Wednesday, October 5, 2011

[Anthony & Tommy Jackson]

Deputies believe
father shot sons
before killing self

by LAURA PILE                                 
Times Staff Writer                                

Although sheriff's deputies                                     
haven't received results of the                         
neutron test performed Thursday,
"indications are that he (Tom D.
Jackson) fired the weapon," a Sci-
oto County sheriff's department
spokesman said.
 The spokesman said the 37-
year-old resident of 665 Cherry
Ridge Road, Columbus, shot his
two sons, Tommy, 6, and Antho-
ny, 5, in the head several times,
and himself once in the head, in a
field off of Ohio 335, two miles
north of Minford, on Thursday
morning. The spokesman declined
to confirm the number of times
each boy was shot.
 The boys' mother, Judy Jackson,
43, of Whitehall, a community
near Columbus, had custody of
the children.
 However, for the last two
weeks, the boys were staying with
Jackson, who had visitation
 The boys were supposed to re-
turn to there mother Thursday
night, the spokesman said.
 According to the sheriff's de-
partment, the Columbus Police
Department said the couple's di-
vorce was bitter, and that Jack-
son was "despondent" over the sit-
 Sheriff's deputies could not
elaborate on the couple's dispute
or length of their separation.
 Jackson pulled his 1979 Malibu
Classic into the family's private
cemetery, Brown Cemetery, be-
tween 3 and 3:30 a.m. Thursday,
where Jackson's father was bur-
ied about 1 1/2 years ago, the
spokesman said.
 Neighbors heard the car pull in,
and one person even saw it, ac-
cording to the spokesman.
"One heard the car making a lot
of noise, like it stopped fast," the
spokesman said. "About 3:30, they
(neighbors) heard a banging
noise, like someone hitting the
 One neighbor even turned on
his lights to investigate the origin
of the noise, but the banging
stopped once the lights came on.
 The noise turned out to be gun-
 "It appears he (Jackson) was
standing along the side of the
driver's door outside of the car,"
the spokesman said, "and was
aiming in towards the car. He
was standing with the door open,
firing into the car."
  Jackson's body was found on the
ground next to the car, and the
boys' bodies were still in the front
seat. Tommy was in the middle,
wrapped in an American flag, and
Anthony was next to the passen-
ger door.
 The sheriff's office was insistent
that the flag was not symbolic.
 "He (Tommy) was covered in
the flag and was using it as a
blanket," the spokesman said. "He
was wearing shorts, and it was
the only thing in the car the boy
could wrap up in."
 A witness spotted Jackson's
body outside of the car at 8:45
 A woman looked out of her
window, saw the body and called
the sheriff's office. She was afraid
to approach it," the spokesman
 All three were pronounced dead
at the scene by Dr. George Pettit,
county coroner.
 After the bodies were taken to
the Mercy Hospital morgue, they
were released to the funeral home
of the mother's choice, not to Cin-
cinnati or Columbus for an autop-
sy, the spokesman said.
 Jackson used a ,380 automatic
pistol to commit the double homi-
cide and suicide, according to the
sheriff's department. Ownership
of the gun hasn't been deter-
          See HOMICIDE, Page 4


From Page 1
 Deputies expect results of the
neutron test, which will deter-
mine if Jackson definitely fired
the weapon, within the next few
 Kingston Malley, Judy Jack-
son's attorney, told the Times Co-
lumbus Bureau this morning that
the couple was still legally mar-
ried, although they were not liv-
ing together.
 The check of court records by the
Times Columbus Bureau indicates
Judy Jackson filed for divorce on
June 2, 1987, and asked that her
husband be enjoined, restrained
and prohibited from directly and
indirectly molesting, interfering
or threatening physical violence
against her and from wasting
their joint assets.
 Although the divorce proceed-
ings had not been concluded, an
entry on April 5, 1988, in the
court records indicated that Judy
was to be granted the divorce
based on gross neglect of duty
and cruelty.
 The court was to issue a final
judgement when an entry for child
support and custody was filled.
The divorce file included hand-
written arrangements for Judy to
get custody of the boys. Tom was
to have visitation rights one day
per week.
 Malley said the judge attempted
to work out joint custody of the
boys. Judy opposed the arrange-
 "My client knew it wouldn't
work. We had our suspicions that
the man wasn't working on all
bases. It's a tragic situation. I
hope she survives. I can only
imagine what she is going
through," Malley said.
 Tom filed a request with the
court in September 1988 for cus-
tody of the boys. The request was
denied, court records indicate.
The divorce settlement was still
pending at that time.

Portsmouth Daily Times
August 25, 1989.

contributed by Willie Anderson

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