Sixth Homicide of 2006

Yesterday the mother of 27-year-old Pepper Jones entered a house on South 56th and Thompson with two police officers. She hadn’t heard from her daughter in a few days and had become concerned. What they found inside the home was the body of Pepper Jones, mother of one, dead in her bathtub, the victim of what police called ‘obvious homicidal violence’.
Pepper had bought the house last summer with her husband, Jason. Neighbors don’t report a history of disturbances of any sort. Her six year old daughter was staying with relatives this weekend. Jason was nowhere to be found. Also missing is the couple’s  red 1994 Kia Optima, Washington License Plate 381-SLT.
One thing you don’t want to do if your wife turns up dead, is be missing. It just doesn’t look good because odds are either you killed her or your body is somewhere waiting to be found. Also, in general despite the whole ‘death do us part’ thing, it’s best not to kill your spouse. No matter what happens if your spouse is killed, you’re the first person they look at and they’ll look really hard.
South 56th Street and Thomspon isn’t the best part of Tacoma. It’s the South Side and bad things happen on the South Side. You can buy a decent house on the South Side of Tacoma for under $175,000. And there are definate reasons for that.
In the North End, anything under $200,000 is a steal. The divide between North End and South End is real enough that they’re effectively two cities that share a downtown. The house the murder occurred in was about two miles from the house I grew up in. Most of the kids I went to Elementary and Middle School with became victims or crime or criminals themselves. This is why I went to high school in the North End. Some of my high school friends had parents who wouldn’t let them come to my house because of where it was.
The South Side isn’t all bad. Like any shady area of town, if you live there, it’s actually friendlier than most areas of the city. You know your neighbors and watch out for each other. When I lived on the South Side I knew almost everyone on my block. Now that I live in the North End, I don’t even know everyone in my building.
Lately some of my friends who’ve lived most of their lives in the North End are moving to the South Side of Tacoma because housing is affordable. Personally I don’t plan on ever living there again, but it can be a nice place to visit if you watch your back.

3 responses to “Sixth Homicide of 2006

  1. Of course…if more North Enders move to the South End, the South End should inevitably improve, yes?

  2. Jack,
    I\’m a lifelong resident of Tacoma and I have lived on McKinley Hill, Eastside off 56th and Pac, North end by Wilson, Fircrest, UP, and downtown. I went to Foss in the late 80\’s and have seen my share of of shootings and brawls. I understand the points you are trying to make regarding Tacoma but I wouldn\’t say things are that different in the Stadium district than they are on say Pacific Ave or 6th Ave toward the west end. Regardless of where you live it\’s who you are hanging out with, What you are doing, and what kind of dirt you are involved with that makes a difference on how close you are to violence.
    Anyways I like to check out your view of Tacoma so keep up the blog…it\’s entertaining.
    Ryno Foss 90

  3. Ryno,
    I agree entirely that the company you keep and what you\’re doing is what determines more than neighborhood if you\’re going to be a victim of crime. However, I know what my experience in elementary school was on the South Side and I know what my son\’s is in the North End. Granted, there\’s 20-odd years between those experiences and I don\’t know what South Side schools are like now, but there does seem to be a different mentality between the two parts of town. Whether that mentality is necessarily better or worse is fairly subjective.
    Thanks for commenting.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s