Twenty years ago this week, Jack L. Robinson was stabbed to death during an altercation at the Rosewood Boat Landing in Columbia, South Carolina. On August 17, 1996 just after 6:00pm witnesses reported seeing Jack and an unknown Hispanic male arguing over money. As the suspect fled the scene, Jack, mortally wounded, struggled to make his way towards the witnesses for help. Rescue personnel rushed Jack L. Robinson to Palmetto Health Richland Hospital where he was pronounced deceased. Investigators believe the two men knew each other but are unsure why the verbal altercation turned violent. A sketch was composited from witness descriptions implicating a Hispanic male with an olive complexion, between the ages of twenty five to thirty five years old at the time of the murder. He was approximately 5’5″, between 150-180 pounds with black hair and a mustache. The suspect would now be between forty five and fifty five years old.
About a year after the murder, Jack’s family was informed that an arrest had been made in the case. Detectives believed they linked Jack’s stabbing death to a man charged with murdering a 30-year-old woman and her 3-year-old niece. The bodies of those victims were dumped at the same boat ramp where Jack was stabbed. The woman, who had worked for Jack at one time, and bloodhounds used during Jack’s murder investigation that tracked a scent to a business that would later become known as the suspect’s place of employment, provided the circumstantial evidence used to arrest the suspect for Jack’s death. Prosecutors sought the death penalty in the double murder case but informed Jack’s family that, due to the lack of physical evidence, they were not pursuing charges in his stabbing death. Law enforcement assured the family that they had Jack’s killer and that should physical evidence surface they would reconsider taking the case to trial. Some eleven years later, while Jack’s daughter, Tammy, was searching the internet, she found her dad listed on a Richland County Cold Case website. No one had bothered to call and inform her that new evidence had surfaced and cleared the prior suspect. Tammy continues to pursue justice and answers by sharing her dad’s story on on Facebook and working hard to make sure the suspect’s sketch is publicized.
If you have any information on the unsolved murder of Jack Robinson please contact Sgt. Kevin Isenhoward with the Richland County Sheriff’s Department Cold Case Squad at (803) 576-3073. To remain anonymous and possibly be eligible for a $1,000 reward call the Midlands Crimestoppers Tipline at 1-888-CRIME-SC.
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