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06-10-2010, 12:46 AM #1
WI - Clinton, WhtMale 1207UMWI, 17-20, "Venom" TShirt, Nov'95
The Doe Network:
Case File 1207UMWI http://www.doenetwork.org/cases/1207umwi.html
NamUs UP Case 4757 https://identifyus.org/cases/4757
Sketch of Victim
Unidentified White Male
* The victim was discovered on November 26, 1995 near Clinton, Rock County, Wisconsin
* Skeletal Remains
* Estimated age: 17-20 years old
* Approximate Height and Weight: 5’6”, 140 lbs.
* Distinguishing Characteristics: Long, collar-length, straight brown hair.
* Clothing: Urban camouflage fatigues size small-regular; black t-shirt bearing gold in color "Venom" heavy metal rock logo of five-point star encompassing a ram’s head; green, maroon, and white plaid flannel jacket with lines; boxers style "Bart Simpson" design size medium/34; black "Nike Air Bound" basketball shoes, size 9 1/2.
* Jewelry: Black "Aquatech" quartz watch; Ram’s head pendant hand-crafted from a dinner fork
* Dentals: Dental chart, x-rays, and photographs of teeth available
* DNA: Mitochondrial and Nuclear DNA profiles available at UNT-CHI and National CODIS
* SIA: Stable Isotope Analysis completed indicating deceased spent much of his formative years in WI, MI, and MN
The victim was located by hunters near Clinton, Wisconsin on November 26, 1995. Forensic autopsy and forensic anthropology evaluations were conducted in 1995. Subsequent investigation and witness interviews have revealed that a subject wearing clothing similar to that found on the deceased was observed running in the Turtle Creek on October 16, 1994, near the location where the remains were discovered. Subsequently dubbed "River Guy" the subject was described as appearing intoxicated at the time. No positive connection between River Guy and JCD has been established.
If you have any information about this case please contact:
Rock County Sheriff’s Office
Case # 95-7116
Rock County Medical Examiner Department
Case # 95-14453
Wisconsin Clearinghouse for Missing & Exploited Children & Adults
New Look Investigations; Find JCD Project
Last edited by CarlK90245; 08-19-2015 at 06:46 PM. Reason: Revised information per LE Request.
06-10-2010, 12:47 AM #2
I found a few possibles that were reasonably close for this UID, but this one seemed to be the strongest possible.
Kenneth Gilbert Joseph Blais
- Height: 5'7" - Within Range of 5'6" to 5'10"
- Weight: 140 lbs - Exact Match to UID's estimated weight
- Age: 27 - Within Range of 20-27
- DLC: 14-Sep-94 - 32 days before a person fitting victim's description was believed to have been seen running in Turtle Creek.
- Physical Characteristics: Long dark hair, beard and mustache. Consistent with UID.
- Dentals: Still had full-set of teeth, which I interpret to include wisdom teeth. UID still had all four wisdom teeth (per NamUs), and only missing teeth were lost postmortem.
- Circumstances: Apparently left home voluntarily and brought a duffel bag with him, remains were found nearly 700 miles from hometown of Sturgeon Falls. Path from Sturgeon Falls to Clinton WI follows a fairly straight line via border crossing in Sault Ste. Marie.
- The remains were found in the opposite direction from home from his presumed destination (i.e., Ottawa).
- Was he a fan of heavy metal music - to correspond with "Venom" tee shirt?
- Where is his duffel bag?
Last edited by CarlK90245; 10-12-2012 at 02:30 PM.
06-10-2010, 09:55 AM #3
I've felt bad for this John Doe for a while, especially after reading this article about him: http://gazettextra.com/news/2010/apr...ouded-mystery/
It states he was seen struggling in the creek by three people. He told one that he was a fugitive she'd read about later in the newspaper, and the other two heard him yelling about a woman who had left him. I've checked a few "most wanted" sites but haven't found anyone who looks much like him, and if he was wanted for a crime it's unclear whether it was something minor or truly something newsworthy.
I submitted Donald Merrills (10-1-94, CA) as a potential match, based solely on stats and appearance since there's nothing written about the circumstances of his disappearance:
but was told in a follow-up phone call it was ruled out since Merrills had had his wisdom teeth removed and John Doe still had his. Rock County LE was helpful and I trust they'll look into your potential match.
06-10-2010, 11:32 AM #4
The article says that DoeNet turned in three possibles, two of which had wisdom teeth removed, and one that didn't. But the one that didn't was also ruled out on dentition.
I wonder if Kenneth Blais was the one who still had wisdom teeth.
06-10-2010, 02:14 PM #5
I called the Rock County Sherriff. He said that Kenneth Blais had not been looked at. I gave him the info and he will look into it.
He gave me the names of four possibles that had been looked at and ruled out:
James Michael Baker
He also said that the decedent had a unique medallion which they traced to a local craftsman. For that reason, they think that the John Doe might be from the area.
