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View Full Version : VA VA - Rockbridge County - "Chris" 149UMVA, 21-22, May'87



Richard
11-27-2005, 09:55 AM
"Chris" (?)
Unidentified White Male
Discovered on May 18, 1987 near mile post 183 on Interstate 81 in Rockbridge County, Virginia.
Cause of death was homicide by gunshot wound to the head and abdomen.
Vital Statistics
Estimated age: 21 - 22 years old
Approximate Height and Weight: 5'4"; 150 lbs.
Distinguishing Characteristics: Brown hair. Wedge shape narrow mouth. Near sighted. Wore black plastic frame glasses. Eyeglasses were of a military type issue. Prescription for near-sightedness.
Dentals: Available. Lower 6 year molars removed around age 10; upper eye teeth removed around age 13; may have needed braces.
Clothing: He wore Spec. 4 military shirt and brown winter coat with wool interior and long horn steer belt buckle. He had a metal crucifix with chain, switch blade knife, cigarette lighter, cassette tape, eye glasses, pocket size memo pad and $10.12 in cash.
Fingerprints: Available

Case History
On May 27, 1987, highway workers discovered a partially decomposed body along 81 South, Mile Post 183. The victim died as a result of a gunshot wound to the right side of the head and right side of the body. Handwritten notes in the victims pocket referred to a truck and trailer number and the trucking firm of J.B. Hunt Trucking Company out of Lowell, Arkansas. A check of this company revealed that John Swartz was operating a tractor-trailer through Virginia at this time.

John Swartz, who was convicted in this homicide, left Little Rock, Arkansas on May 16, 1987 with a load of toys to be delivered to Edison, New Jersey. Along the way he picked up "Chris" at the Petro Truckstop in Wytheville, Virginia, four to five hours away from this destination. At the truckstop, Chris told John he had been stuck at the truck stop for two days without food. Chris stated he was trying to get to an uncertain (unrecalled by convicted killer) location to go camping. John made an offer to pay Chris for unloading his truck.

They arrived in New Jersey on the 18th of May and he paid Chris fifty dollars for unload help. Chris bought food and a small folding knife with this money. An argument ensued over money with Chris demanding $100 and several of Swartz's personal items in the truck. Chris threatened to turn in John for having an unauthorized rider, and at some point put his John's name and truck company in his pocket. The next day they got another load, and started back toward Arkansas. While at a truck stop in Raphine, Virginia, Swartz said that Chris pulled out his knife, and made threats of harm if he did not get more money or Swartz's personal items. Around 4 a.m., several miles down Interstate 81, Swartz pulled over to the shoulder, and told Chris that he had to relieve himself. Chris soon got out and at this time, the defendant was shot and killed. The next morning Swartz discarded Chris' possessions and continued on to Arkansas. Swartz died in prison.

A sketch of the victim is on the below link. The accuracy of the sketch is unknown. It was compiled with the aide of the convicted killer.

The victim was gathering camping supplies for a hike on a trail (believed to be the Appalachian Trail). Victim misspelled simple words.

Investigators
If you have any information about this case please contact:

Virginia State Police - BCI
First Sergeant George Gibbs
540-375-9546
Source Information:
ID Wanted Organization
The Doe Network: Case File 149UMVA

Link:
http://doenetwork.org/cases/149umva.html

Richard
11-27-2005, 10:14 AM
This is a case which was actually "solved" in that a person was arrested, charged and convicted of murder. In fact, he confessed to it. The problem is that the victim remains unidentified.

Two clues indicate that he may have served in the military shortly before his death, most likely in the Army. He was wearing a shirt with a Specialist Four rank insignia on the sleeve. This would have been an indication that he had acheived the rank of E-4, and it probably took him at least two or three years of service to have attained that rank. Someone on active duty, or serving in the reserves, would not normally wear parts of their uniform with civilian clothing.

