Why Am I Partnering With The Cold Case Foundation?
As a crime fiction writer, I’m usually looking at crime for its story and entertainment value; but I’ve always felt that it is essential to give back something positive to the real-life crime fighting world and the real life crime fighters (aka the TRUE heroes and heroines). I’ve been looking for years for the kind of crime fighting organization that also shared my own personal mission to shed hope and light into the darkest recesses of the human experience.
This fall, I found the Cold Case Foundation and they became an instant heart connection for me. Shedding light into the darkest recesses of humanity is EXACTLY what they are doing every day.
I reached out immediately to the executive team to learn more and they welcomed me and shared their mission and their willingness to partner. I did a soft launch of my partnership during my first Los Angeles book event for Secret Remains and we raised $775. My intention is to raise awareness and funding for the CCF through my work as an author and speaker. Eventually, I hope to become trained in their victimology program and bring victim prevention courses/seminars to the general public so we can all learn how to assess and lower our risk of being victim of a crime.
Why Does our Country Need the CCF?
Here are some startling stats from the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report on the state of violent crime in the U.S.
The national average of solved homicides in the US is 64%.
36% are unsolved annually Since 1980
248,933 unsolved murders (FBI Uniform Crime Report)
Up to 80% of sexual assaults go unreported
400,000 thousand sexual assault test kits untested in police departments around the U.S.
The Los Angeles Police Department has more than 11,000 unsolved murders committed between 1960 and 2003.
What Is A Cold Case?
A Case is considered cold if the crime has not been solved after one year of when the offense occurred.
What’s Stopping Law Enforcement From Solving Crimes?
Law enforcement are focused on present and future crimes. Not as much crimes of the past.
The biggest obstacles facing police departments today concerning the investigation of cold cases are commitment, manpower and funds.
Only about 18 percent of the nation’s 18,000-plus police agencies that have cold cases actually have a “cold case unit” to investigate these incidents.
About 20 percent of those units do not have proper protocols in place to guide them through the process in the most effective way.
What and Who Are the CCF?
CCF was founded in 2014 and is currently run by an all-volunteer board and staff of law enforcement experts from the FBI, police branches, and investigators and forensic experts from around the country.
Those of you who have seen the Netflix show Mindhunter have been introduced to the fictional version of the CCF’s board president and FBI profiling pioneer, John E. Douglas.
But the day-to-day powerhouses behind CCF are Greg Cooper and Dean Jackson. Their list of accolades and accomplishments require a newsletter unto itself. But you can read more about them on the CCF website.
What is the CCF’s Mission?
“We are dedicated to stopping the deadly compounding effect of cold cases and providing hope and resources to families affected by violent crime. The Cold Case Foundation is devoted to raising public awareness and creating partnerships to assist and provide law enforcement whatever resources are needed to bring about closure. “
What Kinds of Cases Does the CCF Help Solve?
• Missing Persons
• Unidentified Bodies
• Rape/Sexual Assaults (with serial characteristic)
How Do They Solve Cases?
The CCF is a NPO support arm for law enforcement agencies. They assist by providing funding, expert consulting, training, networking, and victim support.
Is There A Cost for Using the CCF?
No. Applicants can apply through the CCF website. There is no cost to police departments or victims and their families for the CCF support services.
How Can The Average Jane or John Get Involved?
Join the CCF Facebook page
Watch & Learn more! There are some great videos on the CCF home page.
Binge a couple Netflix shows that feature CCFs team: The Confession Killer and Mindhunter
Invite CCF to Educate You On Victimology. We don’t like to think about it, but every one of us is a potential crime victim. However, the CCF has very practical steps we can take to reduce our risks and, more importantly become more empowered so that we don’t have to live paralyzed by fear. Invite the team to come to your school, business, community group, church group, etc. to talk about VICTIMOLOGY. The goal of course is to prepare citizens to understand the victim theory, victim consequences, victim facilitation, victim’s rights, victim’s support, and cultural considerations.
Contribute! Donate! Give! The CCF is a non-profit and they desperately need funding. All of the professionals who run CCF are volunteering their time. These experts deploy to help investigators around the country who are also volunteers. They get case requests on a weekly basis and they are in increasing demand!
In addition to these, I’ll keep you posted on my continuing partnership and any ways you can join me!
And now…. I feel compelled usher a little humble brag. I want to announce that my dad, Dr. Ronald Graeser, is one of the newest members of the CCF forensic team! As a former medical examiner he has also partnered with them to be a consultant. I couldn’t be happier and prouder!