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Crimes and Disappearances: Home

This guide helps find resources on unsolved murders, kidnappings, and disappearances.



In order to find out what happened, you will have to research the various theories and if you are lucky, newspaper and magazine accounts of what happened at the time. For the online sources, go to the library webpage ( and go to the menu on the right for Database Directory. Scroll down to News and Current Events which will provide a list of useful resources such as

Academic Search Complete--This is always a good starting point since it covers major newspapers and magazines. You may also find book reviews leading you to books on your topic.

LexisNexis Academic Universe--This resource covers newspapers from all over the world not just the United States. (NOTE: most of these only go back about 20 years.)

Newspaper Source--This database covers major national and international newspapers from the last 20 years. It also indexes the New York Times but does not have full-text articles. You will need to go to the third floor, Serials-Media Center to get the microfilm.


The New York Times Index AI21 .N45 REF


Due to the notoriety of a number of these crimes, you will find many websites devoted to the various theories of what happened and why. Some of these are well-researched and provide reasonable theories, others not so much. When you use the Internet as a resource, the determination of validity falls on you.



Patricia Brown's picture
Patricia Brown
201E Watson Memorial Library
318 357-6263

Just the Facts

In order to complete this assignment, you will need to think like a detective. You will want to gather facts, read theories, and sort out opinions. You will want to come up with a solution that is logical and fits the facts as you know them. You will need to know the who, when, what, and where to figure out the how and why.

The following library resources will help you in assembling your evidence. These are all reference books and some are print and some are electronic.

Finding People

If the crime you are researching involves a person-either as victim or criminal, you will need to find out about that person. Many notorious individuals are the subject of biographies so you may want to look them up as subjects in the online catalog. Other places to look include: