Cold Case Investigations
The Santa Monica Cold Case Unit was established in September of 2007 to reduce the number of unsolved homicides. There was a backlog of 65 unsolved homicides dating back to 1970. The unit's mission is to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves by seeking answers and justice for the victims and their families.
With advanced technology to analyze physical evidence and the growth of DNA and fingerprint national databases, interest in old, unsolved homicides has increased steadily over the past few years. The media has begun reporting on the cold case detective units implemented across the nation, but little has appeared about the issues they face. Unlike many television portrayals, cold case homicides are not easily solved or prosecuted. After all, if the cases could have been resolved quickly when "hot," why would they still be open 10 to 25 years later?
Throughout history, the unlawful taking of a human life has ranked as the most serious of crimes. Within our legal system, the crime of murder has no statute of limitations, meaning that a killer may always be brought to justice regardless of how many years have passed since the crime was committed. Homicide investigators see the job of bringing these killers to justice as a solemn duty. They realize that justice is owed not only to the deceased victim, but to the family and friends left behind; those living victims who require closure of a case to begin the healing process. The safety of the community and the sanctity of human life also require that justice be served. A homicide case is considered closed when a suspect has been identified, arrested and charged. Now is an opportune time to reexamine cold cases for several reasons:
- Advances in forensic analysis of evidence, such as DNA, may yield new clues or establish links to suspects that were not possible in the past.
- Over time, alliances between suspects and witnesses may have diminished, removing the reluctance of those with knowledge of the crime to cooperate with investigators.
- The killers themselves may have lowered their guard over time, leading them to confide information to others or come out of hiding.
The reason these cases are placed on this site is to gain information leading to an arrest and conviction of those responsible for these crimes. We and the victim's families know that in each of these cases, there are people who know who killed these victims.
Cold Cases - 2000 to present
Cold Cases - 1990 to 1999
Cold Cases - 1980 to 1989
Cold Cases - 1970 to 1979