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How to Find Old Homicide Cases

How to find old homicide cases

Do you have an interest in learning more about homicide cases from the past? If so, you’ll want to check out this guide on how to find old homicide cases. We’ll provide tips on where to look for information and how to access it. So whether you’re a researcher or just curious, keep reading.


What Is a Homicide Case, And What Are The Different Types Of Homicide Cases?

A homicide case involves the act of a person killing someone else. When someone speaks of homicide, some persons may think it’s illegal, but some homicides are legal. Some examples of legal crimes can be cases where someone is defending themself from being raped and killed the attacker, a store owner trying to protect himself from armed robbery, vehicular accident, where someone in the accident passes away, etc. Meanwhile, a couple of criminal homicide cases would include murder, some acts of manslaughter, etc. 

The different types of homicide cases would fall under murder and manslaughter. With murder, there is first-degree murder, second-degree murder, and third-degree murder. At the same time, manslaughter cases would fall under voluntary manslaughter and involuntary manslaughter. 

What Is a Homicide Case

How To Find Old Homicide Cases 

There are some ways you can find old homicide cases online that would somehow assist you in finding your loved ones or friends. Persons can simply:

Start with the basics – name, year, and location.

The basics are always the best place to start a search. The individual’s name, the year they were murdered, and the location is also key to finding out information. There is a free website that persons can visit to gain access to data from homicide cases from as far back. This website is called Murder Accountability Project

Check For Newspaper Articles or Other Online Resources.

The great thing is that once there has been a homicide case in each state, it would have indeed made the news. Therefore, checking old newspaper articles will help once you have the basics like the individual’s name, the year they were murdered, and location.

Again, thanks to the internet, you can gain access to lots of old newspaper articles just by searching. You should come across websites that offer online newspapers like Chronicling America: Historic Newspapers, Google Newspaper Archive, and more. Chronicling America: Historic Newspapers and Google Newspaper Archive provide information as far back in history and are free to use. Another relevant place someone can also visit to receive tons of information is their local library.

Persons can also try doing a youtube search to find some information about the case or even visit the local news outlets online like CNN, NBC News, ABC News, etc. 

Contact The Police Department or District Attorney’s Office.

Contacting your local police department or the district attorney’s office is also the next suitable option. You may also find some helpful information about the homicide case once you provide relevant information. 

Ask Friends and Family If They Know Of Any Unsolved Homicides In The Area.

Another great resource to find any unsolved homicide cases can be by just having a conversation with any friends or family that were close to the individual. By asking these questions, you may gather some information that could be beneficial. 

Search Through Public Records Databases.

There are different means and methods for persons to obtain information through the FOIA (Freedom of Information Act). This FOIA law was passed in 1967, where persons are supposed to gain access to public records information from government agencies. 

Going through public records such as court records, statical data, bankruptcy records, etc., can also be a great way to receive information. Carefully note that once the specific type of data you’re searching for isn’t restricted or exempt, you can get all the necessary information needed. You can read more about the process of the FOIA here.   


Find Old Homicide Cases

The Process Of Investigating a Homicide Case 

The process of investigating a homicide case is very challenging. The law officials have the important task of securing the homicide scene and figuring out what went on by examining the case, like checking for fingerprints, getting statements from people, etc.

The information provided to law enforcement is also critical, like what went wrong, whether the dead person is still on the ground, if the first responders are around? Etc. That’s also why the investigators’ information is vital because they have to solve how this homicide occurred by searching and safely collecting all necessary evidence. 

Process Of Investigating a Homicide Case

Why Some Homicide Cases Are Solved While Others Remain Unsolved

Many persons will ask why some homicide cases are solved while others are not. In reality, there can be several factors affecting the closure of homicide cases. However, one of those factors why some homicide cases remain unsolved is insufficient evidence. Sometimes, it also depends on the witnesses. Maybe persons who have witnessed the crime never came forward to bring in information that can be vital for detectives. 

Some Homicide Cases Are Solved While Others Remain Unsolved

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The Role Of Forensic Evidence In Homicide Investigations

The use of forensic science to solve a homicide is important. On a crime scene, the scientist can collect DNA samples. It all depends on the state of the homicide victim. For example, if the body is decomposed, scientists can collect dental evidence from the corpse. Scientists can also collect evidence from the victims’ hair, nails, soil, weapon, glass, etc. The role of forensic evidence in homicide cases is significant in many ways. Proper forensic evidence in a homicide case can indeed prove if someone is guilty of the crime or not.


This article contains general legal information but does not constitute professional legal advice for your particular situation. The Law Dictionary is not a law firm, and this page does not create an attorney-client or legal adviser relationship. If you have specific questions, please consult a qualified attorney licensed in your jurisdiction.

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