Story of Jessie Bardwell will be told to millions

Story of Jessie Bardwell will be told to millions

PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) - It's a story that has affected hundreds of thousands of people.

Now, the story of Pascagoula native Jessie Bardwell will be told this weekend to millions on the CBS program "48 Hours."

Her father, Gary Bardwell, says the long journey from Jessie's death to the conviction of her boyfriend for her murder has taken a toll on him and the rest of the family.

A social media post between two of his friends said what he already knew.

"He said, 'Gary won't live long enough to get over this,'" Gary said.

Jessie was reported missing May 9, 2016. Family members and friends held vigils and remained hopeful should be found. Four days later, her boyfriend, Jason Lowe, was arrested and charged with her murder.

The trial in Texas in September was torturous.

"That was eight days of hell," Gary said.

At one point, he became so angry, he left the courtroom and was escorted into a separate room.

"I just sat in there and cried, you know. It....was just overwhelming," Bardwell said. "I was told it would be one of the worst things I've ever been through in my life to sit there and listen to this and see him and his arrogance."

After Lowe was convicted, Bardwell had his chance to speak.

"I stared him straight in the eyes. It actually frightened me for a little bit, but I went on and I actually started talking louder to him," he said. "But there was nothing in his eyes. I told him he was a very evil sociopath, pathological liar."

Gary says he has to will himself to move on.

"It would be so easy to fall into just not even get out of bed," the grieving father said. "But I won't let myself do that."

In the end, he hopes the exposure will do good.

"I'm kind of anxious about watching it, because it's going to bring everything back up to the surface again," he said. "But, I keep saying if it would get one girl out of a terrible abusive dangerous relationship, it will have done its job."

A college scholarship in Jessie's name has been started at First United Methodist Church in Pascagoula, and Bardwell plans to do outreach programs to students to prevent abusive relationships.

The episode will air at 9 p.m. Saturday on CBS.

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