Crime

Who Murdered Eight Women in Jennings? – Ashley H

Photo by Jp Valery from Burst

Between 2005 and 2009, eight women from the same Louisiana town, Jennings, were murdered. The bodies of the women were dumped in drainage canals and along desolate roads.

Who killed the Jennings 8?

The population of Jennings is just over 10,000 and is divided by railroad tracks into two portions. One side affluent, the other impoverished. The women we will be talking about today were not affluent.

The Jennings 8 include:

  • May 2005: Loretta Lewis Chaisson, 28, who was found floating in the river by a fisherman on May 20, 2005. She was married and had two children.
  • June 2005: Ernestine Marie Daniels Patterson, 30, who was found with a throat injury.
  • March 2007: Kristen Gary Lopez, 21, who was allegedly present when a police officer shot and killed a drug dealer in 2005.
  • May 2007: Whitnei Dubois, 26, who was found along a road by passersby.
  • May 2008: Laconia “Muggy” Brown, 23, who was found with a throat injury on the side of a road.
  • September 2008: Crystal Shay Benoit Zeno, 24, who lived with another victim shortly before her death. She was found in a wooded area.
  • November 2008: Brittney Gary, 17, the cousin of Kristen Gary Lopez. She was found near a highway.
  • August 2009: Necole Guillory, 26, who was found near I-10 just hours after she was reported missing.

Upon further investigation, it may be that the MO changed from victim to victim. Cause of death is not clear in most of the women, while others had clear throat injuries.

Still, the women had quite a few things in common. For one, they were all from Jennings. Additionally, some of the women knew each other. Some had criminal records linked to drugs and sex work. And allegedly, the victims had been used by law enforcement as informants for local drug investigations.

Because of these coincidences, speculation has emerged that these women were all killed by a police officer, while others believe the deaths were linked to sex work. With so little evidence available, it is hard to say what happened to these women.

On September 13th, the Showtime network will air a five-part true crime series about the Jennings 8 called Murder in the Bayou.

Is a police officer getting away with murder in Jennings? Were the women killed by a mutual acquaintance they trusted? Are multiple killers involved?

Important to remember is that the women killed by this mysterious perpetrator faced inequality and hardship throughout their lives. These women were failed by society in many ways, and the failure to properly investigate their case is just another way in which these women have not been served.

Hearsay and gossip make up the bulk of the information available about the case of the Jennings 8 — but that does not mean the families of these women have to live without answers forever.

If you know anything about the Jennings 8 case, please reach out to the Jefferson Davis Parish Sheriff’s Office.

Sources:

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