December 1, 2019
Imagine if he’d been white and murdered a precious negro or Jew instead.
There’d be an uproar over something like this.
But since he was black and she was white, the only thing we hear is the distant sound of rubbing hands.
Clallam County prosecutors informed the family of a woman murdered 41 years ago that a decision by the state Supreme Court leaves them with no choice but to drop charges against 61-year-old Tommy Ross Jr. who allegedly once confessed to the killing–and is connected to the scene by DNA–according to detectives.
Janet Bowcutt was found strangled in her Port Angeles apartment in 1978 while her infant son was unharmed on a nearby bed. Ross was eventually connected to Bowcutt’s and two other similar murders in California and Canada.
“He took something away from us that wasn’t supposed to be taken away,” said Bowcutt’s sister, Pam Horkey. “She was the nicest person you’d ever meet.”
Tommy Ross Jr.
The Supreme Court decided to uphold a lower court ruling that Ross’ constitutional rights to a speedy trial were violated–after Ross’ trial was delayed for 38 years–the time Ross spent in a Canadian prison for another similar murder.
Bowcutt’s family said they feel “slapped in the face” by the judicial system. “I don’t want anybody else to lose somebody like we did,” Horkey said. “It’s something you never get over.”
Horkey said her only comfort now is knowing Ross back in jail in California facing felony charges for allegedly threatening family members with a knife.
Horkey said her fear is, without a trial, Janet Bowcutt’s story will fade. “Everybody who knew her, don’t forget her,” she said, “It’s always the victim that gets forgotten.”