Murder of Jessica Dishon by Stanley Dishon spotlighted on Murder in the Heartland

Mugshot of Stanley Dishon
Stanley Dishon admitted to being responsible for the death of his niece. Pic credit: KY Dept. of Corrections

Murder in the Heartland is investigating the killing of teenager Jessica Dishon, who was beaten and strangled to death by her uncle, Stanley Dishon, in Bullitt County, Kentucky.

On September 10, 1999, 17-year-old Jessica was preparing to go to school when she was allegedly dragged from her car and never seen alive again.

Jessica’s remains were recovered seven miles from her home at a place called Salt River Bottoms, a dumping ground for trash, stolen vehicles, and other contraband.

A neighbor of the teenager, David “Bucky” Brooks, was initially charged with the murder. Brooks was put on trial in 2003, but his case was ultimately dismissed due to a lack of evidence.

The case stayed cold for 15 years until 2013 when the cops got a break from an unlikely source. A Louisville Metro detective was interviewing an inmate in an unrelated case when the convict told him that a former cellmate, Stanley Dishon, had confessed to killing Jessica.

The police interviewed a second former cellmate of Dishon who also claimed the killer had confessed.

Dishon had been serving ten years on a charge of sodomy and abusing young girls when he allegedly told fellow inmates that he had confronted Jessica in her front yard. They had fought until he strangled her to death.

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Stanley Dishon beat and strangled Jessica Dishon

The killer was supposedly angry and jealous that Jessica had a boyfriend and was afraid she was going to report him for sexually abusing her.

Members of the family later told the cops that Dishon had behaved oddly around the time Jessica went missing. His ex-wife said he acted “very nervous and peculiar” and was unable to sleep.

In 2015, Dishon took an Alford plea admitting he was responsible for his niece’s death. The plea allowed him to maintain his innocence but acknowledged that a jury had enough evidence to convict him.

Dishon was convicted of manslaughter and given 20 years with the possibility of parole after 16.

Stanley Dishon now claims he did not kill Jessica Dishon

In a 2019 interview with the press, Dishon claimed he was innocent of killing Jessica and that he had been tricked into taking the Alford plea.

Dishon said he pleaded guilty because his lawyers told him to, but he didn’t understand what he was doing. At the time, he was facing sexual abuse charges and was looking at a life sentence, but accepting guilt for Jessica’s killing meant a more lenient sentence.

The killer further claimed that he was at work the morning Jessica was killed. His employer has since stopped operating, but the police said none of his colleagues remember him being at work on the day of the murder.

Former Bullitt County attorney Michael Ferguson responded to Dishon’s claims: “He is a despicable, evil man. And where he is is where he belongs. … God in his mercy may spare him the fires of Hell, that remains to be seen, but he belongs where he is today.”

Murder in the Heartland airs Wednesdays at 9/8c on Investigation Discovery.

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