Jeff Mackey was a good friend of mine and my family. I had known him since I was a kid. He was one of the best people I have known. I got the news about his death at around a quarter to midnight on Saturday and was completely shocked. The idea of him jumping just dose not sit right with me. The next day I heard at least 20 stories about what people heard, thought, thought they heard, read on line and so on. Most of them just sounded completely foolish. But of all the things I heard a few sounded reasonable and some were backed up by people who had spoken with or seen him that night. This is what I have been able to piece together from the short investigating I have done.
He was at Oceans 11 drinking with friends (Near Pizza Joe's on Croton Ave.) until around 12:45 AM When he talked with 2 other friends at CG's on the south side (behind Jameson South) and made plans to meet them there. He sent them a text letting them know he was on his way, walking. Every one I talked to said he was laughing and having a good time at Oceans and was over all in good spirits.
So... What would make him have such a radical change of moods in just a little over a mile, between leaving Oceans 11 and meeting his friends at CG's, a time span of no more than 30 minutes?
One problem I have with this whole thing is. I know if I were walking from Oceans to CG's I would walk straight down Croton Ave. make a left on Mill St. then a right onto Lutton St. followed by a quick left down the ally and I'm there. Never once would I cross a bridge, I would pass 3 of them but at no point would I be on one. So maybe he was tired on his way and just sat on the wall there and a strong gust of wind knocked him off balance and he fell over. Why? There are plenty of places to stop and sit right there at Infocision where he worked. It seems an odd place for a break to me. But that aside He was not in bad shape he walked a lot and that was all down hill I don't think he would have been that tired from Oceans to E. Washington.
To me the most troubling story I have heard since I have been looking into this came from a local bartender I know. This person told me that 2 weeks ago to the date, their brother was robbed and thrown from the same bridge. He survived but didn't want to report it as he has a negative reputation around town and didn't think he would be taken seriously. He also didn't believe that anything would be done about it since he didn't know who did it. I'm not saying I totally believe the story but I have no reason to doubt my bartender, this person has never steered me wrong before.
I'm going to try to convince this person to get their brother to talk to the police. But sadly unless that happens I'm sure this will remain un-investigated. And even then the outlook is bleak.
But in the interest of bringing a swift end to this and answering any questions myself and others may have, I have contacted the new castle port authority across from Infocision they have several
cameras pointed in the direction of the East Washington street bridge. I was told that they believe that the bridge is visible from their cameras and that they will review the tapes and contact me
with what they find next week.
And who is this witness that saw him sitting there on the bridge and believed that he was threatening to harm or kill himself? For all I know this person could have helped him with the fall and said they thought he was gonna jump. Why didn't this person call 911 or try to talk him out of it or even stick around to see what happened just out of sick human curiosity, that doesn't sound right to me. Ask you yourself if you saw that would you just look and say "Huh well you don't see that every day." and keep on moving?
I'm going to continue to look into this and ask around until I believe I know the truth. Till then I hope this gave everyone something to think about.