Local News

Murder Suspect Lived Double Life in N.C.

Posted March 12, 1997 12:00 a.m. EST

— For six years, minister Curtis Jackson was considered a pillar of the community in Duplin County. Now, it turns out his real name is Calvin Jackson, and he's on trial for a 10-year-old murder in Pinellas County, Florida.

Jackson is accused of killing a man in 1986 after the man taunted him with racial slurs. Police say Jackson managed to elude capture for 10 years before they caught up with him here.

Faison is a town with only one traffic light where everybody knows everybody else. Those who know Jackson in Faison say he is not capable of murder. Evelena Oliver is one of his supporters.

Oliver says she first met Jackson when he attended Bible study at her church.

Loura Morrissey helped Jackson get his life together in Faison. She and her husband took Jackson in and, she says, treated him like a son.

Over the years, Jackson worked his way out of the migrant work camps and got a job at Cates Pickle plant where he was considered a model employee. He married a woman he met in Duplin County and became an ordained minister.

No one knew about his past until last October when he was arrested at work.

Oliver says she remembers that moment very clearly.

Morrissey says if Jackson were to show up on her doorstep tomorrow, she would hug him and invite him in.

Jackson's wife works for the Wilson Police Department. She declined to be interviewed.

Police say it was Jackson's lack of a police record that made it so difficult for them to track him down. They finally succeeded when the FBI received a tip that Jackson was in Faison.