Letter: the forgotten family

On Aug. 1, 1989, the Jack family, Ronald and Doreen, along with their two children, Ryan and Russell, went missing from Prince George, B.C.

How can an entire family go missing?

On August 1, 1989, the Jack family, Ronald and Doreen, along with their two children, Ryan and Russell, went missing from Prince George, B.C.

The Jack’s were a young Aboriginal family struggling to get ahead and provide for their two young sons. When a gentleman in a local bar promised both Ronald and Doreen work in a logging camp, and assured them there would be Day Care to provide for their two young sons, the Jacks understandably jumped at the opportunity. Ron excitably phoned his mother to tell her the good news.  They were leaving that night. Sadly that is the last time that Mabel Jack ever talked to her son.

Where are the Jacks?  Questions have abounded! Who was this man? Whose logging camp was this? Where was this camp situated? Why did they have to leave that very night? And, how can an entire family go missing for 25 years, and no one have any information on what happened to them?

Interestingly, on January 28, 1996, a phone call came into the local police detachment, stating that the Jack family were buried on a ranch near town. The voice was extremely muffled, so much so, that the name of the ranch was not apparent.  Specialists were called in to try and clean up the phone message, with the hopes that the name would be revealed.  This was not to be. They were unable to discern the name of the ranch mentioned. Again, the story faded from the news.

Many theories have been discussed. Was the man who promised a logging camp, instead taking them to a drug operation? Did something go so wrong that these people believed their only option was to murder this family? What happened to the Jack family’s vehicle?

This happened in 1989.  Long before the missing and murdered Aboriginal women in the news.  Long before the Truth and Reconciliation Movement.  Long before the most recent movement for Aboriginal entitlement. How important was a young improvised Aboriginal family in 1989. Did the Police really do everything they could  to find this family?  I wonder how differently this investigation would be carried out today?

We cannot forget the Jack family. Ronald, this wife, Doreen, and their two young sons, Ryan & Russell. Someone, somewhere knows something. Someone cared enough to make that phone call in 1996.  Hopefully one day, the full story will be revealed, and the Jack family will be able to rest in peace.  Hopefully justice will be served.

 

Darleen O’Neill,

Prince George, B.C.