Cold Cases

When the term cold case comes to mind what do you think of? Cold case describes a crime or accident that hasn’t yet been solved to the fullest.

A cold case is considered unsolved until a suspect has been identified, trialed, and charged. It is also not the subject of a recent criminal investigation, but it may be possible that new information could emerge from new witness testimony, re-examined suspects or witnesses gather new material evidence, as well as recent actives of the suspects. New techniques that are developed after the case can be used with the still standing evidence to re-analyze the causes.

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This often results in no new results. Most timed cold cases are brutal or other major felony crimes.

Such crimes consist of murder or rape. In some instances disappearances of victims can result in a case being considered a cold case. Meaning the victim hasn’t been seen or heard from for some time. About 35 percent of these cases are not even cold cases at all. Some become instantly cold when a solved case is re-opened due to the findings of new evidence pushes officials away from the original suspects.

This happens more than you think and one could say justice was miscarried.

Other cases go cold when human remains are discovered well after the fact. In other cases they are classified cold cases when a case that was thought to be an accident or suicide is found to be a murder when new evidence is found. Regardless of what may have happen to result in a case going cold something has to be done about the tragedy. Unsolved crimes are on the rise. The bulk of manslaughter at the moment result in being unsolved at plenty of big-city police departments.

This fact has been proven by the Scripps Howard News Service. This news service conducted a study of crime records provided by the FBI.

The proportion of homicides that result in being unsolved in the United States has swept upward severely. Every year in America approximately 6,000 killers get away scot-free with murder. Roundly 185,000 murders went unsolved from 1980 to 2008.

“This is very frightening”, stated Bill Hagmaier, executive director of the International Homicide Investigators Association and retired chief of the FBI’s National Center for the Analysis of the Violent Crime. At the same time some progress has been made. In 2008, police solved 35 percent of homicides in Chicago, 22 percent in New Orleans and 21 percent in Detroit.

Likewise authories solved 75 percent of the killings in Philadelphia, 92 percent in Denver and 94 percent in San Diego. (Thomas Hargrove, 2010) For the safety of our law abiding citizens even more progress needs to be made.

Some may think why is this? Even though advancentments in DNA analysis and forensic science has been made, police officials fall short and fail to make arrest in more than one-third of all murders. National clearance rates for these types of crimes have fallen from approximately 90 percent in the 1960’s to below 65 percent in more recent times.

Experts state that homicides are more difficult to figure out now more than ever because crimes of passion, where assailants are easier to identify have been replaced by drug- and gang- related killings. A lot of police chiefs particularly in areas with rising numbers of unsolved crimes blame it on a lack of witness cooperation. Regardless this is a very serious problem and the public is starting to take notice. (Thomas Hargrove, 2010) For some people when the term cold case comes to mind its hit to close to or exactly at home.

On the dawn of June 27, 2000 Magi Bish was in route with her precious daughter Molly Bish.

This morning seemed to be going as any other day were to go. Magi was dropping her daughter off to work at Comins Pond. This was the local swimming hole. Molly had just started her new summer job there as a lifeguard.

It was just before 10 a. m. The par5king lot was empty except for a dumping truck dropping off sand. Magi stated, “what she said to me is, ‘I love you, Mom,’ and that was the last I seen of her,'” says Magi. She explained how she watched her daughter walk toward the beach. She the waited for the dump truck to drive out before she drove way.

(Rebecca Leung, (n. )). About 20 minutes later, Sandra Woodworth arrived at the pond with her kids. “The first aid kit was wide open, backpack was on the bench, her towel was draped over the back of the chair, sandals were in front, the Poland Springs water bottle was right there,” says Woodworth. “But there was no Molly.

” Approximately an hour passed. Molly’s boss, Park Commissioner Ed Fett, then showed up and realized Molly wasn’t around. He also noticed her sandals and the open first-aid kit, which he closed. He then called the police. Eventually, Warren police arrived.

Molly had been missing for over three hours before a call was made to Mollys’ mother was called.

Police at first suspected that maybe Molly simply abandoned her post to go hang with friends. For the people that truly need Molly knew that this was almost impossible. “She never would just leave her job. We knew it, says Magi. “We knew.

And I kept saying something is very wrong. ” (Rebecca Leung, (n. d)). Molly was John and Magi’s third and youngest child. She had just finished her first year of high school.

A varsity athlete, Molly had attended the prom with her boyfriend, Steve Lukas.