06-10-2010, 02:27 PM #6
Very interesting case, especially the part about him being a fugitive that she read about "later" in the paper. So didnt she give LE the name of the fugitive she read about or did he say that she "would" read about him in the paper. I am searching fugitives from that time on google archive to see if I find anything. Only thing I saw that was big news during 9/1-10/16/94 was the Diane Borchardt case where she got some teens to kill her husband in Ohio, she was found in Wisconsin at family's house. I only saw where she and one boy where convicted but the story said there where 3 youths.Cindi Lou
Some people may consider me crazy, I say I'm just inspired.
06-10-2010, 02:49 PM #7
I found a homocide Aug 26,1994 in Rock County. Woman's body found outside adult novelty store. Can't see the complete article. Will search somemore on this one.Cindi Lou
Some people may consider me crazy, I say I'm just inspired.
06-10-2010, 02:51 PM #8
It states at the above link that the three youths were:
Douglas E. Vest Jr. (17)
Michael Maldonado (16)
Joshua Yanke (17)
It appears that all three have been accounted for, as Vest was on trial, Yanke was sentenced to 18 years in prison, and the Maldonado was awaiting trial.
06-10-2010, 03:08 PM #9
BRADFORD TOWNSHIP — Hunters found the skeleton near a creek. A black and gold heavy metal T-shirt, camouflage pants and Bart Simpson underwear lay over the bones.
The corpse was on a steep embankment above Turtle Creek, masked in dense woods on a private 100-acre farm. Leaves and branches partially covered the remains. It was a half-mile to a mile from any roads.
“I remember taking my gun and kind of poking at his pants and his skull,” said Gary Gilbank, who found the body. “I was just a little bit dismayed.”
Since that November day in 1995, Rock County sheriff’s investigators have been trying to solve the mystery of the skeleton near the creek.
Detectives have explored missing persons, eyewitness accounts, serial killer theories and DNA evidence. The death is the agency’s only John Doe cold case.
Who is John Doe? How did he die? What was he doing in the middle of nowhere? Why hasn’t anyone reported him missing?
All detectives know is that he was 15 to 23 years old, about 140 pounds and 5 feet 6 inches tall. He had long dark hair with a beard.
“It would be nice to identify the person, to know who he is,” said detective Warren Yoerger, who is investigating the case. “I believe that there is somebody out there that is missing him.”
The bones were found at 9 a.m. Nov. 26, 1995, near Waite Road and Highway 140 in Bradford Township.
A red and green flannel jacket was over the skeleton like a blanket. Underneath, a T-shirt with the words “Welcome to Hell” and “Venom 1987” was around the torso.
A black quartz watch was around the wrist. A Budweiser butane lighter with the writing “Proud to be your Bud” was in a pant pocket.
A yellow tube of Carmex and a chrome pendant of a goat’s head were lying on the ground. One size 9½, black Nike Air tennis shoe was found nearby. The other was missing.
The skeleton was in pieces, with the pelvis found 6 feet from the skull. The body was on its stomach. The head was 4 feet from a barbed-wire fence.
Detectives researched missing persons, runaways, hit-and-run accidents and vehicle tows to find leads. Nothing turned up. Everyone was accounted for.
An autopsy could not determine the cause of death. The bones had no evidence of trauma or damaged bones.
A forensic pathologist thought the boy had died a year before. He estimated his age to be in the late teens.
Hair samples were taken to test for drugs. The results were negative for cocaine, codeine and morphine. The teeth showed the boy had received dental care.
The sheriff’s office issued a news release a few days after the body was found. News coverage provided several leads.
A man who lives along Turtle Creek was on his deck Oct. 16, 1994, when he saw a man walking in the creek. He told detectives the man was wearing camouflage pants and a flannel shirt.
He thought the man seemed intoxicated. He saw him fall in the water two or three times. He heard him yelling and screaming about his girlfriend or wife leaving him.
A second witness saw the same man.
She heard him say, “How could she do this to me?” She said the man tried to climb a bank to get out of the creek. He fell back down the hill.
When he saw her, he yelled, “What are you looking at. You’re just like the rest of them.”
He also yelled, “Get out of here and leave me alone.”
The woman last saw him sitting on the creek’s bank.
A third witness also saw a man with the same description. She also said the man was in the middle of the creek.
The man looked at her and yelled, “I’m a fugitive. You’ll read about me in the paper.”
That same night, a caller reported a suspicious person walking down Turtle Creek near Highway 140. A deputy responded and found a disabled vehicle in the area. The deputy gave the vehicle’s driver a ride.
The stranded motorist was likely not the reported suspicious person.
Case goes cold
The eyewitnesses didn’t ever lead to an identity for the body. A car was never found that might have belonged to him. And if a woman had left him, she never reported him missing.
The case went cold
Fourteen years later, the Doe Network called the sheriff’s office in May 2009 and thought the Turtle Creek body might belong to one of three missing persons.
The Doe Network is a volunteer organization that helps law enforcement solve the identity of people in cold cases.
The Doe Network’s missing persons weren’t local, though.
“When I first got the tips from the Doe Network, I didn’t feel too confident,” Yoerger said.
Dental records ruled out a match.
The Turtle Creek body still had its wisdom teeth. Two of the missing persons had their wisdom teeth removed. The third missing person had dental records that didn’t match.
