Another deck of Cold Case Playing Cards is on the table…
The cold case playing cards that Florida’s law enforcement community introduced to the state’s prison inmates in 2005 will soon be printing its third edition. Law enforcement in Kansas City, San Diego and Odessa, Texas have also followed suit with their own playing cards. It’s time for every province in Canada to do the same.
Apparently, the money to print and distribute Florida’s cards was funded through a court fee.
So if Canada or Quebec is balking at the cost…just tell them to tack a surcharge on court fines. There is no shortage of offenders so there should be no shortage of money. The government doesn’t mind bumping up fees for everything from parking tickets to passports. I wouldn’t mind paying an extra $10 on my speeding tickets if I thought it was going to help get justice for a grieving family. That being said, I still think the government should pay for the entire cost regardless. They don’t seem to have a problem spending millions on ridiculous studies or bad business deals.
Read this story…(especially the sections in bold).
Prison poker cards seek leads on homicides
Cold cases featured on prisoners’ decks
By Joseph Sjostrom
Chicago Tribune staff
December 10, 2007
The investigation into the slaying of Elmhurst resident Albert Seaburg outside a Tallahassee, Fla., motel in 1997 has gone cold, but authorities hope a game of poker in prison can produce some clues.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement has produced two editions of a full deck of playing cards that show photos of murder victims, some information about the case and a phone number to call to offer police more information.
Authorities say they distributed 100,000 decks in Florida’s 129 state prisons.
First distributed last summer, they have produced 66 tips that solved two cold-case murders, both from 2004, and significantly advanced several others, police there said.
Police won’t identify the cases in which the cards produced helpful tips, but the cards were considered effective enough that Florida authorities plan to produce a third deck to help with the state’s 400 to 500 unsolved murders. Authorities in San Diego, Kansas City, Mo., and Odessa, Texas, have since created their own decks.
Seaburg was a 71-year-old retired civil engineer traveling on business when he was shot at a Tallahassee motel on Sept. 4, 1997. Police say the shooting occurred during a robbery attempt.
Awareness of Seaburg’s case and other unsolved killings also is being kept up by Seaburg’s nephew, Robert Hansen of Oakbrook Terrace, who maintains a Web site – http://www.unsolvedmurder.com/ — featuring photos and information.
“This is something I have to do for him because he was such an awesome man,” said Hansen, 48, the youngest of five children, who lost his father at age 7. “When my father died, [Seaburg] took over the father’s duties and was just really good to us kids.”
Florida investigator Tommy Ray and cold-case colleagues in Polk County first produced a similar set of cards in 2005 for the county jail. They were inspired by the most-wanted deck of Saddam Hussein and other fugitives issued to U.S. troops after the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
The Florida cards generated a tip that solved a murder two months later, prompting Ray and other investigators to advocate a statewide version of cold-case playing cards.
A fund fed by a court fee supplied the $68,000 for production and provided $7,000 to pay tipsters.
“None of the [informants] have asked for any rewards so far,” Ray said. “These guys are serving time for non-violent, less-serious offenses. They might not turn in a drug dealer or a burglar, but they feel like murder is different because the victim could have been their mother, their father, their brother or sister.”
Ray played down the concern about the cards producing false leads.
“There’s very little information on each case on the cards, so it’s hard for somebody to make up a credible story,” he said. “Having the cards in prison is like interviewing thousands of inmates on 104 homicides. It would take years to do that.”