While anyone might have picked up a used army shirt at a thrift store, the more telling clue would be the prescription, Army issue eyeglasses. Those frames were not "in style" as far as civilian wear was concerned. They are often referred to a "BC" glasses - a military acrynym meaning Birth Control Glasses, since wearing them tends to guarantee that you won't get any dates. But someone who has gotten used to wearing them, and who doesn't have money for a new pair might continue to wear them after leaving the military.

Assuming that the age estimation is accurate, this would have meant that this young man probably served sometime between 1981 and 1987, with a possibility that he served a 4 year hitch from 1982 to 1986 (age 18-22).

shadowangel
11-27-2005, 11:01 AM
Two clues indicate that he may have served in the military shortly before his death, most likely in the Army. He was wearing a shirt with a Specialist Four rank insignia on the sleeve. This would have been an indication that he had acheived the rank of E-4, and it probably took him at least two or three years of service to have attained that rank. Someone on active duty, or serving in the reserves, would not normally wear parts of their uniform with civilian clothing.

While anyone might have picked up a used army shirt at a thrift store, the more telling clue would be the prescription, Army issue eyeglasses. Those frames were not "in style" as far as civilian wear was concerned. They are often referred to a "BC" glasses - a military acrynym meaning Birth Control Glasses, since wearing them tends to guarantee that you won't get any dates. But someone who has gotten used to wearing them, and who doesn't have money for a new pair might continue to wear them after leaving the military.

Assuming that the age estimation is accurate, this would have meant that this young man probably served sometime between 1981 and 1987, with a possibility that he served a 4 year hitch from 1982 to 1986 (age 18-22).
By early '87, the Army had totally phased out the "fatigue" uniform (solid olive drab) in favor of the BDU (camo Battle Dress Uniform). The fatigue was the last uniform to display rank on the sleeve (the BDU displays the rank on the collar). As I recall, by the spring of '87 the fatigue uniform was no longer authorized for wear. The black-frame issued glasses had been phased out prior to that (in the Army, at least) in favor of "tortoise shell" brown frames. At that time, 18-month "hitches" were still available, but also being phased out in favor of minimum 3-year enlistments.

mjak
11-27-2005, 11:21 AM
The indentity of this victim should be known. There is enouch identifying information.
Why does he remain unkown is the question I have? Eye glasses have have identification information on the arms usually. I would imagine those issued by the military have even more idenifiable info on them. It should be possible to track down who those glasses were issued to.

mjak

shadowangel
11-27-2005, 11:27 AM
The indentity of this victim should be known. There is enouch identifying information.
Why does he remain unkown is the question I have? Eye glasses have have identification information on the arms usually. I would imagine those issued by the military have even more idenifiable info on them. It should be possible to track down who those glasses were issued to.

mjak Unfortunately, that does not appear to be the case. I still have the sunglasses I was issued prior to Desert Storm, and the frames have no information on them whatsoever.

mjak
11-27-2005, 11:44 AM
I don't know if non perscription sunglasses carry the same type of identification as perscroption glasses issues by a military eye doctor. I know the coke bottle nerd glasses I am forced to wear have an encylopedia written on their arms, lol. Were your sunglasses perscription ones?

mjak

shadowangel
11-27-2005, 11:54 AM
I don't know if non perscription sunglasses carry the same type of identification as perscroption glasses issues by a military eye doctor. I know the coke bottle nerd glasses I am forced to wear have an encylopedia written on their arms, lol. Were your sunglasses perscription ones?

mjakYep. I have worn prescription glasses since I was eight years old. When I entered the Army, they issued me prescription glasses (which I never wore after basic, of course). When my unit deployed to Saudi Arabia, I had new sunglasses prescribed. (Never wore them, either).

Richard
11-28-2005, 10:53 AM
The indentity of this victim should be known. There is enouch identifying information.
Why does he remain unkown is the question I have? Eye glasses have have identification information on the arms usually. I would imagine those issued by the military have even more idenifiable info on them. It should be possible to track down who those glasses were issued to.
I have never seen actual prescription information or serial numbers on military eyeglass frames. The frames are probably made by a number of different companies, and the company's name appears on the frame and bows, along with a style number or frame size.

