On May 22nd 2012 the Bureau of Criminal Investigations of London Ohio graciously gave me a tour of their facility. Special Agent Roger Davis and Special Agent Bryan White described to me what the BCI is capable of doing when involved in an investigation. Looking in from a window I was able to view the DNA lab, they were testing that day. I wondered what case they were working on. Was it a recent crime? Or perhaps it was from a cold case and the evidence was being tested for the first time for DNA. Evidence that was stored away for years finally sees the light of day and the possibility of a DNA match to a murderer. Would this test be the key to making an arrest? Could it be a similar case such as the murder of eighteen year old Bonnie Craig who’s killer was arrested after seventeen years because of a DNA match. Kenneth Dion was sentenced to one hundred and twenty four years for abducting, raping, and murdering Karen Foster’s beautiful daughter. Karen’s mission is that every state would incorporate the DNA Law. This law requires mandatory DNA to be taken from any felon. That is how Kenneth Dion was found. Dion committed a felony in New Hampshire and he was swabbed for DNA, it was put in the system and bingo! His DNA matched the DNA they had retrieved from Bonnie. Amazing!
I spoke with an employee that analyses finger prints and searches the system for a match. Did you know that your foot is like a finger print? Yours are unique and one of a kind, either one can be entered as evidence.
I also talked to a woman that enhances photos and receipts. Anything enlarged can reveal crucial evidence that the human eye might miss. How about an old faded receipt that looks like a blank piece of paper? But when enhanced shows the date, time, and items purchased? Items used in a murder seventeen years ago!
Their jobs are crucial in solving crimes, especially cold cases. They can assist law enforcement with numerous crimes. Murders, weapons violations, crimes involving drugs, and of course unsolved murders. Recently, Ohio’s Attorney General, Mike DeWine has supported the Investigations Division and their desire to work on more unsolved murders. It’s called the, “Ohio Unsolved Homicides Initiative.”
“The BCI defines an unsolved homicide as a homicide or questionable death that remains unsolved at least two years after being reported to law enforcement and for which there are no apparent viable leads. The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation is committed to serving the law enforcement community and protecting Ohio families by providing accurate criminal records, reliable laboratory services, and comprehensive investigation assistance. Through its Investigations Division, the BCI can provide law enforcement agencies and prosecutors with a wide rage of investigative support and resources. Special agents conduct cooperative investigations and , in certain cases, serve as lead investigators when requested by local law enforcement.”
I’ve had several meetings with Special Agent Roger Davis because of my concern that more attention and time needs to be given to unsolved murders in Ohio. According to the FBI from 1980 to 2008 Ohio has five thousand five hundred and one unsolved murders. What about before 1980? After 2008?
Agent Davis has developed a statewide data base for all unsolved to be listed. It’s similar to New Hampshires data base that was developed after the Cold Case Unit was established. I know it is his desire to have all unsolved murders posted on this website. Here are some of the reasons it is important to create a data base.
“By highlighting cold cases through the Ohio Attorney General’s Office, local law enforcement agencies can:
1. Bring widespread visibility to a case
2. Increase the likelihood that tips may help bring a perpetrator to justice and victims’ loved ones a sense of closure
3. Compare details of cases in their jurisdictions with unsolved homicides elsewhere, helping to identify linked cases”
I would like to add one more:
It reassures a family that their loved one has not been forgotten
This why I wanted Kathy’s Law
Kathy’s law would make it mandatory for law enforcement to add their unsolved to the data base. The website has been established for some time now and only fifty unsolved murders have been entered. What does law enforcement need to do to add a homicide? There is a form to fill out, it’s then turned over to the BCI and the data is entered by them. We all need a little push now and then and Kathy’s Law (The unsolved not forgotten) would do that. The law and the website would make a strong statement to criminals, Ohio’s cold cases are important and the murderer should be afraid no matter how many years has past.