She was a human being

When police found the body of Jessica Nicole Koon, 24, on July 18, 2005 in the stairway of the apartment building she resided in, that was only part of the story.

Jessica Koon was residing in Vancouver when she met Christoper J. Jones, 24. With Jessica still in high school, the two began an off and on relationship that lasted for 7 years.

Koon’s parents were concerned. The girl who loved to sing and dance, kept coming up with injuries. Yet she denied any abuse, blaming the injuries on car accidents and  of getting “jumped on”. Jessica is described as a sweet kind girl, and she had loving parents. Her family tried to convince her to leave Jones for good, but she refused. And the couple had a child together. In April of 2002, Jones was arrested for assaulting her. In October of 2003, he was arrested for violating a restraining order. Other violations of the restraining order followed.

Eventually the two ended up living in the apartment with Jones’s aunt and the couple’s child. Her life became a life of domestic violence, drugs, and prostitution. From June 2004 through Jan. 2005 Koons was arrested 7  times for prostitution. While police stop short of calling Jones her pimp, they have said that Jones used to beat her if she didn’t bring home enough money.

During the murder investigation information was found in Jessica’s medical records, they show that she had had two broken jaws in the months preceding  her murder that required her jaws to be wired shut.

At some point Koons began cooperating with police in a drug investigation. And Jones has told police that two men beat Koons up for that reason. He also told police that Koons had asked him to kill her, as she didn’t want to be die at the hands of another man, she wanted to die at the hands of someone close to her.

Jones admitted to beating her with a leather belt with a large buckle. And he admitted kicking her in the head. Reportedly when she was found there wasn’t much of her that wasn’t bruised. Reportedly the autopsy showed she had burn marks on the palm of her hands, 4 broken ribs, 5 marks on her neck consistent with ligature strangulation, bruises on her arms, back, chest, and legs. And internal bruising of a lung and a kidney. She died of closed head trauma or bleeding on the brain.

A Grand Jury indited Jones with 3 counts of aggravated murder, one count of attempted murder, and one count of felony 4th degree assault (that charge was for their child seeing Jones assault Koons, though it is thought that the child did not see the murder).

Jones pled guilty to one charge of murder, and will be sentenced on Oct. 19. 

oregonlive.com                              theoutlookonline.com

                             Gresham PD

She was a drug user, she was a prostitute. She was a human being.

She was a daughter with parents who loved her, who now miss her. She was a mother. She was a woman who had once had a life in front of her.

It is often a vicious cycle. Drugs make the beatings easier. Drugs cost money, so in comes the prostitution. The beatings and prostitution reduce the self esteem even more, and so more drugs are needed. Could the cooperation with the drug investigation have been the catalyst to her breaking the cycle? Could she have ever gotten out? That choice was taken away from her, so we will never know.

A big thank you to D.P. for the tip on this one.

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13 Comments

  1. D.P. said,

    October 12, 2006 at 6:38 pm

    Well told, Sweet home. One of the things I love best about your blog is how you give the humanity back to these poor victims who could easily just be a faceless statistic. This girl suffered for years before her brutal death, and it breaks my heart that she couldn’t break away in time to save herself.

  2. just passing by: said,

    October 14, 2006 at 12:11 am

    Sweet Home,

    I’ve been reading the stories on your blog & they are so heart wrenching. You do a awesome job & give the victims the true recognition they deserve.

  3. October 14, 2006 at 12:31 am

    They are all human beings. No matter what else they may have done with their lives, they once had hopes and dreams. They had friends and family and people who loved them. They may have done good things, they may have done bad things, but most did not do anything that should have caused their murder. And if their lives were not perfect, there is always still the hope that one day, they would change the imperfections in their lives.

  4. Steph said,

    December 7, 2006 at 4:09 am

    Thank you for this. I was friend’s with Jess in high school and lost touch after I moved back East. I still can’t believe she is gone and such a horrible way too. I try not to remember what she became but what she was before he changed her. Thank you so much for letting everyone know about her. She is missed!!