The actual prescription for the glass, and frame size is all included on a small paper DD Form 771, which measures 8.5 inches by 5.5 inches. These forms have been in use since 1968 without change (at least into this century) and were usually filled out by hand, but often retyped on a computerized similar form by the place filling the order for glasses. DD stands for Department of Defense, so all branches of the military used the same form to order glasses, although the types of available frames may have differed from one branch to the other.

A copy of the form was retained by the clinic which prescribed the glasses, and a copy was mailed to the place where the glasses were actually made. The glasses were generally mailed directly from the place of manufacture to the person in a small cardboard box, which included the glasses, a case, and the carbon copy of the DD Form 771. If the person wanted the glasses adjusted or checked out, he (or she) had to go back to the Optometrist on base and bring them in.

I do not know if records are kept for years prior to 1987, and if they were, whether or not they could be scanned by prescription and frame size/style. Probably not. BUT it would seem that more information might be available through a careful study of those glasses, and a search for records.

Regarding Military Issue Black Plastic Glasses; I know that they were still being issued as late as June 1994 by the Navy.

mjak
11-28-2005, 11:08 AM
I wouldn't think actual perscription information would be found on the glasses. However, Brand, Stock #'s and often other manufacturing information can be found. I was hoping maybe the military has somekind of identifying info put on what they issue. I would hope that the investigating officers have allready reserarched this avenue. There is also the possibiity that these glasses and shrit were picked up at a thrift store or elsewhere and Chris has no militray ties. Since he was estimated to be no older then 23 in 1987 if he did serve in the military it would have to be no earlier then 1981. Does the military have photo records of people or yearbooks?

mjak

Richard
11-29-2005, 08:26 AM
Two clues which might point to this man's identity are the metal crucifix and belt buckle. The Crucifix quite probably indicates that he is a Catholic. The Belt Buckle with the Longhorn Steer could indicate that he is from Texas, or that he had an afinity for Texas or Cowboys. Possibly he was into rodeos and that type of competition.

Marilynilpa
11-29-2005, 10:11 AM
Two clues which might point to this man's identity are the metal crucifix and belt buckle. The Crucifix quite probably indicates that he is a Catholic. The Belt Buckle with the Longhorn Steer could indicate that he is from Texas, or that he had an afinity for Texas or Cowboys. Possibly he was into rodeos and that type of competition.
Although I live in Pennsylvania now, I'm from Texas, and Longhorn Steer belt buckles are very common. So although the buckle may show that he had an afinity for Texas or cowboys, it may have no connection to rodeos or any type of cowboy activities. It's possible he went to the University of Texas, their mascot is a longhorn steer named "Bevo". But since this man apparently couldn't spell simple words, that's probably unlikely.

I wonder what type of cassette tape he had? And what did he write on the pocket memo pad?

Richard
12-01-2005, 12:11 AM
One thing that is not mentioned in the information about this man is his shoes. So much information can be gained sometimes by knowing what type of shoes a person wears. How a person walks (or runs), type of wear patterns, stylish versus practical, etc can be learned by studying the shoes. Shoe size itself might be a crucial bit of identifying information.

I find that this is a common omission in many of the Doenetwork files and those on other websites.

Forrest Gump hit the nail on the head at the very beginning of the movie when he starts his narrative with remarks about those "Comfortable Shoes..."

marylandmissing
12-01-2005, 07:00 PM
Couple fyis on this case. The sketch of him could be completely off. It was done by an artist based on what the killer told the artist the guy looked like. His skull was fractured so badly there was no possibility of putting it together to do a reconstruction.

The "prior military" comes from the trucker and may not be true. The trucker/killer had a friend who had died that week, and he said Chris reminded him a lot of his military friend in actions and mannerism.

