I was deeply moved by the tragic story of Kristin O’Connell, a young woman who was brutally murdered in Ovid, NY on August 15, 1985. Her mother’s tireless pursuit of justice for her daughter inspired me to create Cold Case Advocacy, a digital organization dedicated to supporting the families of homicide victims in their quest for justice.
As I delved deeper into Kristin’s case, I learned of the numerous errors and oversights made by law enforcement and the high-ranking political and law enforcement officials connected to the case. Despite repeated requests for new evidence testing, the family’s efforts were consistently met with roadblocks and resistance.
In 2009, a request was submitted to the NYS Department of Health and then-NYS Senator Mike Nozzolio for the use of new touch DNA technology offered by a Dutch team of experts. Despite the support of U.S. Senators Chuck Schumer (NY) and Amy Klobuchar (MN), the request was denied by then NYS Commissioner of Health, Howard Zucker.
In 2021, the family started a petition to encourage the NYS Police to test the forensic evidence at an outside lab. They were able to secure a NY-certified DNA lab to test the evidence free of charge, but even this offer was rejected.
Through my work with the O’Connell family, I have seen firsthand the immense challenges faced by families seeking justice for loved ones. I knew that Kristin’s story and the family’s fight for justice needed to be brought to light, and that’s why I created Cold Case Advocacy. My organization aims to provide support, guidance, and a platform for sharing these stories, as well as rallying people around the cause of bringing more rights to homicide victims’ families.