While investigations are ongoing, authorities often withhold information from the public, creating gaps in the narrative that social media content creators often utilize. According to Slate, how much or how little is revealed to the public is ultimately a judgment call, but typically, that information is withheld for good reason: Most often, to ensure that someone who might confess to the crime could only know details from firsthand experience rather than reiterating what they learned in the press.

Some details of a crime might also be kept quiet if it’s thought that releasing the information could endanger someone or create a risk to public safety, per Cornell Law School. But if information related to a case could help the general public stay safe, such as signs of a possible serial killer, then that information would more than likely be released to the media, according to what University of Texas journalism professor and podcast host Kate Winkler Dawson told Grunge News

For this reason, when an investigation says there’s no reason to think there’s a serial killer, then odds are, it’s best to believe them, Winkler Dawson says. Referring to the string of 2023 deaths in Austin, where the remains of nine men have been recovered in less than a year, she said, while particulars vary from case to case, when there’s an ongoing risk the public should be aware of, police try “to get as much information to the public as soon as possible, and you’re not seeing the same posture with these cases” (via Texas Monthly).

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