07-20-2016, 01:15 AM #1
MD - Linthicum, WhtMale, 19-29, at Holiday Inn, Mar'75
UP # 5440
(NamUs Link: https://identifyus.org/en/cases/5440) - ** WARNING: postmortem photo at link! **
(Doe Network Link: http://www.doenetwork.org/cases/1968ummd.html)
- Unidentified White Male
- Date of discovery: March 26, 1975
- Location of discovery: Linthicum, Anne Arundel County, MD.
- Estimated Postmortem Interval: Days
- State of Remains: All parts recovered / recognizable face
- Cause of Death: Unknown
"Linthicum John Doe" was found unresponsive at the Holiday Inn in Linthicum, which was then located on Airport Dr. (exact address unknown) in Linthicum. (A search on Google Maps failed to turn up a current road by the name of "Airport Dr." in Linthicum, but there was an "Aero Dr." shown with quite a few hotels on that road - none of them the Holiday Inn, unfortunately.) He was in Room 308. He was found with a white undershirt and jockey shorts on, possibly abused drugs or alcohol, and may have suffered from depression.
- Estimated Age: 19-29 years old
- Height: 5'10"
- Weight: 156 lbs.
- Hair Color: Brown, 3 - 4" in length, with sideburns and two-days' facial hair growth.
- Eye Color: Blue
- Distinguishing Marks/Features: 2" mole on right lower back.
- Clothing: White undershirt and jockey shorts.
- Jewelry: Unknown
- Additional Personal Item: Unknown
Anyone have any theories? This is my first time posting a thread, so I hope I did it correctly.
Last edited by SurrealisticSlumbers; 07-20-2016 at 01:18 AM. Reason: Spelling
07-20-2016, 01:42 AM #2
Update: There is actually a Holiday Inn currently located on Elkridge Landing Rd., a stone's throw away from Aero Dr. The physical address is: 815 Elkridge Landing Rd., Linthicum Heights, MD 21090. (Linthicum and Linthicum Heights are interchangeable names for the same town.) Do not know if this is the very same Holiday Inn that existed back in the '70s, they just renamed the road it was on? Rooms appear to start at $90 a night, so a typical mid-range hotel - not necessarily swanky. The city/town of Linthicum is right next door to BWI Airport, and the copious hotels in that vicinity accommodate hundreds, if not thousands of national and international travelers on any given day, making the possibility that John Doe was a local somewhat slim. It's not totally impossible, but, he may very well have been from outside the area too, from some other country even.
He may have been a visitor (prostitute?) to whoever was registered as a guest in that room. I can only assume that LE looked into whoever booked the room the last couple of nights prior to the discovery, and that individual(s) was ruled out as a suspect. So many questions... what could he have been doing in that room, if he wasn't the one who reserved it? Did he register under an alias (once again, assume this info would've been made available to the public)? The exact cause of death is unknown, but a possible tie to drug use/alcoholism is mentioned, so why would they think that? Were track marks found on the body? Do they suspect an overdose, accidental or otherwise (possible "depression" mentioned)? One would think a toxicology report would have shown if he'd overdosed. And, this occurred so very long ago, it just doesn't seem likely that any former hotel employee would remember that far back, or would have any recollection of seeing the guy.
07-20-2016, 12:35 PM #3Registered User
- Join Date
- Jan 2010
This guy went missing from California in 1974 but his home was about 200 miles south of where the John Doe was found.
He has a birth mark that is described as the left side of his stomach (right lower back is described for the John Doe).
I can't really tell if/what is swollen on the John Doe's face (the lips and nose look like they may have some distortion) but there is something I like about the faces matching.
The height, weight, eye color, age all line up or are very close. Described hair color seems to be off: Brown vs Sandy.
The MP had DNA available and the JD says it is not yet submitted.
07-20-2016, 01:17 PM #4
Wow, there is a resemblance between Christopher's picture and the postmortem picture. The only thing throwing me off is the slight height discrepancy, by one or two inches - Christopher is 5' 8" - 5' 9" and John Doe is 5' 10". However, family members of Christopher's may have given LE a roughly estimated height so that doesn't throw me off too much.
