FRAMINGHAM, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) – Massachusetts State Police (MSP), the Department of Correction and the District Attorney's Office are putting all their cards on the table in hopes of solving cold-cases in the state.
Law enforcement officials are releasing a deck of cards, each deck a set of 52, with photos and information about unsolved murders and missing people. The reverse side of the card displays tip line information and a mailing address. District Attorney's involved in the project chose which victims are featured on the cards.
“Much time may have passed since the crime that took them from their loved ones, but they, and the victims of all our unresolved cases, are not forgotten," MSP Lt. Colonel Christopher Mason said. "Our detectives and forensic specialists across the state work daily to solve cases like these. Often, after years of dedicated work by investigators, we find that we just need a little more information to solve the case. The people who loved, and were loved by, these victims have waited too long for justice."
It's the first time cards have been used in the state as a medium to solicit information about unsolved crimes. The idea for this project was championed by former MSP Colonel Kerry Gilpin, a survivor of homicide herself. In the future, The State Police Unsolved Cases Unit hopes to create new editions of playing card decks to feature additional victims.
This is also not the first time playing card have been used for informational purposes in history. During World War II, the US military used playing card decks which featured silhouettes of aircraft to help soldiers distinguish between enemy and Allied planes.
During the Iraq war, cards were handed out to US troops depicting Saddam Hussein's regime members. Inspired by their historical success, law enforcement agencies in Polk County, Fla., were the first to hand out unresolved case cards within it's prison-system. In less than three months after the launch, the cards generated more than 60 tips, four cases were solved and the offenders convicted.
Today, several other states and countries are utilizing playing cards as a means to seek leads on unresolved cases.
WBZ's Brooke McCarthy (@BrookeWBZ) reports: