The family of the state auditor’s office spokesman, Spence Jackson, wanted a note found in his apartment Sunday to be released in hopes of ending some speculation into why he apparently committed suicide.
Jefferson City Police say Jackson died from a single gunshot wound to the head, and they are investigating his death as a suicide. Ballistics testing of a .357 Magnum revolver found with him and the bullet it fired, and gunshot residue testing of his hand, are continuing.
Police Captain Doug Shoemaker told the media what was contained in the note found with Jackson but declined to release a copy or image of it.
He said the note read, “I’m so sorry. I just can’t take being unemployed again.”
“We understand the media’s desire to know the contents of the letter. This interest is based on what is certainly speculative from a variety of alleged sources,” said Shoemaker. “In the interest of providing some context to this tragedy or at least to eliminate some of that speculation, it’s the family’s expressed desire that we release the content of the note in its entirety to the media.”
“I think that the letter, at its face value, is maybe not as … not what you were thinking it would be, potentially,” Shoemaker told reporters Tuesday. He said the family wanted the letter released, “probably because of what has been put out in the media in terms of possibilities and questions and queries and different types of things, and it was the family’s belief that this could help potentially clear things up.”
“To eliminate that speculation, I think, is very key to the case and perhaps even more importantly, key to the family not having to deal with some of those perceptions and those issues,” said Shoemaker.
Jackson’s letter had Friday’s date on it. Shoemaker said that meshes with the preliminary indications of the investigation that his death occurred Friday afternoon or evening.
“He did report to work on Friday for a partial day,” said Shoemaker. “He was, in fact, in his office on Friday, as he was seen by many of his co-workers, but left at noon, presumably for a lunch break, and he did not return to the office.”
“We’ve spoken with those that were there and who talked with him, and they reported no behavior out of the ordinary,” Shoemaker added of the Auditor’s staff.
Shoemaker said there is no indication so far that Jackson’s death was anything other than a suicide, or that it was motivated by anything other than what was indicated in his note.
Jackson was still employed by the state auditor’s office at the time of his death. His interim replacement, David Luther, responded to a Missourinet inquiry as to whether Jackson’s employment status had changed, or whether he had been given an indication it would be.
Luther replied, “When Interim Auditor John Watson took over, he met with senior staff. At that time he noted that every one’s job was secure, but that when the new interim was appointed, there would be a possibility of change. There were no individual conversations with staff.”
Shoemaker said the investigation is continuing to trace back Jackson’s activities in the hours and days before his death.