Richard
12-02-2005, 10:52 AM
Couple fyis on this case. The sketch of him could be completely off. It was done by an artist based on what the killer told the artist the guy looked like. His skull was fractured so badly there was no possibility of putting it together to do a reconstruction.

The "prior military" comes from the trucker and may not be true. The trucker/killer had a friend who had died that week, and he said Chris reminded him a lot of his military friend in actions and mannerism.
I did not see any reference in the Doenetwork file to those statements by the trucker. I only drew my conclusions from the two military items found with the victim, those being the Spec 4 patch on a military shirt, and a pair of military issue prescription glasses.

Yaya
12-03-2005, 02:04 AM
The "CHRIS" file says the trucker left Little Rock, Arkansas on May 16, 1987 with a load of toys to be delivered to Edison, New Jersey.

There is no reason in my mind why a trucker would be going by the Petro in Wytheville on his way to Edison, New Jersey if he were coming from Little Rock, Arkansas.
The Petro in Wytheville is approx. 50 miles from my home. This is the first time I have ever heard about this man being found. "Chris" has some disturbing similarities to a childhood friend of mine. A friend I haven't seen since around 1987, not absolutely sure about the year. I just know he left our hometown going to California. He wore a military shirt a lot. The shirt belonged to his much older brother who was in the army. His brother committed suicide while still in service. My friend cherished the shirt. The age, height, and weight match. The note pad. The glasses, were just cheap black rimmed glasses because that was all he could afford. I have not heard from him or any of his family since he left. I am going to try and contact someone in his family if I can find one of them. They are strewn all across the US.

I don't believe this truckers story at all!

Richard
12-03-2005, 12:13 PM
The "CHRIS" file says the trucker left Little Rock, Arkansas on May 16, 1987 with a load of toys to be delivered to Edison, New Jersey.

There is no reason in my mind why a trucker would be going by the Petro in Wytheville on his way to Edison, New Jersey if he were coming from Little Rock, Arkansas.
The Petro in Wytheville is approx. 50 miles from my home. This is the first time I have ever heard about this man being found. "Chris" has some disturbing similarities to a childhood friend of mine. A friend I haven't seen since around 1987, not absolutely sure about the year. I just know he left our hometown going to California. He wore a military shirt a lot. The shirt belonged to his much older brother who was in the army. His brother committed suicide while still in service. My friend cherished the shirt. The age, height, and weight match. The note pad. The glasses, were just cheap black rimmed glasses because that was all he could afford. I have not heard from him or any of his family since he left. I am going to try and contact someone in his family if I can find one of them. They are strewn all across the US.

I don't believe this truckers story at all!
Anything that a dirtbag (in this case, a confessed and convicted murderer) says has to be taken with a bit of salt. After all, they live lies daily.

However, what you say about this possibly being a person that you know, is very significant. Gather all the information that you have on that person, such as where and when he attended school, what his former addresses were, who his relatives are, etc. There may be records available which will help to determine whether or not this is your friend.

A school year book picture might be a valuable forensic aid. School records or letters in his handwriting could be used for comparison. If he is from a small town, perhaps an optometrist will have a record of his perscription, or a dentist will have his dental records.

Yaya
12-03-2005, 02:35 PM
Anything that a dirtbag (in this case, a confessed and convicted murderer) says has to be taken with a bit of salt. After all, they live lies daily.

However, what you say about this possibly being a person that you know, is very significant. Gather all the information that you have on that person, such as where and when he attended school, what his former addresses were, who his relatives are, etc. There may be records available which will help to determine whether or not this is your friend.

A school year book picture might be a valuable forensic aid. School records or letters in his handwriting could be used for comparison. If he is from a small town, perhaps an optometrist will have a record of his perscription, or a dentist will have his dental records.I talked with my mom this morning and she is trying to find a phone number so I can call one of his family members. I know the chances of it being my friend are slim but some of the things found with this "Chris" are so right. The recreation doesn't look like him.

