“Over time, sometimes homicide perpetrators, associates of homicide perpetrators, or witnesses, may want to talk about an unsolved homicide. This is common in the cold case business. It’s getting unknown or unidentified witnesses to come forward that’s difficult.”
--Vito Spano, the former commanding officer of New York’s Cold Case Squad
"We're not going to rest until we find (witnesses) because the alternative of not having witnesses, of not prosecuting people, not holding them accountable, means more crime."
--Saginaw County Michigan Prosecutor Mike Thomas
If you’ve been following the Who Killed Theresa blog for any amount of time, you’ve probably realized that there isn’t a whole lot of physical evidence in Theresa’s case. Most of the evidence, if not all, has been thrown out, misplaced or never retrieved from the crime scene. That’s why we need witnesses to come forward.
Maybe you weren’t present when the crime took place, but perhaps you DO have knowledge of why it happened, how it happened, who was involved, who helped keep the secrets, etc. We need to hear from you.
So why haven’t you stepped forward yet?
Well…I surmise there are a number of reasons—most of them being fear-based. These reasons may include:
- You fear retribution/retaliation.
- The suspects have intimidated you into keeping quiet.
- You have a misplaced sense of loyalty due to family or friend connections.
- You fear the police and that you won’t be believed.
- You’ve bought into the "Stop Snitching" culture.
- You’re embarrassed.
Why should you come forward?
If you can overcome your fear and get the courage to tell what you know, you will feel the relief of having a huge emotional burden being lifted from your shoulders. You’ll break free from guilt. You’ll feel empowered knowing that you’ve done your part in bringing a murderer to justice, making your community safer and delivering some peace and closure to the Allore family.
How can law enforcement and the community help?
- Offer bigger rewards for information. (For instance, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom says the usual $10,000 reward offered by the city is not enough to entice witnesses. He says, "What is $10,000 going to buy them? How can they get their mother and sister out of San Francisco? How can they start a new life which is what they have to do?” So Newsom is now offering rewards of $100,000 for arrests and convictions in unsolved homicides.)
- Get serious about witness protection programs. (California has a program. They provide money to relocate and to reimburse witnesses.)
- Hand down tougher punishment for witness intimidation. (Maryland Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. is introducing legislation that would make first-degree murder of witnesses a crime punishable by death. Del. Anthony G. Brown is introducing another bill that would make less-severe witness intimidation subject to a 20-year prison sentence.)
- Get the police to do more interviews. (People who weren’t interviewed during the first investigation should be interviewed now. Follow up on the leads provided since the case went cold.)
- Ensure law enforcement is open-minded and approachable. (Treat witnesses or tipsters who have come forward with respect. Don’t be antagonistic. Encourage them to talk. It took them several years to work up the courage to say something so hear them out.)
- Speak to witnesses’ sense of humanity/guilt/remorse. (Prod their memory/conscience with billboards or posters in high-visibility areas. They will serve as constant reminders that Theresa’s case is still very much a priority.)
Some people have already shared their ideas and information with John Allore. Think about doing the same thing yourself. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org
Who knows? You may have the needle in the haystack we’ve been looking for during the past 29 years.