I am wondering if anyone has any technology where they can superimpose the face of Christopher King over the face of the deceased? I have seen this done before on Web Sleuths.
I'm intrigued about who exactly Christopher King was and what type of lifestyle he led. He seemed to be very well-traveled indeed.
07-20-2016, 03:47 PM #5
Large hotel brands routinely buy others' locations and change over. What was a Holiday Inn in 1975 could be anything or nothing now. Linthicium has had a LOT of changes in 40 years since he was found.
If I had to guess, Airport Rd was probably what is now I-195.
I'm not sure if this doe is Christoper King. If he was heading home in Hampton Roads, he'd choose to land at Norfolk International Airport which is much closer than Baltimore-Washington international airport.
07-20-2016, 09:53 PM #6
You make some very good points. I wonder if there is some way we could verify the precise location of that Holiday Inn? Google searches have turned up nothing. I was also unable to find any more information on Christopher King other than what we already know through Google (i.e. what did he do for a living; any significant other(?); educational/occupational background).
I agree that at first glance, it seems like it would be odd for him to land at BWI, given that the other airport was much closer to his last known address. He could have had business there, or been meeting a friend there. My only thought, as someone who has done some traveling, is that he got cheaper airfare to BWI than it would've cost to land at Norfolk. My thrifty parents have often gotten a better rate to fly out of, or to, Dulles or Philly International Airport than they would've paid to board a flight to the same location from BWI or land there. Even though BWI is the closest, and hands-down most convenient airport in relation to where we live. Just throwing that possibility out there. If he was strapped for cash and wanted to catch a flight to the Baltimore area, and then try to find other transportation the rest of the way home (assuming he wanted to return to VA), this might have been what he did. I don't know if people could get competitive airline rates back then, or how they found out about a cheaper rate. This is just a thought.
Do we know anything about his home and how he lived? I know he was visiting relatives in CA, but wasn't sure if he'd been living with family members in VA, or if he was living by himself renting, or a homeowner (perfectly plausible, given that he was, after all, 24 years old). No spouse/family of his own mentioned. Just from what I've read, he sounds like one of those bohemian, "free spirit" types who didn't like to stay in one place too long or have a "traditional" lifestyle. I know it was a different time, but I am the same age as this guy was when he went missing, and you better believe if I said anything about going backpacking solo in Mexico, my dad would put a stop to that!
Last edited by SurrealisticSlumbers; 07-20-2016 at 09:57 PM.
07-22-2016, 03:49 PM #7
Looks like google is firmly set on BWI no matter how I termed the search. Stupid capitalism. But the address you posted is very close. There are several more hotels on W Nursery Rd, which is another street by the airport. I count at least 15 hotels in the immediate area. Finding the right hotel might be hard. Although I have this strange feeling that hotel doesn't exist anymore if I can't even find Airport Dr now.
Good theory on price. Airline ticket prices were regulated in the '70s and was much more expensive. This John Doe might have not flied at all, just happened to be near an airport. Or he was a foreigner, hence no ID. I just read Christopher King's CharleyProject page and it said he boarded a bus heading to Mexico. It would be a head scratcher if he wound all the way up here. Young people traveled much more freely then, for sure. Especially males. I traveled a helluva lot when I was 24 all by myself.
Last edited by Nikon; 07-22-2016 at 04:12 PM.
07-22-2016, 08:17 PM #8
Pretty much the only way we would be able to definitively track down the hotel is through publicly-accessible property records for existing businesses at the time, which aren't on the world wide web. I guess the precise location isn't imperative here. I have a suspicion that the road was just renamed.
I think that there is a chance he was just traveling through the area and like you said, not planning on flying. I mean, with the area he was found in, it's just really hard to say. I'm totally out of ideas here. He could have been anybody; come from anywhere.
