Carol Marie Jenkins: 21-Year-Old Murdered While Selling Encyclopedias Door-to-Door

3 Posted by - December 11, 2019 - Injustices, LATEST POSTS

Carol Marie Jenkins was a 21-year-old African-American woman who was stabbed to death with a screwdriver while selling encyclopedias door-to-door. In September 1968, Jenkins was going door-to-door when she noticed that she was being followed by two white men. Jenkins approached the home of Norma and Don Neal and reported that she was being followed. The Neals called the police to their home, but the police were unable to find the car that was reportedly following Jenkins.

Norma Neal asked Jenkins to stay with them, but Jenkins felt as she had inconvenienced the family enough and left their home. A half hour later, Jenkins was stabbed to death with a screwdriver

For more than 34 years, the murder of Jenkins remained unsolved. But on May 8, 2002, police arrested Kenneth C. Richmond, a 70-year-old career criminal with a history of bizarre behavior and affiliation with groups such as the Ku Klux Klan. Richmond was implicated in the crime by his daughter, Shirley Richmond McQueen, who witnessed the slaying as a child.

Police detectives working in a “cold crimes” squad, were led to McQueen by an anonymous letter. When questioned, McQueen confirmed what the letter alleged that, as a 7-year-old, she had watched from the back seat of a car as her father and another man killed young Carol Jenkins. McQueen identified the clothing that Jenkins was wearing that night, which had never been revealed to the public, so detectives believed that the information given about the murder was accurate and they had found one of the killers.

McQueen’s father gave her seven dollars — one dollar for each year of her life — to stay quiet about what she had witnessed. At the time of the killing, Richmond lived on a Hendricks County farm and was just passing through Martinsville on the night Jenkins was murdered. Richmond never went to trial for Jenkins’ murder. He was declared incompetent to stand trial, and on Aug. 31, 2002, he died of cancer.



  • jwilliams December 11, 2019 - 6:06 pm

    where did this happen?

    • JoAnn Pettus December 11, 2019 - 9:14 pm

      Martinsville, Indiana

  • keith December 12, 2019 - 1:53 pm

    When I went to IU they told the black students never stop in Martinsville, IN

  • Christopher Preston December 13, 2019 - 1:01 am

    Of course they’d deem him incompetent 40 years later. It wouldn’t be America if they hadn’t.

  • Betty Davis December 14, 2019 - 12:51 am

    Had they wanted to solve the case then they would have! There’s not a doubt in my mind!

  • Lyndia December 17, 2019 - 12:07 am

    Why did the daughter wait until her father was on his death bed before going to the police?

  • Braelynn October 8, 2020 - 11:03 pm

    ive lived in Martinsville all my life and I agree Martinsville can be very racist but there are still good people