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29 October 2009

Positive Identification of Victim in 1954 "Jane Doe" Homicide case [More:]
The unidentified body was found in 1954 west of Boulder, CO, and was buried with a marker that simply said "Jane Doe, April 1954, Age About 20 Years." Enter Sylvia Pettem who when she saw the marker, couldn't get it out of her mind that Jane Doe was someone's daughter, and set out to identify her. The body was eventually exhumed, forensic facial reconstruction done, and DNA sample taken. Finally, after 55 years, the victim is identified, and the family now knows what happened to their missing loved one.

Here's a radio interview of Sylvia Pettem regarding her search, and about the person she previously thought was the victim who turned up alive in Australia.
Wow, this is pretty awesome. What a horrible way to die, and then for your family never to know what happened. Good for Sylvia Pettem for pursuing it!
posted by Sil 29 October | 12:53
Thank goodness, and Sylvia Pettem, for getting closure for Ms. Howard's family.
posted by deborah 29 October | 14:39
I'm glad Sylvia Pettem was that tenacious.

Looking at Dorothy, age 17, I can't help being fascinated that such young women always look so adult and ladylike at that age. I have a photograph of my grandmother at 13, where she looks like a poised 20-year old who's just had her hair done. Look how pretty she was;≡ Click to see image ≡
posted by dabitch 29 October | 20:25
Dorothy. Not my grandmother.
posted by dabitch 29 October | 20:25
Oh, wow, Harvey Glatman, the "Lonely Hearts Killer". I'd forgotten the name but not the moniker.

What a coda.

Yeah, dabitch. When I was about 13 I was learning how to wear a suit and tie a tie, all from a book of grooming for young men. I made the mistake of revealing its existence to some of my friends and was mercilessly mocked.
posted by dhartung 29 October | 23:12
What a relief to her family. Plus her killer has been dead for years as well. Amazing detective work and tenacity!

Dabitch, I agree. All the photos I've seen of young women in the 40's and 50's, all of them look so much older (in a good way) than they were. I have a photo of my grandmother, taken in the early '30's, come to think of it, at 18. She looks like an accomplished woman in her 20's. I don't think I ever have (or will), look so refined.
posted by redvixen 30 October | 19:03
Add me to the list || Halloween poll: What's the nastiest candy? I'll start: circus peanuts