Silent Witness hopes playing cards can help solve cases - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Silent Witness hopes playing cards can help solve cases

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3,000 jail inmates are getting free playing cards, but this isn't a reward for bad behavior.  These cards all feature pictures and information about some of the valley's unsolved crimes and law enforcement is hoping the guys behind bars can help solve those cases.

Pick a card -- any card -- like the 2 of clubs.  That's Jermain Johnson, a father of two who was killed near 40th Street and McDowell in 2006.  His killers remain on the loose.

Or the King of Hearts.  That's Irwin Miller.  He was gunned down outside of a Phoenix restaurant in 2004.  The gunman has never been caught.

But maybe with these playing cards, these suspects and those of 50 other crimes will finally end up in jail.

"These are the most difficult of cases to solve and if only one gets solved, we've been successful," said Sgt. Darren Burch.

Silent Witness has teamed up with Phoenix Police and the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office to hand out 3,000 of these decks, not to people in the community, but jail inmates.

"We're getting these cards right into the hands of the criminals themselves.. that intel source that has the information," said Burch.

It's an unlikely crime solving partnership, but criminals run in the same circles and see and hear things that could lead to bringing justice to the families of these victims.

"We're already getting tips.  It's already being really productive," said Burch.  "We're looking forward to solving our first crime with these type of playing  cards."

Silent Witness hopes to expand the program to other cities in the future.



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