Investigation Discovery’s ‘Atlanta Justice’ is a true-crime documentary series that follows two Atlanta Police Department detectives and two former Fulton County prosecutors as they recount some of the most baffling homicide cases that they have solved in their many years of working within the law enforcement. The series commences with ‘The Silver Man,’ chronicling the 2002 murder of Bobby Jackson, a MARTA bus driver, setting the tone for all its upcoming episodes as well. The deceptions, the suspicions, and the finger-pointing are all fundamental in this case – so let’s find out the reality of what truly happened, shall we?
How Did Bobby Jackson Die?
Late in the evening of April 12, 2002, 45-year-old Bobby Jackson’s body was discovered by a couple walking their dog through an upscale Atlanta suburb. They stumbled upon his remains, in the woods near a church playground, purely by accident, and didn’t waste any time before dialing 911. Once the authorities arrived at the scene, they noticed that Bobby was wrapped in a quilt with silver tape covering almost every inch of his being. The duct tape was also around his entire face and head, and the only exposed portion was one of his ears. Underneath the quilt, Bobby’s hands were bound behind his back, and his feet were taped together, with a white cloth being the medium that connected his ankles and neck.
After the authorities had secured the area and gathered all the evidence, Bobby’s body was sent to a medical examiner so that further information about the circumstances surrounding his death could be obtained. An autopsy report later revealed that the bus driver had cuts and abrasions on his head and face, discoloration around his throat, a broken bone in his neck, and blood in the lungs. All this indicated that Bobby had been severely beaten up before he was stabbed in the neck, made evident from a small puncture wound. There were also indications of brain hemorrhaging, which led the coroner’s office to determine Bobby’s cause of death to be ligature strangulation with upper airway obstruction.
Who Killed Bobby Jackson?
Soon after investigations began, the officers-in-charge came to know about Jessica Smith, Bobby’s romantic partner. During her interview, she named Shirley Lyons, Jackson’s ex-girlfriend, as a possible suspect as the latter had begun harassing her at her office, demanding time and time again that she get Bobby to talk to her. Furthermore, according to Jessica, at approximately 6:45 p.m. on April 12, Bobby told her that he was going to Shirley’s place to pick up some of his belongings. Her daughter corroborated this story, and so Shirley was questioned as well. However, the events she outlined made the detectives suspicious about the time window of the crime.
As days passed by, the police officers followed-up with Shirley on a few occasions and noticed that the information she provided them with was mismatched. Then, there was also the fact that the curtains in her bedroom matched the pattern of the quilt that was on Bobby’s body and that she appeared to have a completely new bed set for her room. With that, on April 30, a search warrant for Shirley’s home and the nearby trailer she used was executed, revealing bloodstains matching Bobby’s on the floor and wall. Subsequently, as she was interrogated, she broke down, cried, and confessed, saying, “I didn’t mean for him to die, I just meant to hurt him.”
Shirley then gave a two-part videotaped statement, wherein she affirmed that she hired Khalique Shariff to kill her ex-boyfriend and that she also assisted while the murder transpired. Following Khalique’s arrest, he likewise admitted to killing Bobby because Shirley had hired him to do so and detailed what went down. He said that Shirley had initially asked him to hurt Bobby, but then she changed the order to murder. Khalique was promised $2,000 to commit the offense, and Shirley was by his side at every step of the way. In the end, with these confessions, both individuals were charged and arrested for murder. They were tried and convicted for the same as well.