mary petersen

Mary Petersen

By Karassa Stinchcomb

This story is part of a collaborative project between Project: Cold Case and a University of North Florida Journalism class.

A pony-themed birthday party on May 25, 2002, was the last birthday Mary Futrill Petersen was able to spend with her 5-year-old daughter.

Three days later, her then 8-year-old son awoke around 7:30 a.m. to tell his mom he was hungry but when he went to rouse her, she wasn’t breathing. The frantic boy tried to call 911.

When he found the phone was not working, he dressed himself and his sister and went to a neighbor’s house to beg for help. Read more

nancy jo canode

Nancy Jo Canode

By Brett Raynor

This story is part of a collaborative project between Project: Cold Case and a University of North Florida Journalism class.

It has been 37 long years since the brutal murder of Nancy Jo Canode, a mother of three, whose children are trying everything they can to bring their mother’s killer to justice.  Read more

bradla cook

Bradla Cook

By Courtney Stringfellow

This story is part of a collaborative project between Project: Cold Case and a University of North Florida Journalism class.

It was a Wednesday – the evening of Oct. 28, 2015.

Some families were coming home to cook meals, others were leaving to work the night shift.

In Bradla Cook’s kitchen, there was a pan on the stove, which wasn’t unusual. Around the room lay honeybee-related decor and school projects the 61-year-old’s grandchildren had gifted to her over the years. Read more

chris devenny

Chris Devenny

By David Swets

This story is part of a collaborative project between Project: Cold Case and a University of North Florida Journalism class.

To the average visitor, the worn coat seems little more than a vintage Orlando Magic jacket that employees at Bruster’s Ice Cream put on when they enter the walk-in cooler.

But that simple blue and black jacket hanging on a hook near the freezer is really the heart of the shop on the corner of Atlantic and Kernan boulevards.

It’s been at the store as long as it’s been open. It belonged to Chris Devenny, whose idea it was to open the ice cream shop that is now owned and operated by his family. Read more

glenda trucks

Glenda Trucks

By Corey Stevens

This story is part of a collaborative project between Project: Cold Case and a University of North Florida Journalism class.

At the time she died, many in Jacksonville knew the name of Glenda Dixie Trucks.

They might have seen her at her family’s auto radio business, Auto-Radio Service Inc. on Philips Highway. The company was started by James Trucks, her husband, and has been around since 1974. Now her son and daughter-in-law, Tara Trucks, run the business. Read more

jillian berrios

Jillian Berrios

By Andrea Davis

This story is part of a collaborative project between Project: Cold Case and a University of North Florida Journalism class.

It was 5:39 a.m. The sun hadn’t even come up yet.

After a night of dancing and celebrating the birthday of a Jacksonville friend, all Jillian Berrios wanted to do was go home, climb into bed and sleep before waking up to her kids.

That never happened, because at that moment, her life came to an end. Read more

taurus dawson

Taurus Dawson

By Alex Toth

This story is part of a collaborative project between Project: Cold Case and a University of North Florida Journalism class.

Mindi Dawson Skeith will never forget driving her brother to Tulsa Welding School on his first day. She will never forget how his face lit up when a counselor asked him what he wanted in life.

Taurus Dawson sat to his sister’s left side, a smile on his face, and said he wanted to live a long life. He wanted a house with a garage. He wanted a wife and kids.

“He had plans, he had goals,” Skeith said. “And he’ll never reach them.” Read more

jason pelishek

Jason Pelishek

By Michael Card

This story is part of a collaborative project between Project: Cold Case and a University of North Florida Journalism class.

Two Secret Service agents in black suits greeted Jessie Mckinnon at the door of her home outside of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, after she returned from a routine day at work.

The two men had targeted a person they assumed to be her husband, Jason Pelishek, for hacking into a company’s online database, and said needed to talk with him immediately.

“Jason is my 14-year-old son, not my husband,” Mckinnon said to the agents. Read more

willie jackson

Willie James Jackson

By Steven Thompson

This story is part of a collaborative project between Project: Cold Case and a University of North Florida Journalism class.

It’s been nearly a decade since Willie James Jackson was murdered on the streets of the city in which he grew up.

Yet police are no closer to solving the crime than the night it happened.

The years of waiting for justice has taken a toll on Jackson’s  family. Read more

robert helen joy sims

Robert, Helen, Joy Sims

By: Brianna Bartlett

This story is part of a collaborative project between Project: Cold Case and a University of North Florida Journalism class.

 

“Something terrible has happened, please come,” Norma Jeannette Sims pleaded with a Tallahassee funeral home ambulance service. She stood in her parents’ bedroom overlooking the bound bodies of her father lying on the bed while her mother and youngest sister lie on the beige carpet.

On that Saturday, Oct. 22, 1966, then seventeen-year-old Sims had been babysitting for a family that attended the Florida State football game. When the game ended and the family returned, she returned home with no one there to welcome her. Read more