Hot On The Trail of Old, Cold Cases

'...families desire accountability and need to know the facts of the case...you have to be passionate about what you do and self-motivated.'


Detectives Murphy and Milefsky work well together. Though they are different in some ways, they each think about one angle of a case versus another and can ultimately come to the same conclusion. Murphy reveals that for one to be successful in working cold cases, a detective needs "a ton of experience and a slow, methodical, tenacious approach," which is not only valuable for the investigation and resolution of cases but also aids in effectively dealing with the victims' families. Murphy states, "The bottom line is you have to be passionate about what you do and self-motivated. You have to want to do your job for the right reason." He admits the most rewarding aspect of their work is "when we catch the bad guy and put him in jail."

Despite the fact that Detectives Murphy and Milefsky have successfully solved a number of their cold cases, Murphy states, "You have to realize you'll never solve all of them." Though they may be working on four or five cases at the same time, they also recognize that simply because cases are old does not diminish their urgency in attempting to solve them. Moreover, the families of victims are often demanding and frequently contact the detectives to inquire about the status of their cases.

For survivors, the diligent work of these dedicated detectives in the cold case squad offers hope that the victims are not forgotten and the possibility exists for justice to prevail. Families are grateful for their efforts and remember them during the holiday season. Their contributions to public service are being acknowledged on June 28, 2007, when they both will receive the 2007 Public Service Award from the Northern Virginia Chapter of the American Society of Public Administration. The significant impact they have made in their investigation and closure of cold cases coupled with their critical understanding that each victim made a difference in someone's life has not gone unnoticed. Detectives Murphy and Milefsky are making a notable mark in the cold case squad of the Fairfax County Police Department, and they serve as exemplary professional role models worthy of emulation.

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