The stories in this book focus on the victims –– some who are missing, some who have lost their identities, and some who have suffered from violent crimes. Even though these cases are considered “cold,” we learn from the evidence, and we need to listen to what the victims can tell us.
Read on about cold cases that once made headlines including a man and his wife murdered in Victorian-era New England to an unidentified child found dead in a cardboard box in 1950s Philadelphia. Some have simply slipped into folklore and legend, while others have transcended evolutions of forensic science and still have a chance of being solved.
Silvia Pettem (www.silviapettem.com) is a longtime historical researcher, newspaper columnist, and author of more than a dozen books. After decades of work for individuals, businesses, and governments, her life took a new turn in 1996, when she stumbled upon the gravestone of a Jane Doe--a murder victim from 1954. A few years later, Pettem applied her research skills to both old-fashioned detective work and the power of the internet by entering into a partnership with her local sheriff and with forensic experts of the Vidocq Society to successfully determine the young woman's identity. Pettem chronicled their work in Someone's Daughter: In Search of Justice for Jane Doe.
In 2008, the Boulder County Sheriff's Office gave Pettem a Sheriff's Commendation Award for doing the "lion's share of the research" on the Jane Doe case. Two years later, the Vidocq Society presented her with its Medal of Honor. Pettem is now an associate member of the Vidocq Society, a volunteer in the Detectives Section of the Boulder Police Department, a NamUs Academy graduate, and a NamUs instructor in classes sponsored by the Colorado Bureau of Investigation--expanding her expertise and working with colleagues all over the country.