The day Governor Lynch signed the bill to establish the Cold Case Unit was one of the proudest days of my life. This Unit would give hope to many that have waited for justice. A father shook my hand one day and thanked me for the work my family had done to establish the Cold Case Unit. He said, “This is the most hope I’ve had in a long time.”  I understand a father that never forgets, my father never did. On his deathbed his last wish was that Kathy’s murderer would be arrested and punished for what he had done. The Unit will be dissolved on June 30th, 2013, they have not been included in the budget. Government grants have supported them so far and now the state of New Hampshire must take on the responsibility.

For the families still waiting for an arrest of the person/persons who murdered their loved one the value of a Cold Case Unit is high. I’m not sure we can put a monetary value on an agency that distributes hope to each of us, some waiting more than forty years. They give us hope.

What is hope? The dictionary defines the phrase hope against hope.  “To continue to hope, although the outlook does not warrant it.”  This is the kind of hope we’ve endured for years before the Cold Case Unit was established.  The kind that lingers in the back of your mind that one day someone will be arrested for the murder he or she committing against the one you love.

Another definition for hope, “A feeling of desire for something and confidence in the possibility of its fulfillment.”  This is the hope the New Hampshire Cold Case Unit gives us now. Every time we hear an arrest has been made in a cold case our hope is strengthened.

Some may question the value of the Cold Case Unit. The value has already been proven.  Some think the 350,00 dollars a year to operate the agency could be better used elsewhere. What is the price you would pay for life, your life? If a murderer walks, he walks amongst us all.  Some may say, “Why doesn’t the Homicide Unit work on these cases?” When do they have time?  How many homicides do you think are committed each year in the United States?  Never mind the United States, what about in New Hampshire?   In April of 2012 within a thirteen-day period thirteen homicides were committed. The murderer of Celina Cass, a beautiful young girl, walks freely as her family still grieves. I pray she does not join the ranks of unsolved murders.

When a murderer is not arrested he is free to murder again in any state. One of them could be your next-door neighbor?  How valuable is the Cold Case Unit now? Victims and their families deserve justice. Our future deserves protection from these killers.

In all of my speaking engagements I am proud to talk about the state of NH and how they stepped up to the plate when it wasn’t a popular position to establish a Cold Case Unit. I reinforce the value of the Unit with information on the arrest they have made. Arrest in cases that would still be sitting on shelves collecting dust today.

The Bureau of Criminal Investigations in Ohio asked me for the bill that was written to establish the Unit in New Hampshire. The reason? They would like to see a Unit created in Ohio. New Hampshire you are a leader in this endeavor! I am proud of New Hampshire and the laws they have passed to protect victims of violent crimes.  A law and a promise was made to us, the families of unsolved murders. That promise was to pursue justice through the determination of the Cold Case Unit. How will I convey to other states that New Hampshire decided to dissolve the Unit even though they have proven their worth? A Unit that has made an arrest in a 1989 quadruple homicide, 1988 double homicide, 2001 homicide, and was involved in closing a 1990 homicide. I believe more arrest will be made.


It’s costly for a state to make an arrest on an unsolved murder.  Money is needed to solve a case but also is required for trial and to maintain the murderer in prison. It does not bring in revenue but it does display integrity!



  1. Thank you Karen for your continued efforts in enacting Cold Case Units.

    Having seen some of the successes in other parts of the country, such a group will certainly benefit the many families of your state that have been impacted by missing loved ones/unsolved violent crimes.


    1. Thank you. It seems to be a constant battle. The NH Cold Case Unit has made such progress in solving cold cases. Money and politics influence their permanency. When the battle is hard, the victory is much sweeter.


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