“The Woman in the Trunk”
Police in Frederick, Maryland, have a 31-year-old unsolved murder on their hands. The biggest roadblock to solving the murder is identifying the victim.
On August 24, 1982, two hikers who were mushroom picking discovered a steamer trunk close to a road in Gambrills State Park. The trunk was brown and gold. Inside were the skeletonized remains of a woman. She may have been in that trunk between 6 weeks and 6 months.
Police estimate the woman died in the spring of 1982. They also do not believe she came from the Frederick area.
As best the police could determine, the victim was a young, white woman, about 5’2″ to 5’6″ with a medium build. She had had a great deal of dental work done. Nearly all of her teeth had been filled and her two front teeth had been capped. Police believe the dental work had been done at a dental school.
Strangely, even with all that dental work she still had two impacted wisdom teeth that probably caused her discomfort.
An anthropologist determined her family had been in America at least 3 generations. Amazing how they can figure stuff like that out.
Police think that the unidentified woman may have been a gymnast or a dancer because her hipbones showed some wear and tear. Her spine showed evidence of a lot of back bending.
Lt. Clark Pennington of the Frederick Police Department was quoted as saying, “The hope first off is closure for the family. This woman has to be missed by somebody, so somebody is out there looking for her. This victim has a family, so we want to fully investigate this crime, identify who she is, and be able to provide some closure for the family.”
In an effort to solve the mystery of the “woman in the trunk” the Frederick Police Department created and distributed a new sketch of the victim a year ago.
“We felt now was the time to get a separate version of what she may have looked like,” Lieutenant Clark Pennington said in an interview with WTOP.
There were previous sketches made of the victim in these past 31 years. This latest one shows a young woman with a very hooked nose and long face. They put her medium length, brown hair into a ponytail to give the impression of someone athletic.
I learned about this case from the Daily Mail. The article included photos of the skull along with the police sketches.
I have lately taken to trying to digitally put faces on images of skulls. It’s my new hobby. Looking at the latest sketch — heck, even the earlier sketches — of the “woman in the trunk” I could find little resemblance to the skull. They didn’t fit together, in my opinion.
And so I took a stab at it myself. It couldn’t hurt, anyway. And here it is:
I assumed her eyes were brown because her hair was brown. I didn’t make her smile because the skull was missing a front tooth.
I may be close or I may be way off, but I am hoping it’ll get people casting their minds back to 1982 and thinking of a friend or family member who was never heard from since then. Somebody somewhere knew this unfortunate murder victim.
So if anyone has any idea of the identity of the unidentified “woman in the trunk”, the Frederick Police Department would be pleased to hear from you.
If you have any information please contact:
Frederick Police Department
Lt. Tom Chase
Agency Case Number: 1982-12633
You may maintain anonymity when submitting information.
“Little Miss Lake Panasoffkee”
As I mentioned in a previous article, my new hobby is to digitally put faces to skulls. I particularly wanted to put faces to unidentified victims, but it so happens that it’s not very easy to find photos of the naked skulls. Most victims’ skulls that I find are shown encased in clay after forensic artists have made an effort to create their versions of the faces. Sadly, far too many of these appear to me to have little resemblance to believable or recognizable humans.
And so it was I came upon the story of “Little Miss Lake Panasoffkee”, a Jane Doe whose body was discovered on February 19, 1971 in Lake Panasoffkee, Florida. In an effort to resurrect this very cold case, Sumter County Sheriff’s Office Detective Darren Norris enlisted the services of forensic anthropologist Erin Kimmerle to develop a new likeness of the murdered girl (see above).
And I was so giddy — the Bend Bulletin article I found included both the new portrait of the victim AND a picture of a skull. With my amateur eye at work, I could see little likeness between the two images. And being a pompous know-it-all I undertook to create my version of the face to match the skull.
Here it is.
The article had detailed how the girl was determined to have come from Greece so I made her as Greek-looking as I could.
And then my pomposity took a nose-dive when I reread the article and saw that nowhere did it actually say the image of the skull was the image of THE skull.
Aaaargghhh! So I have no idea whose skull it was that I was working on.
But I have decided that since this poor murdered woman needs to be identified — the autopsy showed she’d had at least one child who had to grow up without Mommy — I am still going to post the article, albeit with much more humility this time.
On February 19, 1971, hitchhikers found the body in Lake Panasoffkee, north of Bushnell. It was about a one-and-a-half hour drive to Tampa.
The poor woman had been strangled and dumped in the water at least a month before she was discovered. The killer left a man’s belt wrapped around her neck.
The coroner determined that the victim was a young woman — between 17 and 24, and around 5’2″. She was only about 100 to 115 pounds, and had dark hair, brown eyes, a strong nose and prominent cheekbones.
At some point the victim had had surgery performed on her ankle. She also had a pile of dental work including crowns, caps and fillings.
The body was dressed in green plaid pants, a green shirt, and a green flowery poncho — very stylish, I’m sure, for the 70’s.
The woman was wearing a 17-jewel Baylor watch, a gold ring with a clear stone and a thin, gold chain.
