The ‘Cold Case’ Playing Cards
The State of Colorado in the USA currently has over 1300 unsolved murders. Quite a scary fact, but the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has found a very novel way of hopefully solving at least some of them….
5000 decks of playing cards – with each of the 52 cards featuring a different unsolved murder – have been distributed to inmates in prisons across the State. Along with a brief description of each murder appears a photo of the victim and a telephone number in case anyone has any information to pass on. The CBI are hoping that as all of these cases are over 3 years old, the ‘loyalties’ keeping informers from coming forward may have waned, or that people may even have a pang of conscience and may come forward with the vital information that the families of these people have been so desperately searching for.
Printed with the full support of surviving family members
Effective Playing Cards & Publications, who print the cards, currently have more than 30 different decks circulating across the country, each featuring different cold cases – some homicides, some missing persons. As a result of these decks 40 cases have been solved. That’s 40 families with closure.
“The fact that someone is doing ‘anything’ to keep these cases in the public eye is overwhelmingly appreciated, and each success provides new hope for all involved” – EPC&P
Colorado Bureau of Investigation have said that they have another 2 decks – each with 52 different unsolved cases – in the pipeline for future release. Here’s hoping that these decks can help to at least bring closure to the grieving families of some of the victims.
I love this idea. I only heard about it today and didn’t know that there were so many variants of these decks already in existence throughout the US. The last time I saw anything like this was with the USPCC’s commemorative reproduction of the ‘Iraqi Most Wanted’ Playing Cards back in 2003, only that deck included 52 images of high ranking Iraqi officials. These decks were distributed amongst soldiers posted to Iraq to help them identify their targets. Decks like this have been used as far back as the Civil War and again in World War II, so this is by no means a ‘modern day’ phenomenon, but I’ve never heard of them being used throughout prisons.
Please feel free to comment below if there’s anything you have to add, or if you have any questions. I’d love to hear if any of you have any first-hand experience of an instance where these cards have yielded results.