A lot of us dread the ’20 year anniversary’ of this case. We dreaded 19 years. I think everyone on the team thought maybe by now we would have shaken something loose enough for someone to make a mistake and lead us to the end. Justice. But that clearly hasn’t happened.
As I write this, I think of our team and where we go from here. To be honest, this anniversary snuck up on me more than any in the past. It wasn’t that I wasn’t aware of the date, it was that it was a challenge to get material together in time. Sadly, as in the past, there’s little to work with. But there are things we’re discovering, so I’m delighted by that.
More work to do
It’s been 12 years since I personally started following Jodi’s case alongside Gary Peterson – my first boss. Back then we had an energy that couldn’t be matched. We’re both much older now, much busier, but just a few days ago Gary and I chatted on the phone and he was strategizing a new lead. He’s a bloodhound. You can’t take the reporter out of a good news man, that’s for sure. I admire his work ethic and ability to keep the team together in the most dire of situations. I learn from Gary every day. I thank him for never giving up on our mission.
Caroline Lowe also reached out a few days ago and was on her way to the Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE) convention in San Francisco and let me know she was printing more flyers to bring to hand out to attendees of the event (as she has in the past). Flyers. Something so simple, but yet so profound 19 years later in the search for a woman too many people have given up on. Caroline is about as tenacious as they come. I’m so glad we have someone of her caliber on our team. And there’s no quit in Caroline, either.
Another tenacious reporter is Beth Bednar who continually contributes to the website, most recently in her excellent series of posts on the Copper Dollar murder case that was recently broken wide open with an arrest more than 30 years later. That case gave our team some hope in that good things do happen to those fighting for justice.
Tara Manis spent the week researching cold cases that were solved decades after the fact and compiling them for a special report we would like to run in the future. We hoped it would be ready in time for the anniversary. But here we are…life has gotten in the way and time seems to be a commodity we can’t get enough of (full disclosure: Tara and I were recently engaged and plan to marry in the fall) so life has been a whirlwind to say the least!
Jay Alberio has prepared an excellent report on Tony Jackson as a person of interest and why he shouldn’t be prematurely disregarded as a pivotal figure in this case. His (and Caroline’s) findings will surprise you. Jay is delivering police work in his retired years as we speak. He’s another bloodhound you simply can’t get to stop if you wanted to try. Please check back for Jay’s report – we’ll be releasing it in a couple days and it’s an eye-opener.
That leaves me. I’m honestly more frustrated with this case as I’ve ever been. I liken it to spinning wheels in mud. You cover ground, then you go back and cover it again. And again. And try a new angle, and circle back. You never truly get anywhere, but then again, if you don’t go back, you miss a startling clue you didn’t see the first three times. That’s how these cases work, I guess. All we can do is press on, ‘shake down leads’ as Gary puts it, and keep going back. Remembering. Cross-referencing. Tracking. Testing. Just ‘doing’.
And not give up. That’s the big one.
We’re eager to hear your stories and ideas on the forum as we begin this 19th year of the case.
If we work together, there’s still time to make sure this doesn’t hit the dreaded 20 year mark.