Fourth Edition of “Cold Case” Playing Cards Now Available to Inmates
The fourth edition of "cold case" playing cards soliciting information about unsolved homicides and missing person cases is now available to inmates throughout the Connecticut correctional system.
The playing cards were produced by the Cold Case Unit in the Office of the Chief State’s Attorney in conjunction with the Department of Correction and other law enforcement agencies working to solve cases that have gone "cold," or unsolved for a prolonged period of time.
Arrests or convictions have occurred in 20 of the cases featured on the previous three decks of cards, including several cases where arrests followed tips received because of inmates seeing the cards. Cold case investigators have received more than 675 tips since the first deck was introduced more than six years ago.
Chief State’s Attorney Kevin T. Kane noted that despite a reduction in personnel because of budget cuts, the Cold Case Units continue to investigate unsolved murders throughout the state. Working closely with the United States Attorney’s Office and other federal law enforcement agencies, the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection Forensic Science Laboratory and Hartford Police, the Cold Case Unit in the Chief State’s Attorney’s Office has solved three Hartford murders in just the past three months. Six persons have been charged in connection with those cases and now await trial in state and federal court.
The cold case cards are the only playing cards sold to inmates in all facilities operated by the Department of Correction. The program operates at no cost to taxpayers as proceeds from the sale of the cards pay for production of subsequent decks.
Although the cards are not available for sale to the public, all four editions can be seen on the website of the Department of Correction ( www.ct.gov/doc ) or the Division of Criminal Justice ( www.ct.gov/csao ).
The public is encouraged to view the cards and share any information they might have about any of the cases. Information may be submitted by telephone at 1-866-623-8058, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by regular mail at P.O. Box 962, Rocky Hill, CT 06067.
Each card in the deck of 52 features a photograph and brief details about an unsolved homicide or missing person case and lists telephone, mail and e-mail contacts inmates can use to provide information.
The cases featured on the cards are generally changed in subsequent decks to allow for the maximum number of cases to be circulated through the correctional system, although some cases have been featured a second time to include updated information, most notably the identity of a previously unidentified victim.
"The families of victims continue to suffer emotional stress when the homicide of a loved one remains unsolved. These Cold Case playing cards have proved to be an extremely successful strategy in helping to bring justice to the victims of crime," said Department of Correction Commissioner Scott Semple. "The Department of Correction is proud to collaborate with the Office of the Chief State’s Attorney, as well as others throughout the law enforcement community, to assist - in any way possible - those affected by these heinous crimes."
Chief State’s Attorney Kevin T. Kane expressed his appreciation to the Department of Correction for its continued support of the cold case playing cards program and to the municipal police departments and the Connecticut State Police for their assistance in providing information on the cases featured on the cards.
"The cold case playing cards have proven to be a valuable tool assisting our investigators with what are among the most challenging cases. Every tip that we get from someone who sees a card and remembers something is another step toward achieving justice to the victims of these crimes and their loved ones," said Chief State’s Attorney Kane.
In addition to cold case investigations undertaken by individual municipal police departments and the Connecticut State Police, the Division of Criminal Justice oversees the Cold Case Unit in the Office of the Chief State’s Attorney and the Southeastern Connecticut/New London County Cold Case Unit.
The Cold Case Unit in the Office of the Chief State’s Attorney includes representatives of the Office of the Chief State’s Attorney, Department of Correction, Greenwich Police Department, Hartford Police Department, Norwalk Police Department and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The unit also has worked closely with the U.S. Attorney, the FBI and the DESPP Forensic Science Laboratory.
The Southeastern Connecticut Cold Case Unit includes investigators from the Town of Groton Police Department, City of Groton Police Department, New London Police Department, Norwich Police Department, Stonington Police Department, Waterford Police Department, Department of Correction, State Police Eastern District Major Crime Squad, the Office of the Chief State's Attorney, the Office of the State's Attorney for the Judicial District of New London and the Office of the State's Attorney for the Judicial District of Windham.