Recent forensic work by scientists at USF and the University of Florida has determined that the young woman probably came from Greece, most likely around Lavrion, a small fishing port south and east of Athens. Fascinating how these scientific types can come up with that! Apparently they learned all that from her tooth enamel. Kudos to the geochemists and anthropologists of the world!
The scientists also determined that the victim was a recent arrival in the United States.
This poor woman has been unclaimed and unidentified since 1971. Somewhere out there are her family and her children. They have been without their loved one for over 4 decades now, and hopefully somebody out there has an idea who she is. “Little Miss Lake Panasoffkee” deserves to be returned home and reunited with her family.
Somebody out there also might have an idea who the evil bastard is who killed her. Now would be a good time to come forward and volunteer any leads.
Anyone with information may call the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office at 888-231-2168.
Thanks to the research of Annoula, I got my hands on a very poor image of THE skull, but at least it was the correct skull. And so here is my rendition of the missing woman’s face:
Thanks so much, Annoula, for finding the video source for me.
Durham, Ontario Jane Doe
Yup, I’m at it again. I just love my new hobby. Don’t worry — I haven’t given up on writing about hellbeasts.
On October 27, 2006, the partial skeleton of a young woman was found in a field near the entrance to the Darlington Nuclear Plant in Clarington, Ontario. This unfortunate woman had lain there, undiscovered, for up to 25 years. Twenty-five years is one helluva long time for somebody’s loved one to be missing.
There is no telling what she died of. The skeletal remains were incomplete and showed no sign of trauma. Still, young women don’t usually wander off into such a secluded area, lie down and die. It is far more likely she’d been dumped there by her killer.
The location was ideal for dumping a body — it’s isolated and undeveloped and quite mucky to trudge through. It’s near enough to roads as well, but not too close to be stumbled upon by hikers.
The police didn’t find all of the bones since animals had ravaged the body, but they did retrieve the skull. They scoured the area near Holt and South Service Roads and found a ladies digital watch with a stainless steel strap. This watch was manufactured in the early 1980s by the Omni Watch Company.
Police also found a custom made gold ring, size 9.5, with a garnet stone with two diamonds on either side. It is stamped ‘Burns’ who turns out to be a local jeweler in Oshawa.
The garnet is the birthstone for January. Possibly our unknown woman was born in January.
The police unearthed a man’s hooded shirt that had stripes of blue, red, yellow and green. This shirt was sold by Tip Top Tailors between 1995 and 1996. There’s no guarantee it had any connection to the dead woman.
Durham Regional Police have made every effort to discover the identity of the young woman, but have had no luck. They created a DNA profile, but can find no matches. They have also made several artists’ renderings of the face, but those have not brought them success.
Investigators think the woman was between 18 to 30 years old, and a Caucasian. The first sketch that was made was of a Caucasian-looking female, but the clay bust and subsequent sketches make her look fairly aboriginal, in my opinion.
One site, Ontario’s Missing Adults, indicates she may possibly have mixed Aboriginal/Metis/Inuit heritage. All other sources I found have her listed solely as Caucasian.
On the bust and the most recent portrait her lips were made very full and her nose was quite wide and flat. If the woman had had a nose job, I’m sure she didn’t ask the surgeon to widen her nose.
Every one of these artistic efforts is so completely different from the others that it’s hard to believe they were dealing with the same skull.
So that’s where I come in, naturally, with my new hobby. I wanted to give this unfortunate woman a recognizable face.
I had a heckuva time finding a picture of the skull. I finally did find one with the first sketch superimposed upon it, so I was in business.
The police learned a lot from the woman’s skull. For one thing it looked like she’d had a rhinoplasty, or else she’d broken her nose and had it set properly. Nobody would be able to tell by just looking at her that she’d had anything happen to her nose — unless they knew her before her nose job, if she had one.
The woman also had prominent front teeth that stuck out. One front tooth was slightly wider than the other. The front teeth also had white fillings, while some of her back teeth had silver fillings.
The upper and lower jaws are noticeably narrow.
The skull also exhibited evidence of anemia. Because thinner people are more likely to be anemic I made my version of the woman thin.
Since there was no telling the colour of her hair and eyes, I made a few versions with a few different hairstyles. Hopefully they will jog somebody’s memory.
So here are my versions of the unidentified woman.
Of all her features the teeth are the most definite. Without question this woman’s teeth protruded. Everything else is guesswork. The hairstyle on the blonde, for instance, is something like what my friends wore in the 1980s.
Anyone with any information at all about this unidentified woman should please contact:
Durham Regional Police 905-579-1520
Ontario Provincial Police Missing Persons and Unidentified Bodies/Remains Unit
877-934-6363 – Toll Free in North America
705-330-4144 – Local or outside of North America
Let’s get her back to her family.
Detroit, Michigan Jane Doe
I found a skull picture and have taken the opportunity to indulge in my favourite hobby — creating a face. There are already two likenesses of this Jane Doe, which I’ve included, but they look completely different save for the wrinkles and short hair. It’s hard to believe the artists were working with the same skull.
This particular Jane Doe was found by Detroit, Michigan police officers on July 13, 2005 in an abandoned house. She was naked and badly decomposed, making identification very difficult. There were also no personal effects.
