Murder in the Heartland: What Happened to Jessica Dishon?

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Disclaimer: This article contains mentions of sexual assault and murder. Reader discretion is advised.

“Family of Feud” is the upcoming episode of Murder in the Heartland that will air on ID on Wednesday, May 1, 2024, at 9 p.m. ET. A synopsis of the episode read, “After teenager Jessica Dishon is murdered in Shepherdsville, Kentucky, police must sort through her past relationships, jealous friends, and an old family feud to find the killer.”

Jessica Dishon disappeared on September 10, 1999, on her way to school. When her mother, Edna Jett, returned home from work that day, she found her daughter’s red Pontiac Sunfire parked in the driveway. Inside were her purse, cell phone, keys, and backpack. Initially, local authorities suggested that the girl might have run away. However, a search was launched when her parents contacted the FBI, according to Courier-Journal. 

17 days after she vanished, authorities found Jessica’s body in the Salt River Bottoms, a dumping ground that was a few miles away from her home. FBI revealed that the victim had been sexually assaulted, beaten, and strangled. According to the cops, she was dragged from her car as she was leaving for school, WDRB reported. However, no solid leads were found, and the case went cold. 

In 2001, David Brooks, Jessica’s neighbor, was charged with her killing. It ended in a mistrial and David Brooks was acquitted in 2003. A decade later, prison informants told authorities that Stanley Dishon, who was serving time in prison for a sodomy conviction from 2005, claimed to have killed his niece. He was also charged with sexually abusing a girl under 12 years of age back in 1982, CBS News reported. 

Who killed Jessica Dishon?

WHAS reported that authorities found what were believed to be sheets from Jessica Dishon’s bed in a barn near her house. Her mother identified the sheets to be similar to Jessica’s. Police believed that Jessica might have been held in the barn and tortured for days together before she was killed. According to jailhouse informants, Stanley killed Jessica. He did this out of fear that she might reveal to her parents that he had been sexually abusing her. 

In January 2015, Stanley pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter in the death of Jessica Dishon. He reportedly came forward with an Alford plea. In such a plea, the defendant does not admit guilty. However, he agreed that there is sufficient evidence for a conviction. The kidnapping charge, which was raised when the barn was discovered, was reportedly dismissed. Moreover, Stanley Dishon allegedly told an inmate that he cut Jessica’s throat and had to dismember her body to move it. Authorities confirmed that Jessica’s fingers and a foot were missing from her body. 

Courier-Journal reported that Jessica’s father, Mike Dishon, claimed that Stanley had acted strangely since his daughter disappeared. Although he did not suspect any sexual relationship between the two, he was suspicious of Stanley. The latter reportedly started to panic and tremble as authorities and her parents got closer to finding Jessica’s remains. He also vomited right after her body was found. 

The upcoming Murder in the Heartland episode, “Family or Feud,” will air on ID on Wednesday, May 1, 2024, at 9 p.m. ET.

The post Murder in the Heartland: What Happened to Jessica Dishon? appeared first on – Movie Trailers, TV & Streaming News, and More.

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