What started because of a broken ankle, has changed the life of a local woman and helped to solve some of Idaho’s cold cases. 

Crystal Douglas manages the Facebook page Idaho Cold Cases. Growing up in Pocatello, she heard about the missing Pocatello girls. When Douglas broke an ankle in 2013, she had time to research the unsolved cases and built a database of information. Today, her database includes cold case information from across the state. Douglas shares information on the Facebook page to raise awareness.  

“I have a pretty good database of information collected so far and it was all just out of boredom from a broken ankle,” Douglas said.   

A new podcast hosted by Ashley Flowers entitled “The Deck” recently featured a case from Pocatello. It tells the story of 14-year-old Linda Smith, who was kidnapped from her home and killed in 1981. Her younger brother, Ben, witnessed and attempted to prevent the kidnapping. He is still haunted by this memory and spoke about the experience on the podcast episode.  

The practice of giving inmates playing cards with the faces and descriptions of cold case victims inspired the podcast’s title. Thanks to Douglas, these playing cards are currently in Idaho prisons. Douglas created 52 playing cards with victim profiles and worked with law enforcement to distribute them to prisons. Linda Smith’s card is a nine of hearts, since her brother was nine years old at the time of her kidnapping. Douglas is now working on a second deck.  

The cards have led to tips, and some cases have been solved. But Douglas says that most importantly, the playing card are raising awareness.  

“Most importantly people recognize the faces on the deck and recognize the situations,” Douglas said. “When I first started research in late 2013 the amount of information you could find online about any Idaho cold case was minimal.” 

You can listen to the podcast episode here, and view the Idaho Cold Cases Facebook page here