LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The Jefferson County Coroner's Office is the 16th largest office in the United States mandated to deal with death. The level of damage a homicide brings to community is often missed in the midst of the homicide story on the news. In the middle of giving all the facts, we are not often able to share the total devastation of the family.
The truth of the pain is also easily looked over as a slick crime television program leads into the news and the murder is solved in one hour and the only disappointment you see is from savvy cops who always seem to get their man.
Jefferson County Coroner Barbara Weakley-Jones has been listening to and talking for the dead for more than 29 years. She said reality surrounding homicide cases is nothing like television portrays on the news or on the one hour series.
"When we go to a scene a lot of times we look to see if there's evidence of a struggle. We look to see what type of weapon was used. You, you look at all of that and you really realize how much they suffered or struggled or a phone by their side trying to call for help when there was no help available," Weakley-Jones said shaking he head.
Weakley-Jones has been telling the stories the dead can't tell.
"Knowing that someone got away with something it's tough," she said.
Before a question about what she sees during her job was even finished she said quickly, "Have I ever been shocked at things that have been done to another human being? Yes!"
She has also been disappointed. Weakley-Jones said she is shocked in what people can do to each other.
"I have many deaths that run through my mind of how some people died. It's incredible what people can do to other people. It's tough it lives with you forever," she sighed.
Every case is solvable according to the Louisville Metro Police Department. However, more than 470 unsolved murder cases are still on the books, dating back to the death of George Brooks in 1961. These cases are now part of a website that's up and running trying to catch murderers still on the run. There are names and pictures of the homicide victims from present day to 2012. Pictures of victims are being added daily as the site grows. The hope is the tips and the arrest will grow too.
Weakley-Jones stressed, "You don't even have to tell who you are if you could just help get the person who did it! People don't realize how their actions affect other people. Whether it's ending in death or it's an ending in somebody who's injured and not normal for the rest of their lives."
LMPD Lt. Todd Kessinger reminded us all that any piece of information is helpful and may be the key to solving a case. The smallest tip could lead to the biggest break for officers and a mourning family. The lack of closure of a murder case is just as hard on families as the tragedy itself. Any tip can be anonymous and any tip can be the key to finding the answer to a cold case.
To view LMPD's unsolved murder cases and see how you can help, click here.
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