This Jane Doe, case number 05-6734, was about 5’3″ tall. She had short, reddy-brown and greying hair. She was approximately 35 to 50 years old, and slender in build.
The most notable thing about this Jane Doe was her extremely bad mouth. Almost all of her teeth were gone — before death — and the ones left were so rotted that they were reduced to hollowed-out roots and bits of crown barely attached to her jaws.
I don’t know how this woman withstood the pain. My teeth ache just looking at the photo of her skull.
The incredibly awful state of her mouth makes me think of meth users. I wouldn’t be surprised if she was one of them.
The surprising thing is that, despite her severely poor oral hygiene, this woman kept her fingernails and toenails nicely trimmed and cared for. You’d think she’d be beyond caring about her appearance at that point.
The body was found near Grand River Avenue and 14th Street, at 4333 Wabash Street. Authorities figure she’d been dragged or carried into the abandoned house up to 30 days before she was discovered.
I don’t know if this woman’s death was a homicide. If it were a drug overdose, why would her body be naked and hidden? I guess it is possible that a homeless person had more use of her clothes than the dead woman did, and therefore stripped her down and took the shoes and clothing.
In making the face I decided to make the shape of it more like what it would resemble before she lost her teeth to increase odds she’ll be recognized. I know when my own mom took out her false teeth she looked like a totally different person.
I decided to age the face with wrinkles and lines in keeping with someone near 50 since the woman had greying hair. I totally guessed at the eye colour.
If anyone has any idea of this Jane Doe’s identity, please contact the Medical Examiner’s office in Wayne County, (313) 833-2504. The listed case manager is Sarah Krebs, (313) 215-0675. The case number is 05-6734.
This case is also identified as NamUS UP 7702.
As promised, here is my version of the unfortunate woman’s face.
Here’s hoping that someone will recognize this unfortunate woman. Her family deserves to know what became of her, and she deserves to be properly buried and mourned.
Spokane, Washington Jane Doe
On June 20, 1984, a woman’s remains were found on the south side bank of the Spokane River. It was a young woman who had been murdered. She has yet to be identified.
Authorities in Spokane, Washington initially figured the woman was between 16 and 30 years of age, but a 1998 forensic report pegged her age as 25 to 35.
The woman was white and probably blonde, maybe around 130 pounds and 5-and-a-half feet tall. On her left kneecap she had a 1-and-a-half inch oval scar. On her left arm she had a 3-and-a-half inch scar. She also had two moles on the front of her neck.
This unfortunate woman had a spina bifida occulta, which is a mild and probably asymptomatic form of spina bifida which would have shown no hernial protrusion of the spinal cord. It doesn’t sound to me like it had any impact upon her lifestyle — she wasn’t paralyzed or disabled because of it.
The 1998 forensic report indicates that the woman had been murdered. She had suffered a blunt force trauma that fractured her mid face and bottom jaw. This could have been the result of one single blow that caused her face to smack into a hard surface.
The woman also suffered sharp force trauma on the right side of her head and neck. Those injuries would have resulted from chop-type blows from her assailant.
Additionally the poor woman suffered sharp force trauma that severed the bones of her neck.
All of these injuries were inflicted at the time of death. Sounds to me like someone went postal on the poor woman. Whoever the killer was, he/she was lucky. Identifying the murderer is infinitely more difficult if the victim remains unidentified.
The victim’s remains were left almost a mile west of the T.J. Menach Bridge on the Spokane River. There were no items of clothing or jewelry with her.
The police have tried to put a face to the Jane Doe, and I’m not particularly satisfied with their efforts. The first sketch has a tiny bottom jaw, whereas the actual mandible is quite prominent and broad. This face does not fit the skull.
The second sketch is a big improvement. The face does fit the skull much better. I’m not sure why the artist made the eyebrows so heavy or the lips so puffy — it’s all guesswork anyway. I think the sketch makes the woman look much older than she was. The artist gives a suggestion of a gap between the front teeth. Possibly that is correct, but since the skull is missing the front teeth I can’t say for sure.
The 3-D reconstruction doesn’t look particularly realistic. I think the chin is too long and pointy, as is the nose. That is, of course, my opinion.
I took it upon myself to create a face for Jane Doe 489. I gave her blonde hair but didn’t get carried away with a hairstyle. For all I know she had long hair. I didn’t put the 2 moles on her neck because the report didn’t specify their exact location.
I hope this poor woman is finally claimed by her loved ones. It’s been 30 years, much too long for her to be away from family and friends.
If anyone has any idea who this Jane Doe is please contact the Spokane County Medical Examiner’s Office 509-477-2296. The case manager listed is Elizabeth Nelson. Please refer to ME/C Case Number: 84-0002, or NamUS UP #489.
If anyone has any idea who her killer is, please contact the police in Spokane County.
And, as promised, here is my version of the unidentified woman.
Odessa, Delaware Jane Doe
I know, I know, I just did a facial reconstruction, but since I’ve been sick I haven’t had the chance to research and write about a hellbeast for today. I do, however, have a face I worked on before I got sick, and it belongs to an unfortunate murder victim found in Odessa, Delaware.
