cold case

The story of two more cases the Stearns County Sheriff's Department had trouble solving, and a man whose life was ruined when he was wrongly suspected of killing a police officer. It includes data showing a shockingly low clearance rate for major crimes not just in Stearns County but in many other places around the country. Afterward, the team of reporters discuss why there is no authority that can put pressure on local law enforcement to do a better job of solving crimes.

The story of how investigators zeroed in on the wrong guy, ruining his life by naming him a "person of interest." Plus, discussion of the term "person of interest" and interviews with experts about why the term is gaining currency and what it means.

About the series

This program contains material that some listeners may find disturbing.

This program contains material that some listeners may find disturbing.

This program details further mistakes of the investigators in the Jacob Wetterling disappearance, showing that law enforcement failed to canvass the neighborhood and missed key witnesses. This weeks' discussion: the overwhelming number of leads that Jacob's family and law enforcement received, and the killer's recent confession.

Onondaga County Sheriff's Office

On the 20th anniversary of a heinous murder in Onondaga County, police are hoping a reward helps crack what remains an unsolved case.

The last time anyone reported seeing 42-year-old Carol Ryan alive was Sept. 1, 1996, after she left a bar in the Eastwood neighborhood of Syracuse to walk to her apartment. She was found several hours later near the Jamesville Reservoir, nearly dead, after being badly beaten, and having an explosive detonated in her pelvis.

Ellen Abbott/WRVO

Syracuse police have cracked an almost 30-year-old murder case using a combination of high tech DNA and intensive police work. The arrest of a Georgia man who had long been a suspect in the investigation of the death of his estranged wife, is the latest success in the Syracuse Police Department’s cold case unit.

Authorities say Ronald Meadow will be arraigned on second-degree murder charges in Syracuse later this month, in connection with the death of his estranged wife, Colleen Meadow, who was found strangled to death in her northside apartment in March 1985.