Several murders and disappearances in Worcester, Massachusetts, have gone unsolved for decades, leaving grieving families without answers or resolution. The Worcester Police Department reports that there are now over 150 cold cases of homicide dating back to 1970. Since 1980, we've compiled some data on unsolved cases of homicide and disappearance in Worcester, Massachusetts.
Around 500 incidents of missing people were recorded in Worcester between 1980 and 2021, with about two-thirds of those cases involving adults and the remaining one-third involving minors. Some of these cases go unsolved for a long time, even though the vast majority are eventually closed.
There are now over 200 missing person cases in Massachusetts, and several dozen of those are in the city of Worcester alone, as reported by the National Missing and Unidentified People System (NamUs). Adults, rather than minors, make up the vast majority of victims in these situations.
More than 1,200 people have been murdered in Worcester since 1980; half of these crimes have not been investigated. Many of these incidents have not been resolved and are still being looked at.
Due to a lack of manpower and funds, the Murder Unit of the Worcester Police Department has been unable to solve many of these murders. Lack of physical evidence, unwilling witnesses, and a lack of information all contribute to the large percentage of unresolved homicide cases.
The Worcester Police Department and other local groups have been actively lobbying for more funding and attention to be directed toward solving cold cases. The agency developed a cold case webpage in 2017 with details on how the public can provide information about unsolved homicides and missing persons cases.
Technological progress has also contributed to the resolution of cold cases. DNA analysis and other forensic techniques have allowed police to revisit old cases in the hopes of finding new leads or new pieces of evidence.