This young woman, aged between 20 and 45, died in 1993. She’d been dead for approximately 3 months before her skeletal remains were found just 30 feet south of Vance Neck Road.
This Jane Doe was discovered on November 25, 1993. Aside from her bones all the investigators found was her dark brown hair. From her skeleton they figure her height to be 5’1″ so she’s a short person.
For over 20 years this woman has been unclaimed. It’s long past due that she is returned to those who loved her.
Investigators have made significant efforts to identify this woman. They had forensic artists create both 2-D and 3-D versions of what she may have looked like. One artist made both a smiling and unsmiling version. I’m including only the smiling face here.
The sketch at the top, I don’t think, fits the skull. The bottom jaw is much wider and more prominent than the sketch would suggest.
These various facial reconstructions have sadly not resulted in success and to me they look totally different from each other. And the 3-D version doesn’t look, to me at least, natural at all.
I decided, naturally, to create my own version of the Odessa Jane Doe, because it’s what I like to do. My ego always tells me I can do better than what has already been done.
I couldn’t tell from the police information if her hair was long or short, but since all of the artists have given her long, straight hair I went along with that. I did compromise — I tried to make it look as though it’s tied back so that the shape of her face is more apparent.
I opted for darker eyes. Those seem to go with dark brown hair.
I tried to make her age around 30 with some laugh lines but no wrinkles. I made her smiling as well because this woman had a great set of teeth. The other artist’s version of her smiling forgot her gums, making her look like she had a gap between her front teeth.
If anyone has any idea of the identity of this unfortunate woman, please contact the Delaware State Medical Examiners Office (302) 577-3420. The listed case manager is Hal Brown. The case number is 1993-N-1995 or NamUs UP #2212.
And if anyone has any clue as to the murderer, please contact Delaware police.
I truly hope this woman is returned soon to those who knew and loved her. If she had children they’d be adults by now. Her parents would probably be retirement age now. After 21 years it’s time this Jane Doe went home.
And, as promised, here is my version of the Odessa Jane Doe.
Detroit, Michigan Jane Doe #2
I found another skull photo of an unidentified Jane Doe. Surprisingly, this time there was no forensic sketch made. Maybe Detroit has too many unidentified bodies to create sketches for every single one. So here I go doing my bit to help out.
This unfortunate woman was found in an alley in Detroit on March 26, 2009. The address was 12933 St. Louis Street.
The remains were partially skeletal, partially mummified. The woman been dead an estimated 8 months, which means she was probably last seen alive in the summer of 2008. There were no clothes or possessions found with the body. What the authorities did find was a mass of long, fine hair, probably reddish in colour.
Detroit authorities have determined that this woman was between 25 and 45 years of age. She was white, and she was just under 5 feet tall. That’s short. From indications on her skeleton she probably had suffered from a painful back injury. As well, it was very possible that she’d given birth at some point. That means somebody is missing their mommy.
I can find no mention of cause of death, but I consider it highly suspicious that a young woman would wind up nude and dead in an alley. Doesn’t sound like a natural death to me.
The skull photo presented a bit of a challenge because it shows the skull looking slightly upward. This makes the cranium look very foreshortened. I compromised somewhat and tried to make the woman look as she would head-on.
This Jane Doe had a very strong jaw and a high-bridged nose. She also had pronounced cheekbones. From what I could gather from the WebSleuth forum, the teeth dropped out after she died, so she wasn’t toothless.
Also on the WebSleuth forum is another amateur’s facial reconstruction based on the same skull. It depicts the woman at an older age than my version does. I think the artist, identified as CarlK, did a decent job of it. You can check it out at the link below.
I chose to make my version of the face on the younger side of the estimated age range. I figure it’s not much use making her look 45 if she died at 25.
I also chose to make this Jane Doe look well fed — motherhood tends to put on the pounds.
I hope somebody somewhere can put a name to this unfortunate woman. I hate the thought of her family, especially her children, not knowing what became of her.
The contact people for this case, ME/C Case Number 09-3204, are in Wayne County, Michigan. The Wayne County Medical Examiners Office contact is Carl Schmidt, (313) 833-2504. The case manager is listed as Sarah Krebs (313) 215-0675.
This Jane Doe is also listed as NamUs UP #8175.
If anyone has any idea of the identity of this Jane Doe or how she died, please contact authorities. She belongs with her loved ones after all these years. Her children deserve to have their mommy back.
Clarion County, Pennsylvania Jane Doe
On July 22, 1990, a couple of children were looking for berries in a remote area of Monroe Township in Clarion County, Pennsylvania. The kids spotted something in a stream and at first thought it was a dead deer. Being curious they decided to investigate and discovered that it was a dead woman. She was lying face down in the water.
Authorities determined that this woman had been murdered and her body dumped there a month or so previously. She had been clobbered on the right side of her skull with something blunt. Her right leg was broken.
This Jane Doe is considered to be young. On the pennsylvaniamissing.com site her age is listed as 15 to 22. On the NamUS UP #6580 case report her age is estimated to be 20 to 40.
