What classifies someone as a serial killer? The FBI defines a serial killer as a person that kills three or more people with a cooling off period – that is what makes them different than a mass or spree murderer. Some reports have as many as fifty active serial killers in the United States at the moment. So, lock your doors tonight.
Many people like to cite crime statistics from a variety of places, however the best source is from the FBI report: Crime in the United States or the Uniform Crime Report or the UCR, just to avoid confusion. The UCR is not the most complete set of statistics, however, there is no politics, agendas or lobbies pushing any narrative. That’s why the numbers for the UCR are widely cited.
I will be live this Saturday night, January 23, 2016, at 6PM on 1240AM WGBB (weather permitting) and definitely at 8AM this Monday, January 25, 2016, on 103.9FM Long Island News Radio talking about: Who is the Long Island Serial Killer?
It’s not everyday that you get a chance to sit down and speak with a Forensic Rockstar like Dr. Henry C. Lee about death investigations, but I did. I will be teaching for Dr. Lee in an upcoming Death and Homicide Investigation Course this April at the Henry C. Lee Institute of Forensic Science at the University of West Haven, Connecticut.
The U.S. Department of Justice has just released the updated guide for Child Forensic Interviewing: Best Practices. Interviewing crime victims is tough enough, but that is compounded when it is a child. Every investigator should read this guide since they don’t know when they will encounter a case involving a child. So many things can go wrong when dealing with children as victims and it is our job to keep them safe. Don’t let a guilty person walk away due to an investigative error.
President Obama has decided to release 6,000 Federal prisoners early this year as part of his Criminal Justice Reform as per the Washington Post, but does that make it a good idea? There are only two types of people in the world: Civil Libertarians and Crime Control Advocates. Civil Libertarians are loving this idea since most of the felons being released are drug offenders and not “violent.” Crime Control Advocates have often said, where there are drugs, violence follows – whether it’s addicts robbing people or burglarizing homes to get money for their habit. Since these crimes had a federal nexus, where they part of organized crime? If so, that puts a different spin on ‘not violent” drug offenders.
So how will this play out in the communities that get these inmates back?
In Brownsville, Brooklyn, at the corner of Livonia and Saratoga Avenues, stood a small twenty-four hour candy store named Midnight Rose’s. This wasn’t any ordinary candy store. It housed some of the most lethal for-hire Jewish and Italian contract killers that this country has ever known. While sharing egg creams and betting on Dodger games played at Ebbets Field, these men, dubiously named Murder Incorporated by the press, carried out over eight hundred contract murders. Many if not all are still unsolved.
For an investigator, avoiding contamination of your witnesses and victims was a task that was hard enough. Now, that task has become Herculean with our interconnected social lives, 24 hour news channels and mobile technology. What do we need to do?
Mistakes at a crime scene can all too easily send an investigation off on the wrong track or lead to a vital clue being missed, but sometimes the problems run deeper than simple human error or incompetence. Sometimes a crime has been left unsolved, or the wrong person convicted, because the investigators focused on dragging out a confession from their favorite suspect, rather than actually trying to find out who committed the crime.
Probably the worst case of this kind occurred in Iceland in the 1970s. Six people were coerced into confessing to involvement in the murder of two men who had disappeared, ten months apart, on the island. The case is not just a testament to the need for proper interviewing techniques, but also a shocking insight into just how malleable our memories can be.
The U.S. Supreme Court decided on two cases today that effect the way law enforcement obtains information from cell phones: Riley v. California and U.S. v. Wurie.
In a rare unanimous decision, the Supreme Court has made it perfect clear: law enforcement must obtain a search warrant if it wants to go through a suspect’s cell phone. The Court cited that technology has changed so rapidly and the amount of information available on the phone an individual’s right to privacy with the device is apparent.
Police departments looking to increase their current homicide clearance rates by closing old cases is a challenge. With shrinking budgets and staff, many departments find themselves shelving old cases in order to keep up with the daily workload. Get a fresh set of eyes and a full evaluation of your cases from the cold case experts and let us discover what cases are primed for further investigation.