I never met Stacey Burns yet over the last thirty months or so since I’ve worked on a book about her death, I feel I’ve come to know why she was so loved by so many. My extensive research coupled with interviews with friends, colleagues and acquaintances (unfortunately not her family) have, quite frankly, made me increasingly angry that her killer is still living his or her life in freedom.
Recently, I was rereading an Ann Rule book of true crime cases (A Rage to Kill) and ran across the phrase, “Closed-Exceptional,” in her foreword. It is a phrase I did not recall but she says it designates a case in which “the guilty person is known by detectives but, due to lack of physical evidence, has never been arrested.” Obviously, with her outstanding record of excellent writing about true crime, Ann Rule would be aware of such terminology. I have been told (and I’ve mentioned it in other blogs) that the police know who killed Stacey Burns. One person in authority went so far as to say that he thought there would be an 85% chance of conviction with the evidence they had, which apparently is not enough to risk letting a guilty person walk free. Why bring this up? Here are just a few reasons.
1. If Stacey Burns murder is in a category such as Closed-Exceptional or whatever else it may be called, then it has been solved but the killer will continue to walk around free. For how long?
2. If the killer continues to walk around free, then assurances from the police that the public is not in danger are ludicrous. Any person, male or female, who could take another’s life in a manner such as happened to Stacey Burns has to be extremely unstable. Don’t tell us this is a one time event! What if the circumstances that set this homicidal sociopath off are duplicated in his or her life? Murder was a solution once; why not again? No matter what a profiler might say, it is illogical and probably even dangerous to assume that Stacey Burns’ killer is not a potential threat to others.
3. If this case is indeed “solved” but not coming to a conclusion, would the public be better served to know which of the potential persons of interest (suspects) are actually free from suspicion?
As I said at the beginning, I did not know Stacey Burns but I know that it is a sad, frustrating and even frightening prospect that her killer remains out there.