This Texas City Has Been Named the Most Cold Cases in the State
However, Texas does have a bad side. It has a lot of history and different cultures. The FBI says that Texas has more than 1,300 unsolved murder cases going back to 1980, which is the second most in the country. Some of these cases have been unsolved for years or even decades because there are no active leads or suspects. This is called a “cold case.”
What does “cold case” mean?
A “cold case” is a crime case that hasn’t been solved after a certain amount of time, usually a year or more. Any kind of crime, like murder, rape, robbery, kidnapping, or missing people, can be a cold case. Police have a hard time with cold cases because they often don’t have any physical proof, witnesses, or suspects. People who knew the victims and their friends and family also feel bad when cold cases go unsolved. They want justice and closure.
Why do Texas have so many unsolved crimes?
The large number of unsolved crimes in Texas is caused by many things, including
The size and population of the state: Texas is the second-largest state in the US, covering 268,597 square miles and home to 29.36 million people. This means that Texas has more possible crime scenes, victims, and criminals than most other states.
The diversity and mobility of the population: Texas is home to people from a lot of different countries, ethnicities, and backgrounds, and people move around a lot. This can make it hard to identify or locate suspects. Texas also has a lot of people moving in and out of the state, which can make it easier for crooks to avoid being caught or charged.
The lack of resources and coordination: There aren’t enough tools or people working together because Texas has more than 2,000 police departments, including local, county, state, and federal ones. But not all of these agencies have the tools, training, or technology they need to deal with complicated or old situations. Also, there isn’t a central database or system that lets different agencies share information or proof. This means that data can be lost, duplicated, or confused.
The statute of limitations: When it comes to most crimes in Texas, there is a statute of limitations. This means that there is a limited amount of time to file charges or bring criminals to justice. One example is that you have four years to file a murder charge unless DNA or some other method is used to identify the killer. So, even if new proof or suspects come forward, some cold cases might no longer be able to be prosecuted.
Which place in Texas has the most unsolved crimes?
Houston has 336 unsolved murders as of 2020, according to a study from the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS). This makes it the city in the state with the most “cold cases.” Houston is the biggest and most popular city in Texas. It is home to about 2.31 million people. There are also a lot of crimes in Houston. In 2019, there were 275 killings, 1,317 rapes, 9,965 thefts, and 12,050 serious assaults.
Here are some of Houston’s most well-known cold cases:
The Ice Box Murders: On June 23, 1965, Fred and Edwina Rogers’s nephew found their dead bodies in their refrigerator. They were an old couple. Their innards, heads, and limbs had been cut off and put in different parts of the fridge. Their strange and introverted engineer son, Charles Rogers, was the main suspect, but he had vanished from the scene of the crime. He was never caught or charged, and no one knows why he killed those people.
The Killing Fields: What are the Killing Fields? At least 30 young women and girls’ bodies were found in a 25-acre area of ground near Interstate 45, south of Houston, between 1971 and 1991. The victims, who were between 9 and 25 years old, had been raped, choked, stabbed, or shot. Some of them had not been seen or heard from for months or even years before their bodies were found. A few suspects have been caught or convicted in connection with some of the killings, but most of them are still unsolved.
The Lovers’ Lane Murders: A young couple named Cheryl Henry and Andy Atkinson were found brutally killed in the woods off of a quiet road in west Houston on August 23, 1990. They had been stabbed, bound, and gagged several times. Cheryl had also been raped and had a cut across her throat. Andy’s car’s driver-side window had the words “I will kill again” written in lipstick. Even though there is a $50,000 reward and many tips, the killer has never been caught or identified.
What is being done in Texas to solve unsolved crimes?
In Texas, there are a number of projects and programs that try to finish open cases, such as
The Texas Ranger Unsolved Crimes Investigation Program: In 2001, the Texas Legislature formed the Texas Ranger Unsolved Crimes Investigation Program. Its main goal is to give Texas law enforcement agencies a way to look into murders or serial crimes that haven’t been solved. As part of the program, Texas Rangers are sent to help local police with things like reviewing cold cases, analyzing evidence, finding new suspects, and coordinating cases. The program also runs a website with unsolved crimes and offers cash prizes for information that leads to arrests.
The crime lab service of the Texas Department of Public Safety: Law enforcement organizations across the state can get help from this service with forensic science tasks like DNA testing, fingerprint analysis, ballistics, toxicology, and finding traces of evidence. The service is also a part of the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS), a national database that lets DNA profiles from crime scenes, victims, and criminals be compared. Through DNA matching to known or unknown suspects, the service has helped solve hundreds of unsolved crimes.
The Texas Missing Persons Clearinghouse: The Texas lost Persons Clearinghouse is a part of the DPS that gathers and shares information about people who are lost or whose bodies have not been identified in Texas. The clearinghouse also works with the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs), a website that lets the public and law officials see and share information about people who are missing or haven’t been found. The center and NamUs have helped find many people who have gone missing and bring closed cases.
In Texas, there are a lot of unsolved murder cases, which is hard for police and sad for the families of the victims. There are, however, also resources and efforts aimed at solving these cases and giving those affected justice and peace. Houston is the Texas city with the most open cases. It has also been the site of some of the worst and most puzzling crimes in the state’s history. We hope that these cases won’t stay cold forever with the help of science, technology, and the public working together.