Unsolved Homicides Playing Cards

Sunday, February 01, 2009

In 2005, Tommy Ray, a special agent in Polk County, Florida, made decks of playing cards with information about local unsolved crimes. He passed out the decks in the Polk County jail, hoping that prisoners would gossip and reveal clues to these cold cases. Sure enough, less than three months later, authorities were able to charge two men with a 2004 murder. Soon, two different decks, describing 104 cases, were distributed to all Florida state inmates. Since then, cold case homicide playing cards have spread. A Florida company, Effective Playing Cards & Publications, has produced decks for ten different states. In January, San Bernardino County in Southern California joined Florida and South Carolina in making the cold case cards available not just to prisoners, but to the public as well. However, the actual effectiveness of the cards is still unclear. In San Diego County, for example, 10,000 decks were handed out to prisoners a year ago, but none of the murders on the playing cards have been solved.

Cold Case Playing Cards Debut at Local Jails (by Stacia Glenn, San Bernardino County Sun (CA)
Prison Poker (by Richard Morgan, New York Times)
Unsolved Homicides Playing Cards For Sale (Effective Playing Cards & Publications)


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