New effort to solve cold cases involves decks of cards

Published: Jul. 6, 2022 at 2:14 PM CDT
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (WJXT) – A Florida man, whose father’s murder has never been solved, came up with an innovative way to highlight cold cases in the state.

Ryan Backmann has decks of playing cards that are meant to be passed around in bars and other businesses. Each of the 52 cards has different facts about cold cases in the state.

With this new effort, solving a cold homicide could be as easy as playing a family game of Go Fish or Gin Rummy.

Backmann, the Project: Cold Case founder, believes it can happen.

“Just by putting this out there, who knows? Maybe we get that call,” he said. “Maybe a couple of families will get those answers they’ve been seeking just because of a couple of decks of cards.”

Backmann’s worked hard to get this project off the ground, with all 52 cases featured on the cards having occurred in Florida.

Some of the cases go back as far as the 1970s and 80s.

In many ways, this project is personal for Backmann. His father, Cliff, was shot and killed in a robbery. The case is unsolved.

“There’s a lot of people that deserve to have the amount of publicity that I’ve had, and that others have had,” Backmann said. “That’s really what we want to do. We want to give them their moment to know that their loved one is not forgotten.”

More than 750 decks are available, and the group plans to feature more cases in the future.

Backmann also hopes this sends the message to all families of unsolved cases that they’ll never walk their journey alone.

“We are in this for the long haul with them, to support them,” he said. “And so I ask them to trust to do what we do, and that we’ll figure out a way to raise awareness for their loved one.”

Years ago, similar playing cards were passed around in prisons for inmates to use as they served time.

Any business owners interested in getting decks of the cards are encouraged to go to the Project: Cold Case website.

Copyright 2022 WJXT via CNN Newsource. All rights reserved.