The Presidential Daily Brief

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    The Killer App That Detects Killers

    The ghosts are in his machine. A retired journalist and data analyst has developed an algorithm that spots patterns in unsolved murder cases — potentially flagging serial killers’ handiwork. Between 1980 and 2010, Thomas Hargrove observed, one in three homicides went cold. It shocked the Virginian into delving into the data and crossing jurisdictions to compile arguably the most complete database on U.S. homicides. One killer’s been charged in nine murders committed after Indiana police ignored Hargroves’s 2010 warnings, prompting him to conclude police need a less parochial mindset to take advantage of this revolutionary tool.

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