‘Smiley face killers’
A Michigan man who learned about the case online told investigators in May 2009 that he thought it could be linked to the “smiley face killers.”
The “smiley face killers” theory is that a murderer or group of murderers travel in the Midwest and lure intoxicated college men from bars and drown them in water.
A smiley face graffiti symbol found near the bodies has been connected to some of the cases. Two retired New York City detectives developed the theory. They claim they’ve linked 40 cases in 11 states.
But most of the smiley face deaths have been ruled accidental drowning. No evidence indicates foul play.
The smiley face cases also happened in large cities or college towns. The Turtle Creek body was found in a remote location. Witnesses also reported seeing John Doe alone.
The smiley face lead was never followed.
“I didn’t put much credibility in that,” Yoerger said. “It’s just a theory or hypothesis.”
John Doe’s skull was cremated and his bones were buried in Johnstown Cemetery. A John Doe headstone listing the date the body was found remains in the cemetery.
Investigators dug up the skeleton Dec. 11, 2009, to get a DNA sample off the bones. They hoped they could match the DNA to a missing person or relative.
When they unearthed the body, the casket was deteriorated. Its lid had broken apart and collapsed. A thick, white plastic liner was inside the coffin.
One femur, one vertebra and one rib were sent to the University of North Texas Center for Human Identification.
Investigators didn’t get a hit off the DNA profile. The DNA was entered in a database for a possible match in the future.
The skeleton was then placed in a new coffin and buried at the cemetery.
Holding out hope
Detectives will continue reviewing the case every year, Capt. Todd Christiansen said. Any new leads will be followed.
Maybe future technology will help solve the case.
Investigators said John Doe could have drowned or overdosed on drugs.
“But, because of skeletal remains, there is no way to determine that,” Yoerger said.
Investigators said the man was likely from the region, although probably not local.
He must be someone’s son, brother or friend.
“What doesn’t make sense is that nobody has reported him as a missing person that we’re aware of,” Christiansen said.
Investigators still have John Doe’s personal belongings stored at the Rock County Coroner’s Office. They hope to someday return them to his family.
“It would just be nice to find out who he is,” Christiansen said.Cindi Lou
Some people may consider me crazy, I say I'm just inspired.
06-10-2010, 03:33 PM #10
I am from Wisconsin and ran with the same type of "heavy metal" crowd around the time of this case. I always thought this guy looked a lot like a person I would see around the Oak Creek/South Milwaukee area circa 1992-1994. The thing that kind of sucks is that us "metal" guys...if we didn't know a persons name wouldn't ask and would just call each other "dude". I remember he was shorter then me (I'm 5'11) however at the time fairly stocky. I'm going to ask around; I may have to connect with a few people I'd rather not reconnect with....but I have a hunch this guy may have lived in SE Wisconsin.
He was a bit older then me (I'm 33 now) and matches the description.
Custom jewelry makers near Rock County, Wisconsin- most are in Madison (not far) and that last link is from Janesville, WI....which basically is the hub of Rock County.
Last edited by masnitram; 06-10-2010 at 05:33 PM. Reason: added jewelry makers;
06-11-2010, 08:09 AM #11
Sleuthster, just to specify, the witness didn't actually read about him in the paper afterward. He told her something to the effect of "I'm a fugitive and you'll read about me in the newspaper." This may have been drunken ranting or something he said to make her keep her distance, unless he really was hiding for some crime.
"You'll read about me in the paper" -- Did he mean she should expect to see a fugitive report matching his description, by which time he'd be long gone, or did he mean he somehow expected to die in the creek and his body would be found soon after and linked to a fugitive report?
The article doesn't make it clear if any of the three witnesses actually called police the same night they saw him splashing through the creek or if they were interviewed after his body was found a year later. The guy probably didn't have much of a chance, being intoxicated and soaked to the skin in mid-October in Wisconsin.
06-11-2010, 10:14 AM #12
Rock County .pdf on the UID: http://www.missingpersons.doj.wi.gov...identified.pdf
Most likely this was the locally-made pendant's design, an official Venom pentagram-encompassing-a-ram's-head logo: http://www.venomslegions.com/news/20.../wth-jap09.gif
Interestingly, Venom broke up sometime after 1992 and did not reform with its "classic" lineup until 1995, so the band was defunct at the time of the UID's death: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Venom_(...2.80.931996.29
06-11-2010, 12:30 PM #13ebook Bad Fairies available from Torridbooks.com, Amazon, B&N
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His words could just be ranting, but it sounds like he could have at least thought he committed a crime that would land him in the newspapers.
The Following User Says Thank You to carbuff For This Useful Post:
06-11-2010, 12:35 PM #14ebook Bad Fairies available from Torridbooks.com, Amazon, B&N
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I found this about cold cases in the Janesville area -- new article:
06-11-2010, 01:49 PM #15Registered User
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So sad. I wonder if this young man could have previously been in the military, maybe got a "Dear John" letter and was suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome. Lots of veterans that come back from the military with the PTSS don't shave and grow their hair long just trying not to associate with the person they were in the military. (Don't know where the fugitive thing would come from though, unless the PTSS makes you delusional?)
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