If you’ve lived in Memphis for a while you will probably remember the Jade East murders which occurred on October 20, 1987. Jade East was a restaurant on Austin Peay next to the Post Office just north of Yale Road. Three men entered in broad daylight and killed 3 family members who owned and operated the restaurant along with a small jewelry business.
My first real job, if you don’t count being an usher at the Memphian, was working at Security (later Sunbelt) Couriers in downtown. A couple of nights a week I would drive to Grenada MS and back. It was an enjoyable and quiet trip and looking back on it I think I liked the solitude of the drive the most.
One of those nights as I returned home I noticed a car outside the house next door (see other Old Neighborhood posts for more stories) which was odd because there really wasn’t enough room to park in front without being in the intersection. Since the house was so close to our driveway it was easy to notice the person lying in bed with a bandage around his leg that was obviously bleeding. Not hearing about the murders at that time I didn’t think anything about it, remember it was a strange house. My girlfriend at the time called me and as we talked she told me about the robbery and shooting. The police at that time had no idea who had committed the crime and details were scarce. Not putting two and two together I went to bed.
The next morning as we were talking about the previous days events I thought that someone might need to check out that house. One of the guys knew someone on the police force and relayed the story to him. They went by the house later that day and by that time everyone was gone. It turns out they left shortly after I arrived home using the car that was parked outside.
All three were eventually captured and I believe the guy that lived next door was killed in jail. I couldn’t find anything on this tragedy because the CA archives only go back to 1990, I did find this petition by one of the defendants which outlines the events of the day along with his alleged grounds for a reversal of the life sentence. It was denied.