The 1985 killing of fifteen-year-old Kristina Wesselman
On a warm summer day in Glen Ellyn, Illinois on July 21, 1985, fifteen-year-old Kristina (Kristy) Wesselman kissed her mum goodbye and left her house to make a trip to the regional Jewel grocery store; the two scheduled on watching movies at home all day.
Despite the brief distance to and from the store, Kristy didn’t come back home and the next day around 11:15 a.m. her partially naked corpse was discovered in a field between her subdivision and the grocery store. An autopsy disclosed that she was sexually attacked and stabbed many times; her mum promised her daughter at her funeral service that she would never quit battling to bring her murderer to justice. In 2015, Michael Jones from Champaign, Illinois pleaded guilty to domestic battery and when his DNA was entered into the CODIS (Combined DNA Index System) it fitted the DNA profile carried from Kristy’s rape kit.
On September 10, 2015, the DuPage County Crime Laboratory informed authorities of the match in DNA profiles between Michael Jones and Kristy Wesselman; the probability that he was her murderer was one in 1.5 quadrillion caucasian males.
When queried about his involvement Michael staunchly refuted ever hurting Kristy and swore that he had never glimpsed her before. Nonetheless, a week before his trial was set to start he pleaded guilty to her vicious slaying. When the judge was addressing Jones, he referred to him as “Devil’s Incarnate” and convicted him to 80 years in jail, certainly the rest of his 60-year life. It was disclosed that Michael was released two years before Kristy’s killing on parole after he sexually attacked a woman in 1977 and had two prior sexual attack convictions.
When Kristy’s mum, Sandra Wesselman addressed the court after Jones’ sentencing she recalled the fond remembrances she had of her young daughter; her skill to read before she began school, the aggressive attitude that led to her wanting to try out for her high school football team, and her referring to President Ronald Regan as “just an old man” after she was elected to be in the Honor Guard for his 1984 campaign.
She also spoke of the earth-shattering loss she has had to face for the past thirty years because of the demon who ripped her daughter away; she rejected to acknowledge Michael Jones and he denied to comment at the trial. Due to his guilty plea, the circumstances of that disastrous day may never be disclosed but the closure of knowing her daughter’s murderer is eventually brought to justice gives Sandra Wesselman the courage to move forward for her daughter.