And, just like her older siblings, John and Heather, Molly was not blind to the action work. “This was the girl who gave up her Saturdays at 16 years old to train to become a lifeguard. She took her work very seriously,” says her sister, Heather. “There is not a doubt in my mind that she would do anything to jeopardize that.

” (Rebecca Leung, (n. d)). Later that afternoon, when it finally became clear to police that Molly wasn’t with her boyfriend or any other friends, they had to move to they considered the next logical possibility. “They were saying she drowned and I was saying there’s no possible way,” says her brother John.

By late afternoon that Massachusetts State police had taken charge of the investigation.

Over the next few days, they launched a massive search, working under Worcester County District Attorney John Conte. A lot of volunteers from the local area also helped search for Molly. (Rebecca Leung, (n. d)). While the Boston Media swarmed the story, the Bish family was lost in a never-never land of fear, grief and shock.

“You’re breathing but not alive”, says Magi. “You’re walking and you can’t make any sense of the world that u trusted one day before. After the biggest, most costly search in Massachusetts history, the Bish family still had no answers. “I could read in their eyes, they wanted to bring Molly home so bad and they couldn’t,” says Magi. “You can lose your keys, and you could lose your glasses, but how in America do you lose your child? ” (Rebecca Leung, (n. d)).

While investigators focused on local residents, John and Magi Bish were forming a theory on their own. “I don’t believe any of these people around here were involved in this. This is the work of a professional, who knew what he was doing,” says John Bish. Their thoughts were not just a theory.

Magi Bish believes exactly 24 hours before Molly disappeared, she may have seen the man who abducted her. Before long, the Bish family decided to give back and do all they can to help other families in which the same thing may have happen to them.

They wanted to keep the hope alive that they will find their daughter. At on event for missing children, they even met the parents of another missing blonde teenager Elizabeth Smart and began talking. Like the Smarts, the Bish Family couldn’t sit back and except police to do it alone. John Bish makes regular trips to Comins Pond, and he has his own theory of what happened.

It goes back to the morning before Molly vanished, when Magi Bish saw a man sitting alone in a white sedan in the parking lot. She waited nervously for 20 minutes, until the man drove off.

He smoked a cigarette before he did so. Then, Magi says, she put the incident out of her mind until the next day. “The man had dark hair, kind of salt-and-peppered, though he was between… Maybe 45 and 55,” recalls Magi Bish.

Police have released two composite sketches. (Rebecca Leung, (n. d)). Police discovered that Magi wasn’t the only one to see this white car and man. Other witnesses also spotted ta white car.

First, near a car wash at the base of Comins Pond Road.

And later, at the end of the trail from the beach to the cemetery. John Bish says the scene itself provides telling hints as to exactly what happened next, starting with that open first-aid kit. “I think this was just someone who said, ‘I need a Band-Aid. I’ve cut myself. Do you have something? ‘” Then, after Molly turned around to open it, John thinks the kidnaper forced her up the cemetery road, since her shoes were left behind.

He says she would never voluntarily have gone up barefoot up that hill. (Rebecca Leung, (n. )). District Attorney John Conte pursed the white-car theory seriously, and his team did a cursory search of 125 white cars. But his investigators believed the abductor lived nearby. They began interrogating local sex offenders.

At least one of those questioned, a convicted child rapist named Oscar Baillargeon, bears a striking resemblance to the sketch. He also admitted to meeting Molly at a party. But Magi Bish had doubts. “Definitely there is a resemblance, but it’s, the hair wasn’t…” The sketch has become one of the most recognized drawings in Massachusetts.

But police never identified the “white car man. ” We’ve got over 4,000 leads in a database,” says Conte.

“Were looking for evidence. We don’t have it. ” (Rebecca Leung, (n. d)). There years after Molly disappeared, the investigation suddenly re-ignited.

A piece of Molly’s clothing was found on a wooded hillside, five miles from the pond where she disappeared from. It was the first major clue in the case. But the big break comes from a local ex-cop named Tim McGuigan, who had an obsession with an entirely different crime the abduction of another young girl from the area. (Rebecca Leung, (n. )).

In August 1993, Holy Piirainen, 10, went walking along a country road near her grandmother’s house in Sturbridge, Mass. , and simply vanished. All searchers found was one small shoe. In the following weeks, Holly parents went thru the same ordeal the Bish Family would experience seven years later. Ten weeks after she vanished, local hunters found Holly’s remains in the woods nearby. “The worst part of it for me was wondering who did this to my daughter,” says Holly’s’ mother, Tina.

