Frederick police turn to crime-solving society for cold murder case

WASHINGTON – Frederick detectives are turning to an elite international crime-solving society based in Philadelphia to help them solve a more than 2-decades-old area murder.

Police from all over the country ask the Vidocq Society to help them solve crimes, particularly murders. They only handle one case per month, and will fly anyone across the country to their headquarters in Philadelphia to prepare them to present their case.

The Frederick Police Department hopes Vidocq will help them with the unsolved murder of 17-year-old clothing store worker Tracy Kirkpatrick, a student at Frederick’s Brunswick High School, who was killed 23 years ago.

The organization was founded in 1990 by a former U.S. Customs agent, a well-known forensic sculptor and a prison psychologist. The group takes its name from Eugene Francois Vidocq, an 18th century French police officer and reformed criminal who was the inspiration for notorious characters from the works of writers Victor Hugo and Honore Balzac.

Its membership now includes current and former FBI agents, as well as members from foreign countries such as Canada and England.

Frederick police will present their evidence and clues to a panel of 85 experts, who will then give the department their recommendations.

WTOP’s David Burd contributed to this report. Follow WTOP on Twitter.

(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)

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