Duke Southard

Author, Educator, Lecturer

Cold? Closed? Open,Unsolved? Confused?

This will be my last post relating to the assertion by a respondent in my blog that the Stacey Burns murder is now considered a cold case. (See “A Favorite Quotation” post on my website -www.dukesouthard.com-and read the two comments which follow.)

If my information is correct, a cold case is not considered a closed case. Closed, to me, indicates solved. Therefore, until the murderer is convicted in court or makes an acceptable confession, the case will not be closed. Declaring this crime to be a cold case is not declaring it closed. The respondent mentioned above states that a NH State Police Major Crime Unit detective informed him that the Stacey Burns murder is now a cold case, which means that the case is not closed but awaiting new information.

I believe we all would welcome any clarification about this from law enforcement authorities. This clarification could come in the form of a simple statement, such as one of these.

“The Stacey Burns murder case remains open and unsolved.” This would negate the assertion that it has been moved to the cold case category.

“The Stacey Burns murder case has been designated as a cold case.” This would shift the onus for solving the case to the public, which would need to come up with new information to move the investigation back to the forefront.

“The Stacey Burns murder case has been solved.” This, obviously, would be the best of all, even if there were an addendum to that statement saying something like “unfortunately, we are lacking the evidence needed to arrest the person we know is the murderer.”

I hope this does not add to the confusion. I assume all responsibility for the opinions expressed here.

Duke

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I'm Duke Southard, author, educator, and lecturer.

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