TikTok about Jason Fox sparks motion for justice
The hashtag #JusticeForJasonFox has 10.5 million views on TikTok.
NEWPORT, Washington. – While a Newport mother waits for the murder trial to begin on her son’s death, she finds support from people she has never met on social media. A viral video shows Jason Fox’s family that people across the country want justice.
19-year-old Fox was found buried in a shallow grave outside of Newport, WA, in October 2020.
Since Fox’s body was discovered, his family has used every possible social media platform to share his story with anyone who could help move his case forward. Pepper, Jason’s mom, started with the hashtag #JusticeForJasonFox and told his story on TikTok.
“I was on a TikTok livestream and spoke to 200 or 300 of my followers who are mostly LGBTQ + and they kept saying ‘#JusticeForJasonFox’,” said LGBTQ + attorney and TikToker Josh Helfgott of how he got from Fox heard. “There’s no question that my followers found Jason’s story from Jason’s mother, who asked for help and literally said, ‘Make my son’s story go viral.'”
Pepper posted a video asking celebrities to use their platform so their son’s story could be shared.
“I put your video together and said: ‘I’m not Gaga, but I can let your son’s story be heard,'” said Helfgott.
He has over 3.2 million followers on the app and focuses on making videos all about and about the LGBTQ + community.
“I’m a boy with lesbian mothers who is gay myself and I felt like when this happens to me I know I wanted to share my story,” he added. “The I felt something so I trusted the audience to do it. “
“I knew it would get views because Jason is 19 years old, gay, and was murdered,” he added. “And that in and of itself is understandable for an audience, and I think a lot of what a story spreads is understandability.”
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Helfgott never thought that his post would explode like that, he said.
As of March 23, his video explaining details of the case had more than 3 million views, 1.1 million likes, more than 35,500 comments, and nearly 100,000 shares. Pepper’s account has grown from a few hundred followers to nearly 80,000 now.
“I burst into tears and couldn’t stop looking at it,” Pepper said, tearing it open. “Nobody knew Jason but me, and it’s great that people are interested in something I care about and that means a lot.”
Users from all over the world heard Pepper’s pleading, for which she thanks Helfgott. TikToker use the hashtag #JusticeForJasonFox, make videos of his case and help Pepper plan the first pride parade in Newport City.
“I’m a boy who sits in New York and so that a story reaches not only Washington and the people in this city, but the whole country and the whole world, I don’t take that for granted,” he said. “Jason Fox deserves better.”
So far, five men have been arrested in connection with Jason’s murder. In court documents, Riley Hillestad is described as the ringleader who orchestrated the murder. He is charged with first degree murder and eight other charges. The Pend Oreille County Sheriff’s Office is investigating multiple motives, with a hate crime being a leading cause.
His trial is scheduled for May 3rd.