Cold case playing cards distributed in Del. institutions to see if inmates can help solve crimes
DELAWARE – A simple deck of cards is a way for inmates to pass some time.
But they’re going to be seeing new decks shuffling in across the first state. Once they finally get to have the cards in their hands, the face isn’t what you expect.
There is a picture of a victim on the card and the date they were murdered. Card by card, each one represents a cold case. The name and information of the offense is also inked on. Plus a free number to call for an anonymous tip.
You’re probably wondering how this idea came into play. After much success in Connecticut, the Delaware Department of Correction along with DSP, the New Castle County Police Department, Wilmington PD, and Crime Stoppers all teamed up. After two years, they’re finally laying all their cards on the table.
Connecticut has been doing this initiative for seven years and in those seven years they’ve solved 20 cases. They are on their fourth deck of cards. When they solve a case, they create new cards to be implemented into their new deck.
Beyond that, Delaware institutions sell about 8,000 cards in a year throughout all of their Level 5 institutions. We’re told for a deck of cards, you don’t play them just once, you are constantly looking at them.
Inmates will now have the opportunity to provide some input.
Jayme Gravell, DOC’s Chief of Community Relations says, “None of the victims on the cards are on there without permission from the family. So, it’s really important to all the agencies involved to be supportive of the families and no information went out without permission. There’s no such thing as closure but it’s one way that we can help them hopefully get some answers and some hope.”
But they aren’t stopping there, cold case videos will be playing and posters of the cold case cards will go into each institution.
If you have a tip about an open investigation, you can call Delaware Crime Stoppers at 1-800-TIP-3333.