It was ten years ago today that 16-year-old Jennifer Parks of Randolph, New Jersey, was murdered by her neighbors, the Zarate brothers, Jonathan and James.
James Zarate had invited Jennifer over to watch TV but it was just a plot to lure her into the Zarate household. The Zarate brother’s held a grudge against Jennifer after she had complained to her school about being bullied by James. The brothers brutally stabbed and bludgeoned Jennifer to death. Then to try to cover up their crime they dismembered Jennifer’s body and hid her remains in a trunk which they then put in the back of the family SUV for over a day. The brothers were arrested when they were caught trying to dump Jennifer’s remains into the Passaic River. Both brothers were sentenced to life in prison.
I first wrote about Jennifer back in 2005 due to the sheer brutality of it and the complete disregard for Jennifer’s life that the Zarate brothers had. During that time I had the pleasure of corresponding with Jennifer’s mother, Laurie Parks. She thanked me for what I was doing to make sure that Jennifer’s memory would never be forgotten. I also had the opportunity to meet two friends of Mrs. Parks that I consider close friends to this day. Unfortunately Jennifer’s father died from a heart attack but not before seeing his daughter’s killers sent to jail.
Today Jennifer would be 26 and we could only imagine what her life would have been like now. Would she be married with a daughter if her own or would should be years deep into a successful career? Unfortunately will never know since the Zarates stole the life of a girl filled with so much potential.
As long as I am writing I swear that Jennifer will never be forgotten.