Yogurt Shop Murders to Get External Review?
Today Austin’s Public Safety Commission will consider proposing a change in the way the city investigates unsolved crimes like the Yogurt Shop Murders.
The commission’s vice chair says the city needs to spend money on external reviews for some unsolved crimes because Austin Police Department detectives are too close to the cases and aren’t able to be as open-minded about possible solutions
Dr. Kim Rossmo says the Yogurt Shop Murders should be the first case considered for an external review. In 1991, the bodies of four teenage girls were discovered after a fire in a yogurt shop. Investigators identified four male teenage suspects. But two convictions in the case were overturned and no one has been held responsible.
Rossmo points to an article published in the Austin Chronicle last December as prompting his proposal for external review. In that article, investigative reporter Jordan Smith explored another possible solution to the decades-old crime. But Smith says it seems Austin Police are sticking to their original theory.
“I think they look at that information but they see it differently. As opposed to suggesting maybe there were other people that were there that weren’t the boys. Maybe these guys were not teenagers and maybe they were actually men as were described by witnesses and maybe that means that there’s somebody else out there that they should be looking at. I just don’t know if they see it that way. I would guess they don’t,” said Smith.
The Austin Police Department will not comment on the issue until after the commission makes a decision.
If the commission approves the resolution today, it will go on to city council.