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January 2022


How to Become a Bounty Hunter

Tag: cold cases

FBI Launches Pilot to Rapidly Match DNA Samples from Felony Suspects

By Steve Neavling

The FBI is testing a new way to rapidly match DNA samples – in just two hours – from felony suspects.

The new program, “Rapid DNA,” was launched as a pilot program in Florida, California, Texas, Arizona, and Louisiana, UPI reports.

If the pilot program is successful, it could transform the role of DNA in solving crimes.

“There is no question that DNA testing has made Florida safer, and the use of Rapid DNA will ensure suspects aren’t released from jail before DNA search results come back,” Florida Department of Law Enforcement Commissioner Rick Swearingen said in a news conference last week.

The technology is 10 years in the making and would rely on the FBI’s national database of DNA collected in unsolved crimes.

“We believe this scientific DNA matching tool will greatly enhance all law enforcement agencies … to more effectively and efficiently solve crimes and bring the perpetrators of crime to justice,” said Sheriff Walt McNeil of Leon County, where the program pilot began.

Column: Reporter Bashes NY Times For Bashing FBI

Ronald Kessler is chief Washington correspondent of Kessler has authored several books including “The Bureau: The Secret History of the FBI”.

Ronald Kessler

Ronald Kessler

By Ronald Kessler

When it comes to the FBI, The New York Times has the same story line: The bureau is either incompetent, over-reactive, or spying on innocent Americans.

In most cases, the paper manages to convey those points by omitting key facts or downplaying them. For example, in revealing President Bush’s NSA intercept program, the paper used such trigger words as “eavesdropping” and “domestic spying” to suggest a massive program with sinister motives. Not until the 22nd paragraph did the story say that the intercept program targeted only calls with an overseas nexus.

But the Times reached a new low with a story this week by Shaila Dewan. Headlined “Despite FBI Fanfare, Time Runs Out on Cold Civil Rights Cases,” the story suggested that the FBI is not aggressively pursuing unsolved civil rights cases from years ago.

The story cited Attorney General Alberto Gonzales’ declaration in February 2007 that the FBI had started the Cold Case Initiative to bring to justice the perpetrators of civil rights crimes. Since then, there have been no federal indictments, the paper said.

To read more click here.

FBI Seeks Help in Locating Relatives of Civil Rights Era Murder Victims

FBI photo/ courtesy of Keith Beauchamp

FBI photo/ courtesy of Keith Beauchamp

By Allan Lengel

WASHINGTON — Many decades later, the FBI still won’t let go of the dozens of unsolved racially motivated Civil Rights Era murders.

On Wednesday, at Southern University in Baton Rouge, La., the FBI’s Civil Unit Chief Cynthia Deitle announced that the agency was looking for help locating next of kin in 33 cold case murders to let families know what happened to their loved ones and to possibly get more investigative leads.

Deitle’s latest effort was part of the FBI’s initiative publicly launched in 2007 to try and solve more than 100  Civil Rights era murders in the 1950s and 1960s. She spoke at an airing on campus of a documentary film by  Keith Beauchamp on a botched prosecution of a 1964 murder.

Agent Cynthia Deitle/fbi photo

Agent Cynthia Deitle/fbi photo

Later that day,  the FBI released a statement by her in which she said:

“Our agents have worked tirelessly, reaching out to victims’ families and interviewing witnesses, along with police officers, prosecutors and judges.”

“We’ve also received tips and other help from the public, the media, academia, and our partners at organizations like the NAACP, the Southern Poverty Law Center and the National Urban League,” she said.

The FBI said of the  108 cold cases it is looking at, three have been referred for state prosecution. Others have gone unsolved  for the following reasons:

  • The suspects are deceased (47 percent of the cases)
  • Individuals who were tried in the state court  can’t be prosecuted again in federal court because of double jeapordy,
  • Witnesses died and evidence was destroyed.

Read a list of cold cases