(Rebecca Leung, (n. d)). Investigators were never able to figure out who killed Holly Piirrainen.

But several years later, McGuigan, couldn’t get Holly’s unsolved murder out of his mind. “I thought of the innocence of this child and her life taken away by a predator. It made me realize there’s real evil out there.

There’s evil out there. And I wanted to do everything I could do to help her. ” McGuigan started his own investigation, but he says his superiors were not sympathetic. “What’s bigger in life than getting a predator off the street before he grabs someone else,” asks McGuigan, who admits that the case began to take over his life.

He started drinking heavily, his marriage fall apart, and in August 2002, he left the force and drifted from job to job.

While writing a true crime account of Holly’s murder, McGuigan became increasingly fascinated with the its similarities with the Molly Bish case. They were both young, blonde girls who vanished in a rural area, just a few miles apart. McGuigan now went to the Bish family asking for permission to investigate Molly’s case as well. (Rebecca Leung, (n. d)).

Two weeks later, police made a startling announcement. They discovered pieces of a weather beaten bathing suit, much like the one Molly was wearing.

McGuigan discovered the suit, and he says a local hunter, Ricky Beaudreau, lead him to the site. Beaudreau says he had actually seen the blue suit months earlier, but he’d forgotten about it until he crossed paths again with McGuigan, The bathing suit was sent to the laboratory and another intensive ground search began. “We want to solve this case, and we want to find Molly, and we want to bring her back to the Bashes,” says Conte. (Rebecca Leung, (n.

d)). After one more grueling week, John and Magi Bish hear the news they had been dreading.

The discovery of a human bone, an upper arm bone from a person 14-20 years old. Over the next few days, more grisly discoveries are made. Including another rib and vertebrae, a total of 20 bones.

Finally, on June 9, the investigators confirm that the remains are those of their daughter, Molly. “I do know that Molly’s in heaven and she doesn’t have to suffer anymore,” says Magi Bish. The search for Molly Bish is over, but for her family the search for Molly’s killer feels more urgent than ever. ” The recovery of Molly hasn’t ended anything it changed the focus of the investigation.

We have to find this person, or he’s gonna hurt someone again, says John Bish.

(Rebecca Leung, (n. d)). Investigators began redoubling their efforts. But while the official investigators were on the hillside hunting for evidence, McGuigan conducted his unofficial investigation five miles down the road at the scene where Molly was abducted. With him is criminal profiler John Kelly, who has developed a profile of the killer. ” We felt he had to be a hometown guy because of the way Comins pond is situated.

He knew which roads to take. I mean this deed was carried out in an almost perfect way until her body was found. Kelly also believes the man wasn’t a novice. “He wouldn’t be as good. He wouldn’t be methodical.

‘Cause bear in mind this has been the perfect crime for three years. He got away with murder. ” The discovery of Molly’s body confirmed one of Kelly’s predictions. That the killer would look for higher ground. “The reason for that is because if you go up on higher ground, doing whatever you’re going to do to your victim, you can see people coming up, you can hear people coming up. So that gives you time either to escape or take off, or it gives you time to hide.

” (Rebecca Leung, (n. d)).

McGuigan and Kelly also visited Holly’s crime scene, and they have struck more than ever by the similarities in the cases, and the killers’ profiles. “This is obviously someone who knew the area extremely well, extremely well,” says Kelly, who now believes 50-50 that these case are connected. I mean this is really out of the way. I mean he obviously realized that he wasn’t going to be interrupted.

” Robert Armes, the man who McGuigan has kept coming back to for three years, becomes the main focus of his investigation again. Armes is a day laborer from Sturbridge who’s since moved to a neighboring state. I think that he’s involved with Holly Piirainen,” says McGuigan. “I’m not sure of any involvement with Molly Bish. I’m absolutely sure about Holly.

” McGuigan says Armes knew the area well, and acted suspiciously after Holly’s murder. He bought new boots the same day she was abducted, and then junked the car he’d been driving. “He knew about physical evidence. He wanted to get rid of physical evidence,” says McGuigan. But perhaps most striking of all is what Armes did shortly after Molly disappeared. He approached the family, volunteering to search and raise money.

