JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Police released the full contents of a suicide note left by Spence Jackson that appear to reveal that concerns about his future employment drove the longtime Missouri politico to suicide.
“I’m so sorry. I just can’t take being unemployed again.”
Those are the full contents of a note, dated last Friday, that police say they found in Jackson’s apartment on Sunday. JCPD indicated that they wanted to put an end to at least some speculation about the suicide’s possible connection with the suicide of State Auditor Tom Schweich last month.
Jackson worked a partial day on Friday, despite early reports he’d missed work that day. After taking a sick day on Thursday, Jackson worked until about noon on Friday before he left for lunch and did not return. Police said at the time of his death he was still employed with the Auditor’s office, and that coworkers indicated nothing seemed amiss on his final day.
Jackson’s body was discovered late Sunday evening when his mother contacted Jefferson City Police when her son failed to respond to numerous attempts to contact him throughout the weekend. Police indicated they believed Jackson died sometime late Friday or early Saturday.
There was no sign of struggle or forced entry, and Jackson appeared to have died from a single self-inflicted gunshot wound from a .357 magnum handgun. While police are treating the case as a likely suicide, they are also investigating for any foul play.
Jackson’s death came about a month after the suicide of Schweich, who similarly shot himself in his Clayton home. Schweich had contacted reporters in the minutes leading up to his death and was preparing to publicly accuse Missouri Republican Party Chairman John Hancock of conducting an anti-Semitic “whisper campaign” against his bid for governor. Jackson became the first person to publicly call for Hancock’s resignation in the wake of Schweich’s suicide, approaching reporters just minutes after Schweich’s funeral to call on Hancock and Republican candidate for governor Catherine Hanaway to “step aside.”
Hancock has vehemently denied he made any anti-Semitic statements even after David Humphreys, a prominent GOP donor from Joplin, submitted a sworn affidavit that Hancock had made remarks to him that he found offensive in relation to Schweich’s Jewish ancestry. Schweich was an Episcopalian, but his father was Jewish.
Police promised to release more details as they come, and are continuing to treat the incident as a likely suicide.
Collin Reischman was the Managing Editor for The Missouri Times, and a graduate of Webster University with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism.