Investigation Discovery’s ‘Homicide Hunter: Joe Kenda’ has the now-retired police officer bring to the viewers some of the cases he worked on during an illustrious 23-year career with the Colorado Springs Police Department in Colorado. The episode ‘Rest in Peace’ is no different. Willie Jackson was found dead in his bedroom in what seemed like a possible natural death. But the authorities’ suspicions of foul play were confirmed by the autopsy. It was then all about proving who killed Willie. So, let’s find out what happened then, shall we?
How Did Willie Jackson Die?
Willie Jackson was a 65-year-old who served with the Air Force for 20 years. At the time, he was working as a trainer at a gym in Fort Carson, Colorado. He lived with his wife, Toni Jackson, and her teenage son from a previous marriage. Willie had met Toni at the gym. They had been married for about two years at the time of the incident. At around 2:30 AM on June 24, 1994, a 911 call from the Jackson household led first responders to Willie’s dead body.
Willie was found on the bedroom floor face up, but the detectives couldn’t see any injuries. There was no external trauma, leading them to consider a natural death. As per the show, Toni told the police that her husband drank a lot and might have died of alcohol poisoning. But when the body was flipped over, there was a puncture wound at the back of the left thigh. An autopsy confirmed that to be the cause of death. The wound was caused by a knife which then severed a vein, leading to extensive blood loss. Willie’s death was ruled a homicide.
Who Killed Willie Jackson?
Initially, when Toni’s son, Malik, was interviewed, he told the police that Willie and his mother were arguing and that Willie was drunk at the time. He was watching TV and could hear them screaming. A few hours later, Toni called him to the master bedroom, where he saw her beside Willie’s body, checking for a pulse. She then called 911. Toni’s interview also revealed similar information.
Toni told the police that Willie came home late from work. At the time, she was on the phone with Malik’s father. The couple got into an argument, and as per the show, she told the police that she saw Willie hurt in the leg. She assumed he would sleep it off but later saw him unresponsive on the bedroom floor. Beyond this, the authorities had not much else to go on.
But with the autopsy confirming that it was a homicide, they decided to take a second look at Toni. Willie had bled to death, but there wasn’t a lot of blood at the house. Fresh sheets covered up a blood-soaked mattress, but the police didn’t find blood anywhere else during the initial scene assessment. Later, the police executed a search warrant at the house, and by using Luminol, they found evidence of blood that was cleaned up in the kitchen and other areas of the house.
Then, the police suspected Toni of having something to do with the murder. While she initially agreed to take a polygraph, she backed out of it at the last minute and later admitted that she stabbed Willie. According to the show, she claimed that she acted in self-defense, stating that Willie tried to choke her after a heated argument. As he let her go and started to walk away, Toni stabbed him with a steak knife in the back of the thigh, but the wound turned out to be fatal. Toni thought that he was sleeping the alcohol off but didn’t think he would die.
Where is Toni Jackson Now?
As per the show, the police and the District Attorney’s office believed Toni’s story. They were satisfied with her version of the events and felt that she stabbed Willie in self-defense. Therefore, Toni was not charged with murder. Instead, she was charged with cleaning up the blood at the scene, for which she received three years of supervised probation. She since seemed to have moved on with her life and has shied away from all public attention. Consequently, we weren’t able to verify her current whereabouts.
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