Why shouldn’t decks of these Missing Persons and Unsolved Homicides cards be distributed to inmates in every prison in New York (and surrounding states)?
As I learned researching my book, people invariably talk. The police certainly know this and visit prisons to talk to inmates. But they can’t go all the time and talk to every one.
This deck was developed by Doug and Mary Lyall, whose daughter Suzanne went missing in 1998 when she was 19 years old. The deck comes with instructions about how the inmate can provide tips. The inmate is not required to identify themselves, although they may be eligible for a reward if they do.
According to the Lyalls:
“The New York State Tip Center has received a total of 130 tips from 5/10/08-11/19/09. Of this number a total of 53 are considered viable leads. Cold case homicides in Texas, California and Florida, have been solved as a result of information received and other convictions are imminent.”
I went through the entire deck. Some are so poignant, like this one for Carlos Diaz, who went missing when he went to bury his beloved dog. There are only a couple of cards of children. “Pictures of children are known to be a commodity for predators,” the Lyall’s fact sheet explains. But I like that there is a mix of age, sex and race in their deck. Missing children tend to get the most attention, understandably, but every case is important.
There are plans to distribute the cards “to the non-prison population, including: high crime urban areas, probation/parole offices, homeless shelters and truck stops. In the future it is anticipated that inmates in city jails and prisons throughout NYS will be targeted.”
These decks, and many more like them, should be everywhere. As the Lyalls say, “the cards may be just enough to jog a memory, or a conscience, for those who hear things.”
For more information about these cards visit The Center for Hope.