Portland police credit ‘cold-case’ playing cards

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PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — An investigative technique that traces to the U.S. war in Iraq is getting credit for the solution of a cold-case murder in Portland.

Last year, a tip generated by “cold case” playing cards sold in Oregon prisons led to the arrest of Brad Richard Ballantyne in a 1993 killing. On Thursday, he was sentenced to 25 years for the slaying of 30-year-old Kimberly Jean Dunkin during a robbery attempt.

Many American police agencies use the decks that feature brief descriptions of unsolved cases, in hopes that prisoners will provide information. Florida police led the way, inspired by the Pentagon’s effort in 2003 to round up Saddam Hussein’s inner circle.

Portland police say the Ballantyne case is the third time the decks have given a local investigation a major break.