Tuesday, February 18, 2020

MAP Vice Chairman and visionary FBI analyst Eric Witzig dies at 73

Eric Warren Witzig, a veteran District of Columbia homicide detective who went on to investigate major serial murder cases for the FBI, has died following a lengthy battle with liver cancer. At the time of his February 18 death, Witzig was vice chairman and a founding director of the nonprofit Murder Accountability Project. He was 73.

Eric W. Witzig
Witzig was a detective at Washington D.C.’s Metropolitan Police Department and also served as an agent in the office of the city's Chief Medical Examiner. Some of his major cases included the 1982 airliner crash of Air Florida’s Flight 90 into the frozen Potomac River and the 1981 attempted assassination of President Ronald Reagan by John Hinckley Jr.

Upon his retirement with DC police after 20 years, Witzig joined the FBI’s Training Division where he worked in the Investigative Support Unit as a crime analyst and major case specialist.  He was an integral part of the Bureau’s Violent Criminal Apprehension Program (ViCAP).  He retired from the Bureau after 24 years as a unit chief and supervisory intelligence analyst assigned to a special criminal investigation project.

Witzig reviewed the crime scenes of Seattle's "Green River Killer" Gary Ridgway while working to build a national database of unsolved murders and sexual assaults for ViCAP.

Witzig solved the murder of 81-year-old Fannie Whitney Byers of Carl, Georgia, through a records review of the ViCAP database he helped create. Although Georgia officials had arrested and charged two persons for the murder, Witzig successfully linked the Byers homicide to Texas "Railroad Killer" Angel Maturino Resendiz, a serial killer believed responsible for 23 murders. Resendiz confessed to killing Byers and recounted precise details of her murder that only the killer could know.

"Eric Witzig was a visionary within America's law enforcement community. He validated through his remarkable career the importance of the creation of a national database for unsolved homicides and other major crimes," said MAP Chairman Thomas K. Hargrove. "Even while dying of cancer, Eric closely monitored the investigations into 51 unsolved strangulations of women in Chicago that he, and we, believe were the work of serial killers. Eric will be sorely missed."