Clues sought in 33-year old cold case; the death of Janet Newman
So often in Crime Stoppers we hear from detectives or officers working a case. This week, we hear from a daughter who has gone 33 years without her mother, but maintains hope this cold case can still be solved.
So often in Crime Stoppers, we hear from detectives or officers working a case. This week, we hear from a daughter who has gone 33 years without her mother but maintains hope this cold case can still be solved.
"It's time," Tracy Bates said. "It's been long enough. My brother and I missed out on having her here our whole lives."
That December day in 1984, she did not know she had said goodbye to her mother for the last time.
Janet Newman, a fun and playful 25-year old, had gone to work at the old Cannon Towels & Linens on Lee Highway. That afternoon, a manager found her body. She had been savagely murdered.
"The act was such a brutal act that you just can't imagine how much anger," Bates said.
Tracy Bates, then only 6-years old, will never forget that day, arriving at her grandparents' home, which was unusually quiet and still.
"I remember being told that she was in heaven," she recalled, "and that she was gone and that I wouldn't be able to see her anymore."
Though Tracy was supported by a loving family, the simple truth is she was denied her mother, the fearless woman who taught her to make mud pies and catch crawdads.
"I can still smell the perfume that she would wear," she continued, "and I can still see the color of her hair times when we were in a creek, but as far as being able to hear her, that is gone."
Someone took from Tracy and her brother shared moments and experiences: graduations, marriages, the births of grandchildren, the death of Newman's father, and so many other things.
"She and I," Bates added, "we didn't get to talk about high school, what it was like for her to be in high school, and some of the things that she did in high school. Or if she ever had aspirations for college or what those might be."
There were so many questions then, and so many still remain.
"To be honest," said Bates, "there's been many times when I look back, and I think to myself and wonder 'would she be proud? Would she be proud of the person I am today? Would she be proud of the mom I am today?'"
Over the past three decades, Tracy has come to accept she will never know those answers, but she maintains hope that some of the 'whys' surrounding Janet Newman's murder may still be uncovered. And perhaps the most amazing thing, for the person responsible, there is no hate in her heart.
"The forgiveness is already there," she said. "Could you help, could they help give us a peace of mind? Is there anything that they could give to us as her family just to give us any kind of peace of mind?"
As always, up to a $1,000 reward is available for your good tip through Crime Stoppers.
Furthermore, to help solve this case, we are not only looking for someone who may directly have information about the case or Janet Newman's murder. Cannon Linen & Towels was in a small cluster of shops there on Lee Highway. If you worked in that area back in 1984 or knew someone who worked in that area during that time, investigators would love to chat with you. You may not even know the importance of what you remember.
Call Crime Stoppers anytime: 423-698-3333
We will never ask for your name.