Central Virginia's unsolved homicides
Posted: Saturday, August 27, 2011 10:27 PM EST
By Carrie J. Sidener


Jesse Elmer ‘Jack’ Nichols, Oct. 27, 1987

The former Roanoke city police officer’s body was found in his 1972 Ford Bronco near the intersection of Virginia 757 and Virginia 616 in Goodview.

Investigators believe someone was waiting for Nichols at that intersection as he drove home. When his truck entered the intersection, the person began firing. Nichols had been shot multiple times with a .38-caliber weapon. His Bronco careened through a fence, a pasture and finally into a creek.

A neighbor spotted the Bronco, its headlights still lit, and found Nichols slumped over the wheel. He was found within sight of his house. Investigators have not ruled out that someone Nichols encountered as a Roanoke police officer could have been behind the homicide.