All the info you talked about will be easy for me to get. Most of it I already know. We attended a private school together. My mom has a pic of him when he was around 12 years old, maybe 14. I will post as soon as I find out from his family where he is.

Yaya
12-04-2005, 07:02 PM
After many phone calls to California, Missouri, and Texas the best I can come up with my friend was last heard from in 1991 by one of his family members. Many of them had not talked with him since around 1985. This family was scattered and each sibling was running from their own demons. Only 3 out of the original 7 siblings know where each other are and communicate with any regularity. It is sad. When last heard from my friend was in Salinas California. The family broke off all ties with him after learning he had chosen a life style they didn't agree with.

MyJessieAngel
12-11-2005, 11:44 PM
After many phone calls to California, Missouri, and Texas the best I can come up with my friend was last heard from in 1991 by one of his family members. Many of them had not talked with him since around 1985. This family was scattered and each sibling was running from their own demons. Only 3 out of the original 7 siblings know where each other are and communicate with any regularity. It is sad. When last heard from my friend was in Salinas California. The family broke off all ties with him after learning he had chosen a life style they didn't agree with.
Could they have been wrong about the year? If most of them haven't heard from him since 1985, I would still be inclined to think that maybe it should be checked out. If he is buried, couldn't he be exhumed for a DNA sample? Couldn't they do a DNA comparison with a member of his family?
Just throwing out ideas here.

Yaya
12-12-2005, 08:06 AM
Could they have been wrong about the year? If most of them haven't heard from him since 1985, I would still be inclined to think that maybe it should be checked out. If he is buried, couldn't he be exhumed for a DNA sample? Couldn't they do a DNA comparison with a member of his family?
Just throwing out ideas here.
I don't think they got the date wrong... I believe the family member used the birth of a child to come up with the date she had last seen him.

I feel relieved not thinking it is him. But know he could still be missing someday and I would never know. I hope the bonds we formed will someday bring him back home for a visit.

Richard
12-12-2005, 12:24 PM
I don't think they got the date wrong... I believe the family member used the birth of a child to come up with the date she had last seen him.

I feel relieved not thinking it is him. But know he could still be missing someday and I would never know. I hope the bonds we formed will someday bring him back home for a visit.
Trying to remember dates of many years back is very difficult for some people. I know that sometimes I get confused about what events took place in what order, and sometimes interpose one event with another if I haven't thought about them in a long time.

If this relative didn't actually see the man and remember clearly because of a photo taken, or other solid thing, then I would place little confidence in the report. She could be remembering something someone said at the time and may have thought that they were speaking about that day rather than some years before.

Richard
05-13-2007, 02:38 PM
The 20 Year Anniversary of this young man's death is approaching. Keep an eye out for any articles or coverage. He is still unidentified.

Babyslims
05-13-2007, 04:52 PM
I had a question.. about the glasses... a what if question..... say his dad was in the military...... what kind of glasses would the son be issued? would they be the same type or something totally different? really wish they had more information ugh!

Richard
05-14-2007, 10:50 AM
I had a question.. about the glasses... a what if question..... say his dad was in the military...... what kind of glasses would the son be issued? would they be the same type or something totally different? really wish they had more information ugh!

Military dependants qualify for military medical benefits, but usually this does not include eyeglasses. Eye exams can be given to the spouses, sons and daughters, etc of active duty military personnel - depending on availablilty, work load, etc. Most often, however, the exams would be done by private providers paid for through the Tricare insurance program or its predecessor.

Even if the military provided the eye exam, the eyeglasses themselves would have to be ordered through commercial channels. So basically, a military dependant would wear any kind of frames available.

Today, the military personnel are allowed to order "Frames of Choice" along with the standard issue brown plastic frames or Aviator style frames. This means that they can now get anything commercially available. But back at the time of this Cold Case, the only frames that could be issued to military personnel were the plastic types or (if an aviator) the gold or stainless steel color Aviator frames.

