Details of Disappearance
Jackson was last seen on June 27, 2004 at his apartment in Drake Towers in the vicinity of the 1800 block of north Andrews Avenue in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He had a friend from North Carolina, John Bass, visit him that day. They went dancing at the Coliseum dance club in Hollywood, Florida, then arrived at his apartment at 4:15 a.m. Security cameras showed them entering the building.
Bass says he went to sleep at 5:00 a.m. and when he woke up at 11:00 a.m., the lights and television were on but Jackson was gone. He left a note behind but the contents have not been released. He has never been heard from again.
Most of Jackson's personal belongings, including his house keys, the access card to his apartment building, his car, his medicine, and his cellular phone, were left behind. His wallet, passport, and credit cards were missing, however. The surveillance cameras in the apartment building malfunctioned about an hour after Jackson arrived home with Bass and did not record him leaving the building.
Jackson's loved ones say it would be uncharacteristic of him to leave home without his cellular phone. There have been no charges to his credit cards or withdrawals from his bank account since his disappearance, but someone checked his email and listened to his cellular phone voice mail messages at 8:40 a.m., almost four hours after he was last seen.
Jackson's disappearance is considered suspicious, as it is out of character for him. He worked as a marketing executive at Home Diagnostics Center, a Fortune 500 company, at the time of his disappearance and was considered a reliable employee who would call the office to warn them if he was going to be late. Authorities think Jackson is still in the Fort Lauderdale area. They believe he left his apartment of his own volition and intended to come back soon but something happened to him very shortly afterwards, perhaps even before he left the building, which prevented his return.
Bass has not been publicly named as a suspect in Jackson's case. The two men had dated occasionally and Jackson wanted a long-term relationship with him, but Bass did not want one. Fourteen vials containing residue of gamma hydroxy butyrate (GHB) and crystal methamphetamine were found in Jackson's apartment after his disappearance, but it is unclear whether drugs played a role in his case.
Jackson was not the first person to vanish mysteriously from Drake Towers. 24-year-olds Barry Block
and David Rhodes
, who lived together in the building, disappeared on June 22, 1988, sixteen years before Jackson, and were never found.
There are some similarities between the Jackson and Rhodes/Block disappearances. All three men are gay, all of them left behind most of their belongings, they all disappeared in late June, and all of them were reportedly involved with drugs. (Jackson reportedly used crystal methamphetamine and other club drugs, and Block and Rhodes may have handled drug money for one of Rhodes's acquaintances.) However, police say the similarities may be merely coincidental; they cannot find any conclusive evidence to link Jackson to Rhodes and Block's disappearances seventeen years earlier.
There is some speculation that Rhodes, Block and Jackson's disappearances are connected to the murder of Michael Wayne Wachholtz, the presumed murder of Jason Galehouse
, and the disappearances of James Shumaker
, Mark Thompson
and Bradley Williams
All of the men are gay, all were roughly within the same age group, and they all disappeared from the same area. Rhodes and Block disappeared first, in 1988. Shumaker disappeared from Tampa in 1995. Thompson disappeared in 2001 from Clearwater, Florida, and his truck was later found abandoned in Tampa. Thompson, like Williams, disappeared from Tampa. Galehouse and Wachholtz disappeared from Tampa within a day of each other in December 2003. Wachholtz's body was found in mid-January 2004, but the other men remain missing.
Steven Lorenzo lived just across the street from Drake Towers. In May 2004, he and an accomplice were accused of drugging and killing Galehouse and Wachholtz. In January 2006, Lorenzo was sentenced to 200 years in prison for charges related to GHB, a "date rape" drug which causes people to become extremely drowsy and suggestible. His accomplice, Scott Paul Schweikert, was sentenced to 40 years in prison as an accessory after the fact in the GHB case. Photos of both Schweikert and Lorenzo are posted with this case summary.
In September 2012, Schweickert was charged with two counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of Wachholtz and Galehouse. In June 2016, he pleaded guilty to both murders and was sentenced to life in prison. This is on top of the 40 years he is already serving for the GHB-related charges. He admitted he and Lorenzo conspired to meet single gay men and turn them into "sex slaves", then either kill them or sell them once they became tired of them.
Schweickert spoke about Galehouse and Wachholtz's murders in detail and he has agreed to testify against Lorenzo in court, but Lorenzo has not yet been charged in any deaths.
Jackson is described as a driven, goal-oriented person. He has an engineering degree and a master's degree in business administraton (MBA). He enjoys running, working out at the gym, and dancing in clubs. He recently purchased a new silver BMW and invested in real estate prior to his disappearance. Jackson's case remains unsolved. Investigators have stated that other than their lifestyles, there's no hard evidence to tie him and the other missing men to Lorenzo.