In another strange move, Armes went to press, declared himself a suspect, and denied any involvement. “I have a clear conscience. I don’t need to confess to something I didn’t do to have a clear conscience. ” (Rebecca Leung, (n. d)). Police have never been able to determine Armes’ whereabouts when the abduction took place, but they claim that he failed a lie detector test.

In the intervening years, McGuigan had taken statements from various people who knew Armes, and claims to have overheard him implicate himself in the Piirainen murder. As for the official investigation, State Police Lt.

Peter Higgings says he’s grateful for McGuigan leads. ” He has provided us information in the past we’ve looked at it, we’ve worked on it, and it’s proved helpful. ” But so far , there just isn’t suffient credible evidence to justify arrest. ” Robert Armes knows what he did that day.

He knows what he did,” says McGuigan. ” I’d like to talk to him. ” (Rebecca Leung, (n. d)). After repeated request for an interview , 48 Hours tracked down Armes in New Hampshire.

Since moving there, Armes has been arrested numerous times for petty offenses, and pleaded guilty to assault against his own daughter.

Spencer asked Armes if she could ask him some questions about the Holly Piirainen case. He refused to answer. But McGuigan is still convinced that until Armes answers some questions, he can’t be ruled out as Holly Piirainen’s killer. There is far less evidence, however, to link him to the murder of Molly Bish. Armes vaguely resembles the first composite sketch of the mysterious ‘white car man,” and witnesses put him in the area the week of Molly’s disappearance.

But other than the fact he matches elements of Kelly’s profile , there’s little else to suggest Armes had any involvement. Can we say Robert Armes is responsible? Absolutely not,” says Kelly. ” We need to eliminate him and he’s certainly a person of interest who need to be eliminated. ” But wherever these investigations lead, McGuigan has certainly had an effect in refocusing the police’s attention on them. Even if I’m wrong , Molly Bish is still going home,” says McGuigan. ” There is a lot of activity being placed on these cases right now.

” (Rebecca Leung, (n. d)). Nearly four years after Molly Bish disappeared , there is a permanent task force of several detectives still investigating her murder.

Police also say they’re sharing information with the neighboring county, where Holly Piirainen was killed, and still have not ruled out the possibility of a connection. On August 2, 2003, what would have been her 20th birthday, Molly Bish was laid to rest. Sine 48 Hours first aired this story in December, Worchester County District Attorney John Conte empaneled a grand jury to hear testimony in the Molly Bish case.

S so far, no indictments. Ex-cop Tim McGuigan, who turned up key evidence in the case, is among those who’ve testified.

He’s given up on getting back into laws enforcement, and is working on getting his book published. Meanwhile, Molly’s parents, John and Magi Bish, have been speaking to police all across the country, hoping to improve the way they handle missing child cases. (Rebecca Leung, (n.

d)). One year twenty two monarch butterflies took flight into the gray skies above storm-ravaged cemetery. A fast moving thunderstorm earlier that day bought down a maple tree across the access road to the cemetery and pine bough, leaves and needles were scattered across roads, and the hillside where the family and friends gathered.

The observance of Molly’s birthday is always a difficult time for the family , Mrs. Bish said, but she was more emotional than usual having read the transcript of a program that would be broadcast later in the evening on Court TV. ” Haunting Evidencing” explores the paranormal aspects of Molly’s abduction on June 27, 2000, from the beach at Comins Pond.

As in previous remembrances and vigils on the town common, Mrs. Bish played music and recorded memorial to her daughter on a battery- powered boom box. The 20 attending the service included family members and friends. Bradford L. Miner, (n.

d. )) After the disappearance of Molly, the community struggled with the loss and a fear of evil. The thought that the abductor cold be living among them created the need to provide safety and awareness to the children and family in their community. At a gathering around the Bish’s kitchen table, the Bish family and friends began to plan the first “Safety Day. ” This began the Molly Bish foundation and Lifeguard Center.

Their motto was ” If you save one life you save the world. ” At the first safety event they provided over 1,400 free child id kits .

Since that time the Molly Bish Foundation has gone out to thousands of safety events they provided over 165,000 free digital pictures and fingerprints in the highly reconigized blue and yellow “Molly Bish” Child Identification Booklets. The parents of Molly continue to do numerous things to support and better the way child missing case are handled. (Molly Bish Foundation, (n.

d. )) Reference Page Butterflies honor Molly’s birthday, n. d. Retrieved May 23, 2012 from http://www. telegram.

com/apps/pbcs. dll/article? AID=/20060803/NEWS/608030844/10