The beginning of 2007 slammed homicide detectives. The city was hit hard, with 13 homicides in the first 35 days of the years. The constant news of another murder was scary for citizens and had detectives stretched thin. News on 6 crime reporter Lori Fullbright reports the good news now, is detectives have solved 12 of those 13 cases.
One suspected murderer is accused of killing his mother with a machete in front of witnesses. But, few cases are that easy to solve. Eight of the 13 homicides this year, had no real clues as to who committed the crime.
"All those are what we call who-done-its, so it took a significant amount of effort to solve those cases," said Sergeant Mike Huff with Tulsaâ€™s Major Crimes unit.
Many homicides involve someone the victim knows, like in the case of a woman who was four months pregnant. Officers did some fast legwork to track down her live-in boyfriend and catch him while he still had blood on his clothes.
While trying to solve a case, officers feel pressure from the victim's family, their bosses, even citizens who are anxious to hear a killer is off the streets. That's especially true when the murders start piling up.
"Couple weeks ago, when we were staring at the open cases, there were a lot of worried people about it, we do feel that responsibility," Huff said.
Detectives felt gratified when one arrest cleared four of the '07 homicides and one from 2006. They believe Joshua Anderson was on a killing spree that wouldn't have stopped until he was behind bars.
Sometimes a case breaks because of a citizen. Police say Kyle Eckert was a total stranger to the victim and would've been hard to catch, if not for a Crimestoppers tip. The only case not solved so far is Michael Davis, who was killed on South Fulton, but police say unsolved is not forgotten.
"The people that, their loved ones' cases, not to give up hope, we're still working on it," said Huff.
Tulsa had 56 homicides last year and 15 remain unsolved, although detectives say they are very close on a few of them.
More on these crimes is in the following News on 6 stories.Crimestoppers Tip Leads To Arrest Of Tulsa Homicide Suspect Assault Charges Might Play Role In Tulsa Murder Suicide Motive Sought In Tulsa Murder-Suicide Tulsa Police Investigating Four Homicides In 24 Hours Tulsa's 3rd Homicide Of 2007 Man Accused In Fatal Tulsa Machete Attack Formally Charged