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[RSI.com] TRACKER: Cold Cases

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I’m Garret Coliga and welcome to another episode of TRACKER with all the latest news, tech and tips from around the bounty hunting ’verse. So settle in, we’ve got a good one for you.

Today’s show is brought to you by Klaus & Werner, makers of reliable energy weapons like the Model II Arclight. Trust me, I’ve used one of those bad boys for years and it’s never done me wrong. So, if you’re in the market for a new energy weapon for your ship or personal loadout, do what I do and start your search with Klaus & Werner.

Let’s dig into some official Bounty Hunter Guild news by checking the HotSheet. Remember these bounties are considered current as of the recording of this show, but might not stay that way. As always, check with your local Bounty Hunter Guild branch or the nearest law enforcement agency to confirm which bounties are active in your area.

Here’s one I haven’t seen before. Tre Wiebo is wanted for what’s being described as eco-terrorism in Gurzil. Apparently, this guy has been targeting miners in the system as a form of protest. He’s also been leaving copies of his manifesto after each attack. In it he goes into great detail saying how we must protect Gurzil so it can “naturally form.” Seems Mr. Wiebo has become very attached to this swirling mass of protoplanets to the point of violence.

Now, although to date, Wiebo has not killed anyone, his MO is to disable mining vessels with EMP strikes before delivering damage that’s devastating to the ship, but not life-threatening to its crew. Basically, this guy’s goal is to keep mining ships from leaving the system with the resources they’ve collected. Even though Wiebo isn’t dangerous in the traditional sense, he’s a gifted pilot who is extremely skilled at non-lethal combat. My recommendation would be to approach him on the ground if at all possible.

Next, we’ve got several credible reports of “Hot” Rod Rettenmund being spotted in two systems. The notorious ship jacker seemingly vanished over two years ago after escaping Tanys’ Advocacy Office and swiping one of their Stalkers. Ever since, his trail has been colder than the streets of Jele City.

That all changed four days ago when “Hot” Rod was spotted by multiple face-recs in the Fora System. Those reports were followed by a more recent update of him in Nemo where his trail seemed to indicate that he was desperately searching for a top-of-the-line scanner. No word on what spooked him out of the hole he was hiding in, but if I were a betting man, he appears to be making a run into Banu space through Corel. Of course, he’s surprised us before, so nothing can be certain with this guy.

Hearing about the reappearance of “Hot” Rod Rettenmund got me thinking about an old friend of mine, Louise Boyd. She’s carved out quite an interesting niche for herself by working cold cases. She agreed to come on the show to talk to us about this often forgotten aspect of bounty hunting. Great to have you here, Louise!

Louise Boyd: Hey there, Garret. Thrilled to join you. Quite a show you’ve got here.

Thanks. So you’ve built your reputation around finding criminals who have seemingly vanished. Many bounty hunters avoid cold cases due to their difficulty and low clearance rate, so why’d you decide to start working them?

Louise Boyd: Necessity more than anything else. There was a time about thirty years ago when I was running out of options to earn an honest living, so I walked into my local Bounty Hunter Guild branch and asked about opportunities.

At that time, I didn’t have any experience hunting criminals, but I’d grown up hearing stories from my grandfather, who was a respected bounty hunter himself. All those years, while he was entertaining me with his stories, turns out he was really teaching me bounty hunting tradecraft. Though in hindsight, it was a bit like thinking I could be a pilot because I had seen a photo of an M50 once.

You still recall anything you learned from his tales?

Louise Boyd: Absolutely! The first point that comes to mind is also the one thing I tell any young and hungry bounty hunter that asks me for advice — the best catch is a peaceful one.

My grandfather’s favorite stories were never about big gun battles or epic dogfights. Once he located his bounty, he loved to use deception. It allowed him to get in close and create confusion right before making the arrest. One he loved to tell involved him dressing up as a food delivery guy and knocking on this guy’s door with a fake order.

I think nowadays hunters call that “Baggin’ a Benny.” Did your grandfather inspire you to work cold cases?

Louise Boyd: Not that I recall.

So what drew you to them?

Louise Boyd: To start? To be honest, it was the lack of competition. Same reason I always ate the licorice flavored Gelbees growing up. I went after the high paying jobs at first like everyone else, but surprise, surprise, bounty hunters with years more experience or connections would beat me to the punch. I just hadn’t built up the skills or knowledge I needed to compete on that level, yet there were these piles of cold cases just sitting there that no one else wanted to touch.

I knew most people avoided cold cases because of the reasons you mentioned above, but I figured it would give me the chance to work a case at my own pace, and if I made an error or two, the stakes were much lower. So I picked one involving this woman who ran a ship insurance fraud ring for years, then vanished only days before the Advocacy was set to indict her. Turns out, I got lucky and ended up figuring out where she went.

Don’t be so modest, Louise, you’re one of the best bloodhounds I know. Which makes me wonder, why have you stuck with cold cases all these years?

Louise Boyd: Well, there are a few reasons. Generally, they’re safer than chasing normal bounties. Sometimes, it’s because the bounty has been hiding so successfully that they never see you coming. Other times, they’ve lived in fear of being captured for so long that they’re almost relieved you found them. I’m sure that sounds funny to some of your listeners, but everyone carries guilt in their own way. Many of my easiest collars come on people who did horrific things decades ago, and have had to live with that guilt while going unpunished.

Also, there’s no better feeling than contacting a family to tell them you’ve closed a cold case that affected them. The feeling is, well, almost indescribable. Being able to provide closure to people who never thought there was a chance for it.

That’s some really inspiring stuff, right there. So we need to take a quick commercial break. When we return, Louise is going to share with us her top five tips to help you crack that cold case. Plus, we’ll walk you through adjusting the scope on a Klaus & Werner Arrowhead sniper rifle to make sure you’re taking the perfect shot. That and more when TRACKER returns.

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