Cold Case - Solved & Unsolved:

Use of digital tools and data science techniques to facilitate cold case investigation

  • Tatjana Kuznecova Saxion University of Applied Sciences
  • Dimitar Rangelov Saxion University of Applied Sciences
  • Jaap Knotter Saxion University of Applied Sciences / Dutch Police Academy
Keywords: cold case, criminal investigations, artificial intelligence, data science, open source data


On average 125 murders take place in the Netherlands on an annual basis. However, not all such incidents can be solved. Currently there are more than 1700 unsolved homicide cases on the shelf at the National Police that classify as a ‘cold case’. Investigation into these types of capital offenses takes a lot of time, money and capacity. Applications of the current working method and available techniques are very labor-intensive and time-consuming.  In addition, the pressure on the executive police officers is high - from the police organization, the Public Prosecution Service, the media, the next of kin, as well as society in general. From an investigative point of view, it is relevant to gain an overview and to be able to provide direction in the criminal investigation, in which ‘tunnel vision’ should be prevented. From a scientific point of view, more research into homicide cases in the Netherlands is of eminent importance. Remarkably little has been written in scientific literature about this type of crime. Saxion University of Applied Sciences in The Netherlands in collaboration with the Dutch Police Academy initiated a research line to investigate to what extent data science techniques and modern digital technologies can be used to facilitate or support homicide and other crime investigations. The first project ‘Cold Case: Solved & Unsolved’ focused on the use of open sources to collect the data and gain more insight into homicide cases in The Netherlands, explored applicability of modern data processing and analysis techniques, as well as developed a pilot tool for structuring the investigative process. The project was integrated with a study course ‘Minor Cold Case’ in Saxion to facilitate the use of the developed knowledge/tools in the educational programs.

How to Cite
Kuznecova, T., Rangelov, D., & Knotter, J. (2022). Cold Case - Solved & Unsolved:. European Law Enforcement Research Bulletin, (6), 245-254. Retrieved from
Conference Contribution