Jack, James A. 1928(?)–
Jack, James A. 1928(?)–
Born c. 1928, in Chicago, IL.
Chicago Police Department, Chicago, IL, progressed from probation officer to detective, 1954-68; Bargain Town USA (later purchased by Toys 'R' Us), Chicago, IL, director of security through manager of security for the Midwest region, 1968-1993. Military service: Joined the U.S. Merchant Marines at age fifteen; served in World War Two; served in the Korean War as a U.S. Marine, 1950-54.
National Police Officers Association of America Award for highest number of solved homicides; Third Place Book of the Year for True Crime from Foreword, Silver Medal in the Ben Franklin Award for Mystery and Suspense, and Bronze Medal for Honorable Mention, Independent Publisher Book Awards, 2007, from the Independent Book Publishers Association, all for Three Boys Missing: The Tragedy That Exposed the Pedophilia Underworld.
Three Boys Missing: The Tragedy That Exposed the Pedophilia Underworld, HPH Publishing (Chicago, IL), 2006.
James A. Jack served in both World War Two and Korea and was a detective with the Chicago Police Department for many years before going into corporate security. Out of all the hardships he endured and horrors he witnessed, one case more than any other haunted him and led him to write a book. Three Boys Missing: The Tragedy That Exposed the Pedophilia Underworld begins in the fall of 1955, when three boys, Robert Peterson, and Anton and John Schuessler, set out on a rainy day to go to the movies and never came home. Their bodies were discovered after two days. They had been beaten, sexually abused, and murdered. At that time, pedophila was not a crime that was openly discussed, and despite the fact that this particular case was responsible for changing that, it would still be forty years before the man responsible was brought to justice.
Jack, a rookie cop at the time of the incident, was assigned to the Special Investigating Unit that looked into the disappearance and then murder of the boys. When he resigned from the police force thirteen years later, the case was still unsolved. Jack never stopped thinking about that case, however, visiting the boys' graves each year, and in 1994, when new evidence finally came to light and resulted in an arrest and conviction, Jack celebrated by looking up the former members of the Special Investigating Unit. Three Boys Missing, published fifty years after the boys disappeared, is an accounting of Jack's experiences regarding the case and his reactions all those years later when it finally came to a close. Not only does the book offer readers an insider's look at the case, but it also provides Jack with a form of catharsis and a sense of closure. A portion of the book's earnings have been donated to the Chicago Children's Advocacy Center in honor of the three boys, and Jack has been honored with several awards for his memoir. A reviewer for Publishers Weekly found the book "fast-paced" but added that it "falls apart in its last third." Mike Tribby, in a review for Booklist, commented that "though heavy sledding at times, Jack's report documents the horror of a crime." On his home page, Jack comments on the importance of the case, both personally and professionally: "Although this crime occurred more than fifty years ago, the night Robert's dad, Malcolm Peterson, came to us for help still haunts me and is vivid in my memory. In those days, we didn't have a name for pedophilia or homosexuality,… and we had no idea of the number of crimes being committed against children every day, until we began investigating this murder." Jack's home page also includes tips on how to keep one's children safe.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Jack, James A.,Three Boys Missing: The Tragedy That Exposed the Pedophilia Underworld, HPH Publishing (Chicago, IL), 2006.
Booklist, October 15, 2006, Mike Tribby, review of Three Boys Missing, p. 8.
Business Wire, May 8, 2006, "James A. Jack's Memoir of Three Boys Missing Debuts October 9, 2006; New Book from Former Chicago Detective Chronicles the Tragic Murder of Three Boys in 1955."
PR Newswire, June 5, 2007, "Historical Book on Chicago Wins Three Awards at BookExpo America in New York."
Publishers Weekly, September 4, 2006, review of Three Boys Missing, p. 56.
Houston Chronicle Online,http://www.chron.com/ (November 3, 2007), Mike Robinson, "Murder of Three Boys Haunted Detective for Years."
Three Boys Missing Web site, http://www.threeboysmissing.com (December 8, 2007), author's home page.