How effective are the rewards offered in homicide cases? Payouts are rare in Los Angeles, but detectives say they still believe in them, and politicians continue to approve them, reports the Los Angeles Times. In Los Angeles’ latest reward announcement, $50,000 was offered yesterday for information in the shooting death of Moses Nelson, a 32-year-old father of three who was gunned down by an assailant on a bike in November. It is the third reward offered this month for tips in homicide cases.
In the Nelson case, an image of the bike-riding gunman was captured on video. “Other than that, our leads kind of ran dry,” said detective Leonardo McKenzie. That’s when investigators may turn to the public for help. “We get some of these that are complete whodunits,” said detective Richard Arciniega, who is investigating the Nelson case. Still, in 16 years of working homicide, he said, he’s paid out rewards only twice. In many cases, rewards come with the caveat that the information must yield results. Arciniega said he hasn’t lost faith that money could motivate witnesses. “Fifty thousand dollars to a lot of people is a lot of money,” he said.