Workplace jealousy may be a motive in the tragic murder of a pregnant woman.
Shawn & Jodie Bordeaux
Golden Casino, Powhattan, Kansas
Jodie Bordeaux and her husband, Shawn, had been receiving disturbing anonymous phone calls for weeks at their house on the Kickapoo Indian reservation in Powhattan, Kansas. Jodie was also sure someone was lurking in their yard. Shawn tried to reassure her:
“One night she heard noises outside of the house, and I tried to convince her that it was probably a raccoon or a coyote or something, and that she really didn’t have nothing to be afraid of.”
Not only was the danger Jodie sensed real, it would ultimately lead to her murder.
Shawn and Jodie were part of a management team hired to run the Golden Eagle, the first Indian-owned casino in the area. The casino had huge potential for the tribe, with annual earnings in the millions and job opportunities for the local tribe’s people.
Jodie was promoted to slot-machine supervisor
Shawn and Jodie were also looking forward to the birth of their first child, a girl.
Everything seemed to be going Jodie’s way, even at work. She had been promoted to staff supervisor of the slot-machine department. Shawn was thrilled for her:
“To see her in the casino, you would think she was running most things. And even that perception, it can draw jealousy and envy from some of the people who may be in the same position saying, ‘How does she get all the attention?’”
Jodie believed that some of the staff were resentful of her new position. Mary Pierpoint, a reporter for Indian Country Today, agreed:
“There’s some competitiveness when it comes to these jobs. And having two people coming from other, you know, one from another tribe and one from no tribe at all and going into high positions in the casino, I’m sure rubbed a lot of people on the Kickapoo reservation the wrong way.”
Jodie died instantly
According to Shawn, Jodie frequently reported the same employee for his bad attitude and tardiness:
“He kept coming back with more problems for her. And eventually, she had to start writing him up and holding him to the letter of the law, as our policies and procedures mandated.”
When the employee was brought before the casino management board for review, he was reprimanded and put on probation. But the problems continued and the employee was eventually fired. A few weeks later, the employee brought a grievance against Jodie to the tribal council. Shawn saw it as an act of vengeance.
The complaint cost Jodie her job. She spent the next month petitioning the tribal council to re-hire her. The anonymous phone calls began when it was rumored that Jodie might return to the casino:
“Never in my wildest dreams did I think they had anything to do with having to worry for our lives. I had no idea that we were being threatened.”
Late one November evening, Shawn and Jodie were spending a quiet night at home when a noise startled the Bordeaux’s dog:
“The next thing I hear is a popping noise kind of over and behind my head. Jodie got to the bedroom and she turned to see if I was ok. And one bullet went into the bedroom. And that one bullet struck her in the head.”
Shawn had no doubt that Jodie was dead. He quickly dialed 911, hoping to save his unborn baby. It was too late.
Despite an exhaustive investigation, Jodie Bordeaux’s killer remains at large. Kevin Hill was the County Attorney assigned to the case:
“We’ve gone from a point where just about everyone was a possible suspect, to a point where we’re focusing on an individual or a group of individuals that may have been responsible for this. These individuals were not strangers to Jodie Bordeaux. The individuals knew her, and they would have had an axe to grind with her due to employment issues.”
Nancy Bear, a Tribal Council Chairperson, has appealed to anyone with information to come forward:
“If there are members of the Kickapoo tribe that have any information that would help us solve this, they have a responsibility to their fellow tribal members, to their fellow community members, to come forward. This is an unsolved crime here on our lands. Let’s do something about it.”
Watch this case now on Amazon Prime in season eleven with Robert Stack and in season one with Dennis Farina. Also available on YouTube with Dennis Farina. Various seasons available now on Hulu.
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