  5. Katrina said,

    March 4, 2007 at 9:48 am

    Another high school friend of Jessica’s here. Back then she always had a big smile and such a wonderful sense of humor. My prayers go out to her daughter – I think of her often. Thank you for posting her story.

  6. Serena said,

    September 17, 2007 at 6:29 pm

    I also knew Jessica years ago. Any update on Chris’ sentence and the whereabouts of their daughter?

  7. Serena said,

    September 17, 2007 at 6:31 pm

    I also knew Jessica years ago. Any update on Chris’ sentence and the whereabouts of their daughter?

  8. Tim Koon said,

    August 1, 2008 at 2:50 pm

    I am Jessica’s big brother. This has changed my families lives in more ways then anybody would imagine. Jessie’s daughter Lannaya has now been in the care of my parents since December 2007, and she is doing well considering everything she has gone through. She will be eligable for adoption for my parents in just a few weeks. As for Chris Jones he pled guilty to murder and received a life sentence. I want to thank all of you that have taken their time to read about the life of my sister and those that have posted their thoughtful comments. And my hopes and prayers are that this article will make a profound impact on anyones life that reads it.

  9. Catherine Koon said,

    August 1, 2008 at 3:05 pm

    I am Jessica’s mom and want to thank you for writing the story of the end of her life. It’s to bad you didn’t know the before story…she was a young woman who loved life,loved to laugh and sing and dance.She had a heart as big as all outdoors.She was a church going girl and loved the Lord…before Chris Jones

    Their daughter was 5 yrs old when she DID witness the murder of her mother. She is 8yrs old now and suffering Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. She is living with me and her Grandfather in Calif.

    Chris Jones was found guilty on all counts and was sentenced to life in prison. At his sentencing he blamed us for Jessica’s death.

  10. August 1, 2008 at 4:26 pm

    Catherine and Tim, thank you for posting. I am sorry for what your family has gone through and for the loss of Jessica. She sounds like a wonderful woman.

    As far as Jones attempting to blame your family, most of the time guys like this cannot accept or handle responsibility for what they do. Very likely when she was alive Jessica took the blame for him. At first he tried to blame Jessica and wasn’t working for him so he had to find someone else to blame.

    Tim, I once lost a sibling and yes it changed my whole family. When you get together it is like it hits you in the face again. Christmas especially was hard, no one wanted to mention it because it was supposed to be a happy time. But not one of us could forget that someone was missing. Sometimes it helps to have a family ritual that remembers and includes the loved one in the celebration. Or just talking about memories of her and the rest of the family. And you also need to make new memories to remember.

    I know you miss Jessica but I hope that peace and some comfort has found your family.

  11. Jill Anderson said,

    May 10, 2009 at 8:55 pm

    Happy Mother’s Day Jessica Nicole Koon. I miss you so much everyday and pray that Lannaya is doing well. I have so many good memories of you and i keep in my heart everyday of all the things we have been through and i will remember you the way you were before you met Chris. You made me a stronger woman and showed me all the time how wonderful life is and how it is a gift. So on this day i will remember you and you will always be in my heart. I love you jessica!

  12. TORIN said,

    December 5, 2009 at 8:58 pm

    I am so so sorry I used to manage the complex next door to her and I would find Chris sitting in my parking lot drinking so many times I asked him to leave and he did so without any complaints only saying that he couldnt go home just yet well I guess I know why now. When he brought his daughter over to meet me I thought what a wonderful family man. Wow was I wrong I am so sorry that I could not see the evil in him and did not rent to her. This is so sad I could have rented to her and kept him from my complex and she might be alive today again I am sorry

  13. Jennifer said,

    May 24, 2010 at 8:34 am

    I worked with Jessica back in 2004, and I never realized what was happening to her. I remember her asking me to move in with her and I was considering it, I even gave her around $200 for a deposit, and partial rent, but ended up moving in with my then boyfriend, because I think she stopped working there if I remember right. I keep her in my memory and can’t help but wonder if I could have helped her get away from him, or if I would have ended up just like her. I wrote a blog on my Myspace page for her.


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