It was big news last May when police took Bernard Jackson into custody and charged him in four rape cases more than two decades old. No one has ever officially said that Jackson was being charged as the "Waldo Rapist" -- and who knows if those cases will ever be linked to anyone? But as a Waldo resident, I can tell you that people were willing to assume it was Jackson and allow themselves to feel relieved.
Either way, Jackson's alleged crimes were what police call "cold cases": old crimes that remain unsolved and are not under current investigation, for those of you who aren't bedridden and watching nonstop police procedurals. The KCPD has a cold-case squad specifically dedicated to sex crimes. Except now, it looks like that squad is about to be the victim of a tight budget.
According to Crime Scene KC, the KCPD has been relying primarily on grants to pay for the unit, and it just failed to win a $500,000 grant renewal to keep the squad intact. Police officials say it's common practice to get rid of squads when the funding runs out. In this case, once the unit is done, the cold-case sex-crimes work is all going to fall on the shoulders of the solitary detective who handled such cases before there was grant money for help.
Jackson County prosecutors have their own funding to investigate such cases, separate from the KCPD's set-up.