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  1. #1
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    WA - Bellingham, WhtMale 862UMWA, 27-37, in Georgia Pacific chimney, Sep'87

    Very little info available. I am going to try to find out who is in charge of this case and see what they can tell us.



    Detective Revisit Cold Case
    Detectives Revisit Cold Case
    POSTED: 11:10 am PST October 31, 2006
    UPDATED: 12:00 pm PST October 31, 2006

    BELLINGHAM, Wash. -- Detectives in Whatcom County are asking for the public's help identifying a man whose charred remains were found in a chimney at Bellingham’s Georgia Pacific Plant nearly two decades ago.
    Last edited by CarlK90245; 04-01-2013 at 06:39 PM.

  2. #2
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    I watched video last night and took some notes:

    This happend at a Georgia Pacific Steam Plant.

    Body Discovered 1987.

    Did he fall, was he pushed, suicide?

    The stack he was discovered in is no longer there.

    The skeleton was charred, almost completely burned.

    NO wallet, no id, no keys, no usable DNA.

    Possible dentals...."he had dental work with silver and gold fillings, it was not indigent dental work, it was good quality care for tha time frame of the mid 80's"

    Continental Airline ticket OR baggage claim.

  3. #3
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    Some more info:


    He was found by a worker checking for a possible water leak.

    Body was found on 9/20/87.

    He is estimated @ 5'8" to 5'9", 130-155 lbs

    Age guess is 20-40

    He was found atop parallel pipes near the botton of the chimney.

    Estimated time of entrance into chimney-coulda been a few days-coulda been a few weeks.

    They found denim pants, denim jacket, lightweight shirt & rubber soled shoes. The coat was off and under the body, the shirt was drapped or wrapped around one ankle.

    No missing workers reported.

    No abandoned vehicle found.

    The skeleton had broken legs, ankle and pelvis (they say this suggests he entered throught he top not the side hatch near the bottom)



    More info

    Found another article with some add'l info:

  4. #4
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    More info about the chimney/smoke stack:

    To get there, he had to climb three flights of stairs, or ride a conveyor belt, inside the steam plant, then exit a door onto the roof.

    The chimney was 10 feet square and just more than 17 feet high, nestled close to a brick wall and some support structures. The opening on top was about 4˝ feet wide. The opening wasn’t visible from the catwalk at the base of the chimney, but the lid was visible if it was up.

    A person could reach the hole by using a ladder from the catwalk, or by scrambling up pipes and other handholds. Or a person could jump from a nearby roof onto a corrugated metal roof on a small structure next to the top of the chimney.

    A ladder affixed to a wall went past the small structure, but the ladder had a protective metal cage, so anyone using the ladder would have had to climb outside the cage, then leap toward the top of the chimney.

  5. #5
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    Just googled the address for the GP Plant West, Inc.....it's RIGHT on the border of Canada.


    ETA Just got the confirmed from someone at the local paper that this is the correct addy for GA Plant. Also, she is looking to see what articles they may have.

  6. #6
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    Here is something found in an article I just got via email from the lady at the paper: This man thinks the victim was a woman he toured.....but, the ME is 95% sure it's a male.....by the sound of it, maybe this woman was casing the place out??


    Richard Severson still wonders if the person found inside a Georgia-Pacific chimney 19 years ago was a woman he guided through the steam plant at Western Washington University.

    Odds are the victim was a man, based on a doctor's examination of the charred skeleton and on burned remnants of masculine-style clothing.

    During the woman's tour of the campus plant, she asked to climb inside a boiler, and went inside an inactive boiler several times, said Severson, 77, a steam engineer who retired from Western in 1993. Partly to encourage her to leave, he mentioned the waterfront plant with boilers that's visible from campus, presuming that G-P was secure from intruders. Not long afterward, a few weeks to a few months, Severson read news reports of the skeleton's discovery.


    "I still feel a little bit responsible," he said.

    Robert Gibb, who studied the remains as deputy medical examiner, is confident the victim was male. His autopsy report includes numerous measurements of the intact, blackened pelvis.

    Studying the pelvis is a standard way to distinguish between skeletons of men and women. A woman's pelvis is broader and lighter than a man's, with a wider pelvic cavity.

