Cold Case Handbook: Second Ed.

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AUTHOR Joseph L Giacalone
Cold Case Handbook: Second Ed.

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This in-depth look at solving cold cases serves as an excellent training resource that is both captivating and instructive. The author, Joseph Giacalone, focuses on how to approach these cases in a logical, scientific and organized manner. The foreword for this publication was provided by Dr. Henry Lee.

The Cold Case Handbook is the first of its kind that includes not just investigative steps for law enforcement to help close cold cases, but also information for the victims’ families, and the true crime community. The Handbook covers the Cold Case Trilogy: Homicides, Sexual Assaults, and Missing Persons. It also includes a breakdown of the two new federal laws passed in 2022 – The Homicide Victims’ Families’ Rights Act and the Help Find the Missing Act – both will be crucial in moving these cases forward.

Joseph Giacalone, retired NYPD Sergeant SDS and former Commanding Officer of the Bronx Cold Case Squad, gives you the opportunity to benefit from his experiences in supervising a cold case squad with some of the best detectives in the world. Inside the publication you’ll find investigative techniques, strategies, and the latest in forensic advancements, which can help solve America’s toughest cases. Here are some of the topics covered:

 •  How to Start a Cold Case Squad
 •  Choosing Personnel for the Cold Case Squad
 •  Why Cases Go Cold and How to Prevent it
 •  Choosing cases for reinvestigation
 •  Researching a cold case
 •  Steps to take in the reinvestigation and which pitfalls to avoid
 •  The Role of the True Crime Community in Helping Solve Cold Cases
 •  Suggestions for the Victims’ families as well as available resources
 •  Cold Case Symposiums and Cold Case Institutes and their role in the process

The Cold Case Handbook is broken into two sections:
Section I: The Administrative Tasks of Cold Case Investigation
Section II: The Reinvestigation of a Cold Case 
The Cold Case Handbook is designed to be a start to finish guide through the Cold Case process: From finding the right case to presenting it to the district attorney and everything in between.

(Table of contents from First Edition. For informational use only)



Table of Contents

About the Author
Preface Overview
Book Organization
Structure and Features
Introduction to Cold Cases
Chapter 1 — The Homicide Victims’ Families’ Rights
   Act of 2021
   Background on the Law
   What Police Executives and Investigators Need to
   Know About the New Law
   Breakdown of the New Law
   Which Cold Cases Does the Law Affect?
   How Will the Process Work?
   Full Reinvestigation
   Withholding Information
   Annual Reporting Requirements
   Moving Forward
   Role of the True Crime Community
Chapter 2 — Starting a Cold Case Squad
   Defining the Mission of the Cold Case Squad
   Does the Department Need a Cold Case Squad?
   How Many Cases are There?
   Obstacles To Creating a Cold Case Squad
   Grant Writing Tips for Police Departments
   The Use of Retired Law Enforcement, Civilians, and Volunteers
   Cold Case Symposiums
   ‘Cold Case Institutes’
   Using Personnel with Medical Issues
   Evaluating the Current Cold Case Squad
   Cold Case CompStat
Chapter 3 — Choosing the Right Personnel for the Cold Case Squad
   Create an Application and Interview Process
   Choosing a Supervisor for the Cold Case Squad
   Traits and Skills
   Skill Sets
   A Cold Case Squad Personnel Wish List
   The Final Thoughts
Chapter 4 — Why Do Cases Go Cold?
   Factors That Can Cause a Case to go Cold
Chapter 5 — Choosing a Cold Case to Investigate
   How Many Cases Should a Cold Case Investigator Carry?
   Starting the Cold Case File Quest
   How to Evaluate a Cold Case
   Solvability Factors
   Other Types of Evidence
   New Information
   Out of the Blue
   A Connected Case
   A Case with Federal Assistance
   New Eyewitness or Reluctant One Surfaces
   A Named Suspect
Chapter 6 — Organizing and Reviewing the Cold Case File
   Handle the Case File with Care
   The Case File
   Breaking Down the Case File
Chapter 7 — Researching a Cold Case
   The Weather
   Medical Examiner / Coroner
   What can be Found in the Autopsy Report?
   Reporters and Journalists
   Social Media
   Cold Case Advocates
Chapter 8 — The Photographic Crime Scene Walkthrough
   The Reinvestigation Mindset
   Listen to the 911 Call(s)
   The Photographic Crime Scene Walkthrough
   Questions That Need to be Answered
   The Postmortem Interval with Crime Scene Photographs
   Crime Scene Sketches
   Video Surveillance
   Visiting the Crime Scene
   Crime Scene Reconstruction
   Developing a Hypothesis
   Testing the Hypothesis