Ms Suzanne
05-14-2007, 11:45 AM
Hi
quote
The "prior military" comes from the trucker and may not be true. The trucker/killer had a friend who had died that week, and he said Chris reminded him a lot of his military friend in actions and mannerism.


May I please ask some questions?What was his friends (the trucker's)name that died?Where was his friend from?Maybe this Unidentified man was from the same area or state or related to his friend in some way if his actions and mannerisms were the same.were the clothes and glasses this unidentified young man wearing his friends?How did his friend die?Maybe he was wearing the clothing to look tough.Do they know what was written on the notes?I was thinking maybe this young man got out of the military or went AWOL or he wanted to hike the appalachian trail so he was wearing those clothing for that purpose.where would he have started hiking the trail?In Georgia?was that where he was heading?The metal crucifix with chain will probably identify who this young man is.They should show a picture of this necklace.

suzanne

Babyslims
05-14-2007, 02:47 PM
Military dependants qualify for military medical benefits, but usually this does not include eyeglasses. Eye exams can be given to the spouses, sons and daughters, etc of active duty military personnel - depending on availablilty, work load, etc. Most often, however, the exams would be done by private providers paid for through the Tricare insurance program or its predecessor.

Even if the military provided the eye exam, the eyeglasses themselves would have to be ordered through commercial channels. So basically, a military dependant would wear any kind of frames available.

Today, the military personnel are allowed to order "Frames of Choice" along with the standard issue brown plastic frames or Aviator style frames. This means that they can now get anything commercially available. But back at the time of this Cold Case, the only frames that could be issued to military personnel were the plastic types or (if an aviator) the gold or stainless steel color Aviator frames.


Thank you very much!!! I wasn't sure how things went in the military! ;)

Cant wait to hear some answers to Suzannes post! lol! I always have a million questions that would seem like there should be easy answers to.. I just wish if there were other little things that would help identify people that whoever would release the information!!!!

assaf1981
07-07-2008, 07:45 PM
Here is another possible clue to his identity. The tape cassette.

Someone should tell the investigating officer about that.

assaf1981
07-07-2008, 07:46 PM
HEY!!!! Don't you think that, based on teh reconstruction, this guy looks a little bit creepy?

assaf1981
07-08-2008, 09:10 AM
http://www.doenetwork.org/cases/149umva.html

Some thoughts about that case. If you really look at the guy's reconstruction, don't you think he looks a little bit creepy? Looks like a guy who never once showed emotion.

Also, a possible clue to his identity could be on the cassette tape.

anthrobones
07-08-2008, 03:52 PM
He has a thread on Cold Cases. Here is the link, in case you want to read what has been said so far. I agree that the reconstruction looks strange.

http://www.websleuths.com/forums/showthread.php?t=32735

KarlK
07-10-2008, 12:49 PM
[...]the more telling clue would be the prescription, Army issue eyeglasses. Those frames were not "in style" as far as civilian wear was concerned. They are often referred to a "BC" glasses - a military acrynym meaning Birth Control Glasses, since wearing them tends to guarantee that you won't get any dates.

In CA we called such glasses "Hollys" (after Buddy Holly) and in the early 80's they were also known as "Devos" and although it's unclear whether or not the band Devo had anything to do with it towards the mid-1980's such glasses became fashionable among youths who identified with "nerd rock" and this coincided with the Vuarnet shades craze, which had a similar retro styling.

assaf1981
07-12-2008, 07:34 PM
I was wondering, can anyone think of a close match to any missing person or fugitive reports closest to this guy?

webrocket
04-13-2011, 07:30 AM
here is the Namus link to this UID, with no rule-outs listed at all:

https://identifyus.org/cases/6248

The UID is listed as being about 5'4", which is very short for a white male in this country and he was apparently formerly in the service. you would think that the military could find a list of white men, 5'4" plus or minus, who had glasses ordered through the VA with a specific prescription, unless of course old records like that are either gone or were never digitized.

