PD hopes giving inmates playing cards will crack cold cases - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

PD hopes giving inmates playing cards will crack cold cases

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Silent Witness playing cards (Source: CBS 5 News) Silent Witness playing cards (Source: CBS 5 News)
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PHOENIX (CBS5) -

There are thousands of convicted criminals behind bars with nothing but time on their hands.

So Silent Witness and the Phoenix Police Department supplied those inmates with special decks of playing cards, each card in the deck featuring an unsolved murder.

Silent Witness is hoping the inmates might help solve at least some of the cases.

"Every one of these cards means something to us," said Silent Witness Sgt. Darren Burch.

Pictured on the two of Diamonds is Ed Forst, a prominent local businessman. For more than six years, Forst's murder has baffled police and left his family desperate for answers.

"It's a rollercoaster of emotions for years and years. Even still, I can't believe it happened," said his son, Mike Forst.

The only facts police know for sure is that two men shot Forst in his car near McDowell Road and 27th Avenue.

"He crashed into an AM-PM gas station by some propane tanks," said Mike Forst.

"It's just frustrating for investigators and family alike, year after year, with no resolution, no justice. These playing cards could very well, in the hands of criminals, give us justice," said Burch.

Silent Witness distributed 3,000 decks of cards to inmates in Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio's jails.

Money for the program came from an anonymous donor whose case was solved by Silent Witness. It's a new strategy that's giving families like Forst's a renewed sense of hope.

"There are a lot of people who want to see this case solved. I just hope word gets to the right person," Burch said.

Click here to buy a deck of Silent Witness cold-case playing cards.

Copyright 2014 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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