Our focal topic for Saturday's Show will be the Marjorie Jackson murder. Dick Cady will be a guest panelist. Mr. Cady won the Pulitzer for reporting for The Indianapolis Star and, most recently, has published "Scavengers," a book about the murder of Marjorie Jackson, the widow of a wealthy Indianapolis businessman. The story relates the history of the Jackson wealth, how Marjorie came to be part of Chester Jackson's life, her drift into paranoia, and the people who stole from her and eventually killed her in her north side home. Also on the panel will be Gary Welsh, blogger at "Advance Indiana" and Marilene Isaacs, Indianapolis intuitive and spiritual healer. We will shoot at her Isaacs Center for Peace and stream live at 11 a.m. on Indiana Talks dot com. The Show also can be picked up on this website.
Much has been made of Marjorie Jackson's eccentricities. Also, shortly after her murder and the burning of her residence, people occasionally wandered onto the property in search of hidden cash. That was years ago. The cash is gone.
Chester Jackson, Marjorie's husband, earned his money the old-fashioned way---he inherited it. His father started with Kroger in Ohio, then moved to Indy, where he started the Standard grocery chain. After Chester's father was shot in a robbery, Chester ran the family business. Grocery stores did not take credit cards back in those days. Very few took checks, and then usually only from customers known to a proprietor. So Chester had a cash business. He brought cash home from his grocery business and hid it there, or stashed it in safety deposit boxes. If he had little faith in banks, that lack faith was not consistent with his use of those safety deposit boxes in the vaults of banks. Mr. Jackson's overriding intent, it would seem, resounded in the views of people in the early years of what would become the United States of America.
Chester Jackson did not want to pay taxes.
Income tax evasion is a felony, at both Federal and State levels. Each time Chester brought sacks of cash home to stuff into cubbyholes or to carry later to a bank vault, with the intent to evade taxes committed a felony---twice. Double jeopardy is the principle that a person cannot be punished for the same crime twice and is enshrined in our Fifth Amendment and the Indiana Bill of Rights. In this, Chester committed two distinct criminal acts. He violated Federal law. 26 U.S.C. sec. 7201. He also violated Indiana state law.
In 1776, public indignation arose over "taxation without representation." The British Parliament levied taxes against subjects of the King---white people here (indigenous peoples and African slaves did not count as "subjects"---without those subjects' representation in Parliament.
The opposition to taxation per se was as dynamic as the sentiments carried in the gilded words of "taxation without representation." As one Justice of the United States Supreme Court wrote, taxation is the price we pay for a civilized society. There are rules---better known as laws---that govern taxation. From the Nation's birth people sought to avoid the dreaded payment of taxes. Even biblical stories relate hostilities to taxes and tax collectors.
Chester Jackson sold the grocery chain he inherited. The purchaser, A & P, later tanked through mismanagement. Chester received a nice sum for his Indiana chain. When Chester died, Marjorie, his widow, inherited. She inherited a lot. She had developed a devout belief in the Christian religion and believed Jesus would return any time. For that event, she purchased foods and stored them in her home. She had her dining room table set with fine china and silver. Next to a table setting for each of her anticipated guests---Jesus, his dad, his mom---she had little bundles of really expensive jewelry. She withdrew over six million dollars from the bank (INB) and kept it at her house. That was her undoing. Eventually she was robbed on more than one occasion. She was shot and killed at the end. A couple of million dollars never was accounted for.
The point I would raise is this. Chester Jackson committed a series of felonies. The money he hid away was subject to tax and should have been taxed. When he died, sums of money should have been paid in inheritance taxes. Instead of financing the delusions of a crackpot, racially-prejudiced woman hoarding money, taxes could have brought some of those funds to schools, roads and other things that could have benefited the community and society.
Then again, this is Indianapolis. Who knows what would have been done with such a windfall? Maybe an earlier giveaway to professional sports franchises would have occurred. Or contractors who were buddy-buddy with politicians could have gotten their hands on it to build things.
Maybe it was better that Marjorie had all that cash with which to play. At least she left an interesting story. "Scavengers," by Dick Cady, is available at Amazon.