I have not done a Sum it up in a while so it is time. During my newspaper rounds I found some interesting articles. The BBC reports about the 15 year old UK rape case against John Molt. Molt is accused of rape of a minor. “The court heard the father of accused Jon Molt provided a DNA sample as part of the police inquiry and a “familial match” was found.” The case continues. It bears watching esp the forensic angle in this case.
In Iowa, Jack Wendell Pursel confessed last May to the double slaying of Robert and Goldie Huntbach that had been unsolved for decades. Pursell formally pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree murder in Black Hawk County District Court. Judge Brad Harris sentenced Pursel to life in prison without parole, which is the mandatory punishment under state law. Pursell admitted the double murders turning himself in to police claiming he had been forgiven for his sins by God. The article is here.
Nova Scotia finally added a cold case of missing Allen Kenley Matheson to its rewards lists. “The department is offering a cash reward of up to $150,000 for information leading to the arrest of anyone responsible for his disappearance in September 1992.” When last seen, Matheson was wearing blue jeans, a purple T-shirt, blue coat, dark brown suede loafers a purpse ball cap. He wore a gold hoop earring in his left ear. Anyone with information can call 1-888-710-9090. More information on the case can be found at www.gov.ns.ca/just. Hat tip to @pwmullen!
Peter also sent me this article about online sleuthing … “Where traditional law enforcement was missing in action, at least publicly, the Animal Beta Project was launching meticulous record searches and analyzing whatever information its global team of online scavengers could acquire.
Ralph Taylor, a professor of criminal justice at Philadelphia’s Temple University, said Internet groups like the Doe Network or the Animal Beta Project are digital-age throwbacks to neighbourhood watch groups, which were borne out of police understaffing and strained community relations back in the 1960s.
While there are success stories, experts caution against over-zealous amateurs whose actions might endanger themselves or others, or even stymie ongoing police investigations by tipping off an unsuspecting criminal, or blocking the collection of admissible evidence.”
There are several sides to this discussion. Valuable contributions have been made by sleuths online whether police acknowledge their help or not. However, in the heat of the game fingers have also been pointed at the wrong people whose name and reputation suffered greatly. And, too much sleuthing can indeed alert someone who has not been caught yet that he or she has left a calling cards somewhere. I think that one of the most valuable contributions made however is to point authorities in a different direction and let them see the case through another person’s eyes.
Too often the only version the cops read is the version they have been staring at for the past decade. A new set of eyes sees things in a different light, asks different questions and those questions force police to answer and in doing so, check their train of thought. It is a useful experience not to be underestimated.
From New Zealand: a new book by Chris Birt will shed the final light on the cold case of Harvey and Jeannette Crewe. That case features on DCC as well and more information can be found here. Birt launched www.crewemurders.com as a ”clearing house” for anyone with information about the murders, or the police malpractice that saw Arthur Allan Thomas wrongfully jailed for 10 years.
Meanwhile Detective Superintendent Andrew Lovelock, who is leading an internal police review of the case, has called on anyone with information to come forward because the still to be completed work, announced by the Deputy Police Commissioner in 2010, could be their last chance. ”Any investigation is a jigsaw puzzle, and this is a jigsaw with a lot of missing pieces.”
Colleen Walker(16), Evelyn Greenup(4) and Clinton Speedy(16) disappeared without a trace in New South Wales, Australia, in 1991. Their cases were never solved. What the three had in common is an aboriginal heritage.
Detective Inspector Gary Jubelin led a second investigation and uncovered new evidence. “Had it not been for Mr Jubelin’s diligence and commitment – he took on the case in 1997 and is still involved 15 years on – it is unlikely it would have got this far. What drives him is what drove him from the start. “From a detective’s point of view, it doesn’t sit well with me that three children living in the same street can be murdered and no one has been brought to justice,” he said.”
“Mr Jubelin is reluctant to criticise the initial investigation, but says it may have been hampered by “communication difficulties” between police and the Aboriginal community. One key witness, for instance, did not come forward until the inquest in 2004. “He had significant information, and when he was asked why he didn’t provide it back then, he said ‘I’m a blackfella and I drink, why would anyone believe me?” And the fight for equality continues. The article is here.
During my round of the blogs I came across these posts.
From the talented Alicia Kan who blogs over at the StartUp Marketing Coach comes a graph I really like. It is a flowchart for qualifying leads and it makes perfect sense to me despite the fact that I am not in marketing or start-ups. However, that might just be the point! Well done, Alicia.
Celebrations are also going on over at the Bad Luck Detective because Suzie Ivy has been nominated for the Top 10 Law Enforcement Blog of 2012 by CalCas. And while you are at Suzie’s blog, check out this post to see what she does with her ice tea glasses.
Chris Gee has a great post with pictures about smoke damage. He has a great forensic blog.
Joe Giacalone has started a new series called “Forensic Rock Stars” and has published the first post over at the Cold Case Squad. His first rock star is Edmond Locard (1877-1966), a French Criminalist and “student” of Alphonse Bertillon and his theory on Anthropometry, or body measurements.
Tom Adair wants us all to pucker up! “One question I get from time to time is whether you can tell the gender of the lip smoocher. The short answer is no.”
From the book front, I have been able to get some non cold case related reading done! Hooray!
I have started reading books by Jo Nesbø and this could become my new addiction. I started with “headhunters” and loved it! The arrogant Brown irritated me from the start. He uses an intriguing book I read by Inbau, Reid and Buckley. Brown uses their 9-step interrogation model in his job as a headhunter. As successful as Brown applies that method in the book, in practise it has shown to contribute to false confessions but that is a post for another day!
Currently, I am reading “Auschwitz” by Dr. Miklos Nyiszli who was spared death for a grimmer fate: to perform “scientific research” on his fellow inmates in Auschwitz under the supervision of the man who became known as the infamous “Angel of Death” – Dr. Josef Mengele. It is a clinical and chilling account but a must read.
Last, I have chosen another historical mystery to tackle this year. I will be collecting books and articles in the upcoming weeks. The resulting post will be turned into another mini blog-tour. If you are interested in hosting me in the fall/winter 2012, shoot me a message!
Until the next Sum it Up!