September was a very busy month. I was in New Hampshire for two weeks and interviewed eight people for the next book. I’ve done a total of thirteen interviews. When I returned to Ohio it was time to finish the details of the event “Justice and Compassion for Victims of Crime.” This is event is on October 13th, 7:00 pm, at the Mount Vernon Nazarene University. A number of speakers will be present and I wanted to meet with each of them. The speakers are, Margaret Ann Ruhl, State Representative, David Barber, Knox County Sheriff, Kurt Shearer, Deputy Superintendent Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation (BCI), Diana Oswalt, Director, Knox County Victims Assistance, and myself. I’m grateful to the University for hosting the event and the MVNU Social Work Degree Completion Program for sponsoring it. The next two weeks will be consumed with promoting the event.
On September 12th I met with the BCI of Ohio to discuss again the possibility of a Cold Case Unit. Special Agent Roger Davis, Agent Larry McCoy, and Criminal Analyst Patrice Lamblez attended the meeting. Since the first day I approached the BCI about the possibility of a Unit in Ohio they have been very supportive. Ohio has over 5000 unsolved homicides from 1980 to 2008. A Cold Case Unit would definitely be a valuable tool in clearing a substantial number of these unsolved cases.
Through Ohio’s Unresolved Death Initiative and the support from Special Agent Supervisor Brian Carlson, Special Agent Roger Davis has developed a website for unresolved deaths. This website is important for a number of reasons.
Each city has knowledge of their unsolved homicides but without a comprehensive list, a main data base, the state does not. Such a website would increase the awareness of unsolved homicides and with this knowledge increases accountability. This website would provide valuable information to all law enforcement and also creates a place for anonymous tips to be left. This data base is important to families that continue to wait for an unsolved murder to be resolved. Some homicides, especially those more than twenty years old can fall through the cracks and families feel they’ve been forgotten. When New Hampshire established their Cold Case Unit, a website was created for the unsolved. Families went online and search for their loved one and several were missing. It was brought to the attention of the Attorney General’s Office and they were added. No one should ever be forgotten and a website would make sure information is readily available to all law enforcement and allow tips to be submitted.
With the help of Special Agent Roger Davis and speaking with Representative Margaret Ann Ruhl I have decided to introduce “Kathy’s Law.” This law would make it mandatory for all states to create a website for the unsolved and each city within that state must submit the information they have on any unsolved case. “Kathy’s Law” could be established in every state and eventually a national data base could be created from each states website. A comprehensive list in each state and eventually a national data base would be a valuable tool for law enforcement. With today’s technology many of these cases can be solved.
I understand the process of a bill becoming a law because of the Cold Case Unit in New Hampshire and realize the long road ahead of me. I feel this endeavor is important and I will take the necessary steps to move forward. “Kathy’s Law” would be another way my family can honor her and allow us to make a difference for others still waiting…..