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  1. #1
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    MA - New Bedford, WhtFem 174UFMA, 30-45, emerald ring from Belarus, Oct'96

    With all of the recent talk about Washoe County Jane Doe (i.e., a possibly European female UID), I was reminded of this case involving a possibly Eastern European or Russian woman which hasn't attracted much discussion. I don't have any possible matches for this case, but maybe our newbie expert on Eastern European matters might be interested in this case.

    The Doe Network:
    Case File 174UFMA
    http://www.doenetwork.org/cases/174ufma.html


    Sketch of Victim by David R. Wood
    WARNING: POSTMORTEM PHOTO AT LINK:
    http://inlinethumb40.webshots.com/20...600x600Q85.jpg

    Unidentified White Female

    * Located on October 30, 1996 in New Bedford, Bristol County, Massachusetts.
    * Cause of death was homicide. The victim had been hit in the face and head and shot a dozen times.

    Vital Statistics

    * Estimated age: 30 - 45 years old
    * Approximate Height and Weight: 5'2"; 127 lbs.
    * Distinguishing Characteristics: Shoulder-length hair, dyed strawberry blonde within a month of her killing. Her natural color was light brown. Brown/hazel eyes. Though her ears were pierced, she wore no earrings. Her toenails were painted but her fingernails were not. Her hands were not callused. She didn't shave her legs or her armpits. She was well groomed. She was petite and looked European.
    * Dentals: Available. She'd had some dental work done, fillings and root canals, most judged by a forensics expert to be too poor in quality to have been done in the United States. But one root canal, less than five years old, was done in US.
    * Clothing: A mustard-color long-sleeve turtleneck, size medium, made by Licorice, under a white pullover sweater. The sweater had multicolored rectangular designs. It was a size medium, brand name Oakbrook, probably bought mail-order a decade ago. Blue Levi's 521 jeans and black ankle High Lites high tie boots with chunky-style heels. Pantyhose, underwear and cotton socks.
    * Jewelry: A gold ring with an emerald colored stone, with no inscription on her left ring finger. Experts say it comes from Belarus, part of the old Soviet Union.
    * Fingerprints: Available
    * AKA: "Popes Island Jane Doe"


    Ring worn by victim

    Case History
    The victim was found floating off of Popes Island Marina in New Bedford, MA.
    Her body was found wrapped in two green garbage bags and a white and teal wool blanket, the kind common to fishing boats. She was found by a maintenance worker at the Popes Island Marina.
    She was found at the marina within 24 hours of being dumped in the water and within 48 hours of being killed.
    Investigators believe the body might have been dumped in the water elsewhere, and that the current eventually pushed it to the dock.
    Copies of the woman's fingerprints was sent to the FBI and Interpol.
    She probably never had children. And there is no evidence of drug use.
    There was no sign of sexual assault.
    Investigators think things like the Russian ring, the unshaved legs, the poor dental work point to an immigrant from eastern Europe. The fact that checks of visas and immigration records of fingerprints and photos have turned up empty could mean an illegal immigrant.

    Investigators
    If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
    Trooper Ann Marie Robertson
    Massachusetts State Police Detective Unit
    Bristol County District Attorney's Office
    508-993-2016
    --
    New Bedford Police
    508-991-6320

    Agency Case Number: 96-20704
    Last edited by CarlK90245; 03-14-2013 at 10:10 PM.

  2. #2
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    Wow -
    My only real thought is:
    the ring looks like a "committment ring" (for lack of a better word in English).
    People baptized into the Russian Orthodox church often wear rings that symbolize their commitment to their faith. (My daughter has a "Jesus Prayer" ring --- I will try to post a picture of it later.)

    The picture of this woman's ring is very low quality but it looks like a "vine" ring ---
    It symbolizes this passage from the Bible and they are popular with Orthodox women:
    New International Version (1984)
    "I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing."

    This is so sad.
    My other thoughts are:
    The clothing appears to be sort of a "mish mash". I'm thinking she was receiving donated clothing from a charity or a church.

    Is there an Orthodox church anywhere in the vicinity of where she was found???

  3. #3
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    She was wearing the ring on her left ring finger.

