The Murder of Jodi Jones
At around 5pm on Monday the 30th June 2003, Jodi Jones a 14 year old school girl from the village of Easthouses near Edinburgh in Scotland, left her home to go and meet her 14 year old boyfriend Luke Mitchell from the nearby village of Newbattle. When she hadn’t returned back home by 10.30pm that night her mother sent a message to Luke’s phone, as Jodi’s phone was broken, telling her to get home immediately. When Luke replied that he hadn’t seen Jodi that evening at all, the alarm was raised.
A search party was put together consisting of Luke Mitchell and members of Jodi’s family. During their search they would come across the mutilated body of Jodi Jones lying behind a wall on a secluded woodland path that linked the 2 villages together. She had been the victim of a savage knife attack.
Suspicion fell on the boyfriend and stories emerged of his unconventional goth lifestyle, his fascination with the occult, his alleged devil worshipping, his prolonged cannabis use and his habit of carrying a knife. He quickly became the prime suspect and pictures and stories blazed across all of the newspapers for weeks and months as the case developed.
Ultimately Mitchell would face a jury charged with murder, and would be convicted. But the conviction was not without controversy and in many ways would be just the beginning of a long quest for truth and justice. New pieces of the jigsaw would be revealed over the years that followed and questions remain unanswered.
Who was the stocky man that was seen following Jodi as she made her way towards the path that fateful evening? Were the riders of a moped seen propped up against a wall at the time and location of the murder really not involved? Did the prosecutions star witness really see Luke and Jodi together that evening, or was her sighting manipulated to fit the narrative? And what of the story of a man appearing with scratches on his face the day following Jodi’s murder – a man who had allegedly written an essay about killing a girl in the woods – was he not involved either?
How about the forensic evidence from the scene – a condom discarded nearby containing DNA that did not belong to Mitchell. Or the DNA profile obtained from Jodi’s body, not belonging to him either but rather to one of the other members of the search party.
In the years following his conviction Luke Mitchell would maintain his innocence. In 2012 he would pass a polygraph test in which he denied involvement in Jodi’s murder, a result which re-invigorated the growing miscarriage of Justice campaign gathering behind him and fronted by Dr Sandra Lean, a prominent criminologist and author.
So was this a case of prosecution of a lifestyle, or was the evidence against Mitchell sound? Was justice done?
This is episode number 8, the murder of Jodi Jones.
The Silent Evidence is a true crime podcast focusing on unsolved cases, or cases in which there is some controversy surrounding the conviction.
Each episode examines the details of the case in a chronological format, drawing upon extensive research from contemporary newspaper articles, TV reports, websites, forums and trial transcripts amongst others. Following detailing of the timeline of events, there is an in depth discussion focusing on the theories of the case, their likelihood, and/or the safety of any conviction.
The goal of this podcast is to bring attention to these cases and to seek truth for the victims and their families.
The Silent Evidence examines both well known cases and lesser known cases. The podcast is open to suggestions, so if you have recommendations of cases to be covered, please do get in touch.