It was around 4 p.m. on July 3, 2020, when Paige Gershman sent a text to her 15-year-old son Jack after her husband, Ari, a physician and pharmaceutical executive, didn’t respond to his phone. That morning, the father and son had gone on an off-roading trip to California’s Tahoe National Forest in the family’s new Jeep.
“I texted Jack, and I said, ‘Are you guys okay?’ And I didn’t hear back from Jack, either. So I started to get worried, but not too worried because I knew they were so far out that they probably didn’t have a signal,” she says.
Around 5:30 p.m., Paige noticed two video texts from Jack. “The first was just woods, very Blair Witch Project, and I’m like, ‘They’re messing with me,’” Paige tells PEOPLE in the new issue.
The second video was perfectly clear.
“He was talking about how he’s in the woods, doesn’t know where he is, needs help,” says Paige. “I immediately called him. I said, ‘Where’s Dad?’ and he said, ‘He was shot. He’s dead.’ I couldn’t wrap my head around it. I told him, ‘I need to get to you,’ but I didn’t even know who to call. He could be anywhere in four counties. His battery was dying. I was panicked.”
Jack, after escaping the gunman who fatally shot his father, ran into the woods, where he would spend the night. He made at least a half dozen video messages, sending them all to his mom. “They’re basically goodbye videos,” says Paige. “In one of them, he’s like, ‘I don’t think I’m going to make it out of here, and I just want you to be happy and prosper, and try to smile and remember me as the happy-go-lucky kid I was.’”
The following day, around 4 p.m., teams trained in human tracking from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife — along with their dogs, Beedo and Champ — found Jack near a stream. “He was strong,” says Fish and Wildlife captain Patrick Foy.
Not long after Jack’s rescue, an ATV attempted to ram a police checkpoint. After a chase, the driver, John Conway, 40, was arrested. He was later charged with Ari’s murder, attempted murder, burglary and firearms crimes. Conway has yet to enter a plea.
Teen Who Escaped His Dad’s Killer Sent Goodbye Videos to Mom: ‘Don’t Think I’m Going to Make It’
Thanks for visiting Popular Crime. The story below is a summary we’re sharing from another news source, who did original reporting on the case.
Thanks to Hunt A Killer for this great deal
We’ve partnered with a terrific new immersive game experience for True Crime fans like us.
And for a limited time, they have let us know that readers or PopularCrime can take 20% off their first box by using the code POPULARCRIME at checkout. We hope you enjoy the game as much as we do and join us as we unravel the clues in the latest box every month.
Popular Crime pulls in news of current and historical true crime cases from all over the world. The above excerpted is reprinted here under the provisions of Fair Use. Any and all reporting was done by the original publisher. We encourage you to visit the original publisher.
For more information about our site, click here.