A ground-breaking TV show from A&E, Cold Case Files made its debut in 1999. Hosted by Bill Kurtis, a veteran news anchor and award-winning documentary producer, the series delves into the exciting and dangerous world of real-life crimes in an attempt to solve cases where the trails have grown cold and murderers have escaped justice.
Each documentary is a detailed investigative report into a mysterious and unsolved murder. Widely popular with fans, Cold Case Files has won kudos from law enforcement agencies as well, for its realistic look into the investigative methods detectives and the everyday job dedication of policemen and policewomen.
Episodes focus on baffling cases long-shelved for lack of evidence. Crimes are re-examined — and solved — when modern, cutting-edge forensics are applied to evidence from old crime scenes.
Fans of Cold Case Files who couldn't get enough of the TV show now have comprehensive DVD releases available. There's also an interactive computer game of the same name where players mouse their way to solving forgotten cases.
Law enforcement agencies — once as tight-lipped about their cases as a closed coffin at a funeral — have begun to see the value of the public's fascination with forensic science, whether in the form of fictional stories like the C.S.I. shows, or the long-running Cold Case Files' factual explorations of true crimes.
It's become very common in recent years for local, state and national law enforcement agencies to seek the public's help in solving crimes. Many sheriff and police agencies maintain their own Cold Case departments where officers look to citizens to provide the missing clues they need to solve cases that would otherwise be deep-sixed in the archives.
There's no such thing as the 'perfect crime', and each of us has an obligation to keep our eyes and ears open for clues or strong suspicions we might have about criminals and criminal activity — and report them promptly to law enforcement. Just watch an episode or two of Cold Case Files and you'll be amazed at how potent a force for justice the public can be when it gets involved in helping law enforcement officers and forensic scientists crack unsolved cases!