Cold-Case Investigations: An Analysis of Current Practices and Factors Associated with Successful Outcomes

Fueled by the popularity of television shows focusing on forensic investigation, cold-case investigations have captured the imagination of the American public, and cold-case investigations have become increasingly commonplace in law enforcement agencies. Yet, despite the increasing number of cold-case units and the expenditure of significant resources to fund them, we know virtually nothing about the return on this investment. This report seeks to help better understand cold-case investigation, discussing the status of cold-case investigations in the United States and examining factors associated with successful cold-case investigations. The research was funded by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) as part of NIJ's effort to promote the use of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) testing.

Author: Robert C. Davis, Carl Jensen, Karin E. Kitchens

Federal Sponsor Agency: Submitted to NIJ

Provider: RAND Corporation

Publication Date: 2012

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