OSBI, DOC Unveil Plan To Close Cold Cases

Wednesday, October 11th 2017, 6:56 pm

The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation has a new plan to stack the deck against criminals who, up until now, have gotten away with a horrible crime. They're teaming up with the Department of Corrections for a different way to get information into the hands of prisoners.

The OSBI created playing cards with pictures and information about 52 different cold cases. The cards will be sold in the commissaries of Oklahoma's prisons.

Nine and a half years ago, 67-year-old Marie Dighton was found dead on the bedroom floor of her Latimer County home.

“She does have defensive wounds,” said her daughter, Maria Wilson, "so she fought off her killer or tried to fight off her killer. And that’s heartbreaking for any daughter to know how afraid she must have been.”

Marie is the three of spades in the OSBI cold case card deck. The OSBI says at least one person and likely others have information about what happened to her and the 52 others.

“It’s our belief that much of this information rests with individuals who are incarcerated,” said OSBI Director Stan Florence at a press conference Wednesday.

Department of Corrections Director Joe Allbaugh hopes to take advantage of the full house at the big house, saying they need to “utilize our almost 27,000 incarcerated in our facilities right now to tap into our untapped resource at this point."

The idea is prisoners play with the cards and maybe realize they know something about the crime.  Perhaps their conscious or the cash reward will entice them to call the 1-800 number also on the card and deal investigators that one piece of crucial information.

The OSBI says similar programs have worked in other states and by their best estimate helped solve 40 cold cases.