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Milwaukee Cold Cases

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Milwaukee, Wisconsin Cold Cases

Many people have been reported missing or slain in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and the earliest of these incidents dates back to the 1980s. There are over 70 active cases in Milwaukee listed in the National Missing and Unidentified People System (NamUs). The families of the victims will never get the answers they need or the justice they deserve as long as these cases remain unsolved.

Time is a major obstacle in the investigation of cold cases. Evidence deteriorates, memories fade, and witnesses may relocate or pass away over time. Physical evidence may be lacking, mistreated, or lost in some cases, making them even more challenging to investigate.

Despite these obstacles, law enforcement in Milwaukee is still looking into these crimes and trying to bring justice to the victims' loved ones. Cold case investigators or units are specialized sections within some police departments. In their efforts to solve these cases, these detectives work relentlessly to reexamine old evidence, reinterview witnesses, and pursue fresh leads.

Justice is sought not only by law enforcement, but also by the loved ones of those who have gone missing or been murdered. They may hire private detectives, look into the cases themselves, or try to get the word out in order to get more information. Families may even offer rewards for information that helps solve the crime.

In recent years, technology has also played a crucial role in the resolution of cold cases. DNA testing and genealogy studies have allowed for the solution of many cold cases. Genetic evidence found at a crime scene could be retested with updated lab equipment, or new leads could be uncovered through genetic genealogy studies.

There are still many unsolved cold cases in Milwaukee and the rest of the country despite these developments. Families of those who have gone missing or been killed keep looking for answers in the hopes that someday their loved ones may be recognized and justice served.

Famous cold cases in Milwaukee

The murder of Traci Hammerberg, which occurred in Milwaukee in 1984, is one example of a cold case that was solved. Hammerberg, a young man only 18 years old, was discovered strangled and sexually raped in a nearby park. The crime was unresolved for over 30 years despite a thorough investigation at the time.

In 2015, new technology allowed for a retesting of DNA evidence found at the crime site. Someone who was living in California at the time of the crime is in custody on murder charges for Hammerberg. Hammerberg's family was able to finally rest easy when this case was resolved, and it highlighted the significance of persistent efforts to crack cold cases.

In conclusion, there are still outstanding and unsolved cases of people going missing or being murdered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin that date back to the 1980s. Every possible effort is being made to find new clues and information in these instances by law enforcement, families, and loved ones. While technological advancements have been important in solving certain instances, many more continue to go unsolved, depriving victims' families of the closure they need and the justice they deserve. Closure for families isn't the only benefit of solving cold cases; it also aids in victim accountability and justice delivery.

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 Milwaukee Police Department (MPD)'s strategy for investigating unsolved cases?

Unsolved homicides, missing person cases, and other major crimes are investigated by the Milwaukee Police Department's (MPD) Cold Case Unit. Detectives with extensive experience who have received specialized training in the investigation of cold cases make up the unit's team.

When looking into cold cases, the MPD's Cold Case Section employs several methods. One of the key strategies is to examine all pieces of evidence, from physical objects to witness accounts to written records. The team also seeks to track down potential witnesses and develop fresh leads in the investigation.

The Cold Case Unit of the MPD employs cutting-edge forensic technology in addition to more conventional means of investigation in order to provide closure to cold cases. The team may conduct forensic testing, such as DNA analysis, to help identify suspects or establish a connection between a piece of physical evidence and a specific person.

The Cold Case Unit at the MPD collaborates extensively with its counterparts in other departments, as well as with community groups and victim advocacy groups. The unit works with these other entities to exchange data and generate fresh leads in cold cases.

The Milwaukee Police Department's Cold Case Unit also operates a dedicated hotline that the public can call with tips or information regarding unsolved cases. The team also makes use of digital channels like social media and online forums to raise awareness about cold cases and solicit tips from the public.

When examining cold cases, the MPD's Cold Case Section considers a wide range of factors. The team is able to develop fresh leads and make headway on cases that have been unsolved for years by combining traditional investigative tactics with modern forensic technologies and community involvement strategies. The MPD's dedication to solving cold cases and providing closure to victims' loved ones continues unabated.

What resources are available to help solve cold cases?

Many resources exist in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to aid in the resolution of cold cases, such as:

The Milwaukee Police Department has a Cold Case Unit whose job it is to investigate cold cases. They have a group of detectives who investigate cold cases using various methods (such as DNA analysis) to get answers.

Wisconsin's Cold Case Murder Unit is part of the state's Department of Justice and collaborates with local police to investigate and solve cold cases. The company provides forensic services and investigative aid to government organizations.

Members of the Wisconsin Association of Homicide Investigators include both current and former police officers from the state who have chosen to focus their careers on homicide investigation. They support law enforcement agencies around the state by providing them with training and resources to investigate cold cases.

The Wisconsin Crime Alert Network is a statewide system that facilitates communication between law enforcement agencies regarding active and cold cases. The program solicits tips from the general public in an effort to solve cold cases.

The Missing People Unit of the Wisconsin Department of Justice is in charge of looking into any and all reported incidents of missing people in the state. Along with law enforcement, they assist in missing person searches and provide emotional support to the victims' loved ones.

There is a Milwaukee-based group called the Center for Murder Research that studies murder and related topics. They aid law enforcement authorities by providing tools and training to investigate and solve murders, even cold cases. I

Major cities surrounding Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Chicago, Illinois
Madison, Wisconsin
Green Bay, Wisconsin
Kenosha, Wisconsin
Racine, Wisconsin

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