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How to Find Old Homicide Cases Michigan

Title: How to Find Old Homicide Cases in Michigan: A Comprehensive Guide


Unearthing old homicide cases can be a daunting task, but it is an essential endeavor for those seeking closure, conducting research, or simply interested in the history of crime in Michigan. In this article, we will explore various resources and methods to help you find old homicide cases in Michigan. Additionally, we will address some frequently asked questions to provide a comprehensive guide for your search.

Finding Old Homicide Cases in Michigan:

1. Public Records:
Public records are an excellent starting point when searching for old homicide cases. Michigan law mandates that law enforcement agencies maintain records of criminal activity, including homicides. Begin by contacting the local police department or county courthouse where the crime occurred. Request access to their archives or inquire about the procedure to obtain case files or related documents.

2. Local Libraries:
Local libraries often house historical records, including newspapers, periodicals, and court documents. Michigan’s larger libraries, such as the Detroit Public Library or the University of Michigan Library, may have extensive collections dating back several decades. Search for microfilm or digital archives of newspapers that covered the crime at the time. These may provide crucial details, including victim names, suspects, and trial outcomes.

3. Online Databases:
Several online resources can assist in your search for old homicide cases in Michigan. Websites like,, or offer databases of historical newspapers and other documents. By utilizing keywords related to the case, such as victim names, location, or dates, you can narrow down your search. Additionally, the Michigan Department of Corrections website provides information on convicted murderers, which might lead to further investigation.

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4. Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Requests:
If you encounter challenges accessing records from law enforcement agencies or other organizations, you can file a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. Under Michigan law, the FOIA grants you the right to request access to public records. Submit a written request to the respective agency, detailing your purpose and the specific records you seek. Be aware that certain information may be redacted for privacy or ongoing investigations.


1. Are all old homicide cases available to the public?
Not all case information may be accessible to the public due to various factors, including ongoing investigations, privacy laws, or sealed records. However, public records and historical archives are valuable resources that can provide significant details regarding old homicide cases.

2. How far back can I expect to find records in Michigan?
The availability of records may vary depending on the resources and databases you consult. Generally, records dating back several decades should be accessible, especially through local libraries or online archives.

3. Can I access autopsy reports or other confidential documents?
Access to confidential documents, such as autopsy reports, may be restricted due to privacy laws or ongoing investigations. However, you may request such documents through legal channels, like the FOIA, if you have a legitimate reason for needing them.

4. Can I obtain copies of old court transcripts?
Court transcripts are generally considered public records, and you should be able to access them through the respective court where the trial occurred. Contact the court clerk’s office to inquire about the procedures and potential fees involved.

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Finding old homicide cases in Michigan requires persistence and thorough research. By exploring public records, local libraries, online databases, and utilizing FOIA requests, you can uncover valuable information about historical crime cases. Remember that not all information may be accessible, especially if cases are ongoing or records are sealed. Nonetheless, by following the methods outlined in this guide, you can embark on a journey to unveil the hidden stories of Michigan’s past crimes.

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