in Namus I found no missing white men with brown hair between 1/1/80 - 5/31/1987 in the 5'1"-5'7" range.

buffetoflies
08-20-2011, 01:20 PM
http://www.doenetwork.org/cases/1320dmks.html
This guy maybe? His h/w isn't listed. I checked namus but he's not on there. I tried looking other places but no luck. He'd be the right age, and he has brown hair.. and well I think he could have picked up that shirt and glasses anywhere.

tifflee
08-21-2011, 03:21 PM
Couple fyis on this case. The sketch of him could be completely off. It was done by an artist based on what the killer told the artist the guy looked like. His skull was fractured so badly there was no possibility of putting it together to do a reconstruction.

The "prior military" comes from the trucker and may not be true. The trucker/killer had a friend who had died that week, and he said Chris reminded him a lot of his military friend in actions and mannerism.


I did not see any reference in the Doenetwork file to those statements by the trucker. I only drew my conclusions from the two military items found with the victim, those being the Spec 4 patch on a military shirt, and a pair of military issue prescription glasses.

I cannot find where John Swartz made the comments regarding a military friend, but I did find his obituary where it states he served in the military himself. He was killed in prison on December 11, 1999 (http://nl.newsbank.com/nl-search/we/Archives?p_product=RO&p_theme=ro&p_action=search&p_maxdocs=200&p_topdoc=1&p_text_direct-0=0EAEA64B30997427&p_field_direct-0=document_id&p_perpage=10&p_sort=YMD_date:D) in an altercation with another inmate. The article linked requires membership to view the entire text, but the blurb available is:


CONVICTED MURDERER KILLED IN PRISON Published on December 14, 1999. Article 1 of 1 found.

Page: B3
An inmate was killed over the weekend during an altercation with another prisoner at the Sussex 1 State Prison, corrections officials said Monday. John Stephen Swartz, who was serving a life sentence for a 1987 murder along Interstate 81 in Rockbridge County, became involved in an incident with another inmate at about 10 p.m. Saturday at the maximum-security prison in Southside Virginia.Larry Traylor, spokesman for the Department of Corrections, could not say how Swartz, 48, was


His obituary in the Houston Chronicle (http://www.chron.com/CDA/archives/archive.mpl/obits_3373770/john-stephen-swartz.html):


JOHN STEPHEN SWARTZ
Sunday 01/02/2000 Houston Chronicle, Section Unknown, Page , Edition

JOHN STEPHEN SWARTZ, age 48, of Pasadena, passed away December 11, 1999 in Waverly, Virginia. Mr. Swartz was a veteran of the U.S. Army serving two years in Vietnam. Preceded in death by his mother, Joyce Swartz in 1995. He is survived by his father, John M. Swartz of Pasadena; as well as two sisters, Brenda Ermel and Becky Swartz; three brothers, Donald Swartz, Daniel Swartz & Michael Swartz; and a grandmother, Mrs. Garnet Swartz. Memorial Services are Monday, January 3 at 7:00 p.m. Carter Funeral Home.

It would seem that if Chris Doe did have military mannerisms, Swartz would have picked up on them himself.

tifflee
08-21-2011, 03:26 PM
One thing that is not mentioned in the information about this man is his shoes. So much information can be gained sometimes by knowing what type of shoes a person wears. How a person walks (or runs), type of wear patterns, stylish versus practical, etc can be learned by studying the shoes. Shoe size itself might be a crucial bit of identifying information.

I find that this is a common omission in many of the Doenetwork files and those on other websites.

Forrest Gump hit the nail on the head at the very beginning of the movie when he starts his narrative with remarks about those "Comfortable Shoes..."

According to the UID's NamUs file and also reflected in the Doe Network profile now, he was wearing "Brown slipover shoes."

