William J. Jackson Jr.

Image of Special Agent William Joseph Jackson Jr.
Date of Birth: 
Date of Death: 
March 8, 1938
Location of Death: 
Elizabeth City, NC
Picture of US Treasury Department IRS Investigator badge

Circumstances of Death

Special Agent William Joseph Jackson, Jr. and Officer John Estes of the Norfolk, Virginia Police Department were conducting surveillance on Highway 17, along the Virginia-North Carolina border. They were following a Buick sedan occupied by Joe Thomas West and Bernard E. Royals, two known bootleggers. The officers had previously received information that West and Royals were transporting illicit whiskey.

About three miles south of the Virginia-North Carolina border, they forced the Buick to stop. As Agent Jackson alighted from the government automobile, West and Royals immediately shot and killed him.

West and Royals were later convicted of murder and sentenced to life imprisonment.


Agent Jackson joined the Bureau of Prohibition on February 10, 1931. He was assigned to offices in Wilson, North Carolina; Atlanta, Georgia; Baltimore, Maryland and Norfolk, Virginia. Previously, he proudly served in the North Carolina National Guard from 1916 to 1919.


Agent Jackson was born in Plymouth, North Carolina. He was survived by his wife, Isolaud.

Associated Artifacts: 
Memorandum to the File removing William Jackson from roll
Newspaper article from The Washington Post, dated March 10, 1938, with headline: 2 Held In Slaying of Federal Agent
Newspaper article from The Washington Post, dated March 9, 1938, with headline: Treasury Agent Slain In Pursuit of Rum Car
Newspaper article from The Washington Herald, dated March 3, 1938, with headline: U.S. Agent Slain By Bootleg Pair In Auto Chase
Last Reviewed August 5, 2021