A Young Mother was Beaten to Death in 1990

Liz Jin
4 min readNov 24, 2022

Her 2-year-old son witnessed the murder and knew the murderer, yet the case remained cold for 17 years.

Jane Etta Thompson was a young mother in 1990 when she was brutally murdered; image source.

Studies suggest that people can recall memories from when they were as young as two-and-a-half years old.

One’s first memories should be happy ones. A mother’s hug. A sibling’s laugh. A pet dog’s sloppy kisses.

But for Josh Thompson, his most vivid childhood memory was of violence and fear.

“It was the first time I saw my dad hit my mom.”

In 1990, when Josh was just two years old, he remembers being in a car with his parents, parked on the side of the road. His parents were arguing loudly, and their argument continued as they got out of the vehicle.

The fight escalated, and to Josh’s horror, his dad raised his fist and hit his mom hard in the face. He saw his mom fall to the ground. When she got up, Josh’s dad hit her again. Fueled with rage, his dad then picked up an object and began beating her in the head.

The next thing Josh knew, he was back in the car, and his dad was driving. His mom was no longer with them, but he remembers seeing his mom’s purse in his lap, covered with her blood.

Even as a toddler, Josh felt something was off.

As they drove away, Josh asked his dad where his mom was. His dad brushed him off. “She’s fine,” he assured him, “I’m taking you to Granny’s house.”

His mom didn’t seem “fine” to him. Josh remembered she was lying in a pile of leaves. But what could he do?

Josh’s dad dropped him off at his grandmother’s house and drove off. Josh never saw nor heard from him again.

Time went on, and Josh was raised by his grandmother alongside his half-brother, Vol. But the brothers never forgot about their mother. They assumed the police would find her killer and justice would be served.

“We know you’re busy and all, but we were wondering what the status of our mom’s case was.”

In 2006, Vol called the Fort Worth police department asking if there had been any progress in finding out…

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Liz Jin

“I wake up in the morning with a desire to both save the world and savor the world. That makes it hard to plan my day.”