March 16, 1983. Gloucester, Massachusetts.
My former high school friend Jon Russell was having a bad year. He got busted for making obscene phone calls to local women. It must have been fun listening to conversation Jon and his preacher had at the next holy roller meeting. The Addison Gilbert Hospital decided it didn’t want perverts working in their laundry department. Jon was out of a job and had a public reputation that diminished his prospects of finding one.
Finally he got a minimum wage plus tips gig delivering pizza in town. Jon had been on the job only a few weeks when one night he got called to deliver a cheese pizza to a house near the end of Derby Street. At the end of the street six men were waiting. The Gloucester Times said Jon Russell was robbed but it seems unlikely. It was common knowledge in Gloucester that pizza delivery guys never carried more than twenty dollars on them in case they were robbed. Six men jumping a hapless delivery guy would only get $3.00 each for their efforts. Jon Russell, known as “Bird” to many who went to high school with, was not well liked before his arrest for making obscene phone calls. His newly acquired status as a convicted sex offender certainly had not enhanced his popularity.
Each of the women he intimidated and harassed had someone, a brother, cousin, father, friend, or partner who had witnessed their anguish and humiliation. Some of these folks were not satisfied with the probation and mandatory counseling ordered by a local judge. Jon Russell had two black eyes, two broken ribs and a swollen cheekbone. Sounds like the men who jumped her where motivated more by anger than the $20.00 he was carrying.