“Goodbyes hurt the most, when the story is untold.” Jenny
My son, Garrett Able and I have created a podcast. It was released today on Apple Podcast and will soon be available on all podcasting sites.
The title of our podcast is Shotgun Road.
Why that title? Well, we lived on Shotgun Road for a long time. And without fail, the road’s name always generated curiosity. Shotgun Road just seemed like a fitting name for a True Crime show.
We chose Jody LeCornu’s story as our first episode on Shotgun Road for several reasons.
But mainly, through Jody’s sister Jenny, we’ve come to know and love Jody. We want justice for Jody. We want her family to have their questions answered.
We are doing this for Jenny.
And also, we chose her story, because Jody’s story could happen to anyone.
Jody LeCornu was a college student and part time bank teller. By all accounts, she was as kind-hearted a girl as you will find. She was fun, yet considerate of the feelings of others. Her dad’s pet name for her was Sunbeam, an appropriate name for one who brought light to the lives around her.
But one cold morning, darkness extinguished that light.
In this episode of Shotgun Road, we pick up Jody’s story, where her life ended… in a Baltimore parking lot, on a snowy, pre-dawn morning in 1996. She was young and beautiful, just 23 years old.
As of this recording, Jody has been gone as many years as she lived.
The night before she was murdered, Jody had hung out with friends at a local pub, The Mount Washington Tavern. On the morning of March 1, 1996, she and her fiancé had argued and he told her not to come home that night. – Imagine those being the last words you say to the woman you plan to marry.
Jody complied. She didn’t return to their apartment after classes and work, instead she went to the tavern. At closing, the tavern’s manager asked her to drive an employee home, and again she complied.
Presumably after driving the employee to his home, Jody stopped by a store and purchased a six-pack of beer. From there, she drove to the empty lot of a shopping center and parked her car.
These actions are confusing to the family.
Jody was a twin. And while many siblings have close relationships, there is nothing like the bond shared between twins. They know what the other feels, they understand how the other reacts in situations. Even across the span of a continent, there is an undeniable link… one that senses when something isn’t right. And that’s how it was, when Jenny’s call to Jody on the morning of March 2nd went unanswered. She says she had “a feeling of not being good”. Her sister always answered her phone.
I’ve spoken with Jenny regarding Jody’s behavior on her last night, and Jenny says there are several actions that were out of character for her sister.
* Jody was afraid of the high crime in Baltimore. She had spoken of this fear many times.
* She was cautious, not willing to insert herself into potentially dangerous situations
* She was afraid to drive in the snow.
* She didn’t like to drive late at night.
* She was afraid of everything.
* She suffered from anxiety
For 23 years, the LeCornu Family has sought answers from the Baltimore County police department. Sighting an ongoing investigation, the agency refuses to hand over details. The years of frustrating roadblocks and legal battles have taken a toll on the family… physically, emotionally and financially.
In the beginning, Jody and Jenny’s dad, who was a marine colonel and state’s prosecutor against violent crimes, handled the correspondence with investigators. After his death, Jenny picked up the baton, and discovered that they really didn’t know much more than they knew in March 2, 1996.
What we know is this:
Sometime after 3AM, Jody pulled into the empty parking lot in the back of the Drumcastle Shopping Center. Security videos reveal that Jody parked her white Honda Civic in the snow covered lot. Phone records indicate she made several calls, one of them to the African American boyfriend of her female roommate.
At some point, though we don’t have time references, a white BMW is seen pulling into the secluded lot, parking near Jody’s Honda. A black male, emerged from the BMW and approached Jody.
We presume she put down her window to speak with him, an action that indicates she was familiar with the man. They appear to have conversation. As the man turned to walk towards his vehicle, Jody begins to drive away. But instead of continuing to his BMW, he stops at the rear quarter panel of the Civic, and fires into the back of Jody’s driver seat. Hitting her in the spine.
Somehow, this remarkable young lady had the presence of mind to exit the parking lot, drive across six lanes of roadway, and enter the parking lot of an all night grocery store.
Surveillance cameras captured the Honda slowly maneuvering the circumference of the shopping center lot. They also captured a white BMW waiting at the top of the lot. When Jody’s Honda kits a curb and comes to a stop, the BMW begins to slowly move towards her. The BMW comes to a stop beside her. The same black male exits the car, methodically walks to Jody’s side of the Honda, leans into the car, puts it in park, reaches across Jody and removes an unknown item from the car. He then walks slowly back to his vehicle, and casually exits the shopping center, onto York Road.
Soon, patrons entering the grocery store, and an employee of a nearby Boston Market, realize something is wrong with the young woman in the white Honda. She’s slumped over her steering wheel, still and silent, while her car idled.
Calls began coming into the emergency call center just before 4AM. Witnesses recounted that a black man of stocky build, wearing a green “army style” coat had followed the white Honda into the plaza, and removed something from the car. The witnesses description matched that of the man seen on the Drumcastle video.
In 23 years, that’s about all Jody’s family knows. They have filed for autopsy reports, requested copies of investigation reports and more. Each time, they are denied.
Representatives from m-Vac, A company with a specialized DNA process, have offered to test Jody’s clothing. M-Vac has been successful in retrieving DNA from porous surfaces. But the Baltimore police haven’t accepted their offer.
The same investigator assigned to Jody’s case on day one, is the same one assigned today. I don’t know, I’m not a law enforcement officer, and to be clear, I have immense respect for our men and women in blue. But it seems to me, after 23 years, the local agencies might want a fresh set of eyes. Perhaps M-Vac could pull out new dna, uncover new evidence.
Or maybe if the family could read the reports, something in them might trigger a memory. Something that may be crucial to understanding what made Jody drive alone, and park in a dark lot. It may be something that seems insignificant to investigating officers, who were unknown to Jody. But might hold all the answers.
I have a lot of questions about Jody’s case, some of the same questions her family has:
• Who would do this to a 23 year old just as she was getting ready to graduate and plan her wedding?
• Is the murderer being protected by Baltimore?
• Was the 38 caliber shot that severed Jody’s spine a lucky hit by this coward, or was he trained in firearms?
Jenny is on a mission to find her sister’s killer. She has placed billboards, offered monetary rewards, and still no one has been forthcoming.
I believe that someone, somewhere, knows something.
Discuss Jody’s case with us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/ShotgunRoadPodcast/
You can follow her journey on the Facebook page, Justice4Jody
Please sign Jenny’s petition, and help her find the answers she’s seeking.
Garrett Able, host of Shotgun Road.