Hope must continue in Jackson case

Published 9:45 pm Tuesday, March 6, 2007

The 1967 truck bombing of Natchez’s Wharlest Jackson remains one of the area’s most heinous and violent Civil Rights Era crimes.

Jackson was killed not because he’d done anything wrong, but because he’d done something “right.”

He was killed merely because his killer didn’t like that the black man had been promoted at the former Armstrong Tire and Rubber Plant.

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Increasingly, Jackson’s case is becoming one of the last unsolved, or at least not prosecuted, ones around. Unlike many such cases in which someone was originally arrested and charged, no one was ever arrested in Jackson’s murder.

One by one, modern day crusaders have begun picking off many of the horrible murderers who for decades have walked freely, escaping justice. Their determination and persistence have paid off for many of the families of the victims.

Eventually — decades after the initial crimes — someone who knew something talked or new evidence was discovered. A number of such cases throughout the state of Mississippi have made headlines in recent years.

Perhaps the most famous of which were the slayings of three young men in Philadelphia.

Somehow Wharlest Jackson’s murder didn’t stick in the national conscience, as did some others; but for our community his murder is among the most important yet to be solved.

Modern police investigators have said the Jackson case file is thin at best and that the only potential suspects have long since died.

For now, the family and our community must continue to hope that one day, something will happen, someone will talk and justice will finally come to Wharlest Jackson’s killer.