The Spotlight: Where's the justice?

The gap between a crime and a conviction can be a wide one, as seen in the latest FBI data available.  

Of the 41 homicide cases reported by the Seattle Police Department in 2021, 10 of them, or 24%, were cleared. That’s down 6% from 2020 when 52 homicides were reported with 16 cleared. 

In Tacoma, 30 homicides were reported in 2021, with 16 cleared. Much better, but still shy of 50% cleared.

Everett reported four homicides in 2021 with three cleared. However, the city is on track to report 16 homicides this year.

All three cities expect to end 2022 with record or near-record numbers of homicides even as they experience staff shortages. Too many families, including those of several unsolved murders featured in this episode, are seeking tips from the public and are left grieving with no answers as we head into the holidays.   

Seattle Police Chief Adrian Diaz says he understands their frustrations and doesn’t want them to feel forgotten. He says he has a plan to develop a family support liaison position.  

Plus, the mothers of two teens who were shot to death in Seattle in 2020 are putting their pain into purpose by launching the first Parents of Murdered Children chapter in Washington State.  It comes too late for the parents of one man from Auburn brutally beaten to death in Long Beach-- they have waited seven years for justice and say their patience with the Pacific County Sheriff’s Office is at an end.