Skip to comments.Prisoner Poker Could Crack Cold Cases
Posted on 07/25/2007 12:00:34 PM PDT by DogByte6RER
Prisoner poker could crack cold cases
By PHIL DAVIS, Associated Press Writer
Tue Jul 24, 6:10 PM ET
TAMPA, Fla. - Prison inmates are getting a present from the state of Florida: playing cards. For detectives looking to solve dozens of cold cases, it's the start of a game of Go Fish that might pay off big.
On Tuesday, Florida's nearly 93,000 state inmates started getting one of two decks that between them highlight 104 of the state's most troubling unsolved murder and missing persons cases.
"What better way to get them talking than to have cards with the cases on them?" said Special Agent Tommy Ray of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. "These are people who have been in there for years. That's the best source of information. There are a couple of high-profile cases I think we'll get solved."
Ray helped launch the statewide program after he and colleagues on a cold case squad in Polk County got the idea to produce a similar deck for county inmates there in 2005. They were inspired by the famous most-wanted deck of Saddam Hussein and other fugitives issued to U.S. troops shortly after the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
Soon after the Polk County cards were issued, they generated a tip. Two men have been charged with murder in the 2004 killing of one of the victims on the cards, Thomas Wayne Grammer.
Other law enforcement agencies have caught on. Authorities in San Diego, Kansas City, Mo., and Odessa, Texas, are among those who have created their own decks, and Ray said he has gotten inquiries from as far away as Australia.
For the state program, authorities printed 85,000 decks featuring the first 52 cases, and started handing them out Tuesday to inmates at Wakulla Correctional Institution in the Panhandle town of Crawfordville. In a few weeks, 15,000 decks with 52 different cases will be distributed.
The King of Spades in one deck is Tiffany Sessions, a 20-year-old University of Florida sophomore who disappeared on Feb. 9, 1989. The Queen of Diamonds in that deck is 12-year-old Jennifer Odom, a Pasco County girl whose body was found on Feb. 25, 1993, six days after she disappeared.
Sessions' card features her smiling face. Odom's card has a picture of a sweat shirt and her book bag because authorities didn't want to give the state's sex offenders pictures of children.
The state attorney general's Crime Stoppers Fund is paying the $75,000 cost of the program about $68,000 to produce the cards and $7,000 for rewards, an agency spokeswoman said. The Polk County deck was produced with help from the local Crime Stoppers program.
From the FDLE website:
ABOUT THE DECKS...
The Cold Case Homicide card decks each profile 52 unsolved homicides and missing persons. There are hundreds of other cases that are not yet profiled. You might know something about these cases or you might have some information on cases not yet in these decks. You may think the information you have is not important or would not be helpful to the investigation. However, that information just might be the missing link that family members have been waiting years for that can solve their loved one’s case and bring closure to their family. The victims depicted in these decks are someone’s mother, father, sister, brother, wife, husband or child. If you have information about any of the cases in these decks, please call the number at the bottom of the card that the case appears on. If you have information about a case that does not appear on these decks, please call 800.226.8477.
I be it’s like porn to some of those people.
Cold Case Card Deck 1
Cold Case Card Deck 2
I wonder if it’s wise putting the face and name of a dead pretty girl on prison playing cards. Just don’t sit right with me for some reason.
Yeah...there is a certain weird factor involved.
But if these card decks get some inmates to rat out the killers, then it would be worth it to keep these homicidal thugs locked up and to finally get some justice for the victims.
I think veteran homicide detectives should give this project a try. They are the ones who are speaking for and seeking justice for the dead.
Reminds me of a strange guy at the convenience store cooler years ago who was getting milk. He looked at the picture on the carton, shook his head, looked at me smiled and said "Not the one I got."
Imagine having your murder case wind up on the Joker card.
If I was the murder victim, I would be laughing my a$$ off like a joker knowing that the perp was busted because I was on a playing card in his jailhouse flush!
I picked Ashley M., the last one before Paris. Spooky hot eyes.
This one is T3h Hawt, by my troth.
And she didn't even stab anyone (just nonsupport)!
She'll blueball you and leave with your wallet.
Even if he was being a comic.
But way ahead of Jessica on points is Amanda. Which is odd since (on the evidence of her photo) she’s bright green.
We'll soon be able to add this one to Iowahawk's list.
There is just something not correct about using those words together.
Was there no way to work a tossed salad into that headline?