About the writer

CrimeCon CD panel Alice de SturlerDefrosting Cold Cases (DCC) is my resource blog about old unsolved homicides, missing persons, unidentified persons, and wrongful convictions. I also write about forensics as applied to cold cases and book reviews.

What is a cold case?

A cold case involves an investigation where despite tremendous efforts of the authorities (often assisted by the media and civilians) no new leads are available. There is no new information. All existing avenues have been explored and exhausted. The case is not closed (there is no statute of limitation on murder) but isn’t looked at on a daily basis until new evidence/leads emerge or, new technology makes it possible to test well-preserved evidence for biological materials such as DNA.

Why do these cases need my attention?

Many cold cases have no web presence or a very limited one. With the Internet as a primary source for information gathering it is crucial that those developing new technologies can find these old cold cases.

Many things have changed in the past decades. Old but properly preserved evidence can be tested for DNA and it has already made a huge difference. Cross-referenced databases of the missing and the unidentified has provided us with answers as well.

To complicate matters, not every newspaper has online archives. If they do, often not all editions are online or they are hidden behind a pay wall. Many newspapers are not available on microfilm in public libraries. That is why I started my own database on my blog. You can find more than 250 cold cases there. It is free to the public so please use it as a resource.

Blog features

The database is updated with every new post on my blog. However, not every case is updated in a new post but I do also update the database so always check there first. Trial dates from cases I watch are highlighted in the left margin on the home page.

Every month, my blog features a “Case of the Month.” This can be about an unsolved homicide, a missing person, an unidentified person or, about a wrongful conviction. You can find the link in the green top menu bar.

About the writer

I am not a law enforcement officer, not an investigative journalist, and not a private investigator. It is crucial that you understand that. I am a Dutch non-practicing lawyer/human rights defender who writes about unsolved homicides and wrongful convictions on my blog. I do am a member of the following organizations: the American Investigative Society of Cold Cases (AISOCC) and the American Society of Criminology (ASC).

Reader interaction

I’d like to encourage you to share your thoughts on your own social media platforms. By doing so you too enhance the victim’s digital footprint. By sharing/liking/retweeting these posts, the case reaches new networks, new connections, and new news feeds. Maybe one day the updates will pop up in the right person’s news feed. Someone who can help. And that is the goal. If you wish to comment or discuss a case with other readers head over to my blog’s Facebook page.

Gratitude

Thank you to everyone who emails me with information, photography, details to add to posts, pictures of old newspapers, and more. All this helps to make sure the victims are not forgotten.

Thank you, I appreciate you all.

Alice