    One medical authority puts the accuracy of determining sex using the pelvis at 95 percent, which does leave some margin for error.
    Severson, a stout, talkative fellow who lives on Lummi Reservation, says the white woman entered the campus steam plant during the summer or early fall, because the weather was warm and a door was open.


    She was wiry, perhaps 5 feet 4 inches to 5 feet 6 inches, and in her mid-30s to mid-40s, he said. She had light- to medium-brown hair that was cut short, and wore a lightweight lined windbreaker, a woven blouse, women's jeans and tennis shoes, possibly blue, he said.


    She entered the steam plant and smiled, but didn't speak first, Severson recalled.


    "I said, `Do you want a tour?'"


    She nodded yes, so he showed her the boilers, controls and pumps on the main floor. When they came to a small boiler that was operating, she asked "Can I go in there?"


    To make her convinced that the boiler was running, he lifted her up so she could see the flames through a small window.

    She again said she wanted to go inside, so Severson escorted her up some stairs to an entry into an inactive boiler. Curious to see what she would do, Severson opened the door and watched as she climbed inside and huddled atop some pipes.

    She got out, and then went in and out of the boiler another four to five times. He then asked her to leave.

    Severson said he went to police headquarters, then in City Hall, after seeing news stories about the skeleton. He said he talked with two policemen, whom he presumed to be a detective and another officer, about the woman, but they didn't show much interest because doctors had decided the victim was a man.

  7. #7
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    Can anyone think of any questions that you'd like me to ask this feller?

    I am going to write him tomorrow. I have all my UID files at home and will read up again on this tonight and see what info I can get...meanwhile, anything you'd like me to ask?

    Some of the things I can think of off the top of my head are:

    1. Was the identity of the woman who wanted the tour ever identified?
    2. Was she questioned?
    3. Is there a time pinned down that the body was put/fell/whatever, in the stack?
    4. I'd like to know if they will share a pic of the ticket/baggage claim found.
    5. I'd like to see a list of all the belongings found with the body.

    ummmmm, I need my files.

    Also, I'd like to make this person aware of this, wonder if they know?

    "Severson said he went to police headquarters, then in City Hall, after seeing news stories about the skeleton. He said he talked with two policemen, whom he presumed to be a detective and another officer, about the woman, but they didn't show much interest because doctors had decided the victim was a man."

    I wonder if this guy could get a sketch of this lady? I think she is a clue.

    Anything else??

    Here is the email:

    Christine - the Whatcom County Sheriffs office forwarded me your name and email address concerning your inquiry about the GP case. I am the investigator working the case and if you would like to give me a call or drop me an email, I can try to answer any questions.
    Last edited by christine2448; 12-12-2006 at 09:43 AM.

  8. #8
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    mystery woman

    I think that the woman was looking for the man that was missing but I am wondering if she was either a girlfriend, a sister, a friend or maybe the wife of the man that was in there, if I believed that something happened to my 'friend' or other such person that was close to me and I believed that someone at the plant were hiding something then I would have played the part as she did, she could have also been a Private Investigator. I think that maybe what ever happened to this man it may not have been the persons that worked there at that time but maybe shortly before then and they were no longer there. I don't see a woman just walking in off of the street and taking such an extensive tour for the fun of it. As far as the man that they found it sounds as if he was possibly running from someone and trying to hide possibly slipping and falling to his death, he had to have been someone that was at least familiar with the area, where the plant was and possibly the plant itself, and if he had expensive dental work done then its possible he was of an upper company position, taking into account what he was dressed in also could indicate a worker, the only problem with that is that if he was never reported missing from the area then he was from maybe an adjacent town or maybe he was a relative of someone that was working there. just some thoughts.

  9. #9
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    I said, `Do you want a tour?'"


    She nodded yes, so he showed her the boilers, controls and pumps on the main floor. When they came to a small boiler that was operating, she asked "Can I go in there?"


    To make her convinced that the boiler was running, he lifted her up so she could see the flames through a small window.

    She again said she wanted to go inside, so Severson escorted her up some stairs to an entry into an inactive boiler. Curious to see what she would do, Severson opened the door and watched as she climbed inside and huddled atop some pipes.
    Please forgive this dumb question, but what is a steam plant? This is a far stretch but would it be something that terrorists would target? Although it was in the 80s, is it possible it was someone scoping the place for some type of terrorist attack? We now know the terrorists have been using bordering countries as points of entry and we now know we have been targeted for much longer than we thought

    I am more curious to know what Mr. Severson's position at the plant was and if it was common for the plant to provide such extensive, unplanned tours. It seems for safety concerns, if tours were offered they would be subject to strict guidelines. Is he still alive to answer some questions like...

