Why Not Recall Retired Homicide Detectives?

Why Not Recall Retired Homicide Detectives?

Since retired judges are always available for further bench duty, why aren't retired detectives and other officers accessible for recalled duty?

Retirees, many of whom find similar work at other city and state agencies, have the ability and know-how and could be recruited to assist in major cases. These professionals can bring valuable assets by assisting in difficult cases.

Alexandria is not without many outstanding retired detectives. At least five have retired in recent years and their successes are respected and well known throughout the court system, police department and other law enforcement organizations.

At present, the city is reeling from what is now known as a serial killer on the loose. Citizens are more than concerned about safety and urged to be careful opening doors without knowing the visitor. In many cases lots of people have their firearms at the ready for protection.

Hopefully, no one will accidentally discharge weapons and hurting family members, neighbors and fast-food delivery people. Insecure feelings can be expected.

A little over a month ago, Ruthanne Lodato died from being shot by a small-caliber gun, described by police as one of millions owned in the nation. With the help of the Virginia Forensic Laboratory, the bullets were similar to those used in murdering Dr. Ronald Kirby in November, not far from the Lodato event.

The bullets were also similar to the ones used in the December 2003 killing of Nancy Dunning, Alexandria businesswoman and wife of then Sheriff Jim Dunning.

Police last week admitted the murders were similar and serial. Lodato and Kirby shootings occurred at 11:30 a.m. Dunning's death also came at approximately 11:30 a.m..

As per Chief Earl Cook last Thursday, investigations are ongoing 24-hours daily. There has only been one sketch of a possible suspect and that is the Lodato case. He also said the FBI has offered all of its resources, “if asked.”

The public is urged to call police with any tip as to any evidence. A few days following the Lodato case, police were called to a live theater performance in Washington. They grabbed a man who resembled the sketch.

The man was allowed back to his seat, somewhat shaken. Police were satisfied it was the wrong man.

Unsolved cases still cause much grief to each of the families, to police agencies, city officials and the community.

Recalling retired homicide detectives could be a big bonus. They could provide fresh sets of eyes on the cases, some different perspectives and possibly encourage those already diligently probing the tragic events.

A few years back some retired Philadelphia detectives took a look at the Dunning case to no avail. But they were trying.

Former Alexandria investigators could well make a difference. Most police agencies in the city and surrounding areas are on the alert for the possible. The more eyes the better.

The suspect in the Lodato murder is described as an older white male, balding with gray hair and a full beard. He was last seen wearing tan outerwear, possibly a jacket or work coat.

The public is encouraged to call in leads to the Alexandria Police Department Tipline at 703-746-4444.

  • Ruthanne Lodato, murdered, 27 days, unsolved.

  • Ronald Kirby, murdered, 140 days, unsolved.

  • Nancy Dunning, murdered, 3,750 days, unsolved.