Hometown Murder 3: I Found Out That My Cousin is a Murderer on Discovery ID!

Hi ladies! You are awesome, this is my new favorite podcast, blah blah blah. On to the murder! I just discovered this earlier today, so forgive me if I’m still kind of freaking the fuck out.

I was off work for four days straight this weekend and it was abnormally cold here in New Orleans, so I decided I’d just stay in all weekend and binge watch true crime shows, as you do. I finished ’The Killing Season’ (awesome), moved on to ’The Killing Fields’ (which takes place in Louisiana and is also awesome), then settled in this afternoon for ’The Vanishing Women’, which takes place in Chillicothe, OH and focuses on the disappearance of 6 women from May 2014 to May 2015. Chillicothe is where the majority of my great aunts, uncles, and a multitude of distant cousins live, and where I lived off and on during the first 6 years of my life. FYI, myself and my family are Black. This will become important in the next paragraph.

In the 2nd episode, the first body is found in the teeny weenie town of Massieville, just outside of Chillicothe and the very place where my great-grandmother and her siblings settled. A potential suspect, a Black man named Jason McCrary is mentioned. Chillicothe is a small enough and white enough town that it’s not weird for me to wonder if any Black McCrary is related to me. And his picture looked...familiar. They also mentioned that he had a prior conviction for sex with an underaged girl, and a couple of armed robberies.

Flashback time! I have a cousin named Curtis who is five years older than me. I think technically he is my 2nd or 3rd cousin or something removed - his mom and my mom are first cousins. He was always in and out of juvie, for what I don’t know. I do know that my most vivid memory of him is him chasing me and his sister around my great grandmother’s backyard with a broom. Which doesn’t sound so bad, but I think we were both terrified because we KNEW that he wasn’t playing and would actually beat us with the broom if he caught us. I also remember that I was never left alone with him. A few years ago I looked him up in Ohio’s criminal database (because nosy) and discovered that he’d been convicted of sex with a minor, along with several armed robberies.

It’s been twenty years since I’ve been to Chillicothe, though, and the name Jason doesn’t sound right. So I text my Mom. She said his name was Curtis. I asked if there were any Jasons in that generation. She said ‘wait, I think his real name was Jason’. I send her a picture from the internet. "That's him, just older. He was a troubled child his whole life.” I think he went by a second name to avoid the sex offender registry. I do more googling and find out that this August he was convicted of killing the first woman who was found, Timberly Craytor, and sentenced to 28 years in prison. It appears to have been a drug dispute, and they never found evidence that he’s responsible for killing the other 5 missing women.

This is why I should go to the family reunions: so I don't find out via a Discovery ID true crime show that my cousin is a fucking murderer.

-Denise