| Crime |

My Father's Bones: Lead Detective and Victim's Mother Form an Unlikely Friendship

Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of South Florida and help keep the future of New Times free.

A few minutes before I met Pembroke Pines Detective Donna Velazquez for the first time, she sent me a text message: "I have asked the victim's mother, Judy Carlson, to join us." We were meeting to discuss the murder of David Jackson, which eventually became the center of a feature story published last week.

As a reporter, I was more than happy to meet two people in one meeting, including the woman who had made a quest for justice for her son's murder the focus of her life for the past 20 years. But I didn't realize how close of a friendship the two women had formed over their mutual desire to see Jackson's killers put behind bars.

I met with Carlson on Mother's Day at a pancake restaurant. By the time we had ordered our breakfast, she had traded 15 text messages that morning with Velazquez. The detective is also a mother, and she says her sympathy for "just needing to know where your child is" motivated her, eight years ago, to take up Jackson's case with a level of care and determination that was personal as well as professional.

In her box of photos of her son, Carlson keeps a picture of Velazquez and her family. During the early days of Velazquez's investigation, the two women would go out for sandwiches in Hollywood after meeting to discuss the case.

At the start of the trial of Michael Wolfe, accused in 2004 of firing the shots that killed Jackson, the defense attorney saw the two women sitting together and argued that it was improper. The judge agreed.

Still, the women's friendship continues. Carlson wants people to know what happened to her son. Velazquez, certain of the results of her investigation, convinced of who should serve time for the murder, waits along with her for another possible conviction.

Read the full story here.

Follow The Pulp on Facebook and on Twitter: @ThePulpBPB.

Keep New Times Broward-Palm Beach Free... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering South Florida with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in South Florida.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in South Florida.