The Year in Infamous Criminal Cases

Chai Vang, charged with six counts of first-degree intentional homicide and two counts of attempted homicide in an encounter with deer hunters in Wisconsin.

Will Unsolved Cases Be Solved?

In addition, investigations in other long-running cases will be watched. Will the elusive BTK (Bind, Torture, Kill) serial killer of Wichita, Kan. -- who appeared to resurface after a 25-year absence in 2004 with various messages to authorities and the media -- finally be caught? Will he continue to communicate with authorities or claim another victim?

And will new DNA evidence finally lead to an arrest in the JonBenét Ramsey case? The slaying of the child beauty queen has remained unsolved since the 6-year-old's body was found in her parents' Boulder, Colo., home in 1996.

Police had focused their investigation on John and Patsy Ramsey, JonBenét's parents, for a long time, but a grand jury investigation yielded no indictments. According to recent published reports, private investigators have said DNA evidence found on the girl's clothes was not processed by Boulder police and did not belong to John or Patsy Ramsey. New evidence, the investigators reportedly said, suggests JonBenét was killed by an intruder.

Whether authorities get a break in the BTK and JonBenét cases will remain to be seen. But the fascination with these cases -- and infamous criminal trials -- will continue in 2005.

"Many complain about the [media] coverage these kind of cases get, but you won't find me being one of those naysayers," Carlson said. "This informs and educates the public. It allows the public to see the judicial process at work and gives people the ability to evaluate the process. It gets heavy and fixed at times, but it is a very good thing."

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