky. Cold Case Squad Tries To Think Outside The Box


In the Louisville police cold case squad, two veteran homicide investigators pore over files that go back decades, says the Louisville Courier-Journal. They analyze old evidence with the newest technology and sometimes re-interview witnesses, searching for the elusive incriminating clue that can bring a perpetrator to justice long overdue. The squad is working on 40 cases. “It pays sometimes to think outside the box,” says detective Larry Carroll. “There might be a name that stands out now that didn’t then. We might even detect a pattern where several people have been killed, and suddenly there’s a common thread.” One success involved a wanted man who in 2002 unwittingly supplied a fingerprint and his own damning DNA sample on an envelope flap he licked, sealing a letter to detectives bragging that he’d never be caught.

The Louisville unit, formed in 2000, echoed a nationwide trend. America’s first cold-case squad was organized by the Miami-Dade County Police Department in the early 1980s. Seattle created its cold-case squad in 2000, and last year departments in Arlington, Texas, and Portland, Ore., started theirs.


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