The Office of the Governor, The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), and Texas Crime Stoppers today announced a new reward program related to the Texas Ranger Unsolved Crimes Investigation Program. The new reward program, funded by the Governor’s Criminal Justice Division and administered by DPS, is designed to help generate investigative leads in unresolved or cold case homicides.
Texas Crime Stoppers will now pay a reward up to $3,000 to any person who provides information that leads to the arrest of the person/persons responsible for a cold case listed on the DPS Unsolved Homicides website at DPS.texas.gov/TexasRangers/UnsolvedHomicides/index.htm.
“It is a tremendous affront to society when a heinous crime like murder goes unsolved, and the state of Texas has an obligation to the victims and our communities to help ensure justice is ultimately served,” said Governor Abbott “This new reward program was created to help identify the perpetrators of these crimes and provide overdue closure in these cases.”
In 2015, DPS launched a public awareness campaign featuring one unsolved case every month in an effort to generate new leads and bring attention to unresolved or “cold cases” across the state. Now as part of the new reward program, Crime Stoppers will offer an increased reward to up to $6,000 for each of these featured cases, if the tip comes in before the next case is featured in the following month.
“DPS is committed to the ongoing search for crucial evidence needed to close these cases – no matter when the crime occurred,” said DPS Director Steven McCraw. “These victims and their loved ones deserve justice, and we urge anyone with information related to an unsolved case to come forward and take a stand against crime.”
To be eligible for the cash rewards, tipsters must provide information to authorities by calling the Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-252-TIPS (8477). All tips can be offered anonymously, and tipsters will be provided a tip number instead of using a name.
Since there is no statute of limitations on the offense of murder, the state has the moral and statutory obligation to pursue these cases to a successful resolution or until no other lead is viable.
State Seeks Leads in 1974 Police Officer Murder
DPS is seeking the public’s help in solving the 1974 murder of Alice Police Department Officer Matthew Murphy, who was shot and killed during a traffic stop. As part of the Office of the Governor and Texas Crime Stopper’s Fallen Hero Reward – Texas Remembers program, a reward up to $20,000 is being offered for information that results in this case being solved. All tips are guaranteed to be anonymous.
On Dec. 1, 1974, Officer Murphy was shot after stopping a vehicle at West Main Street and U.S. Highway 281 in Alice, Texas. Several minutes after the initial stop, another officer found Murphy suffering from gunshot wounds. Murphy was transported to a local hospital, where he later died.
Witnesses described a two-door car leaving the area of the shooting, and it is believed the vehicle was occupied by more than one individual. Responding officers were unable to locate the vehicle after it left the scene.
Tipsters may call the Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-252-TIPS (8477); text the letters “DPS”– followed by your tip – to 274637 (CRIMES) from your cell phone, or online: https://www.tipsubmit.com.
Created in January 2016, the Fallen Hero Reward program helps generate new investigative leads in unsolved cases involving a Texas law enforcement officer or first responder murdered or suffered an incapacitating injury in the line of duty or while acting in an official capacity.
Since there is no statute of limitations on the offense of murder, the state has the moral and statutory obligation to pursue these cases to a successful resolution; or until no other lead is viable.
Agencies that may have an unresolved or cold case that meets the criteria for the Fallen Hero Reward program are encouraged to email TXcrimeStoppers@gov.texas.gov.