641 Muriel Court Premieres at the Moon

By Trevor Durham on October 28, 2016

With the fifty year anniversary of Tallahassee’s biggest tragedy this week, FSU Film Students Elijah Howard, Kyle Jones, Deanna Kidd, and Michael Walsh have just premiered their controversial documentary, 641 Muriel Court, regarding the unsolved triple homicide of the Sims family. After a grueling year of investigation and film-editing, the team aired the documentary at The Moon to a house overflowing. Residents who remember the 1966 case, those new to the story, some who even lived on Muriel Court, and curiously fascinated citizens all flocked to see the film’s debut.

In October of 1966, Mr. and Mrs. Sims were found bound, gagged, and shot in their bedroom home at 641 Muriel Ct. along with their twelve year old daughter, also bound, gagged, shot, and stabbed twelve times, with her panties pulled down and signs of molestation. No money was stolen, and the crime remains unsolved.  The only prime suspects ever investigated seem to be a pastor, a fellow classmate, and a violent man living in Tallahassee at the time.

After spending the first half of the documentary detailing the above, 641 Muriel Court turns to the most dramatic and suspicious of suspects. Vernox Fox and his then-girlfriend, now ex-wife, were known to be oddballs of the community. Vernon was possibly a prowler in the same neighborhood, and Mary Charles Lajoie was obsessed with death. In the police interrogation footage, one-on-one interviews, and documents researched, Kyle Jones and team does a great job of showing the irregularities in the case.

Jones and his team stated that they hoped to submit the film, 641 Muriel Court, to various state film festivals. After which, potentially, national film circuits.

Jones himself is humble, knowing that there are many aspects to the story he couldn’t find. Residents swarmed him with information after the film was complete, and it will be interesting how it affects further editing of the film. As it is, the one hour documentary is a fascinating show of the horrors in Tallahassee’s past. Jones doesn’t breach too far into the conspiracies surrounding the case, preferring to stick to what he can show in paper and in interviews.

The film is modest, but strong. It will be screening for free in the SLC on Florida State later this semester. With Jones and team graduating, it will be interesting to see where they take this first massive project.

I write some things, read lots of things, and try to spend as much time as possible with food in my presence.

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