This post may seem like a brief departure from my usual thoughts and discussions on digital operational security and identity management. I know that many followers of this blog are members of law enforcement, criminal and private investigators, and online researchers who also have a genuine interest in topics related to privacy. Recently, I began following a high profile investigation from the west coast which is fascinating to me for several reasons.
Peter Chadwick is wanted for murdering his wife, Q.C. Chadwick, on October 10, 2012, and for fleeing from prosecution. He has been a fugitive since January 2015. The Newport Beach Police Department and the U.S. Marshals Service remain committed to finding Peter Chadwick and bringing him to justice. Both agencies are sharing updates on how they are intensifying their search, most recently with what I believe is a brilliant use of technology by a small law enforcement agency.
This relatively small police agency (NBPD) decided to publish a podcast to provide the public with details about the case and the fugitive they are hunting. These tactics have been used before to disseminate information about true crime, but to see a smaller agency with limited resources invest in such a project is impressive. This is an active case where Peter Chadwick abandoned his three children in order to flee from being prosecuted for murdering his wife. His whereabouts have been unknown since 2015. The hope is that by releasing this podcast and the related case information to the public, this will elevate Peter Chadwick’s profile and make it even more difficult for him to hide and stay anonymous.
With all of the nonsense posted online by law enforcement agencies nowadays (you know what I mean), I applaud this agency for leveraging technology and social media platforms in such a way that very well may lead to bringing this manhunt to a conclusion sooner rather than later. Again, I am really impressed with this effort.
Since Peter Chadwick fled the authorities, the investigation revealed that he spent time researching tactics and methods to “disappear”. He had a significant amount of money at his disposal, but had already surrendered his passport when he was initially arrested. As someone who is fascinated with the various logistical hurdles that a person would have to overcome to stay “under the radar” for so long, this story is even more intriguing from that standpoint.
My opinion is that Peter Chadwick will be caught because he will eventually make a mistake. I am curious to what extent OSINT has played in the hunt for him thus far. Law Enforcement typically lags behind with their use of open source resources unfortunately. My guess is there is a lot of opportunity for the search to intensify as more and more people learn of this case. The Newport Beach Police Department has encouraged the public to report tips that may be helpful to finding Chadwick.
Please take the time to look over the photographs and listen to the podcast that is currently being updated twice per week until all episodes are posted. The goal of this post is to applaud NBPD for their efforts in bringing this case to the public’s attention in this way and also to encourage anyone interested in providing (or hunting for) tips to do so. https://countdowntocapture.com/