Mississippi Mystery: Who killed the Vicksburg furniture heiress in 1995?
Updated: Apr 18
Sixty-two year-old Jacqueline Levitz was last seen on November 18, 1995, by a store clerk at a business in Vicksburg, Mississippi.
She bought wallpaper for her new house, then left the store and has never been heard from again. Two days later, on November 20, her disappearance was discovered when a relative went to her home to find out why she hadn't been answering the phone.
Jacqueline's front door was found open. Her bedroom carpet and mattress were soaked in a blood; someone had turned the mattress over to conceal the stains. The blood was Jacqueline's type.
Signs of a fierce struggle, including torn-off fingernails, were scattered on the floor. Some valuable fur coats were left behind in Jacqueline's closet, a pair of diamond earrings was undisturbed on the windowsill, and more jewelry was in a safe.
A glass with some water in it was found on the windowsill near the earrings. Jacqueline's loved ones say it would be uncharacteristic of her to leave the glass sitting out. Only Jacqueline's purse and makeup bag were missing from her home; her cream-colored Jaguar was parked in the driveway.
Jacqueline has been married three times; her last marriage was to Ralph Levitz, co-founder of the Levitz Furniture empire. Ralph died in March 1995 and Jacqueline inherited his estate, its worth is estimated between five and fifteen million dollars. She had been successful in the stock market prior to the marriage go the much older furniture magnet.
She had resided in Palm Beach, Florida but moved to Vicksburg five weeks before she disappeared to be nearer to her family.
Jacqueline's house in Vicksburg was undergoing extensive remodeling in November 1995, but she was still living in it. There was almost no furniture in the house, only her mattress, some plastic lawn chairs, and a refrigerator.
Jacqueline's loved ones and the police believe she met with foul play. Her lawyer speculates that she was the victim of a botched kidnapping, probably at the hands of someone from outside the Vicksburg area.
Police believe her body may have been disposed of in the Mississippi River, which runs near Jacqueline's home. There is speculation that her case may be related to the disappearance of
Irene Silverman was a wealthy elderly woman who disappeared from Manhattan, New York in 1998. Kenneth Kimes Jr. and his mother, Sante Kimes, were convicted of her murder in May 2000, but her body was never found.
The Kimeses are considered possible suspects in Jacqueline's case as well due to the similarities between her disappearance and Silverman's, but they have never been charged in connection with Jacqueline's assumed abduction.
Sante died in prison in 2014; Kenneth is still incarcerated.
Jacqueline was born in Louisiana. She was declared dead in 2000, but her presumed murderer(s) remain uncaught.