Chapter 9 — The Reinvestigation of the Case – Reading the Reports
   Cold Cases are Different
   How Many Reports Should You Read?
   The Main Investigative Reports
   The Interviews
   The Law Enforcement Group
   EMS / EMTs / Fire Department
   Last Responders
   Canvass Interviews
   Internet Records, Phone Records, and Video Surveillance
   Eyewitness Identification
   Evidence Test Results
   Does Your Hypothesis Still Hold Water?
   Reaching out to the Original Investigator(s)
Chapter 10 — The Reinvestigation of the Case —  Reinterviews
   Conducting the Interview
   Rapport Building
   Types Of Questions to Ask
   Questions You Shouldn’t Use
   Active Listening
   Preventing Interview Contamination
   Note Taking
   The Assessment
Chapter 11 — Social Media for Cold Case
   Social Media Benefits in Practice
   Starting a Social Media Presence for the Cold Case Squad
   Which Platforms Should You Consider?
   When and How to Use Social Media
   What About Privacy Issues?
   Subpoenas / Warrant
Chapter 12 — Report Writing
   Legal Issues
   Brady Material
   Writing the Investigative Reports
   Tell Me a Story
   Qualities of a Good Report
   Separate Reports
   The Final Report
Chapter 13 — Cold Case Missing Persons
   Why do People go Missing?
   Who was Billy Smolinski Jr.?
   The Help Find the Missing Act
   National Missing Persons Day
   National Missing and Unidentified Human Remains
   System (NamUs)
   Reexamining a Cold Missing Persons Case
   Redo the Victimology
   Cold Case Digs
   The Use of Forensic Artists to Help Identify the Unidentified
   New Forensic Technologies to Help Identify the Unidentified
   No Body Cases
   International Missing Persons Cases
Chapter 14 — The Search for a Known Suspect
   What are some of the things you should be
   thinking about?
   The NCIC Offline Search
   Fusion Centers
   Disseminate Suspect’s Photograph
   Crime Stoppers
   International Wanted Persons
Chapter 15 — Interrogation
   A Quick History on the Miranda Case
   Read the Miranda Warnings
   Admission v. Confession
   Can the Police Lie?
   Interrogations and Cold Cases
   Video Recording of Cold Case Interrogations
Chapter 16 — Cold Case Sexual Assaults
   Cold Case Sexual Assaults
   John Doe Warrants
   Sexual Assault Evidence Collection Kits (Rape Kits)
   The Rape Kit Backlog
   Legislation to Track Rape Kits
   Grants to Help Alleviate the Rape Kit Backlog
   Referrals for Victims of Sexual Assault
   Joyful Heart Foundation’s Six Pillars of Reform

Chapter 17 — Victims’ Family Resources
   For the Family
   What is a Cold Case Advocate?
   Formal and Informal Processes in Police Departments
   Making a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Request
    Is a Monumental Shift in FOIA Requests on Cold Cases
    Project: Cold Case
   Other Cold Case Websites and Organizations of Interest
Chapter 18 — Cold Case Prosecution
   Horizonal v. Vertical Prosecution
   It’s the DA’s Decision, Not Yours to Move Forward
   What is Probable Cause +1 then?
   Admissibility of Expert Testimony

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