THE MURDER OF JACOB

Foreword by Mary Ellen Johnson

Jacob Ind is my friend. Jacob has also been my profound teacher. Not only has he taught me things I would rather not know about murder, abuse, the prison system, and our criminal courts he has taught me about the many faces of love.

Where do I begin? Jacob has taught me so much. To be grateful for the little things in life that aren't so little - the touch of someone's hand, a smile, kind words in a letter, kind words during a visit, a hot shower, hamburgers for lunch. Jacob has taught me that someone who was abused from the day he was born can retain a purity of soul that is as endearing as it is mystifying. He has taught me that even a person who, by all objective standards, should never have "bonded" and therefore cannot be capable of any "positive" emotions, IS capable of love.

Jacob taught me, "Chains don't break the spirit. The spirit breaks the chains." That the only real prison is the prison of the heart. He taught me to have faith in God because in the prison of our lives we have no one else to turn to. Now if only I can remember... If only I can practice those truths...

I am not saying that Jacob chose the proper "solution" to his "dilemma" by killing his parents, or that he has no emotional problems. Others would paint you a picture of a very different Jacob. His prosecutors saw a cold-blooded murderer. Many people consider him to be a blemish on the face of this community and best forgotten. Department of Corrections regards him as a troublemaker, a possible or actual psychopath who exists to give them grief. Self-help and psychology books explain why someone like Jacob was doomed from the time he was in his mother's womb.

But none of the aforementioned factor in several important intangibles - Jacob's soul, God's healing power, and the difference that love can make. That word again. I believe love is the premiere power in the universe - God's love, agape love, the love between a man and woman, the love between a parent and a child, the love between friends. Jacob is my paradigm. Is love enough? Can love literally move mountains, as I believe? If so, why do I doubt that it can heal the heart of one abused child? Or that it hasn't already?

Because of my emotional involvement with Jacob, I make no claim that I am an unbiased observer in The Murder of Jacob. I did my best to give a balanced account of Jacob's life and to recount events objectively. I tried very hard to be fair with teachers, counselors, agencies and those involved in the criminal justice system, letting their actions speak for themselves. In a society that expresses compassion for battered women, I find it tragic that same compassion does not extend to its children. Particularly if the crime occurs in Woodland Park. Particularly if that child's name is Jacob Ind.

However, I did not try to whitewash who Jacob is. I did not try to mitigate the impact of his crime. Nor do I blame people who are unsympathetic to him and his act. I understand their horror and revulsion. But I would ask that law and order enthusiasts also keep an open mind when reading this. Because, in the end, The Murder of Jacob isn't really about murder. It is about the crime of abuse and how it can destroy a soul. Several souls. Abuse is the twisted DNA running through the backgrounds of Jacob's mother and stepfather, as well. A crime that corrupts generations. By punishing Jacob, we can temporarily bury the problem, but it is not going to go away.

It is also my fervent hope that those who are hostile to Jacob and/or me will not obfuscate the issues I raise by focusing on me personally. As this manuscript edged toward publication, the voices grew louder. "Just who is she, anyway? What are her motives?" I've tried not to respond to personal criticisms.

I am not the issue.
Child abuse is.
Pedophilia, and how we refuse to deal with it, is.

Especially if these child-rapists and soul murderers possess money, power, and prestige. Especially if they are well-educated, well-spoken, handsome, pretty, charming, and intelligent. Unless these people look and act like the monstrosities they are, we all too often refuse to believe their victims. (Even when they look the part, their punishment is usually minimal. Again, the unspoken message: Children are unimportant.) Jacob understood that. So do all the other Jacobs. That's why most never tell. They know they won't be believed. Or they will be blamed. Or ignored. Or returned to their abusers. Or sent to foster homes or institutions where they will be subjected to yet more soul damage.

In addition, I am still looking for the answers to the following questions. Did Jacob Ind receive a fair trial? Is justice served by locking children such as Jacob forever behind bars? Why were Kermode and Pamela Jordan given free rein to emotionally, physically and spiritually rape their sons? Why was Jacob the only one who finally stood up to them, saying, "This stops here?" Why do we refuse to deal honestly and fairly with Jacob?

Most importantly... If Jacob Ind is to be held accountable for his actions, why aren't the teachers who failed to report the abuse, the neighbors and friends who ignored the Ind brothers' cries for help, Department of Social Services, which failed to properly investigate the Jordans, and law enforcement officials, who repeatedly visited the Jordan residence and/or knew about the abuse? Why was Jacob Ind made the scapegoat for the sins of an entire community?

Tell me. Explain why you and I aren't responsible when so many of us knew, when so many of us turned away... When so many of us continue to turn away.

Much yet remains unknown about the events surrounding December 17, 1992. Because Jacob's case is still under appeal, I have had great difficulty in gaining access to Discovery, which supposedly contains every scrap of paper, every snapshot, every morsel of information regarding this case. I wrote the District Attorney four different times and personally visited the D.A.'s office trying to obtain all relevant documents. My inquiries were ignored. Such indifference lends credence to several people who told me that they contacted the D.A., as well as prosecutor Bill Aspinwall, at different times including during Jacob's trial with information helpful to his case, and that their phone calls or inquiries were also ignored. My inquiries to Jacob's defense attorneys concerning Discovery never elicited a response either. Jacob's appeals attorney, Barbara Blackman, who always returns calls and answers letters, believes that Shaun Kaufman still has Discovery. I have also been told that it is a matter of public record, available for me or anyone else to view at my leisure. If true, I am looking forward to that opportunity.

I do know far more about the Ind case than I included in THE MURDER OF JACOB. Some is too sensational to print without irrefutable proof. Hopefully, funds from this project will provide for the first thorough investigation of the events surrounding December 17, 1992 - at least from a defense standpoint. None of us yet knows the entire truth concerning the Jordan murders. To echo someone from Gabrial Adams's defense, "This is the most complicated case I've ever been involved in."Nothing is as it seems."I agree. The only thing I can say with absolute certainty is that Kermode and Pamela Jordan are dead.

What do I hope to accomplish by telling Jacob's story? I'm not asking for much. Public awareness. Legislative changes. "Battered children" to be placed on equal footing with "Battered women." Harsher punishments for the Kermode and Pamela Jordans of the world. Treatment, instead of incarceration, for children like Jacob.

And yes, I want my friend to be physically freed.

What are my odds? Jacob Ind is the youngest person in the history of Colorado to receive life without parole. Generally, in cases of parricide these children receive prison sentences but few, if any, have been subjected to punishment as draconian as Jacob's. Barring a miracle, Jacob will remain locked away until the day he dies.

But I do believe in miracles.


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THE MURDER OF JACOB. Copyright 1997 by Mary Ellen Johnson. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or review. For information, contact Voices Publishing, 743 Gold Hill Place, Suite 243, P.O. Box 220, Woodland Park, CO 80866-0220.

ISBN 0-9655668-0-3 First Edition/February 1997.

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Last modified 14 Feb 2003