Son Of Man Murdered 13 Years Ago Still Awaiting Closure

Friday, September 14th 2012, 6:48 pm
By: News On 6

An Owasso businessman, Jerald Thurman, died 13 years ago Friday, after being shot 3 times, while trying to save the life of a woman he had never met.

The two killers were sentenced to death row and are still there.

Thurman's only son, Jake, was just 19 at the time.

Jake Thurman had to drop out of college and take over the family business to support his mother, when his father was murdered.

Jake is now a married man with a son of his own, a little boy who is the spitting image of the grandfather he will never know.

Jerald Thurman ran Jet Trucking, and was much loved by family and friends, who say he was loud, outspoken, and fun to be around.

On August 31, 1999, while filling a dump truck for a load, he saw a suspicious car with people in it and told his nephew, on the phone, he was going to check it out.

Jerald was found shot three times with a .38 caliber gun. He died two weeks later on September 14.

Police later figured out the same men who killed Jerald had kidnapped and killed 77-year-old Mary Bowles, a retired banker who volunteered at several places in Tulsa.

Two good people were murdered for no good reason and a 19-year-old man's life was changed forever.

"Daily—every day it impacts my family, at home, or work or here. If it wasn't for God, family and friends, I don't know where I'd be," Jake said.

Jake was, all of a sudden, the breadwinner of the family, running a company, where just weeks before his biggest concern was passing a college algebra test.

The killers, Victor Miller and John Hanson, were sentenced to death, but after 13 years of appeals, are still alive.

"We've all been through a lot and we are ready for some closure," Jake said. "I'm afraid Mom's not going to be around to see that day come."

He said there was a time when he was consumed with anger and wanted his own justice, but now trusts that God will make something good come out of all this heartbreak and tragedy.

He is now focused on passing down the morals he learned from his father to his own little boy.

Three-year-old Jet looks so much like his grandpa, Jerald.

"That's what really eats at me the most. My father's not here to spend time with my son," Jake said.

Miller had already been convicted of murder in 1981 and sentenced to life, but was released.

Hanson was convicted of a string of felonies and got a sentence of life plus 157 years in federal prison, and that's where he is now He's not housed on death row.

No execution date has been set for either man.