Jill Annemarie Osborne was born on May 5, 1991, in Beaufort, South Carolina at the Beaufort Naval Hospital and was the youngest of three children. Her father, James, was a retired Marine Corps drill instructor stationed at Parris Island, and her mother, Annemarie, was a property appraiser who owned her own appraisal business that she operated out of their home.
Both of Jill's older brothers intended to join the Marine Corps as soon as they were old enough and spent hours with James preparing for that eventuality by performing physical fitness and marksmanship drills.
Jill was an extremely shy and sensitive child. Her brothers would torment her by using her to practice their hand-to-hand combat maneuvers and for target practice with their BB guns. Jill coped by retreating into her room and reading for hours at a time.
In elementary school, Jill was a good student but hardly performed to her potential. She would complete just enough homework to make a passing grade, but she tested well due to her near photographic memory. Jill was not social and had two close girlfriends, both older students, who also enjoyed reading above all else.
Jill's study habits continued through high school. She graduated with a 3.3 GPA and intended to keep her job at a retail chain store, hoping to move into a supervisory position. Her parents insisted that she go to college, wanting her to leave home to attend a university. James and Annemarie felt that the experience would build character and help Jill become more independent.
Lacking the motivation to pursue a bachelor's degree, Jill enrolled at Central Carolina Technical College in Sumter, where she received an Administrative Support diploma in 2011. Jill spent two years bouncing from job to job, trying to find a good fit. In 2013, Jill was hired at Ole Miss as Administrative Assistant in the English Department.
Because of Jill's bookish nature and diminished social skills, her supervisor, Carol Fitch, immediately took Jill under her wing. The two became fast friends. Sensing Jill's near morbid shyness, Carol acted not only as Jill's mentor but also as her protector against the challenges of working in academia as a non-academic.
Jill was instrumental in assisting in the planning of the 2017 Faulkner and Yoknapatawpha Conference. In particular, she was responsible for preparing the PowerPoint presentation created by Professor Jake Hemphill and Faulkner expert Dr. Andrew Carlson. Her efforts were consistently thwarted by Professor Douglas Reed, who demanded that she run his personal errands for him with a total disregard for the magnitude of her administrative duties.
Professor Reed previously filed a formal complaint against Jill with Department Chair Dan Johnson citing Jill's incompetence, so she complied with Reed's demands until he was found dead the morning of July 10, 2017.