A former FBI profiler who helped bring the “Unabomber” to justice was in Omaha Wednesday and she shared her insight into two local, high-profile cases.
"Sometimes there is no previous relationship and sometimes there is," says Candice DeLong, referring to the still unsolved March 13th murders of 11-year-old Thomas Hunter and his family's housekeeper, 57-year-old Shirlee Sherman, at the Hunters' Dundee area home at 54th and Davenport.
"It's rare where people, an offender, will travel from a long distance, pick out a house randomly and go in and kill someone."
First, she says, it's important to know and truly understand the victims. "These things make a difference in analyzing the crime and trying to focus on the type of person that the police should be looking for, the type of person that probably killed them."
She says finding the type of person who would kill a child is particularly tough. "You can't see what's in a person's heart. You can't see what's in a person's mind. You can only see what they do with their behavior."
Among Omaha's most disturbing crimes is a series of unsolved rapes. Police believe the same man is responsible, most recently attacking a 15-year-old girl in her own bedroom near 110th and Fort.
That time, Christmas Eve of 2005, he was unsuccessful. The victim's mother came in and fought the man off, but he got away. "It's a local person,” says DeLong. “I can tell you that."
With serial crimes like this, DeLong says you need to go back to the first one. "The offender had a reason for being in that neighborhood at that time. He may have moved since then if the neighborhood heated up."
Walking in the footsteps of criminals is what DeLong knows and what it takes to bring them to justice.
DeLong was in town for the Omaha Town Hall Lecture series. If you want to learn more about her work on the “Unabomber” case, she has a book out called "Special Agent: My Life On The Front Lines As A Woman In The FBI."