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Montgomery Cold Cases

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Montgomery, Alabama Cold Cases

Cold cases, especially those involving missing or murdered people, have received more attention in recent years in Montgomery, Alabama. When a criminal investigation has dragged on for a long period of time without a resolution, it is said to be a "cold case," or "inactive" or "unsolved." The city of Montgomery has seen a high number of these occurrences since 1980, leaving many residents in need of answers and resolution.

The amount of unsolved disappearances and homicides in Montgomery, Alabama, between 1980 and 2021 is startling. According to authoritative accounts, there are perhaps 200 such incidents that have yet to be solved. These incidents may account for a very tiny share of the city's total crime rate, but they have a significant impact on the lives of those directly impacted.

Based on the data at hand, we can draw a few conclusions about the demographics of the people who have gone missing or been murdered in Montgomery and whose cases remain unsolved. Around 65% of victims are men. Almost 80% of the cold case victims are people of African descent.

The victims span a wide age spectrum. Yet, between the ages of 20 and 29, missing and murdered individuals account for almost 40% of all instances that remain unsolved.
NamUs is a national database that aids police departments and families of missing people in their efforts to locate and identify loved ones who have vanished. Around sixty missing person cases involving individuals who have been MIA for many years are still outstanding in Montgomery, Alabama, as reported by NamUs.

There are a number of elements that make it so that cold cases in Montgomery, Alabama, are so difficult to solve. The following are examples of some of the most frequent causes:

Forensic inability to identify suspects is hampered when there is no physical evidence or when evidence has degraded over time, both of which are common in cold cases.

Limitations in forensic resources and technology have historically hampered investigators' capacity to process evidence and resolve cases. As science and technology improve, unsolved crimes are reexamined in the hopes that fresh approaches will provide results.

The unwillingness or inability of a witness to testify can arise from a number of factors, including the witness's fear of retaliation, the witness's emotional investment in the outcome of the case, or the simple passage of time, which can cause witnesses' memories to fade.

Because of resource constraints, law enforcement often has to choose between actively investigating a crime and reopening a previously closed case. Due to the urgency of current crimes and investigations, cold cases are often neglected.

Famous cold cases in Montgomery

The Montgomery Police Department uses many strategies, including its Cold Case Unit, to investigate and ultimately solve cold cases. Several examples follow:

Historical evidence is being reexamined using cutting-edge techniques like DNA and fingerprint analysis.
Conducting further suspect and witness interviews
Money for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of a criminal
Sharing the message with other organizations, such as those that advocate for victims
However difficult it has been, police in Montgomery have recently solved some cold cases. In some instances, new information has led to the perpetrator's arrest and conviction; in others, it has helped offer closure to the families of those who were lost.

Joseph Smedley
Joseph SmedleySuspicious Death, 2015
Asha Degree
Asha DegreeMissing, 2000

Consider this

More than 200,000 unsolved cases have gone cold since 1980, and murder clearance rates continue to drop. With equity for BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and other underserved victims not prioritized in the true crime community—together we can do better.

What is Montgomery Police Department (MPD)'s strategy for investigating unsolved cases?

There may be some variation in the specifics of the Montgomery Police Department's technique for investigating cold cases from case to case, but there are nonetheless some consistent strategies and procedures that may be discovered. The following are examples of such tactics:

A number of police departments, like the MPD, have formed "Cold Case Units" specifically to investigate cold cases. Detectives in these teams are veterans at digging up old evidence, re-interviewing key witnesses, and following up on fresh leads.

Cold Case Units frequently use new forensics technologies to reevaluate old pieces of physical evidence. DNA testing, fingerprinting, and ballistics testing have all made great strides in recent years, enhancing the possibility of discovering new evidence or establishing linkages where none existed before.

Because people's memories and points of view are subject to change with time, detectives may reinterview witnesses and reexamine their statements. Those who were hesitant to speak may change their minds and volunteer information, or fresh witnesses may come forward.

Utilizing New Investigation Methods: Cold Case Investigators keep up with the latest developments in investigation methods including geographic profiling and behavioral analysis. When applied to unsolved cases, these strategies can yield fresh insights and aid in the prioritization of leads.

When a cold case team needs more information about a specific aspect of the investigation, they will typically work with outside experts like forensic scientists and criminal profilers.

To uncover possible matches and links between cases or individuals, cold case investigators may use national databases such as the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs), the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS), and the National Integrated Ballistics Information Network (NIBIN).

The Montgomery Police Department, like many other police departments, often uses media and public outreach to increase both the flow of information and attention to cold cases. The use of social media, news releases, and other calls to the public for information can all help achieve this goal. The widespread fascination with real crime stories can inspire people to provide information that law enforcement officials might have missed.

Cold case investigators may work with their counterparts in other local, state, or federal law enforcement agencies to pool their resources and share information and knowledge. Working together, more resources may be pooled, and a larger network can be established, both of which are beneficial to the investigation of cold cases.

It is worth noting that the Montgomery Police Department's approach to cold case investigations may vary from one investigation to the next, depending on the specifics of the case at hand.

What resources are available to help solve cold cases?

Several resources are available to help solve cold cases in Montgomery, Alabama. These resources, utilized by law enforcement agencies and the community, can play a crucial role in generating new leads and assisting in the resolution of cold cases. Some of these resources include:

Montgomery Police Department's Cold Case Unit: A specialized unit within the Montgomery Police Department, dedicated to reviewing and investigating unsolved cases. The unit comprises experienced detectives who employ advanced forensic technologies and modern investigative techniques to re-examine evidence, re-interview witnesses, and follow up on new leads.

State and federal law enforcement agencies: Collaboration with other local, state, or federal law enforcement agencies can provide additional resources, expertise, and access to broader databases, which may be useful in solving cold cases.

Forensic technology: Advancements in forensic technology, such as DNA analysis, fingerprint identification, and ballistics testing, can help investigators uncover new evidence and identify potential suspects in cold cases.

National databases: Law enforcement agencies have access to various national databases, such as the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs), the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS), and the National Integrated Ballistics Information Network (NIBIN). These databases can help identify potential connections between cases, suspects, and victims.

External experts: Cold case investigators may collaborate with external experts, such as forensic scientists, criminal profilers, and other specialists, to gain additional insights and expertise in specific areas related to the case.

Community engagement and public awareness: Involving the community and raising public awareness about cold cases through social media campaigns, press releases, and public appeals for information can generate new leads and encourage individuals with relevant information to come forward.

Media coverage: Local and national media coverage of cold cases can help maintain public interest and awareness, which in turn may lead to new tips and leads.

Non-profit organizations and volunteer groups: Several non-profit organizations and volunteer groups are dedicated to assisting in the resolution of cold cases. These groups can provide support, resources, and expertise to law enforcement agencies and the affected families.

Major cities surrounding Montgomery, Alabama

Birmingham, Alabama
Atlanta, Georgia
Columbus, Georgia
Mobile, Alabama
Tallahassee, Florida

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