Cold Case Homicides: Practical Investigative Techniques

Cold Case Homicides: Practical Investigative Techniques provides effective and accessible information to those responsible for investigating and resolving previously examined, but still unsolved, cold case homicides. The book merges theory with practice through use of case histories, photographs, illustrations, and checklists that convey essential, fundamental concepts, while providing a strong, practical basis for the investigative process. It combines proven techniques from forensics, psychology, and criminal investigation, and focuses on technologies that may not have been available at the time of the crime.

This guide defines the characteristics of a cold case homicide; details various investigative methods used by law enforcement agencies; explores the actual experiences of detectives in reopening case files; and presents current technologies such as ViCAP, HITS, and TracKRS used in the identification of cases related to the reopened case, or its perpetrator. It also highlights technological changes that contribute to law enforcement’s abilities to solve cold case homicides, such as computerized print technology, the specificity of DNA, and the expanding data banks that enable the linkage of previously unknown suspects to the crimes they committed.