The victim was around 5′ tall and had shoulder length, dark brown hair. She was white, and her teeth were awesome — no cavities, no fillings. One tooth on the upper right was chipped but that could have happened after death.
The woman was found with clothing. She had a black shirt with an attached floral vest that was made by “Stop Light of California”. She had size 9-10 black “Gitano Express” jeans, and size 7 “Fruit of the Loom” panties. The sizes would indicate she was slim. The absence of a bra might indicate she was fairly flat-chested. Or maybe her killer kept a souvenir.
Besides no bra, there were no socks or shoes. I doubt this unfortunate woman walked to the remote location where her body was found.
The location of the body was very close to railroad tracks. In fact, the children who found her were crossing under a railroad trestle when they first spotted her. Apparently authorities did not believe she had been tossed from a train.
Authorities concluded that the murderer was likely a local person because of his knowledge about this remote location to dump a body. The closest road had very little traffic.
Authorities also concluded the victim was not local. Lord knows where she came from.
On Memorial Day Weekend that year there was an outdoor rock concert called Music Alley about 15 miles from where the body was discovered. About 5100 people, many from Pittsburgh and Ohio, attended the concert which featured the bands “The Stand”, Down to the Wire”, Lawyers, Guns & Money” and “B.E. Taylor and Cleveland”.
Possibly the concert was the reason this Jane Doe was in the area.
In the summer of 2002, some anonymous person sent a letter to law enforcement about this murdered woman. When authorities broadcast a plea for the writer to contact them again they received no response.
The authorities have done their due diligence in trying to identify Jane Doe 6580 (also known as Penny Doe because of pennies found in her jeans pockets). They have made facial reconstructions that sadly have not resulted in her being identified.
Twenty-four years is a long time for a family to not know what became of their daughter/sister/niece. And 24 years is too long a time for the killer to remain unidentifed, but first things first.
The faces that have previously been made look like completely different people. The second from the top doesn’t even fit the skull so I wonder if there was a mix-up in case numbers. Naturally, me being me, I just had to do my own version of Jane Doe 6580.
I chose to make her look slightly older than a teenager — she could be as old as 40 according to the NamUs case report. I compromised and tried to make her look like she was in her 20’s.
Here’s hoping she’ll be identified at long last. She deserves to be claimed and mourned after all these years.
If anyone has any idea of who this person is, please contact the Clarion County Coroner’s Office, 814-275-1773. The case manager listed is David Ray, 814-938-0510. Quote case number C02-0344654.
If anyone has any clue as to who brutally murdered this poor woman, please contact authorities.
Campbell County, Tennessee Jane Doe
On October 25, 1998, a man was searching for cans in Campbell County, Tennessee. As he made his way on Stinking Creek road he encountered something he most certainly was not searching for. He found a murdered woman.
The unfortunate victim had been mercilessly beaten, stabbed and then shot in the head. Her body had been callously tossed into a ravine where others have previously dumped their trash. The location was about one mile from the I-75 exit.
What a terrible end to a life. It’s been 15 years and the poor woman is still unidentified. She is known as NCIC Number U-165488982. On the Doe Network she is known as Case #223UFTN. She deserves to be known by her name and returned to her family.
Authorities have determined that this Jane Doe was between 30 and 40 years old. She stood about 5’6″ and weighed about 130 pounds. Her hair was black and her eyes were dark. She’d been murdered several days before her body was found.
Although this unidentified woman had no distinguishing marks on her body, she certainly had a unique set of teeth. Most notably she had an extra upper right incisor tooth which crowded her other teeth and appeared almost fang-like.
If the woman had been self-conscious about her unusual tooth she might have formed the habit of covering her mouth with her hand when she smiled or spoke.
There is no word on whether or not this unfortunate woman had had children. Regardless, she no doubt had family who have been left wondering for all these years what had happened to their loved one.
There likewise was no word on any clothing or jewelry found with the body.
The poor woman had been murdered by someone who made very, very sure she suffered horribly before she died. Beating her, stabbing her and finally shooting her were the actions of a raging hellbeast.
This heartless, monstrous killer cannot be caught until his victim has been identified.
There have been various efforts made to put a face to this Jane Doe. They all look very different. Even the shape of the face differs for each.
Because it is my hobby to put faces to skulls, I have added my own effort (see bottom of the article). I made her look closer to 30 than 40 because I think it’s more likely she had passed the age of 30 than she managed to reach 40.
If anyone has any information, please contact the Campbell County Sheriff’s office 423-562-7446. The listed contact person was Captain Brandon Elkins, so presumably he’s still there.
I really hope this poor woman is identified and returned to those who love her. I also hope that her killer is caught and punished with the maximum sentence possible. The idea that he’s gotten away with murder makes me sick.
Jacksonville, North Carolina Jane Doe
Police in Jacksonville, North Carolina, have an unidentified body on their hands. They call her Jane Doe 95-7000.
On December 6, 1995, skeletal remains were found by a surveyor working in a wooded area next to Marine Boulevard, US Highway 17. Authorities determined that the unidentified remains were that of a white woman aged approximately between 32 and 38. She stood between 5’5″ and 5’8″ tall.
