Researching a cold case?

I made a request to the City of Fort Worth to access the file on my Dad's homicide, a 28 year old cold case. I asked for the file in connection with research for a book I'm writing about my parents, and I want to fill in details of his life prior to his death.

City has asked the State Attorney General to deny my request on grounds that all or most of the contents are excepted from the Public Information Act. They claim are that the case is still "open and pending", and that granting access would interfere with an ongoing investigation. Additionally, there are biometric identifiers (fingerprints) included, as well as criminal background info.

Over the years, I've drawn my own conclusions as to what happened, but have no interest in revisiting the mystery.

In the alternative, I would seek a redacted version where any info potentially embarrassing to persons living is stricken. I'd love to get advice from anyone who has run into similar legal roadblocks while doing research.

2 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    You may have to get an attorney to get through that roadblock. Coldcases are technically open and pending. I would contact the local Legal Aid Society or the ACLU and request a pro bono attorney. The problem may be that they feel you are withholding evidence on an open case - which can make you an accessory. The police don't like being shown up by amateur detectives who sit behind keyboards and write. Pax-C

  • 1 decade ago

    sorry to you for this but good luck and hope you find what you want but do not be shocked either. as for the case still being open, write everything you know and keep a notebook, then if the case goes cold or is closed, then you could write your book.

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