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.