Judge orders Joubert’s drawings to be released

Posted By: Jenn Schanz

Former Omaha anchor turned author Mark Pettit met serial killer John Joubert back in the 1980’s. Joubert was on death row for murdering two Bellevue boys. He was just 20 when he committed the crimes.

“I knew what was going on but I either did not want to stop or I couldn’t,” Joubert said back in 1988. 

While in prison, Pettit conducted several interviews with Joubert, some, lasting for hours. He even wrote a book about it called “A Need To Kill.”

During their conversations, Pettit says Joubert talked about gruesome drawings he’d done.

“He told me that even though he was on death row, he continued to fantasize about murdering children and had made these drawings. And it had always bothered me that I had known about the drawings but could not get the prison system to release them,” Pettit says. 

In 1996, Joubert was executed, and Pettit never got to see the drawings.

But in Sept. 2013, 30 years after the murders, he pushed the issue, asking a judge to grant him access to the drawings.

“I think these killers are giving us a roadmap. They’re leaving signs and clues that should not be ignored,” he says. 

Thursday, the judge gave Petitt the OK. And within 60 days, he’ll have the drawings, which depict violent acts against young boys.

“A good journalist never leaves a stone unturned, and this was my stone unturned. I think this is a victory for journalism in Nebraska and the right to access what we believe is newsworthy information.”

Pettit says having this final puzzle piece will help him understand Joubert’s case better, and finally put it to rest.