Cold Case

FBI: Buried Body Is Fugitive Accused In Saxonburg Police Chief Slaying

Jul 14, 2017
FBI via AP, file

*UPDATED: July 14, 2017 at 4:47 p.m.

A decades-long search for a fugitive charged in the 1980 killing of a Pennsylvania police chief came to a dramatic end Friday as authorities positively identified remains found buried in a Massachusetts yard as the man they have long suspected in the fatal shooting.

University of Pittsburgh Law School

We've made considerable advancements in the last several decades of forensic science.  DNA testing has given us the ability to pinpoint culprits that may have never been caught just a few decades ago. 

This opens up the possibility for cold cases like the recent trial of the 1979 Catherine Janet Walsh homicide to finally go to court, and for justice to hopefully be obtained for the victims. 

But new evidence doesn’t always mean justice will be cut and dry.

Essential Pittsburgh legal contributor and University of Pittsburgh law professor David Harris, says the most difficult challenge when opening a cold case is tracking down witnesses.