A suspected serial killer named Homer Lee Jackson has been arrested and charged in a 1980s cold case involving the murder of Portland prostitutes. It is also possible the murder suspect is a pedophile. The youngest of the victims was only 14 years of age, but the three older women — ages 19, 23, and 29 — were choked and strangled to death. Portland police are asking the public for help in identifying even more potential victims of Jackson, and they are using the cold case murders as an example of the dangers of sex trafficking.
In a related report by the Inquisitr, the DNA evidence from a 30-year-old cold case linked the victim to a man named Michael Jones.
Portland police say they linked Homer Lee Jackson to the deaths of the four women based upon forensics evidence and other investigative techniques, but since Jackson has such a long criminal history, including burglary and criminal mischief, they are concerned he may be responsible for numerous other deaths.
“Detectives are asking the public to help with these cases by providing any information they might have about these four victims and about Homer Jackson, including people who have associated with him in the past few years and can talk about his routines, habits and places he frequents,” Sgt. Pete Simpson of Portland police said, according to AL.com.
The Oregon police showed evidence to a grand jury that they saw proves the link between Homer Lee Jackson and the killings.
According to KOIN, the first Oregon serial killer victim was 23-year-old Essie Jackson. The woman was described as an “active prostitute,” and her body was found March 23, 1983, along the western edge of Overlook Park in North Portland. The Portland police say the woman’s body had lain there for some time, and there was evidence she had been strangled to death.
The body of the second victim, 19-year-old Tonja Harry, was recovered from the Columbia Slough in West Delta Park on July 9, 1983. Witnesses she was last seen entering a blue pickup truck with a blue-and-white canopy, and the victim was described as a prostitute and a potential drug user.
On September 2, 1983, 14-year-old Angela Anderson’s body was found in a vacant house, and police suspected she had been dead already for one to two weeks. Neighbors said the vacant house was infamous for being used for drugs and prostitution. The teenager had lived in a foster home, but had turned to prostitution shortly before she was strangled and sexually assaulted.
The body of 29-year-old Latanga Watts was found on March 18, 1987. Like the other women, she was a prostitute who was strangled to death.
Portland Police Bureau homicide detectives from their cold case murder unit booked Jackson into the Multnomah County Detention Center. He has been indicted on 12 counts of aggravated murder. Cold case homicide detective Jim Lawrence says the family of the victims are just happy to have answers after all these years.
“To be able to be at this point today where we’re actually able to show that one person was responsible for this much tragedy, it’s extremely gratifying,” said Lawrence, according to Oregon Live. “Some of [the family members] are still kind of suspicious that the system is actually going to work for them. Their overall joy is I think a little bit stilted, but they are still feeling some relief that we’ve been able to give them some measure of peace.”
Oregon police are asking for anyone with information about Homer Lee Jackson, the alleged Portland serial killer, to contact Detective Meredith Hopper at (503) 823-0865 or firstname.lastname@example.org; or Detective Jim Lawrence at (503) 823-0867 or email@example.com.
[Image via Portland Police]