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Jackson Cold Cases

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Jackson, Mississippi Cold Cases

Like many other large American towns, Jackson, Mississippi, has its fair share of cold cases involving murders and disappearances that have gone unresolved for years, if not decades. Since 1980, we've compiled some data on unsolved cases of homicide and disappearance in Jackson, Mississippi.

Many cases of missing people have been documented in Jackson between 1980 and 2021, with adults making up the vast bulk of those who went missing. A large majority of these cases get solved at some point, however a tiny number are considered cold cases because they have never been investigated.

There are now over 300 missing person cases in Mississippi, and many of them are concentrated in and around Jackson, as indicated by the National Missing and Unidentified People System (NamUs). Adults, rather than minors, make up the vast majority of victims in these situations.

There have been approximately 500 homicides in Jackson between 1980 and 2021, with around half of them still unsolved as of 2021. Many of these incidents have not been resolved and are still being looked at.

The Murder Division of the Jackson Police Department is in charge of looking into these incidents, but due to a lack of manpower, many of them go cold. Lack of physical evidence, unwilling witnesses, and a lack of information all contribute to the large percentage of unresolved homicide cases.

Famous cold cases in Jackson

Technological progress has helped bring closure to long-unsolved mysteries. 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.

The importance of solving cold cases extends beyond the victims' loved ones and into the larger community. These instances frequently involve acts of violence that have been ignored, freeing the offender to perpetrate other acts of violence.

Also, resolving cold cases can give victims and their loved ones a feeling of closure and justice. Many victims' loved ones spend years, perhaps decades, seeking for answers; settling a cold case might finally give them peace of mind.

In sum, efforts to raise awareness and allocate resources for these investigations must be maintained, as there have been many missing and murdered persons cases that have gone cold in Jackson, Mississippi since 1980. There is optimism that some of these crimes may be solved, bringing closure and justice to the victims' families, thanks to technological breakthroughs and improved collaboration between law enforcement and community organizations.

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 Jackson Police Department (JPD)'s strategy for investigating unsolved cases?

Unsolved murder and disappearance cases are investigated by the Jackson Police Department's Cold Case Unit. Members of the unit have undergone specific training to learn how to investigate cold cases.

These are some of the typical actions used by the unit when examining cold cases:

The detectives will look over all of the available evidence, witness statements, and other information linked to the case to see if there are any new leads or information that was missed during the initial investigation.

Detectives will try to track down and re-interview those who were interviewed during the initial investigation to determine if they have any new information or insights that could lead to an arrest or guilty plea.

Evidence from the case may be reexamined using cutting-edge forensic techniques, such as DNA or fingerprint analysis.

Working with other agencies - The unit may coordinate with the Federal Bureau of Investigation or the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation in order to pool resources and acquire specialized knowledge.

The team may go public with details of the investigation via channels like press releases and social media in the hopes that someone would come forward with information.

The investigators may keep in touch with the family of the victim on a regular basis to give them updates on the case and show their support.

Ultimately, the Cold Case Unit of the Jackson Police Department is dedicated to exhausting all options in order to bring closure to the victims' families through solving these cold cases. The department also actively seeks for public participation and feedback in fixing these cases. Each and every lead is pursued by the unit, and the department's cold case website allows the public to submit tips and information relevant to these investigations.

What resources are available to help solve cold cases?

In Jackson, Mississippi, there are a number of resources available to aid investigate cold cases. The following are only a few examples:

The Mississippi Bureau of Investigation (MBI) is the state agency in charge of looking into cold cases and other types of unresolved crimes. They're offering money for information that leads directly to the capture and conviction of those involved.

The Jackson Police Department (JPD) has an active cold case unit. They collaborate with state and local law enforcement to collect data and evidence that could lead to an arrest in these circumstances.

Crime Stoppers is an international, nonprofit organization that allows individuals to provide anonymous tips regarding illegal behavior. They have reward money set aside for information that helps solve cold cases.

The Mississippi Cold Case Project is a joint effort by the state's academic institutions and law enforcement agencies to investigate and resolve cold cases of homicide and disappearance. They help law enforcement authorities by providing resources and support while they investigate cold cases.

This group helps the relatives of those who have been killed or gone missing, even in cold cases, by providing them with resources and assistance. They do advocacy for afflicted families, including providing them with emotional and practical support.

Major cities surrounding Jackson, Mississippi

Pearl, Mississippi
Clinton, Mississippi
Ridgeland, Mississippi
Madison, Mississippi
Flowood, Mississippi

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