Akron Filmmaker’s Death Clouded in Larcenous Mystery

Emmy and Telly awards earned for documentary about the Knight brothers have gone missing.

Paul Jacoway was best known for the 2009 feature documentary Final Edition: Journalism According to John S. and James L. Knight. This month, following the filmmaker and University of Akron lecturer’s sudden death from natural causes, someone absconded with the regional Emmy and Telly awards he earned for the film, taking other personal belongings as well.

The police are now involved and reviewing apartment lobby surveillance video. Jacoway’s long-time girlfriend Jennifer Somerville is hoping whoever took the items, which also include mementos from the professor’s days with Columbia Records, will see fit to return them. From the Fox 8 Cleveland report:

Somerville was at the Akron apartment with Jacoway’s brother and sister five days after he died, when she said they noticed that some of his prized belongings were missing. She called the police.

“The family noticed when they were at the house on March 14th that there were some things missing from the apartment. Some of them were Emmy awards that the deceased had received as well as some gold records; one belonged to Tina Turner, another to Corey Hart,” said Akron Police Lieutenant Rick Edwards.

Jacoway’s documentary about the Knight brothers, which took three years to make, is narrated by then-deputy Mayor David Lieberth:

John (Jack) and Jim Knight were Akron brothers and prominent national figures who owned and ran the Beacon Journal newspaper in the 1900s. They eventually created the Knight-Ridder Newspapers Inc. empire of 31 daily and 26 nondaily newspapers in 28 U.S. markets, including the well-known Detroit Free Press, Miami Herald, Philadelphia Inquirer and San Jose Mercury News. The brothers also founded the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, now based in Miami, Florida. The prize-winning newspaper group, at one time the nation’s largest, was sold to McClatchy Company in 2006.

Jacoway’s most recent documentary was A Tree Grows in Washington: The John Seiberling Story. RIP.