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Old 11-18-2009, 09:07 AM
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Default Cold-case conference comes to life

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The Homicide Report: Search homicides from 1989 to the present and see a map of where they happened. Each record includes case details. See videos of interviews with family members affected by homicide

Read about Tulsa’s missing people. See videos of interviews with their relatives

An international effort to solve cold homicide and missing-persons cases is being launched this week in Tulsa.

Detectives and forensic investigators are meeting for the inaugural conference of the International Association of Cold Case Investigators. The group's founders are current and retired Tulsa Police Department investigators who have been involved in numerous homicide investigations.

But they say this group is unprecedented because of the other members who will be working with them.

Sgt. Mike Huff said: "It is a unique approach because it is not just police officers; it's forensic professionals, prosecutors, academia, defense attorneys, corrections, news media and survivors to address their problems and utilize that synergy to move this ball down the field. We are not trying to investigate anybody's cases; we are trying to give them an all-inclusive one-stop shop of resources."

The group also is unique

because it is focusing on missing persons and unidentified remains as well as homicides, Huff said.

The International Association of Cold Case Investigators is based in Tulsa but is affiliated with the University of North Texas Center for Human Identification and the National Center for Victims of Crime.

The group's members — who volunteer their time — have been working since 2006 to get nonprofit status, which the group now has, said its executive director, former Tulsa Police Chief Harry Stege.

The investigation of a serial killer who killed a college student in Tulsa in 1975 was one of the main reasons Stege, Huff, Detective Mike Nance and Sgt. Tim Bracken founded the organization.

A detective from California was investigating two deaths there and began putting together a timeline showing the travels of the suspect, long-haul truck driver Clyde Carl Wilkerson. Looking at the Tulsa Police Department's Web site in 2002, the detective read about the unsolved homicide of Geraldine Martin, 28, who was abducted Feb. 5, 1975, from a Tulsa Junior College parking lot downtown.

The investigator suspected Wilkerson, and testing eventually matched his DNA to physical evidence in the Martin case.

Huff said the California investigator was very complimentary about the information Tulsa police provided on their Web site, which helped close the case.

"And we thought, 'What if everybody in the country came to one location to find that information and find out about cases and resources and networking and we could make that happen over and over again?' " Huff said.

Stege said the group intends to serve three important roles. The first, he said, is providing assistance to victims' loved ones, "letting them know that somebody really does care."

The second role is sharing information about unsolved cold cases. To that end, the organization is developing a Web site that will provide information about cases and training resources.

The third role is facilitating networking among law enforcement and related fields and the families of crime victims, Stege said.

"We think that by bringing people together, providing a networking capability and providing a database of unsolved homicides, which is one of the things we are planning to do, we can make a significant impact on the crime problem in the United States," he said.

The group's members decided to expand it internationally to draw expertise from throughout the world, Huff said.

"You can go to Scotland Yard, and they are light years ahead of us in understanding and in the usage of DNA and forensic technology, and we are maybe in the cowboy stages over here," he said.

"And crime knows no boundaries."

Cold-case conference

What: The International association of Cold Case Investigators conference, titled “Medico-Legal Considerations in Investigations”

When: Wednesday through Friday. Registration starts at 8 a.m. The conference is open to the public.

Where: Auditorium, Oklahoma State University-Tulsa

Cost: $50

Presenters: Kathy Bell, a forensic nurse/sexual assault nurse examiner for the Tulsa Police Department; Dr. Joshua Lanter, a forensic pathologist for the state Medical Examiner’s Office; Dr. Andrew Sibley, a forensic pathologist in the state Medical examiner’s Office; Dr. Bran Chrz, a forensic odontologist; and Clyde Snow, a forensic anthropologist.
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Old 11-18-2009, 10:19 AM
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Default Re: Cold-case conference comes to life

The second role is sharing information about unsolved cold cases. To that end, the organization is developing a Web site that will provide information about cases and training resources.

Oh yes duplication so there won't be a single location for information.
How many times will LE and other organizations reinvent the wheel?
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Old 11-18-2009, 02:01 PM
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Default Re: Cold-case conference comes to life

As many times as needed to keep things proprietary to them.
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