Corresponding for a confession
Inmates can prove to be a valuable source of information on cold case crimes. Various law enforcement agencies have already started to tap this resource through initiatives like the Cold Case Playing Cards in Florida. (see Sept. 16, 2007, blog entry.)
If details of Theresa’s case prompted tips and leads from the prison population, what next? Lots of interviews probably.
But what if the tips pointed specifically to another incarcerated individual? How would you get that person to confess?
The “Apple Dumpling Gang”, two retired lawmen and a newspaper publisher, managed to coax an inmate to confess to several murders through writing letters over a five-year period. They had the time, skill and dedication to cultivate a “relationship” with the suspect and their efforts paid off.
To read more about this volunteer band of detectives, click here:
Can we identify a few incarcerated suspects in Theresa’s case and either eliminate them or confirm their involvement the same way?
One caveat though…jailhouse confessions may not be reliable. Their motives for confessing may not be altruistic so it would take a skilled interrogator to ensure the legal process wasn’t compromised.
Also…to get tips, leads or confessions from inmates, you might also have to determine what they want in exchange for that information. Can the justice system come up with acceptable “plea agreements” to get them to talk (e.g., cash rewards, transfers to jails closer to their homes, additional prison privileges, etc.) and then publicize those offers within the prison population and let the inmates know that Quebec is willing to “deal” for legitimate leads?
North Dakota managed to get a confession from William See Walker on a 25-year-old murder of a university student through a plea agreement.