Picayune, MS

Grandson Arrested in Brutal 1998 Murder of Grandmother

Wess Haubrich

Leola JordanPicayune, MS Police Department

Score another for DNA.

June 30 marks 23 years since 91-year-old Leola Jordan was brutally stabbed in her Mississippi home. She was a beloved grandmother, “a great, Godly lady” in Picayune, Mississippi – a city of 40 thousand and the seat of Pearl River County, in the states far-western section.

Jeremy Magri was the responding officer to a call of possible cardiac arrest at a home on Washington Street. What he saw inside would shake him to his core.

“I can still remember it as if it was yesterday,” the now Assistant Chief of Police told local media in 2014.

When he arrived several of the Jordan family were crying in the front yard.

Magri walked into the dwelling to do an initial search and saw Jordan covered in blood in her bed. Her daughter – sobbing – clutched her mother’s corpse in a painful and poignant display of unmitigated trauma and grief.

The house – now destroyed – showed no signs of forced entry, but neighbors and family both said she habitually locked her door at night.

Magri says he stayed on point with this case, though it took Capt. Rhonda Johnson – who reopened the case in October 2019 – to get enough for an arrest. The Oxygen network’s show Cold Justice aided in the process by paying for a private lab to expedite the processing of some DNA from the existing evidence.

Sergio A. WilliamsPearl River County Sheriff's Department

Jordan’s grandson, Sergio Williams, was arrested this past Sunday on that DNA evidence and witness statements.

Watch this space for more as this case heads to trial.

Journalist and dogged student of all things forensic, Wess Haubrich, examines the nitty, gritty details you didn’t know about infamous (and not so infamous but equally weird) crimes and their unseen motivations. Thanks for reading!

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Former editor, now dogged-maverick journalist and researcher covering the crime beat. I examine the weird, absurd, and downright infamous in American crime both here and at Real Monsters podcast. Contact: wess@realmonsters.live


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