Former Ohio University and WOUB student becomes an author after spending nearly two decades as a judge
When Jane Bond graduated from Ohio University in 1968, she wanted to become a writer. Well, after a large detour, becoming first a lawyer and then a judge, it finally happened when Bond released her first book earlier this year.
“When I enrolled at Ohio University in 1965, I was open to several fields. I was interested in magazines and newspaper journalism, but I also gravitated toward radio and television,” said Bond. “So, I became a radio/TV major and during my junior year started working at WOUB.”
Bond grew up in Akron, Ohio. She knew that Ohio University had a reputation as the best communication school in the state, so there was no question where she was going to go to college. At WOUB, Bond was a continuity writer and really enjoyed her time working at the station.
“WOUB taught me the importance of timing in your work. We worked on deadline at WOUB,” said Bond. “Everything had to be done when it had to be done. I learned to work on deadline, and I learned the importance of meeting those responsibilities in a timely way and getting the job done.”
But life happened after Bond graduated and getting a job in media didn’t seem to be in the cards.
“I moved to Key West, Florida because my husband was in the military and stationed there,” said Bond. “I first got a job as a waitress, then as an accountant doing tax prep. I also worked in social services doing clerical work. I applied at the newspaper in Key West, and they offered me a job selling advertisements. But I declined the job.”
Eventually Bond became the mother of two children. They were only 14 months apart and were a large responsibility. Then, when the youngest was only two years old, her marriage ended.
“And just like that I was a single mother,” said Bond. “By this point I was back in my hometown of Akron and the Akron Beacon Journal wouldn’t hire a single mom. I knew I wasn’t going to be able to pursue a career in journalism.”
Bond then decided to go to law school at the University of Akron. She started as a night student and worked during the day.
“With two children, that was really difficult,” said Bond. “I realized that I wasn’t going to make it through three years of that. So, I quit my job and started going full time as a law student. I graduated in three years and passed the bar in 1976.”
But as a young female lawyer, being single with two children at home still limited her options. Bond eventually got some part-time work at a law office and took the bull by the horns. She went with other lawyers in the office to court, learned the ropes, and started picking up a few clients. This eventually led to a position at the Summit County Prosecutor’s Office.
“I was offered a job in the civil division because women didn’t work as lawyers in the criminal division back then,” said Bond. “But for the first time, I had health insurance and a regular paycheck. I was thrilled.”
Opportunities opened for Bond from there. She eventually became the first general counsel for a county executive in Ohio and helped establish a new form of county government. In the 1980s, she moved into the judiciary as a municipal county judge and then a common pleas court judge. Bond retired in 2007.
“After retirement, I became involved in community theatre and started a non-profit street festival. But then COVID happened, and it all ended,” said Bond. “One day I was telling my daughter about the most interesting case I had as a judge and she told me I should write a book about it. I had nothing else to do, so I thought ‘Why not?’”
The true crime book is called Akron’s Infamous Escort Case, and it looks at the political and legal firestorm that came from a 1990s Akron Vice Squad investigation of two Akron escort services. Bond was the presiding judge on the case. In the book, she looks at questions of whether the defense lawyers were escort clients, if a prostitute's murder was covered up to protect a judge who had taken the prostitute into the courthouse for sex and drugs, and if an undercover police officer used public money to fund an abortion for an escort who claimed he was the father. Bond progresses step by step through the evidence.
“The book is doing pretty well, and I’m a writer now,” said Bond. “I guess it’s never too late to do something you always wanted to do.”