    Unlike us in the west, in the Eastern Orthodox world, when you get married, you wear your wedding on your RIGHT ring finger.
    She was wearing a religious ring on her LEFT. That means she was open to the idea of marriage/relationships.
    If she were living as a monastic "in the world", and planning for a religious life later (in a convent) she would have been wearing the ring on her RIGHT finger.

    Thank you for posting this --- I am so sad for this young woman and her death touches my heart.
    I will pray for her at Church and if there is anything else I can offer, I will...I promise.

  4. #4
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    Does anyone know how far Brookline is from New Bedford???

    There is a Russian Orthodox monastery in Brookline.
    Holy Transfiguration Monastery
    She might have checked in with the monks if she was as religious as I suspect.

  5. #5
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    Here is a map of Orthodox churches in Massachusetts and surrounding area.

    http://maps.google.com/maps?oe=utf-8...139343&t=h&z=9

    The closest church to New Bedford is near the red marker labeled "A".

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rindicella View Post
    Does anyone know how far Brookline is from New Bedford???

    There is a Russian Orthodox monastery in Brookline.
    Holy Transfiguration Monastery
    She might have checked in with the monks if she was as religious as I suspect.
    Brookline is about 60 miles from New Bedford.

    http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&sour...092896&t=h&z=9

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by CarlK90245 View Post
    Here is a map of Orthodox churches in Massachusetts and surrounding area.

    http://maps.google.com/maps?oe=utf-8...139343&t=h&z=9

    The closest church to New Bedford is near the red marker labeled "A".
    Well, what I'm about to say is going to sound a little strange to non-Orthodox people...but you have no idea how far a religious Russian will go to attend a RUSSIAN church....
    Not to be glib or make light of this but I'm serious...Russians are serious about being Russian.

    I'm looking at the map and printing it out for easier reference. It looks like closest Russian church is a bit far, but very conceivable she would take a bus to get there.
    It's not unusual for people in her position to go to a Greek church, say, for weekday services, and then make a longer trip on Sundays to be "home".

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rindicella View Post
    Well, what I'm about to say is going to sound a little strange to non-Orthodox people...but you have no idea how far a religious Russian will go to attend a RUSSIAN church....
    Not to be glib or make light of this but I'm serious...Russians are serious about being Russian.

    I'm looking at the map and printing it out for easier reference. It looks like closest Russian church is a bit far, but very conceivable she would take a bus to get there.
    It's not unusual for people in her position to go to a Greek church, say, for weekday services, and then make a longer trip on Sundays to be "home".
    Interesting observations. Mind if I ask a few questions? I am very interested in how you arrive at your conclusions.

    How do you get from one emerald cabochon ring (popular European vintage ring) to religious Greek Orthodox, very religious woman who may be wearing hand-me-downs from a charity?

    ETA: Below are MY responses to the post.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    1)The predominant immigrant population at that time in New Bedford was Jewish.
    2) The woman had polished toenails.
    3) She was not dressed suggestive of a homeless or transient person.
    4) Her hands were not calloused and she appeared well groomed.
    5) Her hair was dyed.............etc.etc..........................
    Last edited by Mensch; 07-20-2010 at 05:07 PM.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mensch View Post
    Interesting observations. Mind if I ask a few questions? I am very interested in how you arrive at your conclusions.

    How do you get from one emerald cabochon ring (popular European vintage ring) to religious Greek Orthodox, very religious woman who may be wearing hand-me-downs from a charity?

    1)The predominant immigrant population at that time in New Bedford was Jewish.
    2) The woman had polished toenails.
    3) She was not dressed suggestive of a homeless or transient person.
    4) Her hands were not calloused and she appeared well groomed.
    5) Her hair was dyed.............etc.etc..........................
    Regarding the ring, see my post above. It is a popular design among Russian Orthodox women for religious Russian Orthodox reasons.

    One doesn't have to be wealthy in order to be "well groomed". The toenails vs. the fingernails doesn't really mean anything. Right now, my toes are painted and my fingers are not.

    I never said she was Greek Orthodox. I said she might have gone to a Greek Orthodox Church since that is what is available in the immediate area. The Greek Orthodox and the Russian Orthodox religion is the same. The only differnence is in language and cultural custom. The fact that she is wearing a ring that is not just "popular design" but in particular, popular among women of hte same religious persuasion, tells me it is significant. And if she IS Russian, then the placement of the ring IS significant.

