Eight retired law enforcement officers, with decades of combined service, have banded together to become charter members of what may be the nation’s first multi-jurisdictional, interstate Cold Case Task Force.
The task force will work closely with prosecutors and law enforcement agencies on both sides of the Ohio River in an effort to resolve some of the 50 known homicide, missing persons and questionable death cold cases within a 25-mile radius of Bridgeport/Wheeling. For a list of cases Click Here.
This group brings sparkling credentials and impeccable reputations to the table — and they are in it for the right reasons. They are united in a mission to give voice to the silenced lips of victims and justice to surviving loved ones.”
Task Force members are a diverse group of investigators with expertise in all phases of homicide investigations who have a great understanding of the value of forensic evidence and effective interrogating techniques.
• Bill Beatty is a decorated former City of Weirton police officer with 46 years of law enforcement experience. He served as a special investigator for the Hancock County Prosecutor’s office and as a special deputy for the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency and the U. S. Marshals Service.
• Charles Bramble retired from the West Virginia State Police in 1994 after 21 years of service. He was assigned to the Bureau Of Criminal Investigations, spending 6 years assigned to Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force operating out of the US Attorneys Office for the Northern District West Virginia, in Wheeling.
• Tom Burgoyne is a 33-year veteran of the Federal Bureau of Investigation where he focused on fugitive and organized crime cases involving homicide and narcotics. After retiring from the FBI, he became deputy director of the Office of Law Enforcement Technology at Wheeling Jesuit University and served for eight years as Ohio County Sheriff.
• Harry Croft has 33 years of law enforcement experience. He was an Ohio County Sheriffs Department investigator for over half of his career. He became the first deputy assigned to the Wheeling/Ohio County Drug Task Force and later deputized through the U.S. Marshall Service to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms where he worked on a major crimes task force.
He has served on a bombing/theft of explosives task force with several local departments, ATF and the U.S.Postal Inspectors Service.
• Don Harris served for 20 years as a special agent with the Criminal Investigation Division of Internal Revenue Service where he was assigned to the federal Drug Enforcement and Organized Crime Divisions in Ohio and West Virginia. He is an experienced investigator in drug, gambling, public corruption and homicide cases.
• Bill Patsche is a former Martins Ferry Police Chief with 28 years in law enforcement. He served on the former Southeast Ohio Narcotics Task Force, worked for the National Institute of Justice, trained U.S. Department of Homeland Security personnel in airport security and handled evaluations and funding requests for NIJ Cold Case Grant programs.
• Richard Vulgamore worked as an investigator for the Brooke County Prosecutor. As a forensic artist for more than 38 years, he has done criminal investigations and crime scene processing in Brooke and surrounding counties; and as a deputized agent of the U. S. Marshal’s Service and FBI on the federal Organized Crime and Drug Task Force.
• Bob Wallace is a former chief of the Bellaire Police Department with 28 years of law enforcement experience. He served on the Southeastern Narcotics Team in Ohio, the federal Organized Crime and Drug Task Force and as a Law Enforcement Coordinator with the U. S. Department of Justice. He is a decorated Vietnam War veteran.
• Tom Westfall is a retired Marshall County Deputy Sheriff with 39 years in law enforcement. As a deputy, he went on loan to the Federal Bureau of Investigation in the 1980’s Hare Krishna cases involving murder, crimes against children, fraud, larceny, firearms violations and corruption. He is an investigator for the Marshall County Prosecutor’s office.
We know that somebody knows something about these cases. Now is a great time for them to come forward by contacting their local law enforcement agency or prosecutor’s office or by sending anonymous information to firstname.lastname@example.org.