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The first known use of the term "cold case" dates back to 1973, and ever since it has evolved into a common phrase. It has even been used in the name of multiple TV shows, including the franchise "Cold Case" that aired for over 150 episodes on CBS.

As far as the term itself, Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines a cold case as "an unsolved criminal investigation that has stopped being actively pursued because of a lack of evidence". These are generally recognized as homicide or abduction cases.

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Between the years 2000 and 2019, the United States had over 300,000 homicides. Over that same period, 57% of those were solved. However that does leave over 130,000 unsolved cold case killings. Those are what would be recognized as cold cases.

Some states tend to solve more homicides than others. For example, between 1980 and 2019, the state of Illinois only solved 36% of the homicides in their state. While a state like North Carolina has solved 82% of their homicides over the same period of time period.

In the time period between 1980 and 2019, the state of Texas solved 74% of their homicides. Which sounds like a good number compared to a state like Illinois, but still leaves 26% of homicides unsolved. Most of those will eventually become cold cases.

The East Texas region sadly has a larger number of these unsolved crimes. These crimes may one day be solved, but right now they remain filed as cold cases. Here we take a look at 20 of the most haunting cold case murders that exist in East Texas:

East Texas Top Cold Case Homicides

According to the Department of Public Safety's website, these are the top unsolved cases in East Texas

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