The Skanner News Group this week unveils a special community service project to help law enforcement officials find tips on unsolved murders in the Portland area.
The Skanner's Cold Case Murder Files, click this button on our home page, is an interactive map with blue pins marking the locations of 15 unsolved homicides. Click on each pin and pull up a case file with victims' names and descriptions of the crimes, alongside email and telephone contact information to leave tips with Sgt. Paul Weatheroy, Portland Police Cold Case Squad leader.
The Skanner News Editor Lisa Loving developed the project as a neutral avenue for anyone – wherever they may be across the nation or around the world — to send possible tidbits of information to detectives that could help resolve these heartbreaking tragedies for families and friends.
Even more importantly, if even one case is solved through the project, it could prevent more violent crimes in the future by getting homicidal individuals off the street.
"One of the most remarkable things about the Cold Case Murder Files project is that it illustrates that these violent crimes affect everyone, rich and poor, young and old, male and female, Black and White," she said. "It's strange but true that our Cold Case map is like a snapshot of our city – it shows how closely intertwined our lives really are."
Retired Portland Police Officer Dick Bogle is also working on the project.
"Each unsolved murder has a ripple effect," he said. "There is of course the grief of the family of the victim, there's the grief of the victim's friends and associates – and the public's view of the criminal justice system suffers even more, because no one is going to jail for these murders."
He said it's important for all members of the community to step up and do what they can to take killers off the street.
"The Skanner has stepped up as a community member and done what it could do within its powers to bring public attention to many of these unsolved homicides," he said. "It's my hope on behalf of the friends and family of murdered victims that people will not only go to the website and look at its contents, but if they have information, to phone the number listed 1-800-823-4327, or HELP."