Latasha Norman, the 20-year-old missing Jackson State University college student who was later found dead in a wooded area in Mississippi, will have her story featured in a new Fatal Attraction episode on TV One. Tonight’s case, entitled “All-American Girl Gone,” tells the tragic story of the missing African-American college student who vanished after she was last seen walking on campus. The story is filled with twists and turns, and it takes TV One viewers on the local cops’ journey to find her body and her killer. You’ll hear legal analysts, law enforcement, and family members discuss the crime.
Latasha Norman’s body was found in a trash-filled wooded area on Brown Street, near County Line Road. Stanley Cole was initially given a sentence of life in prison with no chance of parole back in 2010, but that conviction was thrown out, allowing Cole to plead guilty to manslaughter. Today, he is serving a 40-year sentence in a Mississippi prison.
Latasha Norman’s disappearance was reported to police after her current boyfriend was unable to get in touch with her. A friend and student at the campus of Jackson State University, where Latasha was a student, told investigators that she last saw Latasha walking to her class. The missing woman’s car was also located on campus.
Local police believed that it could have possibly been a stranger abduction, since the girl’s family said that it was unlike her to lose contact and communication with her family. Latasha Norman, whose name is sometimes spelled Latosha, was originally from Greenville but was attending the historically black college in Jackson to major in accounting. The driven young lady also had a job with the school newspaper.
Sick with worry, Latasha Norman’s family gathered together, working tirelessly to find out where she was. It was two weeks before investigators arrested her ex-boyfriend, Stanley Dwayne Cole. In gathering some background information on Latasha, they learned that she was having problems with Stanley Cole and had filed a complaint against him after he slapped her in the parking lot of a store. Cole eventually confessed to police that he killed Latasha Norman after he struck her too hard during an argument, according to court documents found at FindLaw.
“After she got out of her 2:20 class. And we decided to ride around, talk, and go get something to eat. And at the time we was riding around… we just started to argue fighting over the stuff that we been through in the last couple of years.
“One thing just led to another, we was just fighting and just cussing… and before I knew it I hit her too hard and knocked her out and just panicked and wasn’t thinking straight… scared, I didn’t know if she was still alive at that moment or what… but I just panicked and just put her in the trunk.
“After a couple of hours, I checked on her and it wasn’t no pulse… so I just rode around for a couple more hours… and I just ended up on County Line Road and then I just turned on a ․ on this street… it was late at night… and I just seen a couple of abandoned houses and trees and woods and just dropped her off and just covered her up()and just ran.”
As for the cause of her death, the coroner ruled that she had a slit in her chest that was “consistent with a stab wound.” Latasha Norman’s body was badly decomposed at the time Cole led police to the scene. The victim was not wearing pants or panties at the time she was found. Stanley Cole later admitted to stabbing Latasha Norman, according to WAPT-16.
2007 was supposed to be a promising year for the bright-eyed student who everyone says was a smart woman and a hard worker. Her family had no idea that she had been involved in a relationship that was plagued by domestic violence. Her case brought all sorts of “domestic violence in relationships” awareness to the campus. In her honor, a counseling center was named after her, and each year, 5k runs are held n her memory.
[Photo by Rogelio V. Solis/AP Images]