The updated Doe Network profile says (new parts bolded):


Clothing: Spec. 4 military shirt and a brown winter coat with wool/fur interior. Blue jeans with brown belt and Longhorn Steer, square belt buckle. White sweatsocks with green/yellow ankle stripes. Brown slipover shoes. He had a metal Crucifix with chain, switch blade knife, cigarette lighter, cassette tape, eye glasses, pocket size memo pad and $10.12 in cash.

tifflee
08-21-2011, 03:42 PM
A few things to add.

UID's Eyewear
According to NamUs,
Glasses were similar to the type issued by the Veterans Administration to Vets. The glasses is for a near sighted person, the prescription is as follows:

Right O.D. -2.25 Spherical 5ph Cylindrical
Left OS -2.25 Spherical 5ph Cylindrical

Distance pd = 61mm
BC 4.25 OV
Single vision clear glass I know this thread had a lot of discussion on military issue eyeglasses. Was there a difference back then between what eyewear active duty and veterans received? It seems like NamUs differentiates the UID's pair as being one from the Veterans Administration - so can we infer that if he was in the military, this pair was received after he got out?

The reconstruction & military records
According to this article (available in full) from The Free Lance-Star on August 5, 1988 (http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=6P5NAAAAIBAJ&sjid=04sDAAAAIBAJ&pg=1258,5180552&dq=john-stephen-swartz&hl=en):


The victim's fingerprints could not be matched with FBI collections of military personnel and arrested people, he matches no missing person's reports and the man who admitted killing him will say little about his victim. After exhausting these possibilities, police had a sculpture formed by an artist who studied the dead man's skull.Would there be any reason for the UID's fingerprints to not be in military records? I know records were likely not digitized then, so would it be beneficial to run fingerprint searches again?

Also, per the Doe Network profile and what was mentioned previously in this thread, I thought the reconstruction was done based off of Swartz's comments, but it seems like they did do it off of the victim's skull.

Interesting tidbit on UID's hiking plans
Also from the Free Lance-Star article (http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=6P5NAAAAIBAJ&sjid=04sDAAAAIBAJ&pg=1258,5180552&dq=john-stephen-swartz&hl=en):

The best they could tell was the man appeared to be an inexperienced hiker who may have been going to the Appalachian trail, Peters said. A shopping list found on the man's body included bulky items like paper plates and plastic forks that seasoned hikers would not use.I wonder if his shopping list was written on the memo pad found on the UID. It would also explain how they knew he misspelled simple words.

Swartz's claim that he did not talk much with his victim
Again, from the Free Lance-Star article (http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=6P5NAAAAIBAJ&sjid=04sDAAAAIBAJ&pg=1258,5180552&dq=john-stephen-swartz&hl=en):

About all Swartz will say is that he didn't talk much with his victim, a story Peters doesn't buy.

"They didn't talk about sports. They didn't talk about the military. They didn't talk about girls or wives or drinking or anything men normally talk about," Peters said. "Everytime I talk to him, he tells me a different story."All in all, quite a strange set of details. I wonder if the belt is Swartz's since he has the Texas connection. Maybe the victim's clothing is all a red herring?

rob525
11-23-2012, 04:20 PM
There was a fire that destroyed army records for those discharged prior to 1960 but that would put "Chris" at being at least 45ish. NamUs says 20-40.

I wondered about the military angle. I joined in 1989 and remember being finger printed. So I do not know why his prints would not show up if he was in fact exmilitary 21-22 years of age in 1987. Also in the Navy, to reach E-4 you have to pass an exam and score in a certain percentile to make that grade. The difficulty of achieving this depends on what field you are in.I was just thinking about the odds that someone who misspells simple words would make E-4.

hayaletcatcher
03-28-2014, 05:54 PM
The NamUs profile has been updated this month (is there anyway to know what is added?)

There are photos of the jewelry which I see is mentioned on this thread but wasn't viewable at the time.

There is also a 25 person rule out list now.

https://identifyus.org/cases/6248