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Kansas Department of Corrections to release cold case playing cards

Updated: Apr. 25, 2022 at 5:00 AM CDT
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV) - The Kansas Department of Corrections will soon distribute playing cards inside prisons and jails which feature cold cases from across the state. Most are unsolved murders. But the deck also contains missing persons cases and unidentified remains.

The idea is simple - perhaps an inmate or person in custody might have information they are willing to share.

The Johnson County Sheriff’s Department was immediately on board with the concept and submitted three cases.

“I think it’s a fantastic idea. I know all those other states have had success with cases. They were stuck. They had no leads. They developed the playing cards and they started getting tips from the inmates,” said Detective Kevin Cronsiter with the Johnson County Sheriff’s Department.

Tawnya Knight is on the 3 of clubs. She was murdered in Spring Hill, Kansas. She went missing in December of 1996 and her remains were found in June of 1997 near the cemetery. Her mother is hopeful a new lead can help crack the case.

“I am very thankful that this is being done. The more exposure, the better. I will do anything to get Tawnya’s case out there and to let it be known that after 25 years, her murder is still not solved. I am hoping that someone in jail or prison sees the card with Tawnya and just by chance happens to know something about the murder,” said Lori Knight.

Two cold cases out of Johnson County are among the first selected to be included on playing...
Two cold cases out of Johnson County are among the first selected to be included on playing cards developed by the Kansas Department of Justice.(kctv)

Two other Johnson County cold cases are on the A of spades. The women were found within days of each other beaten and nude in rural Johnson County.

Cold case playing cards have been helpful in other states.

Investigators in Connecticut tell us 800 tips have been generated by playing cards. 11 cases have been solved. They are now on their 5th deck.