(Kim Tunnicliffe/WBZ NewsRadio)
PAWTUCKET, R.I. (WBZ NewsRadio) — The Rhode Island Coalition on Cold Cases is now selling decks of cards they hope will help crack unsolved crimes.
They aren't ordinary playing cards—each one depicts one of 52 different unsolved murders or missing persons cases dating back to 1947 in the Ocean State, with a photo and information about the case.
Pawtucket Police Detective Susan Cormier said Rhode Island is now one of nineteen states using the cold case playing cards.
The decks have been on sale for a few months now, and Det. Cormier told WBZ NewsRadio's Kim Tunnicliffe they are selling well, and they've received about 30 solid tips.
"Nothing has been solved just yet, however, we have received numerous tips on the tipline, on the website," Cormier said. "I also have a Facebook page and an Instagram page, so it's been pretty busy."
The cards are also being sold to Rhode Island prison inmates through the commissary in the hopes that prisoners will share any info they have on the unsolved crimes.
"It is a very interesting and intriguing thing to the inmates," Cormier said. "They start to purchase them, they start discussing them. They may be in there for a lesser offense—it may not sit well with them that a child was murdered, or someone's mom, so they're willing to come forward. Sometimes, just for the right reasons, and sometimes, they're looking to get a little time shaved off their own sentence."
Cormier said some of the tips have come from prisoners.
She said she's happy the cards have put these cases back in the public consciousness, because sometimes, they forget.
"One of the things that I have found the most that people say to me when they have seen this project is, 'Wow, I thought that case was solved already,' because when it's no longer in the public eye on the news, they think the case has been resolved," she said. "It gets people talking again, and sometimes the inmates seem to be the ones that have a little bit more information than the average person."
Massachusetts State Police have expressed interest in the program, and Cormier said she met with one Massachusetts Sgt. Detective to talk about the program.
To view or purchase the cards, visit coldcaseri.com.
WBZ NewsRadio's Kim Tunnicliffe (@KimWBZ) reports