The Cold Case Handbook by Joe Giacalone

Leave a comment

May 2, 2023 by Marguerite Ashton

A good friend of mine, Joe Giacalone, has released another book! His previous book, The Criminal Investigative Function: A Guide for New Investigators – now in its fourth edition has been used by authors and criminal justice programs.

The Cold Case Handbook, authored by Joseph Giacalone with a foreword by famed forensic scientist Dr. Henry C. Lee, has just made my Summer 2023 reading list! The exciting part of this new book is that it just wasn’t written for law enforcement. According to the author, he has included tips, suggestions, and recommendations for the victim’s families and the true crime community as well. The goal behind the book is to get America’s toughest cases back into the spotlight.

I’ve known the author for a long time now and have had the opportunity to ask him a few questions about his new book.

As authors, we’re always told to have our elevator speech ready in case someone asks, so, what’s yours?

The Cold Case Handbook is an in-depth look into the “Cold Case Trilogy:” Cold Homicides, Cold Sexual Assaults, and Missing Persons cases and how to bring closure. It’s a blueprint to solve cases that include law enforcement, families, and the true crime community.

What gave you the desire to write the Cold Case Handbook?

In 2022, President Biden signed two new federal laws that dealt with cold cases. The first, The Homicide Victims’ Families’ Rights Act (August), and the second, The Help Find the Missing Act (December), are both broken down in the handbook. There was little in the way of news on these new laws, which will push many cold cases back into the reinvestigation phase. There are so many factors involved in these cases, and I wanted to highlight them.

How bad is the cold case problem in the United States?

It’s bad. Homicides have surged over thirty percent in the past few years, and the clearance rates have continued to drop. As of my last calculation, there were over nine thousand unsolved cases from 2022 alone. Something needs to be addressed, and I believe I have started with this book. However, like solving cold cases, there needs to be a push from the general public to amplify the message.

I have to ask; how did you get Dr. Henry C. Lee to write the Foreward?

I’ve had the good fortune to know Dr. Lee for a long time now. I’ve taught a number of classes with him and for him at the Henry Lee Institute of Forensic Science at the University of New Haven, Connecticut. He has been a good mentor, a well-respected expert in the field of criminal investigation, and a friend.

Where can we find the book?

The book is available directly from the publisher, Blue 360 Media (, and from Amazon. If you order the book directly from the Blue 360, you get the electronic version of it included. In addition, you can always ask your local library to order a copy – that’s a great way to spread the word.

Joseph Giacalone is the former Commanding Officer of the NYPD’s Bronx Cold Case Squad, adjunct professor, and frequent media contributor.

If you’d like to reach out to Joe, you can visit his website or at his Facebook page:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

BlindSided Project

Criminal Lines Book Club


May 2023
%d bloggers like this: