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Los Angeles Cold Cases

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Los Angeles, California Cold Cases

Unfortunately, many crimes in Los Angeles's lengthy and complicated history remain unsolved to this day. Thousands of cases have gone cold despite attempts by law enforcement, leaving families without resolution and offenders unpunished.

According to the LAPD's website, the department has investigated over 11,000 homicides since 1980, with roughly 4,000 of those cases still unresolved. Although the department has a Cold Case Murder Unit to look into unsolved homicides, the sheer volume of cases means that progress is sometimes delayed.

The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) uses new technologies and forensic methodologies to reexamine old evidence, reinterview witnesses and suspects, and solve cold cases. The agency asks that anyone in the community who knows anything, no matter how small, regarding these incidents come forward.

Several cold cases in Los Angeles date back to the era of rampant crime and gang warfare in the '80s and '90s. The LAPD has found that gang-related murders are difficult to investigate because witnesses and family of the victims are often reluctant to help.

The department has been working on this problem for a while, recently making alliances with local groups and trying new methods of outreach to locals. The LAPD has a "Coffee with a Cop" program where residents can meet with police officers informally to air their grievances and gain trust.

But, a growing number of cases in Los Angeles remain unresolved, leaving many families with unanswered questions about what happened to their loved ones. It is impossible to put a price on the emotional toll of these cases, and yet many victims' families persist in holding vigils and making public statements in the hopes of keeping their loved ones' memories alive and drawing attention to their case.

Famous cold cases in Los Angeles

The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) is devoted to seeking justice for victims and their families, despite the overwhelming number of unsolved crimes in the city. There is always optimism that fresh leads will surface and bring closure to these cases, thanks to developments in technology and forensic science as well as continued attempts to create trust with communities.

Meanwhile, victims' loved ones are urged to get in touch with the LAPD's Cold Case Murder Section for updates on their loved one's case and to share any new information they may have. The department also routinely adds new material and case files to its online database of unsolved homicides.

The persistence of these cold cases serves as a reminder to the community at large that they must back law enforcement and public safety initiatives. The LAPD is committed to solving these cases and preventing similar ones from falling cold in the future, and they believe that ongoing collaboration and community involvement will help them do just that.

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 Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD)'s strategy for investigating unsolved cases?

The Cold Case Homicide Unit (CCHU) of the Los Angeles Police Department is in charge of investigating cold cases of homicide in the city of Los Angeles. Personnel of the squad are seasoned detectives with a penchant for unraveling unsolved mysteries.

The CCHU collaborates extensively with the Los Angeles Police Department's Robbery-Homicide Division and other local law enforcement agencies. All of the city's unsolved homicides are recorded in the unit's database, together with details about the victims, the scenes of the crimes, and any possible suspects. In order to follow up on every possible lead, this database is checked and updated often.

The LAPD's Cold Case Homicide Unit (CCHU) is just one of several specialized units and resources available for use while investigating cold cases. Expert study of physical evidence is provided by the Forensic Science Division, and suspects are tracked down with the aid of the Behavioral Analysis Unit's use of psychological profiling.

The LAPD has found that thoroughly reviewing and reexamining all available evidence is one of the most effective tactics for solving cold cases. Evidence that was missed or disregarded during the first investigation could be found in other sources, such as witness testimony, police reports, and other documents.

To help with solving cold cases, the LAPD frequently solicits public input. The agency hosts public meetings and events on a regular basis to engage the community in the investigation of cold cases and maintains close links with local neighborhood groups and advocacy organizations.

The LAPD's approach to solving cold cases is multifaceted and forward-thinking, with an emphasis on teamwork, careful examination of evidence, and outreach to the local community. The LAPD's effort to solving these crimes is a reflection of its commitment to bringing justice to crime victims and their loved ones and to making Los Angeles a safer environment for all residents.

What resources are available to help solve cold cases?

In Los Angeles, there are a number of resources that can be used to help solve cold cases:

The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) has a specialized squad that looks into cold cases of homicide. In order to try and solve "cold cases," investigators look through old evidence, re-interview eyewitnesses, and implement cutting-edge technological methods.

There is a cold case unit within the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department (LASD) that looks into homicides and disappearances that have gone unsolved.

The Cold Case Foundation is a non-profit organization that provides forensic resources, case analysis, and emotional support to law enforcement agencies and victim families in order to help them solve cold cases.

The Bureau of Investigation of the California Department of Justice has a dedicated group called the Cold Case Investigation Unit that focuses on resolving cold cases of murder and disappearance throughout the state.

There are a number of private investigation organizations in Los Angeles that focus on solving cold cases. These businesses can partner with authorities or the families of victims to investigate and perhaps solve cold cases.

Major cities surrounding Los Angeles, California

San Diego, California
Long Beach, California
Anaheim, California
Santa Ana, California
Riverside, California

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