According to Kim

Deck of cards detail unsolved cases

with 2 comments

This is a great idea!

BALLSTON SPA – The family of a local missing person is giving playing cards to county jail inmates across the state. The cards feature the faces of missing persons and victims of unsolved murder.

The premise makes sense. Jail inmates play a lot of cards. So why not put cards in their hands with faces and descriptions of some of the state’s unsolved murder victims and missing people?

The cards are headed for all of the county jails in the state and eventually to state prisons.

“And if we can get these cards into inmates hands and they see these pictures and read the descriptions, it may generate discussion, which ultimately might get to a lead,” Saratoga County District Attorney Jim Murphy said.

Many of people remember Suzanne Lyall or Karen Wilson. Both were University at Albany students who disappeared and haven’t been heard from since.

But these cards also recall some people who didn’t get much attention over the years — people like the eight of hearts, Douglas Phillips, who disappeared from Ballston Spa in October 2006 or the three of diamonds, Sheila Shepherd, who was stabbed in her Saratoga Springs apartment in 1980. Her killer was never found.

The cards are the work of Doug and Mary Lyall of Ballston Spa. They’re the parents of Suzanne Lyall and the founders of the Center for Hope. They got the idea from a similar program in Florida. They say since that state started giving the cards to inmates a few years ago they’ve closed several cases, including a homicide.

“(An inmate) was sitting in his cell going through his deck of cards and he saw a picture and he said to his cellmate, ‘That’s my uncle, I’m the one who killed him,'” Mary Lyall explained.

The cards will be given out at New York’s county jails in the coming weeks.

The Lyalls are working out the details of a reward system for inmates who provide information that leads to an arrest.

“We’re hopeful these will generate some leads from somewhere. We know the information is out there,” Doug Lyall said.

The Lyalls are thankful to Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno for coming up with the funding for the production of the playing cards.


Written by Kim

April 7, 2008 at 7:41 pm

Posted in Missing people

2 Responses

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  1. OMG Kim we do this here in Florida… Polk County and it has help solve two murders so far…


    April 8, 2008 at 9:04 pm

  2. I’ve heard of these cards before and they seem to work. Maybe the inmates figure they might catch a break if they provide some information.


    April 9, 2008 at 2:08 pm

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