Somebody knows something. They always do.
Yet, people still fear coming forward with what they know, even when they realize it could very well help solve an unsolved murder. Did you ever wonder why they remain silent?
We asked our readers last May, and the answers might surprise you. Our poll results, based on the options provided:
- 29% said they personally know the killer and fear retaliation.
- 27% said they believe there’s no such thing as an “anonymous tip.”
- 17% said they fear their “own” dark background might be exposed if they contact authorities.
- 17% also said they were somehow involved in committing the crime and/or covering it up.
- 9% chose “Other” (those responses given shortly), and
- 2% said they honestly don’t care about the murder victims or whether the cases get solved.
Five “other” custom responses included the following: they don’t want to be labeled as a SNITCH; they are not sure if the information they have is true, and only suspect it; all of the above; all of the above + apathy; and that they can’t remember.
That said …
The following month, June 2011, we followed up with another poll question. It asked:
If 100% anonymity were guaranteed, would you be willing to let Iowa Cold Cases serve as a liaison between you and the police?
No other custom replies were submitted.
Guess what? We’re ready to make good on our word. We’re hoping you will, too.
Our website here would not exist without trust. Readers, family members and victims’ friends often provide to us snippets of information they ask be kept confidential. We’ve honored each and every one of those requests. Had we ever violated — even once — a desire that details not be shared, the foundation on which we built Iowa Cold Cases would have crumbled long ago.
Make no mistake; under no circumstances will we ever compromise anyone’s safety.
So — what exactly are we asking you to do?
Take a deep breath …
- Remind yourself that every single night, someone’s mother or father or sister or brother or husband or wife or child goes to bed wondering about the last moments of his or her loved one’s life. Month after month, year after year, they replay the few known details and all too many imagined scenarios and silently grieve over untold unanswered questions.
- Ask yourself: What if the victim were my mother? My father? My child? Try hard to really put yourself in his or her shoes.
- Think back: Do you have knowledge about something — perhaps one small detail about the crime never reported in the papers, never mentioned on TV? Did you hear someone give conflicting accounts of his/her whereabouts that day/night? Do you have reason to believe … reason to suspect … something you’d rather forget?
- Go to our Anonymous Tip Form (no name required — no e-mail address required) and provide us with any information you believe law enforcement could use to follow up on a case. Please be as specific as possible about everything you know, remember, or learned from others; is it a fact, or do you just “feel it in your gut?” Why? Tell us. The tiniest detail may matter most.
- One final note and suggestion: Information submitted via this form will NOT be posted publicly or anywhere on our site. In the event you’d like to keep open an anonymous line of communication (should we have a question or need to clarify something where you’d want the opportunity to respond), consider using a short unidentifiable pseudonym (known only to you) in the name field on the Anonymous Tip Form (i.e. Baxter, Ollie, INO2, Mayberry, Cheerios, Deep Throat, anything will do), whereas we can leave a short message to you in the comments section on the respective vic’s page. For instance, if you wrote us about Sheila Collins, we might write on her page’s comment section: “To Cheerios, was it 9 a.m. or p.m.?” You may respond once again via the Anonymous Tip Form to protect your identity.
It’s up to you.
It’s a New Year. Make a resolution to do what’s right. We’ll work with you however we can to relay your message to the proper authorities with the common goal of seeking justice for a victim and his/her family.