|A still frame from CCTV footage of the Jamisons packing their pickup before going somewhere.|
Stories of entire families being murdered aren't exactly rare. Whether it's a family member snapping because of an undiagnosed mental disorder or a bitter rivalry with a neighbor hitting dangerously unsafe levels, there are plenty of cases out there where family lineage is cut short.
However, some of those cases seem to lack rhyme or reason for their occurrence. Some just seem to happen because some unseen force demands it. Why it happens, we may never know. One can only speculate until the day they too perish.
Then there are cases like the Jamison Family.
The Jamison family consisted of Bobby Jamison, his wife Sherilynn, and their six year old daughter, Madyson. The family lived in Eufaula, Oklahoma, and lived a normal enough life. However, because this is a part of this miniseries, their normal enough life wasn't normal enough. Not by a long shot.
On November 1, 2008, Bobby filed a lawsuit against his father, Bob Dean Jamison. According to Bobby, his father had threatened to kill his family and had struck him with his vehicle. Bobby also claimed that his father was involved with gangs and meth. More on this later though.
Bobby also told Pastor Gary Brandon that he saw “two to four spirits on the roof” of his house. Backing him was Sherilynn, who said that she had the power to “exorcise” the spirits from the house. She also claimed to have seen Maydson playing with the spirits. Bobby also said he'd been reading the Satanic Bible. Both also wondered “where they could get bullets to harm spirits”.
Their eccentricity kept increasing until October 8, 2009 when the family was reported missing. There was no sign of for a few days until their pickup truck was found abandoned. Inside was the family dog, which was malnourished. This struck family members as odd as Maryson adored the dog and would've never left it behind. That said, for those concerned: the dog didn't die.
Aside from the good boy, the Jamisons’ IDs, wallets, cellphones, a GPS, and around $32,000 in cash were also found. For whatever reason, the family was known to carry obscene amounts of money on them. It was also discovered on the phones that someone had taken a picture of Madyson. No family member believes that it was taken by either Bobby or Sherilynn. Who took it and where it was taken both remain unanswered as of the time of this writing.
|This picture haunts me as much as the Boy in the Box does.|
On the flip side: a firearm owned by Sherilynn that she kept in the pickup was missing and has never been found. An 11 page letter from her was also discovered inside the pickup; the letter being written to Bobby in an aggressive manner. Sherilynn's family stated that this manner wasn't abnormal for her.
Beyond the evidence found, no progress. As a result, the case went cold for about four years until November 15, 2013. In the nearby woods, two hunters stumbled across the skeletal remains of two adults and a child. These remains were discovered less than three miles from where the pick-up was discovered four years prior. Although the remains were speculated to be of the Jamison family, it wouldn't be until July of 2014 that it'd be confirmed they belonged to them thanks to decomposition. While a cause of death couldn't be determined, Bobby's skull had a hole in it. Whether or not this was inflicted by Sherilynn's gun remains unknown.
Right, so, let's move onto theories. I know this is an abrupt transition, but the story does end just like that. It's one of the most dead end cases I'm aware of and it's frustrating to say the least. Lucky for us: there are several theories to cover!
The first is that this was all caused by demonic possession. Stories and claims that murders and suicides were caused by an evil entity overtaking someone exist are far from anything new—some believe that the Roman emperor Caligula was possessed and that's why he became the monster he's known to have been. That said, these claims are seldom, if ever, taken seriously. Science and the supernatural aren't exactly the best of buddies.
In the case of the Jamison's, the reasoning stems from the CCTV footage of them packing their car and the request for bullets to kill a spirit. While the footage is admittedly creepy and unnerving to watch, and their lack of any interaction could be seen as the result of possession, it's also not unheard of for people to just not interact when packing a car. As for the request for ghost-killing bullets, that can be taken as the effects of drugs lingering or genuine stupidity. Although Ghostbusters may be one of the all-time greatest works of cinema, it's anything but realistic. Sorry for all of those who want a proton pack or anything of that nature. Maybe the CIA will accept your application for their alien hunting task force
Theory number two is that Bob Dean Jamison did it. This theory is disregarded by law enforcement, though some believe that Bobby's father did, in fact, kill his son and his family. It does bear mentioning that Bobby's fear of his dad being involved in meth making and likewise, gangs, isn't far-fetched. The area that the Jamisons’ lived in was apparently very well known for meth making. That said: this brings us to our third theory: this was the result of a drug deal gone wrong.
Indeed, the amount of cash the Jamisons’ had and their increasingly erratic behavior had led some to believe that the family was involved in meth making. This theory is probably the most popular, though the families of both Bobby and Sherilynn vehemently deny that they were involved in any illegal activities. Regardless, the request for spirit killing bullets and 32 grand in the car is questionable in my eyes.
Our fourth theory is that it was a ritualistic sacrifice. As far as I know: occult sacrifices are extraordinarily rare and while a friend of Sherilynn—named Niki—claims that she was fascinated by witchcraft and the like, it's very rare that anything akin to that claims the life of another human being. You be the judge to this theory though.
The fifth theory is that it was a group suicide. Now, I have several questions:
Where'd the gun go?
Who took that photo?
Why'd they take 32 grand?
I genuinely don't get this theory, but it remains a very popular one in spite or despite the fact there are enough puzzle pieces missing to make Picasso blush in the way of abstract looks.
The sixth and final theory is it was an armed robbery that went horribly wrong. I can't fathom why 32,000 dollars wasn't taken, so I'm going to nuke this theory from orbit
Whether or not a demon really did kill the Jamison Family is up for debate. Most will likely dismiss such a claim as nonsense. However, without any substantial information for what happened between the request for bullets to kill a ghost and the family dying, the idea of a demonic force claiming their lives is as good an answer as the Loch Ness Monster killing them for three fifty.