Appeal underway to keep serial killer John Joubert’s graphic drawings from going public

Joe Jordan | Nebraska Watchdog

The fight over serial killer John Joubert’s 30-year-old drawings depicting “violent acts” against children isn’t over yet.

John Joubert

Late Friday, Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning asked the state appeals court to keep the drawings out of the hands of author-former Omaha news anchor Mark Pettit.

“Using those drawings to profit from the horrific acts and thoughts of a convicted murderer is wholly inappropriate,” Bruning told the Lincoln Journal-Star.

A Lincoln judge ruled in June that Pettit would be allowed to “inspect, examine and reproduce” the drawings within 60 days.

Pettit has told Nebraska Watchdog he’s not sure he’ll include the illustrations in a revised edition of his 1990 book “A Need to Kill” but says he does plan to turn the artwork over to the FBI for its analysis.

“This isn’t about money it’s about the truth.”

Christopher Walden

Danny Joe Eberle

Danny Joe Eberle

Joubert died in Nebraska’s electric chair in 1996 after confessing to the 1983 slayings of 12-year-old Christopher Walden and 13-year-old Danny Joe Eberle—murders that found Omahans terrorized for weeks until Joubert’s arrest. Following his arrest Joubert also admitted killing 11-year-old Richard Stetson of Portland, Maine in 1982.

District Court Judge Steven Burns ruled the Nebraska Department of Corrections, which confiscated the drawings from Joubert’s cell in 1987, fought their release arguing they posed a threat to prison security.

But the judge, who says Joubert wanted Pettit to have the drawings, disagrees:

“These drawings are nearly 30 years old. The inmate who made them is no longer alive…The court accepts that the drawings may be useful to law enforcement officers in further understanding the psychology of serial killers; at least those similar to Joubert.”

Pettit, who says he’s prepared to fight the case all the way to the Nebraska Supreme Court, tells Nebraska Watchdog that Bruning “should be cleaning up the mess at the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services instead of clogging up the court system in Lincoln.”

The state prison system has been incorrectly calculating sentences and letting prisoners out too early.

Contact Joe Jordan at joe@nebraskawatchdog.org.

Joe can be heard on Omaha’s KFAB radio every Monday at 7:40 a.m. and KHAS-AM in Hastings every Wednesday at 7:30 a.m. and 12:45 p.m.

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Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and host of the Plain Talk Podcast which you can subscribe to by clicking here.

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