In the wee morning hours of December 17, 1992, shots rang out from the Woodland Park, Colorado, home of Kermode and Pamela Jordan. It would take hours and a confession from Pamela’s teenage son, Jacob Ind, before the couple was discovered.
Why would a teenage boy resort to murder? That’s what author Mary Ellen Johnson wanted to know when she first began corresponding with Jacob soon after his arrest.
Before long Johnson finds herself neck-deep in a case riddled with accusations of alcoholism, a marriage made in hell, and physical and sexual abuse. The more Jacobs talks, the more fantastic his story becomes with sordid details of sexual abuse by both parents, as well as verbal and physical abuse.
Yet no evidence of abuse can be found. Did Jacob make up the tales of abuse as a defense to murder? Were the Jordans so well versed in abuse they escaped the detection of doctors, nurses, teachers, coaches, and friends? Well, maybe not entirely, some would claim to have seen signs of abuse but had not acted by telling authorities. Until they were asked directly, anyway.
Mary Ellen Johnson was one of those supporters and in her book The Murder of Jacob, she makes it real clear Jacob’s attorneys failed him.
I, however, disagree. And frankly, I grew tired of hearing the whining from someone who had decided, not long after first meeting him, that a kid like Jacob couldn’t be just plain evil. It had to be someone else’s fault! In other words, Johnson spends more than half of the book laying blame at the victims’ feet, incompetent counsel, “undisclosed” evidence, and whatever else she can think of to blame for the way life turned out for Jacob. Knowing how many of you are like me and hate books that are heavy on author opinion, take note this book would rank in my top ten worst for “opinion rather than fact” books. Please.
In case you want to read a (fictional, in my opinion) account of the Jacob Ind double homicide, I’ll close here but I need to say one last thing: if you read it, don’t let The Murder of Jacob be your only resource for information about these murders.