James H. Susen
"Jimmy"
13 Years Old

October 23, 1966 to September 1, 1980

Jimmy had three older brothers; Allen, John and David. His father Lee died from cancer four years earlier in 1976, making losing Jimmy even harder.

Jimmy had beautiful dark eyes with such life that they “danced,” especially when he was telling a story. He helped me so much around the house and yard. He planted a vegetable garden outside his bedroom and enjoyed taking care of the flowers he planted outside.

Playing for hours on his organ, Jimmy took lessons and even wrote music for the organ. He taped the music.

At school, Jimmy was a good student and was liked by all his teachers. During his eighth grade play, he took care of the lights and scenery. At his eighth grade class dance, he was elected “King of the Class.” I still have the crown he was given.

The school dedicated a space in the library in Jimmy’s name.

With some of the money Jimmy earned from his neighborhood paper route, he sent to Pat Robertson’s “700 Club.” Jimmy was a born-again Christian. He loved our Lord.

I know Jimmy would have done a lot of good things if he had lived. He would help his grandparents and older neighbors next door, especially in the winter when it snowed.

Jimmy is deeply missed by all who knew him.

CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE MURDER

Jimmy’s murderer was never caught. Jimmy died on Labor Day, September 1, 1980.

We had a family picnic that day. It was a nice day. Jimmy took a walk some time after 7:00PM. He never came home. He was never out after dark and I just felt something was wrong. I called the police but they could not do anything yet.

When Jimmy’s brothers John and Dave came home from their dates, they went to look for him. Dave, who was 16 at the time, found him. Dave lifted Jimmy’s head and tried to breathe into Jimmy’s mouth. He got Jimmy’s blood all over himself. Dave came home and I called the police. The police came. We went to where Jimmy was found. Since Dave had Jimmy’s blood on him, the police thought he did it. Dave did not do it and I knew that but the police kept questioning him. They made him take two lie detector tests. Finally, they believed him.

Our home was in a beautiful spot with woods around and behind us. The boys loved to go into the woods for quiet times and playing. That was how Dave found Jimmy as he knew the places to look.

A six-foot log used for split-rail fence was swung at Jimmy, causing multiple skull fractures.

Jimmy was buried alongside his father on the day he should have been starting high school. His class dedicated the yearbook to Jimmy.

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James Susen