When a murder goes unsolved, it causes a breakdown between law enforcement and the surviving family of the victim. The public often scrutinizes police agencies for failing to ensure that justice is served and law enforcement is left scrambling to explain to grieving families why they don’t have the answers. In recent years, many police agencies and private organizations have sought out creative means to generate more leads in cold cases, hoping they will receive that one tip that could potentially blow an entire case wide open.
In one of these creative ventures, the State of Connecticut has reported that they have seen wild success with a series of playing cards sold exclusively through state-run correctional facilities. With each card featuring a photo of a victim along with a brief synopsis of their case, the theory behind them is that by exposing inmates within the prison system to unsolved cases there is a greater likelihood that they may trigger a memory that could be invaluable to solving these cases.
Since introducing the cards, which are now on their fourth series, the State of Connecticut’s Department of Criminal Justice reports that there have been arrests or convictions in 20 of the cases featured on the cards and have generated 675 tips since the decks were introduced. These cards are of no cost to the taxpayer and prisoners purchase them with their own money, with all proceeds going towards producing additional decks.
The latest arrest attributed to the cards was of 30-year-old Ibo Boone of Waterbury. Police received enough leads generated by the playing cards that they were able to connect Boone to the 2010 shooting death of a 21-year-old Norwalk man, Michael “Mizzy” Robinson. Police believe that the shooting had been connected to street gangs in the area.
In a statement after Boone’s arrest, Norwalk Police Chief Thomas Kulhawik told reporters, “While a case may be considered ‘cold,’ it is never closed. I wish to thank all who worked so diligently on this investigation and to reaffirm our commitment to work to bring some sense of closure to families who have lost loved ones.”