    Did he abandon his regular duties to give this woman a tour? How long was this tour?

    Did he advise a coworker or supervisor he was not going to be at his regular work area? Did anyone else see the woman? It sounds like a big place that would have many employees.

    Did he mention the woman's odd behavior to anyone at work after the tour?

    Why did he assume she wanted a tour when she walked in if she didnt say anything? What was the conversation about during the tour?

    Why did he feel the need to lift her up to "convince" her that the boiler was working? That couldn't have been part of a regular tour. That should've raised the eyebrows of other workers. He couldn't have been the only one to see this person if she exists.

    Why would he allow her to go in and out of a boiler several times and why did he not ask her why she was so curious?

    When he contacted LE, had he already told his bosses at work about this woman? Did he get reprimanded for allowing the woman access to areas that arent part of a tour?

    Can you find out how extensively Severson was questioned? His story sounds way too convenient.

  10. #10
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    nail hitting!

    I think you nailed it itsreenw, why was he the only one who seen her and what is this guys story and another thing woud'nt he have been subject to some kind of repremand for allowing such a "tour" anybody in their right mind that has a job would'nt give a tour in such a plant. I wonder what the police asked him if anything? I agree I think that this man needs to answer some very seriouse questions. And if the police did'nt ask him questions "Why Not"?


  11. #11
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    During the woman's tour of the campus plant, she asked to climb inside a boiler, and went inside an inactive boiler several times, said Severson, 77, a steam engineer who retired from Western in 1993. Partly to encourage her to leave, he mentioned the waterfront plant with boilers that's visible from campus, presuming that G-P was secure from intruders. Not long afterward, a few weeks to a few months, Severson read news reports of the skeleton's discovery.
    An odd statement to make... If he was concerned about intruders, how was it so easy for this woman to stroll into the plant he worked at?? Hr should have asked "How did you get in here?" instead of "do you want a tour?"

    He didn't mention that to his boss so they could contact the other plant to advise them to be on the lookout for this person??

    He said you could see the GP boilers from the plant he worked at. Being familiar with the layout of the plant he worked in and being able to see the other plant, he wouldve had a good idea of how to access the various entry points of the GP plant.

    I wonder if he lured someone to that building for something and killed them by tossing them down the chimney. The UID's coat was underneath them and the shirt was around his ankle. Sounds like he was possibly trying to block the heat from coming through the vented areas between the parallel poles he landed on.

  12. #12
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    Here is a link to the complete article containing the info above plus more.

    http://www.bellinghamherald.com/184/story/39675.html

    The 2 sketches were done yrs apart by different artists. It also states the UID had no keys, tools, wallet, etc and the baggage claim ticket was too charred to get the numbers from it. This gives me the idea he had just flown in from somewhere if he had that claim ticket still tucked in his pocket. Sounds like the other items were removed before he was tossed down the chimney. Maybe the ticket was in the little coin pocket found in most jeans and was overlooked. I don't think the man went into the chimney on his own. I think he was pushed in.

    I recall reading about a man that was flying out west to do a drug deal (marijuana) in the late 80s and never made it back. He was in his 20s. Gotta think of what state he was coming from.

    The article also gives the hours the chimney was in operation prior to the discovery of the body.

  13. #13
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    News clipping link: '75-'87 GP Plant job cuts, violations, fines

    This link tells of many problems within the plant prior to the body being found including several job cuts in August 1987, fines for polluting, evacuations, health risks, possible relocation, etc...

    The man could have been a whistleblower.

    Link:
    http://www.ac.wwu.edu/~ccfriday/wate.../clippings.htm

  14. #14
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    if sketches are accurate, the man looks like he could have been native american to me, and it's consistent with the area...

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by itsreenw
    Please forgive this dumb question, but what is a steam plant?
    I don't know if this tells what the 'steam plant' is, but this is what the GP place is.

    http://www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/swfa/...p_Georgia.html

    http://www.lni.wa.gov/Safety/Topics/...Bellingham.asp

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