There is a lot going on this week so time for a Sum it Up! So much in fact, that I spent more time reading than digging into cold cases. But there is a time for everything so more posts about cold cases can be expected soon.
I am checking for updates in the cold cases already published on DCC. As you will have noticed, the cases tab is still not complete so, if you are looking for a case, also use the search box in the right upper hand corner!
Steve Mariotti posted his third and fourth part in his series “How and Why I teach in Prisons.” An essential quote: “With all the talk of school reform, seldom if any thought given to what the millions children that drop out of school every year want to learn. Years ago I met with one of America’s top philanthropists and shared this idea of getting feedback from dropouts on what subjects they would like to study, and to then adjust the high school curriculum accordingly. His response? “Why would we do that? We know what they need to learn and we know how to teach it.” He was wrong then and wrong now. His foundation spent many millions of dollars on school reform but ignored the issue of curriculum – and his efforts have had minimal results. It would seem to be a logical first step to ask those who are dropping out what would motivate them to stay in school.”
My friend Neil Watt and his fedora feature in the Justinian! I like his answer when he was asked what word or phrase he overuses. “Fantabulousness. It takes talent to overuse a word that doesn’t exist.”
The Metro Detroit Police has been using a portable fingerprint reader “BlueCheck” now for a while and it has made a difference! “BlueCheck compares fingerprints with more than 2 million prints on file in Michigan and those of millions of fugitives wanted by other states.” Check the right margin for more BlueCheck hits.
The quest for better forensic arson detection and investigation continues. Willingham was executed for an accidental fire, Dougherty is appealing his conviction (read more about his case here) and now Kristine Bunch wants Indiana to rethink its method of fire investigation.
“Investigators had no clear motive, but convinced a jury that Kristine Bunch, a single, unemployed mother on food stamps with no life insurance policy, deliberately set the fire. Their evidence: the presence of an accelerant and a gasoline can found three feet from the front door, burn patterns, hydrocarbon readings, or the analysis of unburned fuel, and a chair blocking the door preventing three-year-old Tony’s escape.” Bunch received 60 years for murder and 50 years for arson, sentences she was ordered to serve at the same time.
Kristine Bunch is assisted by attorneys from the Center for Wrongful Convictions at Northwestern University. “Armed with testimony from a world renowned ATF investigator, and scientists they say Bunch should get a new trial.” The Indiana Court of Appeals decision is expected soon and will most likely have an impact on other arson cases in Indiana. To be continued!
Human bones found north of Brisbane (AU) are indeed part of the remains of Daniel Morcombe. Daniel went missing in December 7, 2003. DNA confirmed that three bones found are Daniel’s. The search is now on for his other remains. “The renewed search for his remains was sparked by the arrest of Perth man Brett Peter Cowan, 41, who remains in custody charged with Daniel’s murder and other offences related to his death and handling of his body.” To be continued!
The cold case of Richard Chartrand may be solved soon. A safe was found while a building was being remodelled. “It was found underneath a stairway completely sealed off behind drywall and metal studs. The owner of the decades-old casino, Mike Laub, was in the process of remodeling when crews found the safe.” Laub thinks the safe might have belonged to Chartrand’s. Chartrand was murdered in 1968 and his murder was most likely committed by a professional. A sophistocated car bomb was later found in Chartrand’s car. His case is still open and nobody has ever been charged with his murder. The Douglas County Sheriff’s Department (CA) could still use some answers. But foremost needed now is a professional lock picker. Despite attempts, the safe remains locked! To be continued!
Here is a cold case overview from Norfolk (UK), Central Virginia (USA), Monroe County in Michigan (USA) and last but not least, New Zealand. If you lived in any of these countries/areas, please take a look. You might remember details authorities can use to complete the puzzle.
A UK cold case that has not loosened its grip on me this week is the case of Carl Bridgewater and the Bridgewater Four. Hat tip to @Pam_nAshes for recommending the book by Paul Foot. This wrongful conviction is difficult to read. Carl was shot at close range while sitting and was most likely shot because he recognized or, was deemed to be able to recognize, the robbers he interrupted while delivering newspapers. The Bridgewater Four and technically not four anymore. Two of the men passed away.
The book is well written but I am not finished yet. A review may appear here since there are very interesting aspects to this book and the style in which it was written. To be continued!