(KCPW News) The Salt Lake City Police Department is now using YouTube to publicize unsolved murders. It plans to spotlight a different case online about every two months, in conjunction with a news conference. Police Chief Chris Burbank said the Internet has been an effective tool for the department in the past.
“When we put out information on what was classified as the ‘Hipster-Grifter,’ we got hundreds of thousands of hits and tips flowing in, and actually were able to go back and address this individual who committed crimes in Salt Lake City, but was living in New York City, also committing some crimes,” he told KCPW. “But nobody knew about those crimes yet in New York City. And so we successfully solved many cases here locally by putting out information on the Internet.”
Burbank said the department has had a 90 percent success rate in solving homicide cases, but there are still 108 murders that have gone unsolved since the 1960s.
Homicide Detective Mike Hamideh said while just one piece of information from the public might seem trivial to a cold case, it does make a difference.
“I can’t stress enough how many cases have been solved from somebody who thinks their information is small and it really doesn’t matter, what I have wouldn’t matter. I’ve had a lot of personal cases where we have solved crimes that way,” said Hamideh.
Chief Burbank said the online videos will leave certain details out to avoid compromising the integrity of the case if it goes to court. The first video discusses the murder of Hipolito Casiano Mateos, who was murdered outside his home seven years ago today.