One hundred and twenty of our children, friends and neighbors have been murdered, and we don’t know who murdered them or why.

We don’t know if their murderers were drunk or stoned or if their drug of choice is murdering other human beings.

We don’t know if they’re from away, here on vacation or just passing through. We don’t know if they’re our neighbors.

We don’t know because these murders are unsolved homicides. A cold case squad would serve public notice that “thou shalt not kill people in the state of Maine.”

Legislation to create a cold case squad, L.D. 1734, was written, passed and signed into law by Gov. LePage a year ago. That legislation, however, was unfunded. Without funding, a cold case squad doesn’t exist.

Fifteen years ago, the Maine Attorney General’s Office submitted a cold case bill to the Legislature similar to this. That bill passed and was signed into law by Gov. King, but funding was pared down to support a squad of three instead of five.

Then that funding was cut back to support one state police detective out of an office in Bangor, and finally that funding was withdrawn.

Those funding cuts were a reflection of tepid public support, and after the attack on the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, any thought of a cold case squad was forgotten.

Today’s cold case legislation, L.D. 1121, has vocal public support that didn’t exist 15 years ago. People suffering the loss and frustration of unresolved murders are being heard.

Funding for this cold case legislation will be considered by the Judiciary Committee on Thursday at 1 p.m. in Room 438 of the State House. If I can be there, I’ll be there. If I can’t, this letter will be my apology.

Alec Ferguson