Duke Southard

Author, Educator, Lecturer

Not Cold Cases?

In the last few days, I received an article from a former student detailing the formation of the “Cold Case Unit” of the New Hampshire State Police. This came to me via Facebook which means that many of my regular readers would not have seen it.

The article lists the current homicides in the cold case files for the state. The list is not a new one but another FB friend pointed out that the Stacey Burns and Bobbie Miller murders are not on it. One wonders if the list were updated to today, would these two cases appear on it?

According to Will Delker, a former N.H. Senior Assistant Attorney General and now a N.H. Superior Court judge, “a cold case has to have been unsolved for twelve months, with no active leads.” Both the Miller and Burns murders have been unsolved for much more than twelve months. If we accept Judge Delker’s definition, and assume that they are not cold cases, then logic dictates that there must be active leads.

Maybe the answer lies in another N.H. Senior Assistant Attorney General’s  reason for so many cold cases remaining where they are: in cold storage. The biggest obstacle is not the state of the case nor the deterioration of evidence. it is “talking to people about the past.” Ben Agati continues with a simple statement.  “A lot of people don’t want to talk about the past.”

So, the question is this, and it has been asked before. Why not declare these two cases as cold and announce them as such to the general public? Perhaps then more people might be inspired to “talk about the past.”

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

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