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Families Of Victims Urge Mayor, BPD To Do Better Job On Unsolved Murders

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BOSTON (CBS) – A group of women gathered at Boston City Hall Friday demanding a meeting with Mayor Marty Walsh.

They got that meeting but what they really want is justice for the murder victims whose photos they carried with them.

Mary Franklin’s husband Melvin was shot dead in 1996. “Melvin’s been murdered 18 years. His murder is unsolved,” she told WBZ-TV’s Ken MacLeod.

Melissa Vick’s daughter was gunned down in 2011. “God bless those people who got killed in that bombing,” she said, referring to the Boston Marathon attacks. “They found out exactly who killed those people within hours. I feel like they should find out who killed my daughter.”

Bound by a tragic common thread, these two women and others descended on the mayor’s office Friday morning in a silent vigil to shine a hot spotlight on cold cases of unsolved murder.

Their trip to City Hall comes on the heels of a revelation that during the past decade 336 murders in Boston have gone unsolved.

Making that number even tougher to digest is the finding that Boston police are far more likely to solve the case if the victim is white than black.

The women eventually got their face-to-face with them mayor and some Boston police brass who spoke of an expanding the cold case unit and new efforts to keep family members advised of any progress.

The police also asked for help in breaking the “street silence” that derails many investigations.

“People are scared to say anything because maybe they have to live in those same communities as those killers,” said Paulette Parham whose brother’s murder is unsolved.

The mayor admitted the city might be short on the latest forensic technology that would be helpful in solving these cases.

“If they need additional tools then I have to find ways to provide them with those tools,” Walsh said.

After the meeting, Franklin stressed “we have to do better, we have to make changes.”

And that is exactly what the city was pledging as the women made their exit.

MORE LOCAL NEWS FROM CBS BOSTON

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