Cops are required to see humanity at its most awful every day. Whether its pulling up onto a crime scene or pulling someone over, you're not witnessing people at their best. However, there are those days when the stars align to just give you the crappiest plate imaginable. Cases and victims in such terrible circumstances they stick with you for forever.
WARNING: Some cases involve sexual assault or mutilation.
Reddit user, u/Madamadamwasstolen, wanted to know what keeps cops up at night when they asked:
Cases Never Reported
I work as an investigator for the county medical examiner. The cases that always creep me out are the Jane and John Does, especially the younger ones. How could a family not report a loved one missing for 10, 20 or 30 years? Some of these cases are not suspicious so it's not like the family is worried about going to prison. We're looking at forensic genealogy to assist with some of the cases.
"No leads to this day. No suspects. No convictions."
Im a cop but this isn't my case.
The FBI believes that over nearly two decades a trucker or multiple truckers have been killing women and dumping their bodies along their routes.
In 2004 an FBI wonk notices a trend of bodies being dumped along a commercial trucking route in the south and submits it to a crime tracking database. Texas analyst picks it up and they find dozens of identical cases.
No leads to this day. No suspects. No convictions.
To Much To Search Over
In a town close to me, a few years ago a little boy went missing. He was in a foster home with his siblings. There was apparent previous reports from neighbors of them wandering off frequently because they were left alone without food, breaking into garages I think. He was reported missing by the foster mom, she went on tv and everything I think I remember?
There was so many search parties, we live in the desert so theres a lot of open land. I stopped hearing things about it, eventually I asked one of my buddies who works in that PD and he told me they never got any real answers, they found remains years later that they believed to be his in a canal, but it had been so long not much was left, also they think wild animals had probably spread what was left of the remains around after all these years.
Worst Game Of Fetch Ever
Guy let his dog out and it came back with a decaying limb.
When they went to search they found a makeshift alter.
Sounds Like A Brain Teaser That Might Never Be Solved
2 girls in their 20s round murdered in a their car. McDonald's food in their laps. Windows up. Doors locked. No sign of a struggle.
Was my last case I ever worked. 3 years ago. No suspects have been arrested.
Edit: I was an investigator for the medical examiner. My job was to document facts. Not solve the crime. Local law enforcement is responsible for the solving.
Whispered Into The Wind
For a time my business contracted to a PI company that was made up of part time police officers. One case they told me about was a guy who simply vanished. Normal life, wife, kids, active in the community, gone out of thin air.
Over the years, there were verified sightings of him. There is recording of him over a year later at a bar in Omaha (bartender happened to be from the area where he disappeared and recognized the guy after he left).
Best anyone could tell is that he just wanted a new life and successfully started over.
A Crime Against Nature
some one killed 50 dogs and left them on top of parked cars for a year, then it just stopped.
Picked Up, But Never Returned
A local girl went missing about 2 years ago. Whole community and neighboring communities got involved. Had a hashtag they painted on car windows and everything, tried like crazy to find her. The parents still hold out hope, but I'm not convinced they really do, and it's devastating to watch. I have friends that know the family. I have 2 young girls, and this is a fear that my job forces me to take home with me, that one day they'll disappear and that's it. There are some trafficking hot-spots nearby. A week after that girl disappeared, I told my wife she was most likely already dead.
Miles And Miles Away
My father was a police oficer some time ago. While in school his platoon was called with every other policeman in region. A kid was missing. they were looking for him for quite some time, yet they did not found him. He was suposed to be somewhere in small forest near the town he was living in. Kid just sunk. After some time people would contact police and say that kid was seen almost 500 km away - alone. They had many suspects but all got they alibi. The case was open for almost 20 years and was closed like ten years ago.
The Ultimate Cat Burglar
I'm a retired police officer and this one scared me.
So I was sent to a house at 0300 one winter night for a prowler call. It was an old widowed lady who said a man was in her back yard watching her.
Usually this is dementia or who knows but we went. She let us in the front door and we went to the backyard to shine our lights around and look for anything. It was a mid size yard with a pond and lots of nice Japanese maples etc. Really well taken care of. Were were looking around for about 2 mins when I get to the back fence and I just felt odd. Like I was being watched it was a sense. I shined my light up on the top of the fence and there is a guy in a all black hoodie with the hood over his head perched on the fence not 3 feet from me just watching me. The instant I shined my light on him HE DOES A F-CKING BACKFLIP off the fence into the other yard and runs. We look over the fence to see what direction and he is inhumanely fast. Like odd fast.
We call in the calvary and surround the area and find not a footprint. This was winter and damp out, there needed to be something...but nothing.
A week later she calls and says hes back and dressed as a f-cking clown watching her. I drove as fast as I could there and never saw him. She would call every few days to say he was there but every time we never saw him again.
Never in my career was a suspect so nonchalant about us. People just dont sit and watch the cops approach them mere feet away then do backflips off the fence. It was so bizarre.
They Call It "Practice"
At my first department, someone was stringing up dogs in the trees behind houses with their throats cut and bled dry. Serial killer behavior, obviously just killing them to kill them. Worked on that case a couple weeks, but after four or five dogs, it just stopped and my bosses wouldn't let me work on it anymore with all the "real crime" going on.
I still think it was a future serial killer practicing.
What Else Can You Do?
Worked in forensics 2004-2008, mostly homicides and cold cases. Never forgot one where a baby was abused because a burglar threatened to kill the entire family if the parent didn't do it. Wasn't solved before I left and nothing came up on Google (never forgot names) The idea that someone out there free is that f-cked up or that someone would make that sh-t up is so disturbing to me.
35 Years Later...
Back in the early 80's a 16 year old boy was walking home from a party about a mile from his house when he was intentionally hit by a vehicle and dragged by the vehicle before being dumped in front of his house for his father to find his body in the morning.
The police say they have suspects but not enough evidence to make any arrests. There are still posters all over the town and surrounding areas with his picture asking for information more than 35 years later. Really a tragic story that needs closure.
Something To Lose A Job Over
Almost an entire family on holiday shot as they pulled up to a beauty spot. One child only survived by hiding under her dead mothers skirt for 8 hours.
Was 6 or 7 years ago. Cost me the job I loved. Still unsolved, still haunts me.
Why'd you lose your job
Despite working on over 100 murder cases, this one really got to me. Was having persistent nightmares, the whole shebang. Let's just say the "support" I was given by my employer ended my career in investigation.