Jimmy Lee Dean, the victim of a brutal hate crime in Oak Lawn in 2008, reports that something good has finally come out of the ordeal.
Yesterday I got a phone call from a man who said he was the husband of Dean’s estranged half-sister. The man was looking for Dean to tell him that his father had died, and he’d read some of my stories online about the hate crime. I passed along the only phone number I have for Dean, who now lives in Oklahoma.
Then, this morning, I received a call from Jimmy himself, thanking me for helping to reunite him with his half-sister and the rest of his family in his native Ohio. He said he hasn’t seen them in nearly 15 years.
“That is a big thing,” Dean said. “If this hadn’t happened, she would have never found me when she did, so that’s kind of a positive thing that came out of this. Something positive came out of two bad things, me nearly dying and my dad actually dying.”
Dean said he’s still physically disabled and in constant pain, but added that it’s not as bad as it once was. He’s said it’s been a tough road since he left Dallas a year and a half ago (he’s returned for the trials of his attackers). He and his longtime roommate have sometimes had to live out of their truck, but now, they’re planning to move into a new apartment next week.
“Once we get in this new apartment, I’m thinking I’m probably going to get back into the music world,” said Dean, a guitarist and songwriter. “Everything is hopefully going to work out here pretty soon.”