Alberta RCMP Historical Homicide Unit works to find answers to unsolved cases across province

December 22, 2021
Edmonton, Alberta

News release

The Alberta RCMP Historical Homicide Unit (HHU) was established under the organization's Serious Crimes Branch (SCB) to review, assess, prioritize, and investigate historical homicides in RCMP jurisdiction across the province. The HHU is responsible for the investigation of unsolved homicides within Alberta by making use of advanced and complex investigative techniques.

In 2002, the Alberta RCMP conducted a strategic review of unsolved homicide and missing person cases involving high-risk females in the Edmonton-metro area. As a result, a taskforce called Project KARE was created with the purpose of investigating several of these cases. The work of Project KARE also identified a need to create a dedicated homicide unit that would focus on long-term unsolved suspicious missing person and homicide cases across Alberta. In 2007, the Alberta RCMP Historical Homicide Unit began with three regular RCMP members. When Project KARE was dissolved in 2014, some personnel from the initiative were added to the HHU. Currently, HHU is comprised of 10 RCMP investigators and one civilian RCMP employee analyst.

There is no set period of time that must pass to qualify a homicide for consideration by the HHU. The unit focuses on investigations months, years, or even decades old where the Alberta RCMP Major Crimes Unit has completed initial investigations, and the use of more complex or resource intensive investigative techniques may be required. The largest factor in assigning a file to the HHU is its viability. The HHU does not assume custody of all unsolved homicides in Alberta but instead relies on a triage system to apply resources to investigations which have the highest probability of successful prosecution.

In 2020, the HHU secured funding for a federally-funded investigator to support the recommendations of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. This investigator will assist with the completion of case summaries, assist in MMIWG investigations, and support the Provincial Family Information Liaison Unit as they work with families of murdered and missing women.

"Homicide investigations are among the most complex and resource intense operations undertaken by law enforcement. There are over 200 unsolved homicides and 100 long-term missing persons' cases in RCMP jurisdiction in Alberta. This is why it is crucial that the HHU remain committed to its work in finding answers to serious, unsolved crimes and ultimately bringing them before the courts."

- S/Sgt. Jason Zazulak, HHU and Missing Persons Unit

The Alberta RCMP SCB is an investigative services branch of the provincial police service and is responsible for leading or supporting complex investigations. The branch is comprised of multiple investigative and support units which provide expertise in several areas, including the investigation of homicides, serious persons crimes, child abuse, multi-jurisdictional offences, complex investigations, or investigations making use of advanced investigative techniques.


Contact information

Alberta RCMP Media Relations

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