Jerry Mitchell - Investigative Reporter, MS Center for Investigative Reporting

Jerry W. Mitchell is an American investigative reporter formerly with The Clarion-Ledger, a newspaper in Jackson, Mississippi. He convinced authorities to reopen seemingly cold murder cases from the Civil Rights Era, prompting one colleague to call him "the South's Simon Wiesenthal". In 2009, he received a "genius grant" from the MacArthur Foundation and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.


Jerry focused his discussion on the Felix Vail case.  Felix Vail is a convicted murderer who was investigated and arrested due to the evidence and information uncovered in Jerry’s investigation.  Felix was the last person to know the whereabouts of his 3 wives.  He was convicted for the murder of his first wife, Mary Horton nearly 50 years after her death.  Jerry became aware of the story after being contacted by Mary Rose, the mother of the most recent woman to disappear, Annette.  The details of Jerry’s investigation are chronicled in “Gone”.  “Gone” tells the story of Mississippi native Felix Vail and the people whose paths he crossed. Suspected of killing at least three women and possibly others, his August 2016 murder trial marked the oldest prosecution of a serial killer suspect in U.S. history.


Jerry Mitchell left the Clarion Ledger in 2018 and formed the MS Center for Investigative Reporting.  Formed in 2018, the Mississippi Center for Investigative Reporting is a nonprofit news organization that seeks to empower citizens in their communities by holding public officials accountable.  Please feel free to contact him at


Jerry Mitchell is currently writing a memoir about his pursuit of civil rights cold cases, Race Against Time, for Simon and Schuster. The book should be available sometime in the near future.