Tulsa Police Leverage a High-Tech FBI Crime Fighting System - NewsOn6.com - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - KOTV.com |

Tulsa Police Leverage a High-Tech FBI Crime Fighting System

Tulsa is the first city in Oklahoma to be linked to the FBI's ViCap (Violent Criminals Apprehension Program). ViCap is a software program that helps track down serial killers and rapists. It links directly with the Tulsa Police Department's cold case squad, a squad that works full time to solve unsolved murders.

One of Tulsa's most heinous unsolved crimes was the murder of 13 year old Justin Wiles in 1989. Detectives suspected Wayne Garrison was the killer. Garrison befriended Justin and as a juvenile, had killed two other young children; but, the evidence wasn't there.

The cold case squad never gave up. They finally uncovered new evidence that paved the way for an arrest, trial and conviction - something Justin's family had continued to pray for.

Dorothy Farrar, Justin's Mother: "I just couldn't accept the fact he'd get away with it. We just kept the faith that someday, somehow, he'd be held accountable."

Tulsa's cold case squad is now focusing on other unsolved murders - including the Phillips brothers who were killed in their South Tulsa home, and Denise Palmer who died while selling her wedding dress.

And, they'll have the benefit of the latest technology - which will also help solve current murders. The ViCap software allows detectives to type in a description of a violent crime and the program searches police files across the country for similar cases.

Eric Witzig, FBI: "We're looking for the way an offender selects the victim, the way he kills her, what he takes to the scene or from it, we're looking for offender behavior."

That pattern of behavior can nail suspects, even when they cross state lines to commit their crimes. ViCAP caught the railroad killer who murdered people in Texas, Kentucky and Florida.

Because criminals are more sophisticated, cops must work smarter and faster and this provides an immediate way for detectives all over the country to compare notes.

Eric Witzig, FBI: "We have to get inside their decision making and we can now recall cases that before were only locked inside the minds of investigators."

Justin Wiles' mother is thrilled new technology now exists that might prevent other families from having to wait years for answers and punishing themselves with "what if" questions.

Dorothy Farrar, Justin's Mother: "They say serial killers pick out their victims and there's no stopping them, so there might not have been anything we could've done about it.

Justin Wiles would have turned 26 on the 30 of this month.

The ViCap software and training is free from the FBI and even though Tulsa is the only city in Oklahoma participating in the program, ViCap is in 36 states and more than 400 police agencies so far.
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