There are an estimated 100,000 uncaught killers in the United States. Cops are overworked, departments underfunded, and as many as one in three murders goes unsolved. But the Vidocq Society — named after Eugene Francois Vidocq of Paris, the world\’s first detective and founder of France\’s Brigade de la Sûreté police force — hunts down the murderers, frees the innocent, and succors the families victimized by crime.
It is one of the world\’s most exclusive clubs, open only to the best detectives and forensic scientists on the planet — the greatest gathering of such talent ever assembled in one room. There are never more than 82 members at a time, one for each year of Vidocq\’s life. They hail from 28 law-enforcement agencies in 12 countries, including the FBI, CIA, Interpol, Scotland Yard, Hong Kong Police, NYPD, Brigade de la Sûreté, DEA, ATF, Secret Service, Treasury Department, U.S. Navy, Egyptian Army, and U.S. Marshals.
Their meetings exude the elegant, privileged, old-world atmosphere of a Victorian men\’s club; the New York Times once dubbed them \”the heirs of Holmes.\” They meet monthly in Philadelphia from around the globe to solve \”unsolvable\” cold murders over a hot gourmet lunch, and work pro bono instead of swatting golf balls around luxury resorts.
Gosh, that\’s lovely and terribly noble of them.
But, err, why don\’t they just do all of that at the office, when they\’re being paid to do all that at the office?