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  1. #1
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    MA - Jane Britton, 22, Harvard student, 7 Jan 1969

    Hello, I'm new to the site and looking for some more information about a murder that occurred in Cambridge, MA in 1969. Jane Britton, a graduate student at Harvard, was killed in her apartment, and while I've been able to find a few archived newspaper articles about the case, they end very abruptly with a black-out imposed by the local police chief. I've written a couple of emails to the Cambridge police department that have gone unanswered, and would just like to know if this case was ever solved - and if so, what the outcome was. I've included links to some of the articles below, but would appreciate anything else that anyone can come up with - I'd be particularly interested in finding out who was interviewed by the police. Likewise, if anyone has a connection with local law enforcement there, feel free to send me a private message. Thanks in advance!

    http://www.thecrimson.com/article/19...ar-old-jane-s/

    http://news.google.com/newspapers?id...7065%2C2257058

    http://www.thecrimson.com/article/19...-mystery-pthe/

    http://www.thecrimson.com/article/19...ut-on-britton/

  2. #2
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    Just giving this a bump - does anyone know of anyone in the Cambridge area who pursues cold cases? Thanks!

  3. #3
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    I thought I'd add a couple of other articles that I've stumbled upon:

    http://news.google.com/newspapers?ni...g=4038,2324604

    http://www.thecrimson.com/article/19...outside-pithe/

    http://www.thecrimson.com/article/19...ar-old-jane-s/

    This one is particularly interesting as it links back to what was originally reported and then possibly blocked by the police:

    http://www.thecrimson.com/article/19...unearths-lost/

    http://news.google.com/newspapers?ni...g=5720,1972007


    Last one with a little more information here:

    http://news.google.com/newspapers?ni...pg=3698,903071
    Last edited by Pink Panther; 12-04-2012 at 06:34 PM.

  4. #4
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    This case is extremely strange in the fact that almost nothing was written about it, the police issued virtually nothing about it and "googling" brings up so little information! Harvard (the school) was obviously under political pressure to do something about the residence that Jane was living in but the police seems equally culpable of covering up something given the astounding lack of information about this case. Also, where on earth was this woman's family? Seemingly educated, they just disappeared into oblivion? How is that possible?

  5. #5
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    "Mystic funeral"
    "Mysterious aspects were added to
    the incident when certaim "rites" which
    had been performed on the gir as she
    was dying were identified by Professor
    Stephen W'ilimas, chairman of the
    Harvard Anthropology departmnent, as
    being part of an ancient Persian burial
    ritual. These "rites" included sprinklng
    the girl's body with red oehre, a
    pigment used in pottery for many
    thousands of years by most primitive
    societies. The "funeral ritual" also
    included piling the body with a coat, a
    rug, and other similar articles in an
    attempt to simulate a burial. Police
    theorize that the elaborate ceremony
    was probably done by a person with
    extensive knowledge of ancient
    civilizations, possibly an Anthropology
    student at Harvard. As a result, about
    100 fellow students of Miss Brittoan
    have been or will be questioned by the
    police."

    http://tech.mit.edu/V88/PDF/N56.pdf

    This may be why police decided to put a ban on information regarding the case?

  6. #6
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    October 7, 1965

    "It was announced last week that Harvard University Police will take over duties of the watchmen on October 17. In a letter recently sent to J. Boyd Britton, administrative vice president of Radcliffe, union officials discolsed their intention to bring the matter to arbitration.

    According to Britton, the central issue involved is "whether Radcliffe has the right to contract for police protection with the University police.""

    http://www.thecrimson.com/article/19...nt-for-cliffe/

    March 14, 1969

    "Radcliffe will increase its night watchman force and reactivate a police alarm system as part of an effort to tighten security in the dormitories, J. Boyd Britton, administrative vice president of Radcliffe said yesterday."

    http://www.thecrimson.com/article/19...adcliffe-will/

    June 12, 1969

    "Residents of the Harvard-owned building where Jane Britton was killed filed a criminal suit charging that the University ignored laws requiring locks on apartment house doors. The tenants claimed that Harvard had installed a few locks only after the still-unsolved murder of Miss Britton."

    http://www.thecrimson.com/article/19...-and-the-city/

  7. #7
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    Pink Panther, thanks very much for the additional links! I agree - it's a very strange case, which is why it bugs me that I can't seem to get any information from anyone at the Harvard or Cambridge police departments. I wonder how many of those potentially hundred or so students they ended up interviewing.

  8. #8
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    I've found virtually no information from police (other than what is mentioned in Crimson articles) and next to nothing from family.

    Jane published an article in 1967 entitled "The Perigordian Vc: a Test Case in Comparative Methodology":

    http://books.google.ca/books/about/T...AJ&redir_esc=y

  9. #9
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    This article gives an address near to where Jane was killed:

    http://www.thecrimson.com/article/19...rown-out-pthe/

    "Clerk of the Court Joseph D. Conway said that building inspectors had examined the apartment complex at 122 Mt. Auburn St. which was named in the complaint, and found that the building had the required locks.

    Harvard installed the locks in the building several days after Jane S. Britton '67 was murdered there on Jan. 6."

    This article give's Jane's address:

    http://www.thecrimson.com/article/19...-ave-complain/

    "In 1968, the body of Jane S. Britton '67 was found in her apartment at 6 University Road--a building owned by Harvard and managed by R.M. Bradley & Co."
    Last edited by Pink Panther; 12-09-2012 at 12:37 PM.

  10. #10
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    It's very difficult to find any information about this case. Regarding the family, J Boyd seems to either have married twice or had children with two women. Jane S Britton had a brother (named after his father) as well as two half-siblings (Charles and Susan). First wife, Frances, died in 1994, second wife Ruth died in 1978. Jane's mother was Ruth.


  11. #11
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    macoldcase - Do you have any additional information that might be useful for further research? Given that you've tried to communicate with both Harvard and the local police, perhaps you could share a bit of what they haven't? If you don't care to post and prefer to PM, I would be happy to try and look into any aspect of this case that you feel might have been overlooked?

    ETA - From the bit of research I've done, I believe that she was killed by someone she knew. I think that there was lots of evidence to her crime but either it was not collected, it was contaminated, or it was not understood at the time. Also, I think that the police was in over their heads and mistakenly did not share what they knew.

    JMO

  12. #12
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    I found this "Excavations at Tepe Yahya" by C.C. Lamberg Karlovsky:

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/63292801/E...nnium-DT-Potts

    This documents includes the names and pictures of many people who participated in the excavation as well as a picture of Jane that I had never seen before!

  13. #13
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    Very cool - thanks again for keeping this thread active!

  14. #14
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    "From the inception of our excavations at Tepe YahyaJames Humphries enthusiastically embraced the responsibility for writing his doctoral dissertation on the IronAge levels. After five years of excavating the relevantlevels at Yahya he inexplicably withdrew from the graduate program at Harvard."

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/63292801/E...nnium-DT-Potts

  15. #15
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    "In 1965 I was appointed an Assistant Professor inthe Department of
    Anthropology at Harvard University.Except for an earlier stint of summer school teaching
    at Pennsylvania State University, and a year teaching at Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, it is my first and only academic appointment."

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/63292801/E...nnium-DT-Potts

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