Longtime TSU employee’s 2011 murder remains unsolved

Special Reports

Seventy-one-year-old Ed Wisdom Jr. was a man of many firsts. 

“He was the first African American to teach in the Clarksville High School system,” his son, Ed Wisdom III, told News 2.  “He was even one of the first two African Americans to work in IBM’s top-secret security clearance facility in Atlantic City, New Jersey.” 

Ed was also a longtime Tennessee State University employee, and fearless member of the 555th Parachute Infantry Battalion, an all-black airborne unit of the United States Army. 

Wisdom III said his father packed so many accomplishments into his 71 years of life. 

“My dad was my idol, my hero. Everything I learned about being a man, I learned from my father,” he said. 

MORE: Nashville man honors murdered father through foundation 

In the early morning hours of October 27, 2011, Wisdom’s life was cut short. 

“He was actually bringing in some groceries from the store, he was out buying groceries late one night,” recalled Wisdom III.  “Then as he was taking those groceries in the house, apparently there was a confrontation or attempted robbery.” 

Wisdom sustained a single gunshot wound and was pronounced dead on the front porch of his North Nashville home. 

“The information we have is that two young men approached the house.  One stayed at the street and one approached Mr. Wisdom and he was shot,” said Metro Nashville Police Homicide/Cold Case Detective, Steven Jolley.  “The next morning, he was seen by neighbors slumped over on his front steps.” 

Detective Jolley took the case and to this day, the investigation remains open. 

“I feel like there is somebody out there, there are people out there who have information on this case,” he said.  “If they realize this is still an open investigation and we’re still looking for answers, maybe someone will come forward and give us the information we’re looking for.” 

For Wisdom III, the silence following his father’s senseless murder is deafening.  However, he said there is comfort in remembering how his dad lived his life; not how he lost it. 

“One time, I wrecked my car and he lent me $20,000,” said Wisdom III.  “I said, ‘Dad, I’ll never be able to pay you back.  He said, ‘Pay me back by being the kind of father to your son that I prided myself on being to you, and that my father was to me.’ For me, that stuck.  Every day, that’s what I stand by.” 

Jolley said investigators have several leads on the case, however, the information is not enough to make an arrest. 

Wisdom III said an arrest would help the family get closure. 

If you have any information that could help solve Wisdom’s murder, call Crime Stoppers at 615-74-CRIME.  You can remain anonymous. 

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