Yesterday, the Vancouver Police Department launched what Steve Mertl described as “what may be the country’s most ambitious, user-friendly cold-case web site” in his coverage of the launch. Many police websites list basic statistics and details on cold cases, but the VPD has expanded on this model. By publishing case file information on their new Cold Case Website, the VPD is inviting members of the public to make like a TCAK Squad Member and review the available information, then apply their own experience, insights and areas of expertise to shed new light on these unsolved cases.
VPD adopts TCAK model
The squad members, producers, and victims’ family members of To Catch A Killer have long believed in the benefits associated with fresh eyes on cold cases, and demonstrated the strength of multidisciplinary investigations unhindered by the biases and habits associated with traditional police approaches. A first-of-its-kind true-crime documentary series, TCAK follows a multi-disciplinary squad of civilians led by Mike Arntfield as we investigate unsolved Ontario homicide cases. Each episode documents a six-week investigation carried out with the blessing of the victims’ families and friends, as the squad brings modern perspectives and techniques to each case.
VPD Deputy Chief Adam Palmer acknowledged that “the method and speed by which people communicate has evolved, and that the Internet plays a huge role in our lives. Our goal is to reach as large an audience as possible to give people an opportunity to provide valuable input on homicide cases, some of which have been inactive or “cold” for a number of years”. Similar to initial “facts of the case” meetings led by Dr. Michael Arntfield in the TCAK Squad Room, the website posts a summary overview of each case (there are eight so far), media stories from the time, locations of interest, and photographs of interest. Continue reading