Jay Zolman: A call for justice


Nearly 30 years ago the murder of Janette Roberson was committed in the basement of what was then Gambles Hardware and Pet Store (now Reed City Hardware). This case has been unsolved for almost 3 decades, leaving a blight on our towns’ history and a hole in the hearts of her family and friends.

Recently I became aware of this tragedy and I instantly felt a connection with Janette; I am not sure if it is because I am now the same age that she was when she was killed, maybe it is because I move around a lot with my job and relate to her being in a new town, or it might just be because a terrible thing happened to her in my hometown… a place that I consider my Mayberry.

When I learned of Janette’s murder I told a few friends who were as outraged as I was that the killer has not been brought to justice. Since then, our group of a few friends has morphed into a large Facebook group made up of current and former Reed City residents. We are a grassroots effort that is intent on bringing this tragedy back to peoples mind’s and letting them know that they have the support of the community to speak up and share what they might know about what happened to Janette Roberson.

I would like to remind you readers of the terrible tragedy that I have been referring to in this letter.

In 1982 Janette Roberson moved from Georgia to Reed City with her children and husband. She got a job in the pet department at Gambles Hardware in Reed City. On January 19, 1983, Janette Roberson went to work at Gambles, where she was brutally murdered sometime between the hours of 1- 4 p.m. in the afternoon.

The store was fully staffed at the time of her murder, and there were customers in the store… certainly someone knows or saw something in our small community.

If anyone any of your readers have information that could lead police to the killer, I would like to ask them to submit it anonymously to the Reed City Police Department. They can be reached at 231-832-3743 .

Finally, I would like to let Janette’s killer know that he is a disgusting human being whose time is coming to an end. The citizens of Reed City will no longer stand for that monster to walk free. We will, as a community, bring you to justice, and you should be as afraid as you made our community all those years ago.

Jay Zolman