Bellarmine professor seeks justice for 1965 murder of Kentucky's first female prosecutor
On Aug. 5, 1965, Alberta Jones was attacked and dumped in the Ohio River. 51 years after her death, no one has been charged with her murder.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – On Aug. 5, 1965, Alberta Jones was attacked and dumped in the Ohio River.
“She was abducted by 3 to 4 people,” described the 34-year-old's sister, Flora Shanklin. “She drowned because they beat her until she was unconscious.”
Fifty-one years later, no one has been charged with Jones' murder.
Shanklin still holds onto newspaper clippings, countless photos and signs of her older sister’s accomplishments.
“She was a black female doing something that nobody’s ever done before,” Shanklin said.
Jones was the first African-American woman to pass the Kentucky bar exam. As an attorney, Jones represented legendary boxer, Muhammad Ali.
Months before her death, Jones became the first woman ever to serve as a prosecutor in the Commonwealth.
Jones also marched for social justice.
Fascinated by Jones’ life, Dr. Lee Remington Williams set out to write a book. The Bellarmine University professor, also an attorney, had one problem.
“I didn’t know the ending. I told the family, I said, I don’t know how this book ends, because I don’t think this story is over,” Williams said.
Working with Jones’ family, Williams set out to help find clues that could lead to the killer.
In 2008, Williams says the FBI did match a fingerprint found in Jones’ car with a man who was just 17 years old at the time of the murder.
According to the Commonwealth’s Attorney, the case was reviewed at the time, but there was not “sufficient evidence” to reopen it.
On Wednesday, Williams submitted a seven-page letter to the Louisville Metro Police Department, including several years of her research on the case.
Some of the details involve the identities of living witnesses and leads requiring fresh eyes, as well as leads that Williams says have never been explored.
"Alberta Jones was a phenomenal person who spent her entire life advocating for others,” Williams said. "She fought for everyone else, and it's time that people stood up and fought for her."
An LMPD spokesperson says Williams’ letter will be reviewed to determine the next step.
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