Authorities speculate that this woman had reddish-brown hair based upon one strand of hair they found near the skeleton.
The woman had a bifurcated rib — that’s a rib that has split into two on the end that attaches to the breastbone. This anomaly was present on her right 5th rib, and was something she was born with.
The bifurcated rib might have, just maybe, led to some limitations — respiratory problems, neurological difficulties, maybe even lack of energy due to the stress on her body to compensate for the difficulties. Or maybe she had no difficulties at all.
This unidentified woman did spend a lot on her dental work — fillings, extractions and a crown. Her front teeth protruded a bit. Her right front tooth slanted slightly in front of the left front tooth, and was shorter than the left front tooth. Safe to say she never had braces as a kid.
I found the skull to be noticeably asymmetrical. That doesn’t mean she was unattractive (I consider the previous versions of forensic facial reconstruction needlessly homely).
I personally think this gal liked to make herself as attractive as she could. She was found with gold hoop earrings, an 18k gold chain necklace and 2 gold bangle bracelets.
The Jacksonville Jane Doe 95-7000 was also found with black Lee jeans, black panties, a black bra, a yellow short-sleeved shirt with shoulder pads, a red shirt with shoulder pads, and a fragment of a red long-sleeved sweatshirt. The one shoe they found was a white, size 9, Nike tennis shoe. She also had a black Casio watch.
With her gold jewelry and her black, red and yellow wardrobe, I think this woman was a pretty snappy dresser. Not overtly sexy, just colourful, and fairly practical.
Police also found 2 New York Transit Authority tokens, broken glasses, coins and 2 keys with a partially burned key tag. One of the keys was found to belong to a hotel in the area. Nothing was recorded as being left behind in the room at the time authorities figured she died. As well nobody was registered to that hotel room either at the time she probably died.
The poor woman was discovered in 1995 but was probably dead for 2 summers. There were no marks on her skeleton to indicate homicide but what are the odds a youngish woman would wind up dead, in a field, of natural causes — especially if she had a hotel room to stay in?
Police thought maybe Jane Doe 95-7000 was a sex trade worker. They checked the known sex trade workers in the area and none were missing.
Because of the transit tokens, Jacksonville police requested the State of New York include the forensic sketch of the unidentified woman in its tax booklets. That sadly turned up zilch.
Crime Stoppers of Onslow County is offering a reward of up to $2,500 for any information leading to the identification of Jane Doe 95-7000.
Aside from the reward, I think it would be just awesome if she were finally reunited with her loved ones. I can’t imagine what her family has been going through, wondering and wondering year after year what became of their girl.
To that end, I have done what I truly like to do. I have put a face to Jane Doe 95-7000. Hopefully it will result in someone recognizing her. And this is my version of the unfortunate woman. Naturally I guessed at her eye colour. I went with the reddish-brown hair. I also showed her protruding front teeth.
I chose to add a bit of makeup because I think someone who wore gold jewelry would tend to use makeup.
So if you have any information, kindly contact the Jacksonville Police Department at 910-455-1472 or 910-455-4000.
You may also contact Crime Stoppers at 910-938-3273.
Lady of the Dunes
On July 26, 1974, a young girl was walking her beagle on Race Point Beach in Provincetown, Massachusetts. Like so many dog walkers, she discovered something horrific — the body of a redheaded woman among the sandy dunes near the water. The body was naked and lying on a large beach towel. The woman’s head was resting on a folded pair of jeans.
It was obvious the woman had been murdered. For one thing, she was almost decapitated. For another, her hands had been cut off. Some of her teeth had been pulled out. The left side of her head had been crushed in.
“The official cause of death was listed at the time in 1974 as blunt-force trauma to the head with signs of strangulation, sexual assault, and amputation of both hands,” Provincetown Police Detective Meredith Lobur said. That poor woman! What a horrible, horrible death!
I feel bad for that young girl who found the body. I imagine the sight of that horror haunted her for years.
The woman, police think, had been murdered 2 to 3 weeks before her body was found. She had long red or auburn hair. She was between 25 and 40 years old, around 5’6″ tall, and weighed around 140 pounds.
I believe the woman took pride in her appearance. Her toenails were daintily painted pink, and most importantly, her dental work had cost a small fortune. She had gold crowns that police estimated were worth between $5000 and $10,000, and that was back in 1974. There just weren’t that many women who had had such expensive dental work done, but still authorities couldn’t identify her.
The only items this woman was found with were the beach towel, the jeans and a bandana. Those were not much help at all.
Provincetown had a very small population in the off-season, but in the summer tourists from around the world flocked to Cape Cod. They still do.
There were no reported abandoned vehicles, no empty hotel rooms. It’s possible that this Jane Doe with the luxurious red hair had just arrived and wound up staying forever. It’s very likely she was brought there by her killer and was murdered right away.
There has been speculation through the years that this particular Jane Doe was involved with organized crime — the dental work could have been done through contacts in the underworld. She, or somebody she knew, had deep pockets full of money to afford those gold crowns.
The removal of the hands and teeth was a sure sign that her killer didn’t want her identified. It’s likely then, at some point in her life, she’d been fingerprinted.
