Interpol Shares a Black Notice With the World for First Time

International appeal seeks to identify 22 murdered women
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 10, 2023 11:05 AM CDT
Interpol Shares a Black Notice With the World for First Time
This photo of a notice posted on the Interpol website on Wednesday shows an international appeal to identify female murder victims.   (Interpol via AP)

The 22 women mostly met violent deaths. Their bodies, some dismembered, were found in Germany, Belgium, and the Netherlands over a span of 43 years—the most recent in 2019, reports the AP. Police say some showed signs of abuse or starvation. But who they were is unknown, frustrating detectives' hunts for their killers. Police hope that may change with the launch Wednesday of Operation Identify Me. The international appeal with Interpol is seeking public help to put names to the women, and the BBC reports it's the first time they've done so, with the so-called black notices about unidentified bodies typically only shared internally with Interpol's police contacts across the globe.

An identification would, at a minimum, enable police to no longer have to refer to the victims by their distinguishing features or apparel—"the woman with the flower tattoo," "the woman with the artificial nails"—or locations where their remains were discovered. The oldest of the cold cases, "The girl in the parking lot," dates back to 1976. Her body was found along the A12 highway in the Netherlands. She's believed to have been between 13 and 20 years old when she died. Interpol, the international police liaison organization based in Lyon, France, distributed black-and-white facial reconstructions of some of the victims. Hers showed a young woman with long, dark hair and bright eyes.

In a statement that quoted Dutch, German, and Belgian police, Interpol said some of the women are believed to have come from Eastern Europe and that their bodies were possibly left in Belgium, the Netherlands, and Germany to confound investigations. Police hope that learning their names might also provide evidence about possible perpetrators. It might also allow them to establish whether any of the cases are linked. At, Interpol shares facial reconstructions of some of the women, images of jewelry, and other items found with their remains, as well as contact forms for people who may have any information about the cases.

(More Interpol stories.)

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