Oklahoma Prisons Selling Inmates Cold Case Playing Cards

Oklahoma authorities are hoping to solve unsolved killings and other cold cases by selling decks of playing cards that feature the cases to prisoners.

The state Bureau of Investigation and state Department of Correction showcased the cards Wednesday.

Bureau of Investigation Director Stan Florence says similar programs in Florida, Colorado, Connecticut and South Carolina have garnered information that helped solve about 40 homicides.

Playing cards featuring unsolved and unidentified homicides or missing person cases are displayed at Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation headquarters in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2017.  (AP Photo/Ken Miller)


This Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2017 photo shows Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation’s unsolved Homicides & Missing Persons Playing Cards in Oklahoma City. (Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation via AP)

The cards are being sold at six of the state’s approximately two dozen prisons at $1.42 per pack and will eventually be the only playing cards available at the other facilities.

Oklahoma has approximately 27,000 inmates.

Law enforcement agencies have taken up the little-known approach since 2005, according to Slate.comwhen authorities in Polk County, Florida—inspired by the infamous decks of cards showing members of Saddam Hussein’s regime that were handed out to U.S. troops during the Iraq war—decided to start selling cold-case cards in jails for $1.75 a deck.

A spokesman for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement explained at the time, “It’s kind of like interviewing 93,000 inmates for new leads and it has worked wonders.”

Associated Press