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Mason cold case class garners national attention while investigating 13 unsolved cases

Published: Apr. 10, 2022 at 10:05 PM EDT
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MASON, Ohio (WXIX) - Students in a local cold case class are now making national headlines for the work they have been doing.

Mason High School’s cold case program is dedicated to using criminal psychology, forensic science and research to help find new leads on unsolved cases.

The students in the class work with their teacher, Randy Hubbard, to develop theories, dig through evidence and speak with the families of the victims.

“Students are learning to speak with people with a kind heart, with a warm understanding, and also being able to question them without upsetting them,” Hubbard said.

This year, the classmates are focused on 13 cases. Some of them are local, while others are based out of state. Included in that list is the murder of a Columbus mother, Alicia Jackson.

“We were able to do a FOIA request, and we were able to get her autopsy report, so they looked through the autopsy report and came up with theories about what they think happened at the crime scene,” Hubbard said.

Their work on Jackson’s case is now being highlighted in a national article from People magazine.

“The kids were extremely excited, but they were also glad that maybe Alicia’s story is gonna get out there, and then also the fact that it’ll open the door for other stories that we’re working on could possibly get out there,” Hubbard said.

Through social media, a website and a podcast, the class remains devoted to raising awareness about Jackson and all of the people at the center of their current cases.

Students at Mason High School in their cold case.
Students at Mason High School in their cold case.(Randy Hubbard)

“Maybe people will give us an opportunity and see that our kids are working really hard, and that they can maybe find some things that just weren’t found in the past,” Hubbard said.

The program has continued to grow each year, starting with 15 to 20 kids to more than 40 now, according to Hubbard.

Hubbard said many of the students are planning to pursue a career in the field, and he hopes the classroom experience will help them with that.

“It’s nice to see that students are finding their passion, and they’re going to go on and hopefully use that in the future to help other people,” Hubbard said.

The students will be presenting their work on Jackson’s case and on all of their current cases at a presentation on April 28. It will take place at 6 p.m. at Mason High School and is open to the public.

Hubbard said the students will be talking about what they have learned about each investigation and each victim in a professional and respectful manner.

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