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Why a single deck of cards could help solve dozens of long-running cold cases in Australia

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Why this single deck of cards could help solve some of Australia’s longest-running cold cases

  • Single deck of playing cards could help solve NSW’s 52 long-running mysteries
  • Cards feature photo of cold case victim and information on their disappearance
  • Police hope cards will encourage those who know something to come forward

A single deck of playing cards handed out to Aussie inmates could help solve some of the country’s longest-running cold cases.

Police will hand out the decks of cards to inmates in prisons across NSW to encourage those with ‘crucial information’ to come forward.

Each card features a photo of a cold case victim and information about one of 52 of the state’s unsolved murders or suspicious disappearances.

A single deck of playing cards handed out to Aussie inmates could help solve some of the country's longest-running cold cases (pictured, the playing cards)

A single deck of playing cards handed out to Aussie inmates could help solve some of the country’s longest-running cold cases (pictured, the playing cards)

Police will hand out the decks of cards to inmates in prisons across NSW in hopes it will encourage those with'crucial information' to come forward (pictured, NSW inmates)

Police will hand out the decks of cards to inmates in prisons across NSW in hopes it will encourage those with ‘crucial information’ to come forward (pictured, NSW inmates)

Police said the families of cold case victims pictured on the cards had been consulted about the initiative, which is the result of over two years of planning.

Authorities hope inmates sharing their knowledge of crimes committed against cold case victims on the cards will generate new leads.

Some cases have remained unsolved for decades, with police noting inmates share details of their crimes or those committed by associates with others.

The project was launched after a similar program received success in the United States and other jurisdictions in Australia.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Police, Paul Toole, said the cards could help families of cold case victims finally receive justice after decades of silence.

Police said the families of cold case victims pictured on the cards had been consulted about the initiative which is the result of over two years of planning

Police said the families of cold case victims pictured on the cards had been consulted about the initiative which is the result of over two years of planning

Each card features a photo of a cold case victim and information about one of 52 of the state's unsolved murders or suspicious disappearances

Each card features a photo of a cold case victim and information about one of 52 of the state’s unsolved murders or suspicious disappearances

‘Today is about honouring the memories of victims, supporting their families in their search for justice, and encouraging inmates with crucial information to come forward,’ Mr Toole said.

‘The police investigations into these cases are well and truly active, but they are reliant on information that has been held tightly for too long.’

Minister for Corrections, Geoff Lee, said the project would provide another avenue for inmates to come forward with valuable information. 

‘Both victims and their families deserve to have their questions answered – these cards could provide closure and end the torment suffered by so many,’ he said. 

Pictured on one of the playing cards is Roslyn Reah, 55, who was found murdered in her home in Cooks Hill in Newcastle in March, 2005

Pictured on one of the playing cards is Roslyn Reah, 55, who was found murdered in her home in Cooks Hill in Newcastle in March, 2005

The cards were manufactured with the help of inmates in workshops at the Geoffrey Pearce Correctional Centre in Berkshire Park in the state's northwest

The cards were manufactured with the help of inmates in workshops at the Geoffrey Pearce Correctional Centre in Berkshire Park in the state’s northwest  

Families of the victims have been pushing for the project for at least five years, Martha Jabour, Homicide Victims’ Support Group Executive Director, said. 

‘The families of those represented were personally involved in the production process because for them, these cards represent the potential for both truth and justice,’ Ms Jabour said. 

Pictured on one of the playing cards is Roslyn Reah, 55, who was found murdered in her home in Cooks Hill in Newcastle in March, 2005. 

Also featured is Paula Brown, who vanished during a night out in Sydney in May, 1996, with her body found eight days later in bushland south of the city. 

The cards were manufactured with the help of inmates in workshops at the Geoffrey Pearce Correctional Centre in Berkshire Park in the state’s northwest. 

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