skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 202157 Find in a Library
Title: New Technology and Old Police Work Solve Cold Sex Crimes
Journal: FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin  Volume:72  Issue:9  Dated:September 2003  Pages:1-5
Author(s): James Markey
Date Published: September 2003
Page Count: 5
Sponsoring Agency: NCJRS Photocopy Services
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
Sale Source: NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America
Document: HTML
Type: Guideline
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article discusses developing a strategy for investigating cold case sex crimes.
Abstract: An audit of the Phoenix (Arizona) Police Department showed over 1,700 sexual assault examination kits awaiting evaluation and screening. In addition, over 700 new sexual assaults were being reported each year. The first step of the new cold case team was to get a genuine commitment from the chain of command of the police department. The second step was to establish a team, which was funded by a grant for the creation of the Phoenix Cold Case Sex Crime Team. A seasoned investigator with 10 years of experience in sex crime investigations was chosen to lead the team. A complete understanding of sexual offenses, rapists, and their victims is an important part of the investigation of these crimes. The team enlisted the aid of the department’s laboratory for DNA testing. An advocate was hired to deal with the multitude of victimization issues that would arise from re-interviewing victims. Combining victim statements with corroborating evidence collected at the crime scene proved successful in combating the issue of deceased victims. Many victims did not want to pursue their case any further. Investigating cold cases involves taking a step back, assessing the entire situation, and using the theory that typical rapists commit multiple attacks during their careers. By deciphering old cases, investigators began to see patterns in new cases. The cold case sex crime team developed a unique database for organizing and tracking unsolved cases. All cases were reviewed and evaluated for solvability based on a set of criteria, such as the reevaluation of all evidence, initial victim interviews, and all witness interviews. Interagency communication and cooperation is very important. The key to successful prosecution is minimizing or eliminating investigative errors that may aid the defense. 4 endnotes
Main Term(s): Investigative techniques; Sex offense investigations
Index Term(s): Investigations; Police casework; Rape investigations; Rapists; Sex offender profiles; Sex offenses
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.