FLINT, Mich. (Michigan News Source) – Crime Stoppers of Flint & Genesee County has launched the Cold Case Playing Cards initiative, aimed at revitalizing investigations into unresolved crimes within the community. The decks include 43 homicide cases, 6 double homicide cases, and 3 missing person cases from Flint and Genesee County, each card featuring a photo and pertinent case details with emphasis placed on anonymous tip submission options.

Made possible by a generous grant from Season of Justice, a nonprofit dedicated to aiding investigative agencies with DNA testing and advocating for cold cases, this project promises to have a significant impact.

Playing cards of crime victims will be distributed in jail to generate new leads.

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These decks will be distributed in the Genesee County Jail, with the intention of generating fresh leads for detectives to pursue. The initiative underscores the collaborative dedication of numerous local law enforcement agencies toward providing closure to those affected by crime. They will also be included in a care package for newly released inmates.

The King of Hearts is Pablo Lopez Sr., the father-in-law of Julie Lopez, Executive Director of Crime Stoppers of Flint & Genesee County. 68-year-old Pablo Lopez was found shot to death on July 9, 2011. He was killed when someone broke into his home while he was sleeping in the 2500 block of Kansas Avenue on Flint’s east side.

According to law enforcement, the motive appears to be robbery. Pablo was known for working with and helping veterans, autoworkers and other charities according to Gilberto Guevara of the Hispanic/ Latino Commission of Michigan. Guevara says about Pablo, “He was the kind of person you wanted to be around and have as a friend.” Anyone with information on the slaying is asked Crime Stoppers at 800-422-JAIL.

Taking a Bite Out of Crime.

Included with the cards showing crime victims are the Joker Cards featuring McGruff the Crime Dog with the message, “Don’t be a Joker / Take a Bite Out of Crime.”

More than simply a compilation of unsolved crimes, these Cold Case Playing Cards serve as poignant memorials to the individuals lost to violence. Julie Lopez said in a statement, “The faces and stories on these cards represent a fraction of the many cases that remain unsolved in our community. We want everyone to know, this is not a game; it’s a strategic method in our effort to help solve cases. Every piece of information, no matter how minor it may seem, could be the missing puzzle piece that brings answers these families desperately need.”

Crime Stoppers is appreciative of their partners along the way.

Crime Stoppers of Flint & Genesee County has extended their gratitude to Season of Justice for their invaluable support in bringing this project to fruition, saying their generosity played a pivotal role in transforming the vision into a practical tool for justice.

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Recognition is also being given to the contributions of law enforcement partners and the resilience of the victims’ families, whose collective hope and perseverance have propelled this initiative forward. Additionally, special thanks are extended to the National Crime Prevention Council for granting permission to feature the iconic McGruff the Crime Dog on the Joker cards.

How did the idea start?

The concept of these types of playing cards originated in 2003 following the invasion of Iraq, when the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency created a deck of cards to aid troops in identifying the highest- priority targets within President Saddam Hussein’s regime. Called the “personality identification playing cards,” by 2021, all but four of the 52 most sought-after individuals had either been apprehended or are deceased.

Since that time, governmental agencies and various organizations nationwide have embraced the concept, implementing it at state and local levels. They have made and distributed sets of playing cards featuring crime victims to correctional facilities, aiming at gathering further details on missing persons and homicide investigations in order to solve cold cases.