At an early age I realized I was intrigued by crime solving, but at the time, I figured I didn’t have the stomach to be a detective walking into horrifying homicide scenes. I decided my next best bet would be to become a crime reporter. This way, I’d still get to be involved-hopefully specifically with the part where the case gets solved. I’ll admit I was naive. I walked into the newsroom two years ago as a new reporter thinking I’d live out a fantasy of helping detectives find their killer. I had somewhat of a rude awakening, to say the least. The days of reporters walking into a crime scene alongside the cops are nonexistent now, but I wasn’t ready to throw in the towel.
My fascination with cold cases intensified early-on in my career when I realized coverage on them were few and far between. I admit there’s a reason for this. As my boss always says, “we’re in the today business,” something that should go without saying for local news reporters, though I’ve often needed the reminder. He’s right, but to me, decades-old murders are still very relevant and newsworthy-especially if they’re unsolved. I’ve been extremely fortunate to be given the opportunity here at 17 News to pursue cases that many of our viewers haven’t heard of or thought about in well-over twenty years. Not all of the work done on cold cases makes air, in fact, much doesn’t. Sometimes families of victims simply ask that I help them arrange a meeting with detectives or ask for the phone number of the crime lab. Some of our stories on cold cases have taken a day, some over a year. Each story is unique, but the common thread is the utter devastation the victim’s loved ones suffer from. Time does little to nothing for loved ones of homicide victims if the case is unsolved, in fact, I believe time can make it worse. The more years that go by, the less attention the cases typically get from law enforcement, the media and the general public. I truly believe there is a real benefit to giving these cases a media platform. At the very least, it reminds the public that there’s been no justice for the victim and the killer remains a mystery. I appreciate every person who’s ever trusted me enough to look into an unsolved homicide. I hope it continues to be a part of my job for many years to come.