Investigating, researching and reporting on a murder that has been cold for 60 years is difficult on various levels. In order to understand the victim you have to understand the social climate in which they lived and the people that made up their life. You have to get to know the victim through the accounts of their friends and families, any diaries or notes they kept, or treasured belongings still in possession of loved ones. When there's 60 years of time between now and when the crime happened, tangible connections to the person become imperative.
We don't have that for Ruth Whitman. We don't have personal items from her life and no family or friends have come forward willing to speak publicly about Ruth. And the handful of surviving family members we have been able to speak to, do not wish to discuss their memories of her on Upstate Unsolved. All that we have to get to know Ruth is the original case file, filled with interviews from hundreds of people. But not all of these interviews are reliable, a good portion of them are riddled with gossip and contradictions.
The students at The Cold Case Analysis Center assigned to Ruth's case have each focused on certain areas within the file - ranging from victimology to suspects. The Director of the Center, Dr. Lane and I sat down with each student in an attempt to piece together this jigsaw puzzle of her life.
In this episode, we talk about the culture Ruth grew up in and the disadvantages her family faced. We also detail the numerous men that claim to have been romantically involved with Ruth prior to and right up until her murder.
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Photo: Colonie PD