Tell Me More: High school students investigate Columbus homicide

MASON, Ohio (WCMH) — Nearly 12 years ago, a successful 25-year-old mother was brutally stabbed to death in Columbus, the crime taking place in front of her 2-year-old son.

No one has been arrested for Alicia Jackson’s murder, and the cold case has now gained national attention thanks to a high school class in Mason, which is about 90 miles south of the crime scene.

Mason High School is one of the largest public high schools in Ohio.

“Your podcast yesterday went up 1,062%,” teacher Randy Hubbard announced to his Forensics class.

MHS’s Cold Case podcast “Monsters and Demons” has caught the ear of the nation, and the former Columbus detective that worked Jackson’s case.

“Which would indicate?” Detective Eppert asked on the podcast. A student host responded, “That she knew her killer.”

Retired Columbus police detective Steve Eppert called them. People magazine recently featured the teenage sleuths who are trying to find the answer to a 12-year-old question, “Who killed Alicia Jackson?”

The five students in Hubbard’s class assigned to Jackson’s case think they know who committed the crime, and won’t reveal who that is.

“We think we know who did it, “ said senior Lilly Porter. “So the frustration of it still being closed.”

Timeline: Alicia Jackson’s final moments

The case is not closed but is certainly more than a decade old. Jackson was reportedly stabbed more than 30 times in her condo in December 2010, while her 2-year-old son Jerimiah, known as Juju, was left unharmed in his highchair. Two laptops and Alicia’s phone were gone. Her purse was still there.

“I know I can’t use a two-year-old’s testimony in court,” Eppert said during the podcast. “But it could at least help me confirm or deny the path I’m following.”

Eppert was not allowed to interview Juju. The attorney for Alicia’s boyfriend, Eugene, was afraid Juju might implicate his dad, who found the body. Eugene wasn’t a suspect since he was at class.

“I think the biggest thing we want to talk about when we talk about the autopsy is like her bloodless stab wounds,” Mason senior Rylee Curl said. “Because it’s more like personal and has anger involved with the crime and not just some random robbery.”

The class, among others, believes a woman killed Alicia.

Alicia’s cousin is grateful the kids are keeping the case alive.

“I’m very frustrated. Over the last several years there’s been very minimal contact with Columbus police and it’s been just me until the kids contacted me last November”

Columbus police’s cold case unit won’t talk about it. There’s no new evidence and no confessions. Maybe these high school murder meddlers warmed this case up. They know they’ve been changed.

“It’s made me realize this happens to real people and it’s real and it’s hard,” said senior Gabby McCowan, who plans to study Forensic Science in college. “It’s made me realize that helping people and doing this is what I want to do with my life.”

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Tell Me More: High school students investigate Columbus homicide

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