Regarding Christopher, I am starting to think that there's a huge possibility that something bad happened to him in Mexico. We don't know how much money he left with and from all appearances, he planned to tent camp in the dry, Mexican summer heat. I just feel like that's so foolish on many levels - isn't most of northwestern Mexico a virtual desert/mountainous climate? Isn't that why people die of heat exhaustion and dehydration just trying to cross our border every year? Looked at weather forecast for La Paz just now - 94 degrees; feels like 98. I suppose temperatures would have dropped at nighttime. What are the odds that he tried to camp on the beach in Baja California to save some money? Doubt he could have accessed ATMs down there with much luck in those days. And, to the locals (even though he was traveling through large cities) he may have seemed like an easy target to rob. Although it's still an unlikely idea, if Christopher made it all the way through his planned itinerary and decided to fly back to either Maryland or Virginia from Yucatan, it wouldn't have been a terribly long flight back home, and he still could've been John Doe. See the map of Christopher's travels, linked below:
I just feel like something is very wrong here. If he told relatives exactly what places he planned to visit, that says he was at least somewhat responsible. To not hear anything after Tijuana from him (that could've been due to a lot of factors) seems fishy. We don't know how long he planned to go on this trip, either. Departing August of 1974, he he could have presumably planned to make it a long, drawn-out trip spanning several months (dubious). If we operated under the presumption that he was John Doe, then conceivably he may have spent up to half a year in Mexico. I feel like doing so would likely get him in trouble with the Mexican authorities, to be in the country for that amount of time without a visa or papers of any kind. I just don't see a trip lasting that long, especially without any contact with your relatives to just let them know what's up... I'm not totally ruling out the possibility, though, just because I feel like the physical attributes are so similar and he had ties to the general mid-Atlantic region where John Doe was discovered.
07-24-2016, 10:48 PM #9
I only managed to find Linthicum in the '20s-'30s fire insurance book online. Linthicum was really tiny, you couldn't believe it. I found out they needed an airport inland of Baltimore so in 1944 they decided to build an airport. Harry S Thurman christened the joint in 1950, so I'm guessing Airport Dr was established around that then changed. Late '40s till '80s would the range to look for. The state of Maryland purchased the airport in 1972, and updates were done.
Christopher King sounds like he either succumbed to nature's fury or he was robbed and discarded. While you think it may be foolish, others see it as an adventure. While it is hot down there in the area, nights get very cool. Enough to wear pants and jacket. Dry heat doesn't bother you much. I don't know what water was like in the '70s down there, but probably not at the disastrous level it is now. ATMs weren't even a thing, and virtually no bank card of any kind till...well, I'm not old enough to recall when they began issuing bank cards that resemble credit cards. I got mine in the late '90s and I remember it didn't last long before they rolled out with debit cards.
The map link didn't work.
Also remember, human communication was completely optional before the internet and smartphones.
07-25-2016, 02:26 PM #10Linthicum was really tiny, you couldn't believe it.
I think my Dad told me once that BWI used to be called Friendship Airport. Maybe once the state purchased the airport they started changing road names. Who knows?
I agree with your theory on Christopher King - it's very likely he was a target for burglary and was dumped somewhere and left for dead. I just don't think the guy was prepared. I do a lot of camping (I stay mostly in Maryland) and preparedness is everything. Even if you pack for the conditions as far as clothing is concerned, you still need to take the necessary precautions. I always travel with mace, a pocketknife, and an airhorn. ~90% of humanity is by and large decent, but it's that 10% that you need to watch out for.
ATMs weren't even a thing
I don't know what the relationship with the family was like, but one would think he'd at least send a postcard or brief letter now and again so that his family would know that he was all right. Just seems a bit odd.
07-26-2016, 05:18 PM #11
Yes, it was called Friendship Airport before they changed in 1973 to BWI to lure customers from Washington, DC and NoVA. You could be right. The road's name could have been changed at the same time.
We do not know his expertise with the outdoors at the time of his disappearance so without a surviving companion or a journal, we may never know. All those things are good. I backpacked more than camping.
I think they used traveler's cheques at the time or barter. Who knows, it was a very different time. Maybe he didn't like his parents or childhood. You never hear about why people don't keep in touch with family.
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