A new True Crime podcast and documentary, Small Town Forgotten, is gearing up to premiere soon and will lay out and explore the facts of an unsolved homicide that occurred 31 years ago in Bonne Terre.
The podcast, set to premiere Nov. 13, examines the 1989 unsolved murder of Jimmie Wade Martin.
The Bonne Terre man was 29 years old when his life was cut short after an incident near a since-closed tavern on Division Street.
Martin was found on Mound Street lying on the sidewalk and appeared to have died as a result of injuries sustained from being struck with a blunt object, according to Daily Journal reports at the time.
A 27-year-old man was arrested and charged with Martin’s murder. However, three days before the man was to be tried in court, the second-degree murder charge was dismissed by the prosecuting attorney at the time due to insufficient evidence. After the murder charge was dismissed, the prosecutor was quoted saying, “this case is not ended by any stretch of the imagination.”
Martin’s twin daughters, Andrea and Angela, were forced to grow up without their father, and without justice for his death, while hoping for new developments in the homicide investigation that never came about.
The determined sisters have since spent countless hours gathering information and attempting to piece together answers, all while raising families of their own.
Local businessman Chris Hulsey, a relative of Martin, said he was so impressed and moved by the twins’ efforts that he decided to try to help.
Hulsey helped form Blueburn Productions to produce the Small Town Forgotten podcast and the documentary that will follow the podcast’s investigation.
Production on the documentary has already begun. The film crew, Vagrant Media, has been conducting interviews with individuals close to the case. Hulsey explained that the documentary may be released on a timeline different from the release of the podcast episodes.
A teaser trailer for the documentary and podcast was released on Oct. 13, which marked the 31st anniversary of Martin’s death. The preview video received more than 40,000 views in less than a week.
The podcast and other content from Small Town Forgotten will be available on various platforms such as iTunes, Spotify, Podbean and their website, www.smalltownforgotten.com.
Hulsey said he hopes to bring awareness back to the 1989 murder and look at fresh leads and new information that has come to light since the case went cold so many years ago.
“Our focus is on the crime, but even more so than that, our focus is on his twin daughters' quest for justice in this case,” Hulsey said.
More information and updates are available at www.smalltownforgotten.com. Anyone with information they believe could help the search for answers can call the Small Town Forgetten Info and Tip Line at 323-379-5722. Information or questions can also be emailed to email@example.com.
Bobby Radford is a reporter for the Daily Journal. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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