As some of you may know, I am from a little town just south of Louisville, Kentucky called Shepherdsville. It’s located in Bullitt County, a primarily a white area whose population boomed as a result of “white flight” in the 60’s and 70’s. Residents love Shepherdsville because it provides a small-town atmosphere with easy access to Louisville since I-65 runs right through it. There are four high schools in Bullitt County and three of them are located in Shepherdsville.
I spent the summer of 1999 on the north side of town, preparing for the seventh grade and begging my mom to buy me tickets to see the Backstreet Boys. Meanwhile, Jessica Dishon spent the summer preparing to start her senior year at Bullitt Central.
I never met her.
It’s a small town, so I’m sure I’ve seen her somewhere before. I think my mom dated her cousin or something. You know how it is. Everyone knows everyone, and if they don’t, then they know someone who knows someone.
She went missing on September 10, 1999.
People don’t go missing in Shepherdsville.
I remember watching the news incredulously. The police were baffled. How could a teen, who was looking so forward to her senior year, just vanish from her driveway? Her car was still in the driveway. Her purse, cell phone, backpack, keys, and one of her shoes were found inside.
The investigation was initially botched at the beginning, but not through any fault of the responding officer. Officer David Greenwell was a rookie cop, and though he called the lead detective to the scene more than once, his request for assistance was denied. It was days before an actual detective showed up.
Police and family members searched. For seventeen days. Unfortunately, Jessica was not found alive.
People don’t get murdered in Shepherdsville.
Her body was recovered from a ditch off a rural road in a wooded area of Mount Washington, a neighboring town. Evidence showed that she was likely killed elsewhere and moved to the location. It would be nearly fifteen years before this theory was confirmed.
In the meantime, David “Bucky” Brooks, a nearby neighbor of the Dishons, was charged with Jessica’s murder. Bucky is not exactly what you would call an educated man, and the trial focused heavily on his lack of education. Interestingly, the Brooks family owned property right next door to the Dishons where they operated a water business. Coincidence or not? The judge eventually declared a mistrial in 2003 due to a blunder regarding admissibility of evidence. Apparently, the prosecutor forgot to tell the detective that lie detector results are not admissible in Kentucky.
People still talked.
Bucky Brooks got off on a technicality, they said. Bucky did it. Everyone knows it. Bucky got away with murder.
I heard it, and I just assumed it was true and was one of those sad things that would never be proven.
When asked after the trial by a reporter why he thought he was the only suspect in the case, Bucky responded: “My opinion was that we had the water company right close to the Dishon home and we was just the scapegoat for them. That’s what I’m thinking.”
I moved away in 2005, and every once in a while, I will Google the case to see if there are any new developments. When I heard that Bullitt County hired a cold case investigator, I hoped that new evidence against Brooks would be found and that Bucky would finally get what was coming to him.
Except Bucky didn’t kill Jessica Dishon. And all those years the public shamed him and treated him like a leper were for naught.
Because it was actually her uncle Stanley who killed her. And the fact that it was her uncle is not even the worst part of the story.