Police hope playing cards help resolve unsolved cases

February 10, 2022 GMT

FRAMINGHAM, Mass. (AP) — Law enforcement authorities in Massachusetts have a created a set of playing cards featuring images of the victims of unsolved homicides or of missing persons in the hope that they generate tips that lead to resolution of the cases.

Each victim or missing person is someone’s mother, father, sister, brother, wife, husband, child, or partner, state police Col. Christopher Mason said in a statement Wednesday.

“You may remember hearing of some of these cases, others will be new to you,” he said in a video introducing the cards. “But know this, for each and every one, there’s someone who lives with a hole in their heart or their home which was once filled by one of these victims.”

The deck, featuring 52 cards in the four standard suits, is a collaboration between the state police Unresolved Case Unit, the state Department of Correction and district attorney’s offices across the state.

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The front of the card features a photograph, name, and facts about the case. The reverse includes tip line information and a mailing address. The decks are being distributed to state prison inmates.

While law enforcement agencies in other states have issued playing cards featuring unsolved cases, this is the first time it has been done in Massachusetts, officials said.

Four of the cases are from the jurisdiction overseen by the Northwestern district attorney’s office, including Paul Kirschner, a 70-year-old man found stabbed to death in his Shutesbury home in September 2010.

“Even if it is a longshot, this project provides a glimmer of hope that someone may come forward with information that could prove helpful to the case,” Northwestern First Assistant District Attorney Steven Gagne said in a statement.

Another card features John and Geraldine Magee, found shot to death in their Andover home in December 2011. Some cases are decades old, including the death of Theresa Corley, 19, found strangled off Interstate 495 in Bellingham in 1978.