08 Mar Capital Cold Cases – Episode 1
“Capital Cold Cases” is the latest effort by local law enforcement authorities to crack unsolved murders and bring closure to the victims’ families.
The broadcast grew from a push to increase community awareness and participation in the Capital Area Crime Stoppers program. The Topeka Police Department, Crime Stoppers and KTWU each put up $10,000 to fund the TV production.
The money was well-spent.
The show is a new and updated version of short re-enactments that were aired during local TV news broadcasts in years past. One inspiration for the longer format was a recent “48 Hours” re-enactment on CBS-TV that featured the unsolved slayings of Topeka couple Karen Harkness and Mike Sisco, who were killed in 2002 at a home in southwest Topeka.
The national program’s influence is clear to see on “Capital Cold Cases,” which features professional production and close attention to detail, such as period clothing. In many cases, the actors bear a striking resemblance to the characters they’re portraying.
But what’s most impressive about the program is the commitment it reveals to the cause of solving the cases.
Topeka police detective Doug Searcy, the director of Crime Stoppers since last August, said local authorities believe people familiar with the Ocobock and Hay cases remain in the area. In both cases, Searcy said, a single tip could lead to a breakthrough in the investigation.
“Investigators are looking for that last piece of the puzzle,” he said.
To find it, though, authorities need help from the public. The Crime Stoppers telephone number will be provided to viewers during the show, and callers may be eligible for cash rewards of up to $2,000 offered for tips that lead to arrests in felony crimes. Authorities say the reward process has been set up to guarantee that tipsters can remain anonymous.
The program obviously wasn’t cheap to produce, and funding will determine how many more episodes will be shot.
But for the sake of the victims and their families, here’s hoping this is the start of a long and productive series.