By TYLER HOLMES
Homicide Watch Chicago
Raygene Jackson was a repentant man with a troubled past and a promising future. After being paroled from prison last year for a crime he committed when he was 17, Jackson was determined to improve life for himself and everyone around him.
“He made mistakes and he did the time for his mistakes. But he was sorry,” said Pamela Roberts, Jackson’s godmother. “He was a compassionate person. He was a lovely, caring person.”
Jackson had been with his fiancée, Faydra Rhinehart, since they were teenagers and she always remained by his side. The two were working on purchasing a house and getting married, hoping to start a life that had been put on hold for 20 years.
“When he was with me, he was the young sweet boy his mother raised,” Rhinehart remembered. “I’ve known him since I was a kid. I’ve loved him my whole life.”
Together, they had a daughter in 1994, before she was tragically shot at age three in 1997. Rhinehart later had another daughter whom Jackson happily embraced as his own.
“He never got the chance to raise any of his kids,” Rhinehart said. “He got locked up as a boy and came out a man. His life was changed. He said, ‘It took me a long time to do it, but I accepted God and I did change’.”