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Let’s Make The Mid-South A Safer Place To Live!

The Problem


We are in a Cold Case Crisis!


Since 1980, the city of Memphis has accumulated more than 1,800 unresolved homicides while Nashville has over 1,300 and these numbers are rising each year.

According to the FBI crime data, the USA has accumulated over 248,993 unresolved homicides since 1980. Plus, in 2016, the national average of solving homicides dropped to its lowest ever (59.4%) but rose to 61.6 in 2017.  But 4 out of 10 homicides are still not being solved each year. In the meantime:

  • the number of cold cases continue to rise;
  • justice is not served while some perpetrators continue to commit violent acts;
  • families are left without answers;
  • faith in our law enforcement is diminished;
  • concerns over public safety increase;
  • and the cost of these crimes to Memphis is in the hundreds of thousands of dollars per year.

Newspaper clippings of unsolved murders
Magnifying glass higlighting the word: Cold Cases

Solution


While the numbers continue to rise, the Memphis Police Department (MPD) is understaffed and is not financially equipped to adequately address the cold case problem. Therefore, the creation of the Mid-South Cold Case Initiative, a non-profit corporation unlike any other in the country, was specifically designed to help raise the funds necessary to augment the MPD and other Mid-South Police Departments in their concerted effort to investigate and solve these homicides.

The best way to address this problem is to investigate homicides (hot and cold) at both ends of the spectrum, simultaneously.  Just working the fresh cases allows the unresolved to increase rapidly, adding more victim families to the list without answers.

Funds donated to the MS-CCI will be utilized to help offset some of the expenses associated with investigating primarily cold cases.  This will include the following:

  • Provide funds to conduct expedited (1-2 months) forensic analysis through private certified laboratories. Presently it takes 8-12 months to get DNA results from the State Crime Laboratory.
  • Provide funds to increase rewards for information leading to arrest and conviction of perpetrators.
  • Provide financial assistance to hire crime analysts that can enhance the cold case process.
  • Provide advanced training to both cold case and regular homicide detectives but especially that which addresses the nuances of conducting a cold case investigation.
  • Purchase equipment such as computers, software and/or forensic related items that will increase their effectiveness.
  • Provide funds to cover expenses of detectives for travel to interview key witnesses.

Please help us make Memphis and the Mid-south not only a safer and better place to visit and live, but help us see that justice is done and the surviving families have answers.

What Can We Do


The research and experiences of others have clearly identified that the best way to address this problem is through a “dedicated” cold case unit.  Just working the fresh cases without a properly structured cold case unit allows the unresolved to increase rapidly and go unchecked.  And, due to the lack of adequate funds and sufficient manpower of MPD, and/or assistance from the community, this issue will continue to get worse.

A “dedicated” unit means that detectives assigned to the cold case unit only work cold cases and are not periodically selected to work other investigations.  This is the only way maximum effectiveness can be obtained.  Part time cold case units do not solve the problem, they are only a temporary fix.

The Mid-South cannot afford to wait any longer for these cases to pile up, unresolved. According to the upcoming Best Practices guide by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) due for publication late 2018,

The cold case crisis is here and working cold cases with a dedicated cold case unit

is not a luxury but rather a necessity!

To help the Mid-South (Memphis in particular) to achieve that goal, the MSCCI will provide pro bono cold case expertise that includes free cold case and homicide training, and will utilize funds donated by concerned citizens to help offset some of the expenses associated with investigating and solving those unresolved homicides (Cold Cases).

The community needs to come together and support our police department  by becoming more involved and donating to the Mid-South Cold Case Initiative which will judiciously administer the funds and ensure they are earmarked to only address cold case endeavors.

Founder


This initiative was founded by its President, Jim Adcock, PhD.

  • Retired Supervisory Special Agent US Army CID
  • Served as Chief Deputy Coroner in Columbia, SC
  • Former tenured professor, University of New Haven
  • An expert on death investigation and the cold case process
  • Trained hundreds of detectives on the cold case process
  • Reviewed cases and researched the cold case phenomena
  • Published two books, one on Cold Cases and the other on Death Investigation, both with 2ndEditions
  • Fellow, American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS)
  • Former Vice-President of AAFS and served on Ethics Committee
  • Regular guest lecturer at the Dutch Police Academy in The Netherlands
  • Served 3 years on the National Institute of Justice’s (NIJ) Cold Case Working Group to develop a Best Practices guide for Implementing and Sustaining a Cold Case Investigation Unit.