View Full Version : What is The Vidocq Society?

01-26-2011, 08:29 PM
An unusual, exclusive crime-solving organization meets monthly on the top floor of the historic Public Ledger Building in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In a famed walnut-paneled meeting room, members of The Vidocq Society honor Eugène François Vidocq, the brilliant 18th century French detective who served the Sûreté, by applying their collective forensic skills and experience to "cold case" homicides and unsolved deaths. At Vidocq meetings Vidocq Society Members (V.S.M.'s) evaluate, investigate, refocus, revivify and solve the unsolved deaths officially brought to them. <snipped>


I first heard of them in Leah Freeman's case. What else do we know about them?

02-17-2011, 11:45 PM
"Known as the heirs of Sherlock Holmes, the Philadelphia-based Vidocq Society gathers ace detectives from around the world to solve the world's most perplexing cold cases. The group -- formed by freewheeling forensic sculptor Frank Bender, FBI and U.S. Customs agent William Fleisher and preeminent forensic psychologist and profiler Richard Walter -- has pledged itself to a grand quest for justice.

"People think of them as wizards who sort of peep and mutter and go into a back room and come out and say, 'He did it,'" said Philadelphia crime writer Michael Capuzzo, who profiles the group in his book, "The Murder Room." <snipped>


02-17-2011, 11:49 PM
wow, how cool. I often wondered what would happen if some organization gathered the "best of the best" to look at old cold cases like that. Many LE depts have cold case squads, but I had no idea there was such an organization as this. This sounds sort of like the league of extrodinary detectives or something.

02-17-2011, 11:51 PM
BTW, on their website they state they will only work with cases where they have full cooperation with LE.

02-18-2011, 12:02 AM
With that insight, Bender sculpted a bust of List.

snipped from http://abcnews.go.com/2020/leah-freeman-oregon-teen-murder-vidocq-society/story?id=11374958&page=2

This is the guy who did the John List bust that was so deadon.

also snipped, same link

[the Society was] formed by freewheeling forensic sculptor Frank Bender

03-21-2011, 04:14 PM
There was a short lived TV show with Christian Slater that seemed to be based on this idea of a secret meeting between people who could help solve cold cases. In one of the first cases, they hired a sculpture who would create the busts to help the group. I liked the show.. so of course it was cancelled. I believe it was called The Forgotten.

11-25-2013, 12:59 PM
Just saw them referenced as trying to help solve a cold case near Nashville.

FRANKLIN — Franklin police hope soon to have an answer to a question that has dogged them for more than 20 years: Who killed Peggy Cox?

On Feb. 1, 1991, the mother of three was shot and killed at the Hardee’s drive-thru window where she was working on her 49th birthday.

Last week, Franklin Detective Darren Barnes presented the case — the department’s only unsolved homicide — to the Vidocq Society, an exclusive crime-solving organization that meets monthly at the Union League of Philadelphia, Penn.


02-19-2014, 04:45 PM
Joining The Vidocq society is actually one of my goals in life. I hope to educate myself now so that I may have the professional skills needed to show my worth and one day be invited by these other brilliant individuals to join their club.

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02-19-2014, 06:28 PM
I remember that The Vidocq Society was involved with The Boy In The Box case in Philly.
Here's an article in one of the Philly newspapers about their involvement:

"But the “Boy in the Box” remains the most notable murder with Vidocq ties. On Feb. 26, 1957, the battered body of a child with sloppily cut hair was discovered in the woods off Susquehanna Road in the Fox Chase section of Northeast Phildelphia. He was found in a cardboard box that originally held a white bassinet sold at a J.C. Penney in Upper Darby.

The Vidocq Society footed the bill to exhume the murder victim to extract teeth and bones for DNA testing, reburying him in 1998 in Ivy Hill Cemetery, which donated a prime burial plot. Inscribed on his headstone: “Heavenly Father, Bless This Unknown Boy.”

There’s still a website dedicated to the investigation (americasunknownchild.net), but it remains unsolved. The best lead in 50 years came with Vidocq’s involvement. In 1988, a woman now known as Mary told her psychiatrist that she was present when the boy was killed by her librarian mother in their Lower Merion home. Her father taught at Lower Merion High School. Both parents had since died...."