For a time it was suspected she was a bank robber/murderer by the name of Rory Gene Kesinger who escaped from prison, but that didn’t pan out.
The Provincetown police have tried over the years to identify their “Lady in the Dunes”. They’ve put out all kinds of facial reconstructions, all of them looking quite different. They recruited a forensic anthropologist from the Smithsonian Institute who determined she was most likely in her mid-30s when she died.
I found an image of the skull and decided to make my version of this Jane Doe. She had gorgeous red hair, and I figure she might have had freckles to go with it. I did versions with and without the freckles.
Jane Doe had a strong chin. I gave her green eyes to go with the hair, but they might have been blue. I also gave her pinky lipstick to go with the toenail polish.
This unfortunate woman had been brutally murdered and abandoned almost 40 years ago, and if she had siblings they are probably senior citizens now. They deserve to have her back.
The citizens of Provincetown buried her properly and put a marker on her grave. She deserves to have a name on that marker.
If anybody out there has any information about the identity of this woman they can contact the Provincetown Police at 508-487-1213.
Massachusetts Jane Doe
On August 8, 2004, the skeletal remains of a black woman were discovered in woods behind the Plainville Truck Stop in Norfolk County, Massachusetts. The unfortunate woman had been buried in a shallow grave. That fact alone points to her being murdered. People just don’t crawl into shallow graves and die of natural causes.
Only her skull and torso were recovered, so either animals carried off her extremities or they were disposed of separately by her killer.
The poor woman had been covered in some sort of blanket or burlap wrap when she was buried.
Massachusetts authorities believe the woman had been buried at that location for between 3 and 10 years. It’s been a long time for her family and loved ones to not know where she is.
Police estimate that the woman was between 4’9″ and 5’3″. She was between the ages of 25 and 35. She was African-American or possibly bi-racial.
Sadly, a DNA profile is not available. Her skull had some teeth so dental records could be used to identify her.
Police had a sketch made of the unidentified woman. I don’t think it’s particularly edifying. And the truth is that it has not resulted in this woman being identified and returned to her family.
Since an image of the skull was available, I took it upon myself to create my version of the face. Naturally. ‘Cause that’s what I like to do.
I decided to make the woman look closer to 35 than 25, just because. I also decided to make her lighter skinned in case she was bi-racial, just because.
The shape of the face is the most certain thing about her. Her nose, lips, eyes are just guesswork.
And here is my version of the unidentified Massachusetts woman behind the truck stop.
If anyone has any idea about who this unfortunate woman is, please contact the Plainville Police Department re: Case Number 2005-00005. The investigator listed is Detective James Floyd, 508-699-1212.
This case is also on The Doe Network, Case File 578UFMA.
If anyone has any idea about who buried this woman behind the Plainville Truck Stop, give a tip to the authorities. You can remain anonymous.
I don’t know if this unidentified woman had children who have had to grow up without a mom, but she had family, and they deserve to have their loved one back.
Westby Jane Doe
It’s been a long time since I’ve tried my hand at putting a face to a Jane Doe, but that’s mostly because I am not finding pictures of skulls with mandibles to work with. Darn! But then a person suggested to me that I might try my hand at putting faces to dead people who weren’t skeletons when they were found. I decided to go for it.
My first attempt is with Jane Doe from Westby, Wisconsin. This poor woman was found on May 4, 1984 by 3 young men. The body had been dumped beside Old Line Road, approximately 4 miles west of Westby.
The young men drove to a nearby farm, phoned the Vernon County Sheriff’s Office, and then returned to the scene to wait for the police. They met up with a patrol deputy at around 11:50 p.m. and led him to the body.
The deputy noted that there were tire tracks making a U-turn on the gravel road. The vehicle that made the U-turn had a short wheel base.
Backup arrived and the scene was processed. The victim was an older woman who had been bludgeoned on the head. Her hands were missing, having been severed at the wrists. The killer had just dumped the body and made no attempt to hide it.
This unfortunate woman was still dressed — she had a shoe, a dress and a coat as can be seen in the picture.
The police did their best to discover the identity of their Jane Doe. Her dentures, which had been fractured during the brutal attack that killed her, had numbers on them. The numbers 420 or 4-20 were inscribed, and 289 were visible in raised lettering. Those numbers sadly didn’t lead to her identity.
Police canvassed the area in the following weeks, and they followed several tips, all for naught. The investigation grew to involve many other police agencies, but still the woman’s identity eluded detection.
When TV reports of the murder were aired, a couple from Westby called in a tip. They’d seen something strange on Cut-Across Road near US Highway 14 between Coon Valley and Westby. There had been a yellow compact car with a man walking around it. This was around 9:45 p.m. on May 4, 1984.
When police checked the spot where the car had been seen, they found a piece of the broken dentures, some blood and a man’s Seiko wristwatch with a broken band.
What the police figured was that this man was pulled off the highway to dump the body but was spooked by the couple who saw him. He drove off and ultimately dumped the body 3 miles away on Old Line Road.
