Homicide investigators often talk about their murder book which is, in effect, a compilation of all documentation relating to a specific case.
Well, I have my own murder book relating to the Stacey Burns murder case. It contains hundreds of pages of letters, notes, e-mails, newspaper articles, and references to recorded interviews. Obviously, key information is missing because the police continue to call this an “open, unsolved” case.
Here, from page 57 of the first draft of Murder in a Small Town . . ., is an excerpt regarding my meeting with Detective Steve Rowland. The meeting occurred on April 12, 2011, almost three years ago. Detective Rowland retired from the New Hampshire State Police a little over two months later.
“State and local police and authorities from the New Hampshire Attorney General’s office no doubt are struggling to withstand the inevitable let-down that comes from a lengthy investigation. Forget about the first two days being critical; when a murder begins to recede into the past beyond a year, there can be no doubt that the original rush is fading fast. Picture a competent, resourceful investigator such as Detective Steve Rowland of the New Hampshire State Police simply running out of new information and, with limited resources stretching his department to its limit, finding a new case dropped on his desk. Under no circumstances would a man of the caliber of Rowland allow his concentration of the Stacey Burns murder to be compromised. When the possibility that this case might reach the nebulous “cold case” category is mentioned, the detective bristles.”
“As long as I’m around, I will not give up on this case,” he says.” (Written in the late spring of 2011)
As mentioned in a somewhat earlier blog, Detective Rowland also stated emphatically that as the lead investigator in the case, he “is the voice of the victim.”
I believe that now, three years later, a fair question to ask would be this: Who is the voice of the victim, Stacey Burns, now?