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A 35-year-old Gainesville cold case gets new life
Sheriff's Office again reviewing death of 24-year-old Jack Jarrard in 1981
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Jack Jarrard was found dead on Sept. 4, 1981, at a home on Lake Circle Road. The autopsy found he was stabbed in the chest and died of a severe blow to the head.

After 35 years, Margie Blackstock wants answers about what happened to her big brother Jack Jarrard.

The investigation of the 24-year-old man’s 1981 death in Gainesville is seeing new life with another review by the Hall County Sheriff’s Office.

“It’s been 35 years, and somebody needs to be held accountable,” Blackstock said.

Jarrard was found dead on Sept. 4, 1981, at a home on Lake Circle Road. The autopsy found he was stabbed in the chest and died of a severe blow to the head.

“We periodically look at all of our old case files … and when the Jarrard family reached out about this case, I told them I’d go ahead and look at it,” said Lt. Michael Myers, assistant division commander.

Investigators have said they believe someone “killed him while he was asleep in bed,” Blackstock said.

A neighbor called 911 around 9 a.m. after Jarrard’s roommate started beating on his door, asking for someone to call the police. The murder weapons were never recovered, Myers said.

“With 35 years gone by, there may be people out there that wouldn’t talk to us back then that were reluctant to speak to police that might be more forthcoming,” he said.

Blackstock was 17 when her brother died, saying she went on with her life with the questions always at the surface. With every passing birthday and milestone, the family is reminded of the loss.

“Our mother died not knowing what happened to her son,” another sister, Cynthia Childress, said.

With the case spread across his desk, Myers said there is a “mountain of stuff to review” when trying to fully familiarize himself with the case.

Several investigators have put their eyes on this case over the years, Myers said. The lieutenant said he will occasionally have his more veteran investigators reexamine these older cases.

Blackstock, the youngest of six children, remembered her brother as a quiet man who kept to himself at times. With a home close to the water, Jarrard would take his siblings out on the lake for water skiing.

Jarrard served in the U.S. Army before returning to work in carpentry.

“After he got out of the Army, he was kind of a hippie. His hair was long and bleached from the sun,” Blackstock said.

Previous statements from law enforcement to The Times on Jarrard’s case revolved around illegal drugs and their potential involvement in this case.

“I haven’t seen anything thus far — and I’m still looking through it — to connect this particular murder to drugs,” Myers said.

Childress and Blackstock have their own theories of what happened. Even if there is not an arrest made, the sisters said they hope the 35 years of questions can be answered.

“When you get your own children and you start thinking about it, and your mother dies and she never got any closure on it, you want to start doing something,” Blackstock said.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Sheriff’s Office. The criminal investigations division can be reached at 770-531-6879.

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