The observant couple couldn’t identify the make of the car they’d seen, but they identified the yellow colour from a colour chart. The yellow was associated with a 1982 Datsun.
Sadly, this failed to lead to the killer or the identity of the victim. It’s been 30 years and she’s still unidentified.
The woman was approximately 50 to 63 years of age. She was 5’5″ and 150 pounds. Her hair was brunette with some graying. Her eyes were blue.
I did my best to give Westby Jane Doe a face. It was surprisingly difficult. When you lie on your back your facial features shift toward your ears. This is especially true when you’re older and your skin isn’t so tight. When you stand up gravity pulls your facial features toward your feet.
Jane Doe had tweezed eyebrows, and I suspect her hair was dyed and permed. Her eyelids were heavy, and she had obvious crows feet and bags under her eyes. The photo is too exposed for me to see her forehead but I’m assuming it was lined. She appears to have a fleshy double chin. The nose was quite bulbous, possibly hooked.
The big debate I had with myself was the dimple on the chin. Was that natural, or was it caused by the broken dentures? It’s quite deep, kinda like Kirk Douglas’ chin, which isn’t typical in women. I compromised and gave the woman just a hint of a cleft on her chin.
I don’t know how successful I am in giving Westby Jane Doe a recognizable face. Hopefully it’ll stir some memories for someone out there. If anyone has any information about this unfortunate woman, please contact the Vernon County Sheriff’s Office of the FBI. Her case number with the FBI is C 324-84.
P.S. I decided to make a picture of her with her dress and shoes, in case it triggered a memory. It got me thinking that probably Jane Doe didn’t have much in the way of money — her shoes definitely didn’t match her dress, so possibly she didn’t have extra pairs of shoes from which to choose.
Here’s hoping that someone will finally come forward and give a name to this poor woman. Her killer can’t be caught until his victim is identified. I hope he’s led a miserable life — it’s the least he deserves.
Nashville, Tennessee Jane Doe
In March 1998 a woman’s body was found floating in the Cumberland River near Cleese’s Ferry in west Nashville. Unquestionably she was a murder victim because she’d been shot twice in the head. It’s been 16 years and she still hasn’t been identified.
The woman was only about 5’2″ tall. She was slightly overweight at 170 pounds or so. She appeared to be between 45 and 55 years of age, more likely under 50. She was white with short, wavy, brown hair with blonde highlights. Her eyes were green and fringed with what I consider luxuriant eyelashes.
The victim was almost certainly not a transient. She had had very expensive bridgework — the Nashville investigators considered it had cost around $10,000. Somebody who put that amount of money into her mouth had very likely been living comfortably before she was murdered, IMO.
The woman was wearing black sweat pants with a “Tweety In Training” patch on the front. She also had white panties and one white Reebok tennis shoe with red trim.
The body was found with jewelry — a gold necklace with a “Leo” zodiac pendant, a dark gray ring and a gold ring. Neither of the rings would I consider a wedding band.
The woman had been at the Valley Market on Music Valley Drive in the Donelson area the night before her body was discovered. A clerk at the store remembered her, and remembered complimenting her on the necklace she was wearing. The clerk also recalled seeing the victim in the company of a black man who was also wearing a gold chain necklace with a gold zodiac pendant.
I could not find if the clerk had reported what colour and type of shirt or jacket the victim was wearing. None was found with the body.
In 2011 the Nashville police submitted the womans’ DNA and fingerprints into the national database. There were, sadly, no missing person matches. She had had no criminal record either.
Sixteen years is a long time for a family to not know what happened to their loved one. Sixteen years is also a long time for a killer to get away with murder.
I found the photo of the victim’s face (see above) and although the quality isn’t very good her features are readily discernable. Obviously the shots to the head hadn’t damaged her face.
Since I found the photo, I decided to do what I love to do — put a life-like face to the unidentified Jane Doe. I think she turned out well.
I was tempted to make the face more symmetrical, but it was impossible to tell from the photo if she was more swollen on one side because of the circumstances of her death, or if her face was truly asymmetrical in life.
“Wavy” hair could translate into all sorts of hairstyles, so basically I guessed. The report said her hair was 5″ — what does that even mean? Five inches all over? Five inches below her ears? I went with that. I did try to make her hair look highlighted — not very easy. The photo didn’t show the hairline, so I guessed on that too.
Because this lady was out with a guy the last night she was seen, I chose to add some makeup. She was wearing jewelry, which might indicate she wanted to look good. And being in her 40’s she probably never went to work or out socializing without makeup.
I rather wish the report on this Jane Doe had indicated if she’d had children. I doubt that she had young children when she died — she would have been greatly missed if she didn’t come home, especially if she hired a babysitter.
Because she was wearing a “Leo” zodiac pendant, I think it’s very likely that was her astrological sign.
If anyone has any ideas of who this Jane Doe is, please contact the Tennessee & Davidson County Medical Examiner’s Office at 615-743-1800. The case manager is listed as Steven Jolley, 615-862-7843.
The unidentified woman is on the Namus.gov site, case 980662.
Here’s hoping that finally, after all of these years, somebody will claim her as their own. And it would be more than great if her killer was identified too, and brought to justice.