Unsolved Mysteries Wiki

Jack Brown

Real Name: Jack Melvin Brown
Nicknames: No Known Nicknames
Location: Ypsilanti, Michigan
Date: January 11, 1984


Details: Police are looking for suspects in the murder of forty-seven-year-old Jack Brown, a real estate agent in Ypsilanti, Michigan. He had lived in Ypsilanti for most of his life and was a member of the local chamber of commerce and Rotary Club. At 11:10AM on January 11, 1984, two unknown men came into Jack's office building. As one assailant stood guard, the other went to Jack's office. Jack was on the phone at the time; he noticed the men and said "We have trouble here" before hanging up. The assailant pulled out a gun and said to Jack: "You think you're pretty smart, don't you?" to which Jack responded "Well, maybe," He was then shot by the gun-wielding assailant.
The other assailant took the other three employees and locked them in the bathroom; none of them were injured. Sadly, Jack passed away at the hospital twelve hours later. There was no evidence that Jack's murder was a random act of violence, nor was robbery the motive. It appeared that the murder was a contract hit and that the two men were hired.
Everyone was mystified as to the motive; Jack did not appear to be involved in any shady activities. His real estate brokering business put him in contact with many members of the community. None of them could imagine why he would be targeted by a killer. Police speculated that he may have been living a double life that he was hiding from his loved ones. On the night before the murder, Jack's brother Norm visited him at the office. He noticed that Jack was on the phone and was visibly upset with the caller. When Jack hung the phone up, Norm asked him if he was having any problems, but Jack said that the call was nothing serious. Norm believes that the call had something to do with Jack's murder.
Jack's wife Ann also remembered a conversation that she and Jack had after a Christmas party. While driving home, Jack mentioned something about writing the names of important powerful people connected to illegal activity and placing this piece of paper in a safe deposit box. When she asked more about this, he said that it was probably better for her not to know more about it. At the time, she did not take him seriously because he was drunk. She never found out who these "important powerful people" were, but the police think that these people could be involved with Jack's murder. After the murder, Ann went searching for a key that would belong to a safe deposit box but found nothing.
Interestingly, on the same day that Jack was murdered, a major drug bust occurred in the area, triggered by an anonymous informant. Investigators suspect that this drug bust may have been connected to Jack's murder. They believe that people in the community have information on the case, but are afraid to come forward.

Composites of Jack's killer (left) and the accomplice

Suspects: Investigators suspect that Jack's murder may have been related to the major drug bust that occurred on the same day. He may have had information on powerful individuals and was killed to ensure his silence. It is also possible that Jack was involved in some sort of illegal activity that led to his death. Another possibility is that he was a victim of mistaken identity, as "Jack Brown" is a common name.
The gunman is described as 6'0" and wore a beige jacket and light colored pants. At the time, he was between thirty-five and forty years of age. He would now be in his late sixties or seventies. The accomplice is described as 5'10" and wore coveralls and a blue knit stocking cap. At the time, he was about fifty years of age; he would now be in his early eighties. The gunman was armed with a .38 caliber revolver, and the accomplice was armed with an automatic handgun. It appeared that the men were familiar with the layout of the building. They have never been identified.
Extra Notes: This segment originally aired on the September 27, 1989 episode of Unsolved Mysteries.
Results: Unsolved. Sadly, several people close to Jack have since passed away, including: Jack's co-worker, Darwin "Dutch" Jordan, in 2015; his first wife, Jo Brown, in 2014; and his two sons Clark and Jack in 2016 and 1994.