Ten years ago, Hope Dudley’s son was killed in a drive-by shooting in Hamilton County and that grief awoke the activist in her and made it her mission to make sure no one forgets unsolved cases.
The 66-year-old, who founded the group U-Can-Speak-For-Me, uses posters, flyers and playing cards depicting victims that are distributed in prisons and jails, along with any public location that might catch the eye of someone with information.
Dudley is developing a poster for Butler County featuring unsolved cases in the county and she needs help from the families of the victims.
The poster features six cases: Jaylon Knight killed March 11, 2016 in Hamilton; Christopher “CJ” Sandle killed Jan. 13, 2016 in Hamilton; Calvin Simmons Jr. killed Sept. 16, 2016 in Hamilton; Chelsea Johnson killed April 15, 2012 in Fairfield; Eric “Josh” Bruce killed April 22, 1997 in Hamilton; and William “Billy” DiSilvestro who vanished from Hamilton on Feb. 7, 2011.
“I want to include more, but I have to have permission from the families,” said Dudley, who said funding for the posters is made possible by the Ohio Attorney General’s Office.
Cincinnati police detectives say Daniel “Chaz” Dudley’s homicide is solvable if a person is willing to come forward, Dudley said.
“They do have suspects,” she said. “We just need you to come forward.”
It is her hope the same will be true for the cases in Butler County and keeping the faces of victims front and center is key.
”I can tell you about a person and that that person has been murdered, but if I give you a visual of that person, you hold on to it,” Dudley said. “It starts a conversation.”
She pointed to success stories from information received after a visitor or inmate says information about an unsolved case on playing cards or poster.
“As Sheriff Jones has said, ‘I like a snitch,’” Dudley said.
Jones said that “is exactly right.”
He said he would be willing to talk with Dudley about displaying the posters in the Butler County Jail.
“People have information,” Jones said, noting he nearly daily receives tips on paper bag, restaurant bills or even a small piece of paper passed in a handshake.
“They call it ‘sheriff’s stationary’ around here,” he said with a laugh. “I receive them and they get worked on. Sixty to 80 percent of the the time it is some good information.”
Dudley said families of Butler County unsolved homicide victim can contact her at 513-404-3063 or on her Facebook page.
She wants to have the poster and fliers printed and distributed by the end of the month.