COLUMBIA, 1/9/12 (Beat Byte) -- January 7 marks the 7th anniversary of the brutal 2005 stabbing death of Mizzou biochemistry professor Jeong H. Im, Ph.D. In an unusual move given the age of the case, MU police department officials announced last week they are sending the case files to an organized crime research center.
In 2009, we ran a 9-part series that turned up a motherlode of credible, previously unreported details, including a bona-fide suspect and word from an MU police officer that the case had been solved. Either lack of jury-ready evidence or other, unknown considerations were keeping it from being prosecuted. The department would neither confirm nor deny the allegation.
Henry Liu, Ph.D., an engineering professor noted for inventing novel sustainability methods such as turning fly ash into bricks, spoke with the Heart Beat about re-examining the case. Liu had long insisted that law enforcement officials weren't doing enough to solve the Im case, something he took up as a public champion partly as a fellow Asian in Columbia.
Liu died in a car crash a few months after our series ran, but in getting to know him and the homicide, I learned a lot about the ironic loneliness of the cold case. No one wants to talk about it; there's nothing more to say, they say. But still, they'd love to see it solved and justice served.