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Where Have the Cold Cases Gone?

Are you a fan of television shows like “Cold Case Files?” TV programs focusing on solving mysteries many years after authorities put them on the back burner are entertaining. In fact, they can also be uplifting. The notion that justice may be served years after a crime occurs presents an air of hope. Such hope didn’t exist in previous generations. Many missing persons and unsolved crimes that took place before the 2000s went cold and stayed that way. Today, cold cases may become rarer. There are a few reasons for this.

Smarter Records

One of the most famous cold cases is that of Jack the Ripper. Despite the infamy of the case, did you know much of the evidence and files are lost? Keeping records involved putting physical materials in files. Over time, many folders and files became lost or misplaced. Today, the procedure is much better. Files can be copied and converted to digital form and stored on servers. Police departments also work harder at retaining records. The arrival of online databases makes seeking access to material easier. A police department on the West Coast can communicate with one on the East Coast without much trouble.

DNA Testing

DNA testing reveals a lot. A proper test can tell with 99.9 percent certainty someone’s identity. DNA samples of convicted criminals exist in databases available for quick and easy access. So if DNA is recovered from a crime scene, a search can connect someone immediately to a crime. Even if no data exists on the DNA, if a suspect emerges, a court order could force a DNA test. None of this existed years ago. Many solvable crimes went unsolved. Today, murderers from even old cases that went cold 40 years ago now face trial due to DNA evidence. Two DNA techniques came out last year with some saying 2018 was the year of DNA. As more of these techniques come into use, the more options become available to using recovered evidence from a cold case.

Greater Range Of Media

Television crime programs aren’t the only means of casting a light on a cold case. YouTube channels, social media groups, and even blogs dedicate space to the subject. An audience exists for information about cold cases, which makes it possible for witnesses to come forward. Not too long ago, news moved slowly. Communication options were limitations. Today, expanded media exists, and it helps law enforcement.

Tales of cold case files come with a perverse entertainment component, but the subject is serious. Thankfully, new developments in media, DNA and other avenues might turn cold cases hot again.

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