FL - Volunteer "cold case" team in Hillsborough County, 2005
The stories of their untimely deaths fill dozens of three-ring binders in a small, drab room at the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.
The grisly details are in crime scene reports, detectives' hastily scribbled notes, medical examiners' unflinching photos, in witness accounts.
There are 155 of these mysteries lingering at the Hillsborough Sheriff's Office. They date back to 1956, when a young man named Carl Delong Jr. was violently beaten and left to die after an evening at a known gay bar in downtown Tampa.
Detectives are frustrated. Victims' loved ones wonder : Who did it?
Sheriff's detectives hope to answer that question for some families with the creation of a cold case team. The sole mission of the mostly volunteer group will be to revisit and solve murders that have frustrated generations of investigators.
Sheriff David Gee plans to hire a part-time detective, likely a retired former sheriff's or police investigator, to lead a small group of community volunteers chosen for their unique expertise.
They might be retired CEOs, former private investigators, maybe even biologists, mathematicians and chemical engineers.
"We're looking for people with a different perspective," said Terry, a longtime homicide detective who serves as president of the International Homicide Investigators Association.
"We want them to analyze these old case files, discuss them and work with the officer to generate new leads.
"You never know what a fresh set of eyes can find."
Gee got the idea for the cold case unit while watching television one night shortly after the November election to his first term.
The Discovery Channel program highlighted the Cold Case Cowboys, a squad of retired volunteer cops who solved two cold cases in Douglas County, Ore.
As Gee watched the show, he thought about all the retired cops living in Hillsborough County and all the eager, well-educated retirees he has met over the years in communities like Sun City Center.
"I thought, "We could do that here,"' Gee said. "It won't cost much. A part-time salary, some office space and some supplies
Cases mentioned in the article:
Sonja Ray Ratliff, shot in the chest outside a northwest Hillsborough bar in 1971.
Cheryl McMullen, a restaurant manager, murdered inside a Bennigan's restaurant on N Dale Mabry Highway in May 1990.
Johnny Kim-Foo Sing, shot in his Town 'N Country driveway in June 1997 by a man who took off with Sing's duffel bag and would later discover there was no cash inside.
Mary Duff, a crack addict and sometime-prostitute, found partially submerged in a culvert along the west side of 14th Street NW in Ruskin in March 1999.
1956, when a young man named Carl Delong Jr. was violently beaten and left to die after an evening at a known gay bar in downtown Tampa.
Marca Nanne Baysinger. She has been dead for nearly 20 years. Baysinger was only 19, a wholesome-looking East Bay High graduate who attended Southside Baptist Church with her grandmother.
She had no criminal record. She worked at a local Wal-Mart.
At 10:30 a.m. July 5, 1988, her mother, a church secretary, went out. Baysinger stayed home that Tuesday morning to sunbathe in the yard at 1721 27th St. SE.
When Elaine Baysinger returned, her daughter was sitting in a chair in the Florida room. She still had her bathing suit on, but someone had shot her once in the upper torso with a 9mm bullet.
Edith Converse, killed in 1958. Clarence Edward Deablo, 1972. Ronald Neil Heinlein, 1983. David Addison Neel, shot earlier this month as he drove his pickup truck along I-75 toward Plant City.
Just when I think that I have seen the most depraved things a human can do to another human, somebody posts a new story...........
Why is it that when a custodial parent fails to provide for a child it is called neglect and is a criminal matter. But when a non custodial parent fails to provide it is called failure to support and is a civil matter?
"Just when the caterpillar thought its world was over, it became a butterfly" ~ Michelle Knight