Family Wants Answers in Cold Case
By: CJ Cassidy
By: CJ Cassidy
Losing a loved one is hard, but it's a lot harder to deal with when you don't know why they died or who killed them.
Jimmie Wade Martin died in Bonne Terre back in 1989 after he was hit in the head following a bar fight.
Now, Martin's family hopes a new look at the cold case can help solve it.
Investigators spent Wednesday talking to a suspect's family members. The St. Francois County Sheriff says they have two suspects at this time. They were also considered suspects back then, but the case didn't go much further.
Now Jimmy Martin's family wants to know why.
"I couldn't talk about this without getting really upset until about 10 years had passed," Angela Williams said.
But 18 years after her dad's violent death, she and her twin sister are doing more than just talking about it. They're demanding answers.
"It's like oh, we didn't solve it, so let's just let it go," she said.
Angela put a scrapbook together to try and work out the details of her dad's murder.
"When my dad passed away he was 29. When you're a little girl, you don't think 'my dad's young.' So when I turned 29, I looked at my son and it's just, what if I left him?"she said.
Angela's twin moved away, so now she and her mom say they'll keep pushing until they get the answers they want.
In fact they took Heartland News along as they visited the scene of the crime together for the very first time.
"It happened in this area. There was a lot of blood and all that. The people who lived here called the police, and they came out and told me," Diane Martin said as she pointed to an area outside a home in Bonne Terre.
Witnesses told her that her husband was in a fight at a bar that used to be where an auto parts store now stands. Ironically, it was called the Last Chance Saloon.
"Somebody was being chased, or somebody chased him about two or three blocks from the bar, and the first blow killed him. According to the autopsy someone hit him on the head with a two by four and the first blow killed him," Martin said.
Still, Jimmy Martin's family doesn't make any excuses for him. They say he was a recovering alcoholic, known to be somewhat of a hothead. They say that still doesn't justify his brutal death.
"Someone out there got away with killing someone," Diane Martin said.
St. Francois County Sheriff Dan Bullock agrees. He's even heard rumors of tainted evidence, and that's why he's assigned a detective to the case.
"Maybe put some closure to the case. Even if we don't come up with something we can convict someone on close case out," he said.
In the meantime, Jimmy Martin's family keeps his memory alive by visiting his gravesite and reminding themselves of the man they loved and lost.
"I think 'what would he want?' I don't think anything would make him more proud than to see his two daughters help in the investigation," Williams said.