    From the flyer: "Experts say the ring comes from Belarus, part of the old Soviet Union".

  10. #10
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    Also, I would like to add, they are not "conclusions". They are only my own thoughts based on the information available.
    Last edited by Cubby; 07-22-2010 at 04:43 PM. Reason: remove unnecc info


  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rindicella View Post
    Regarding the ring, see my post above. It is a popular design among Russian Orthodox women for religious Russian Orthodox reasons.

    One doesn't have to be wealthy in order to be "well groomed". The toenails vs. the fingernails doesn't really mean anything. Right now, my toes are painted and my fingers are not.

    I never said she was Greek Orthodox. I said she might have gone to a Greek Orthodox Church since that is what is available in the immediate area. The Greek Orthodox and the Russian Orthodox religion is the same. The only differnence is in language and cultural custom. The fact that she is wearing a ring that is not just "popular design" but in particular, popular among women of hte same religious persuasion, tells me it is significant. And if she IS Russian, then the placement of the ring IS significant.

    From the flyer: "Experts say the ring comes from Belarus, part of the old Soviet Union".
    Nail polish is relevant if one is suggesting she is a transient.
    ....So, we (reasonably) eliminate her as a homeless person, being she was well groomed and her hands were not calloused?

    Also consider the fact her clothing was of different brands does not mean she got them from charity. How can it be logically assumed that a woman got her clothing from charity because the brand labels did not match? What woman wears every article of clothing exclusively from one designer? So are we to still assume she got her clothing from a charity or some other handout?

    I don't know about Greek or Russian Orthodox, but I do know about Jewish Orthodox. It has NOT been determined she was of any of these persuasions. Perhaps she was not even religious? Would you be so kind as to point us to a reference to her ring being of religious significance? I understand where it was made. That does not make it automatically a "religious" item. That would be most helpful to have before we assume this woman was known to the monks in the area.
    Last edited by Mensch; 07-20-2010 at 04:46 PM.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rindicella View Post
    Also, I would like to add, they are not "conclusions". They are only my own thoughts based on the information available.
    Cases are posted here for general discussion. We generally offer up a reason for making our observations. We do not take questions as attacks but as attempts to understand the logic behind the direction one wants to take a particular case. I don't think you will find anyone posting here who is not genuinely interested in solving these cases and each one is willing to help. Sometimes we just have to back up and get a clearer perspective.
    Last edited by Cubby; 07-22-2010 at 04:45 PM. Reason: remove unappv'd portion of quote

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mensch View Post
    Nail polish is relevant if one is suggesting she is a transient.
    ....So, we (reasonably) eliminate her as a homeless person, being she was well groomed and her hands were not calloused?

    Also consider the fact her clothing was of different brands does not mean she got them from charity. How can it be logically assumed that a woman got her clothing from charity because the brand labels did not match? What woman wears every article of clothing exclusively from one designer? So are we to still assume she got her clothing from a charity or some other handout?

    I don't know about Greek or Russian Orthodox, but I do know about Jewish Orthodox. It has NOT been determined she was of any of these persuasions. Perhaps she was not even religious? Would you be so kind as to point us to a reference to her ring being of religious significance? I understand where it was made. That does not make it automatically a "religious" item. That would be most helpful to have before we assume this woman was knows to the monks in the area.

    Please, I did not assume anything. I simply said that this type of ring is common among women of a particular religious persuasion.

    Here is a photo of a Russian Orthodox ring that includes the vine design, which is common:


  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rindicella View Post
    Please, I did not assume anything. I simply said that this type of ring is common among women of a particular religious persuasion.

    Here is a photo of a Russian Orthodox ring that includes the vine design, which is common:

    Uh....huh.
    I don't see the relevance since this is an entirely different ring. But I have work to do. All the best!

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mensch View Post
    Uh....huh.
    I don't see the relevance since this is an entirely different ring. But I have work to do. All the best!
    I am really sorry I seem to have offended you in some way.

    Orthodox Judaism is a completely different religion than Russian and Greek Orthodoxy. These types of ring designs are common among people of Russian Orthodox Christian persuasion. That is all I was trying to say.
    Since I am Orthodox myself I couldn't help but notice it.

    I have never pretended to be anything other than an ordinary person who stumbled in this site. I am not familiar with your methods and only hung around because I was invited to do so. I am very sorry I offended you.

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