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  1. #1
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    IA - Des Moines, WhtMale 92UMIA, 28-48, numerous tattoos, Feb'84 - John Downey

    http://www.doenetwork.org/cases/92umia.html

    Unidentified White Male
    • Located on February 28, 1984 in brushy area along a dirt trail in Des Moines, Iowa.
    • Cause of death was blunt trauma.
    • The victim is estimated to have been deceased since sometime during the summer of 1983.


    Vital Statistics


    • Estimated age: 28 - 48 years old
    • Approximate Height and Weight: 5'7 - 5'9"; 150 lbs.
    • Distinguishing Characteristics: He had brown hair, was of medium build and had a surgical pin implanted in his right knee. He was right handed.
    • Clothing: He was wearing faded blue denims with 31" waist, a dark leather belt, brown socks and low cut TRAX sneakers brown/blue in color. He had a plastic comb, a plastic Copenhagen snuff box and a pocket knife on him.



    Victim's Tattoos
    1. Flying bird carrying a streamer in its beak. Written inside the streamer is MOTHER. The word DAD is above the bird. The bird is in red-orange ink. The back of the streamer is in green ink. The tattoo is located on the right upper-arm near the shoulder-tip. Dimensions: Approximately 3 inches from DAD to the bottom of the streamer. Approximately 2 1/2 inches from beak to tail.
    2. Nazi storm-trooper. Wearing a German helmet and an iron cross. SS on collar tabs. The face under the helmet is skull-like. Has appearance of wearing a leather coat. Dark-colored ink. Located on the side and extending to the rear of the right upper-arm. Dimensions: Approximately 6 inches tall by 3 inches wide. Runs parallel to tattoos 3 and 4.
    3. Laughing skull with top-hat and cigarette. The words BORN TO DIE encircling design. Red ink inside eyes. Green ink inside nose. Located on right arm/inside bicep. Approximately 1/2 inch above tattoo no. 4. Total size approximately 1 3/4 inches wide at brim of hat by 2 inches long.
    4. Female face with dark hair under a sombrero. Fancy design on brim of sombrero. It's believed that the sombrero was put on after the female's features were tattooed. An additional tattoo of JOHN is visible under the design inside the sombrero brim. From top of the hat to the chin of the female face is approximately 2 1/2 inches. The brim of the sombrero is approximately 2 1/4 inches wide. Located on the inner-arm approximately 3 1/2 inches from the elbow joint. (right side) Approximately 1/2 inch below the skull in top-hat design.
    5. Female facial-profile/left side. Located on right side of chest above nipple. Tattooed so that female's hair appears light-colored. NOTE: A distinctive feature is that the female has a "gear" with a wrench through it for an earring. Dimensions: Tattoo would take up most of victim's right breast-area.
    6. Appears to be a spotted snake coiled around a tree. Dark ink. Located in the middle of the chest; along the sternum, from the xiphoid process to the angle. Majority of this tattoo is indistinguishable due to skin deterioration.
    7. Dark-colored ink. No combination for colors. Believed that skin-section from abdominal area/right side between navel and chest. Approximate dimensions: (male cartoon figure minus head due to skin deterioration.) toe to toe - 3 inches; sole to upper-chest - 3 3/4 inches.
    8. Dark-colored ink. No discernible color combinations. Butterfly pattern. Located on the rear of the right-side shoulder; towards the collarbone area. Dimension: Approximately 1 1/2 inches long. NOTE: No pattern distinguishable on rearward wing (possibly due to skin deterioration)
    Last edited by CarlK90245; 04-03-2013 at 05:28 PM.

  2. #2
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    1,157

    IA - Unidentified White Male, 8 tattoos!!! Drawings of some available - Feb. 1984

    http://www.doenetwork.us/cases/92umia.html



    Unidentified White Male
    • The victim was located on February 28, 1984 in Des Moines, Polk County, Iowa
    • Cause of Death: Blunt trauma.
    • Estimated Date of Death: Summer of 1983
    • Skeletal remains




    Vital Statistics

    • Estimated age: 28 - 48 years old
    • Approximate Height and Weight: 5'7" - 5'9"; 150 lbs.
    • Clothing: Faded blue denims with 31" waist, dark leather belt, brown socks, low cut TRAX sneakers brown/blue in color.
    • Distinguishing Characteristics: Brown hair; medium build. He had a surgical pin implanted in his right knee; he was right handed. He had many tattoos.
    • Tattoo #1: Flying bird carrying a streamer in its beak. Written inside the streamer is MOTHER. The word DAD is above the bird. The bird is in red-orange ink. The back of the streamer is in green ink. The tattoo is located on the right upper-arm near the shoulder-tip. Dimensions: Approximately 3 inches from DAD to the bottom of the streamer. Approximately 2 1/2 inches from beak to tail.
    • Tattoo #2: Nazi storm-trooper. Wearing a German helmet and an iron cross. SS on collar tabs. The face under the helmet is skull-like. Has appearance of wearing a leather coat. Dark-colored ink. Located on the side and extending to the rear of the right upper-arm. Dimensions: Approximately 6 inches tall by 3 inches wide. Runs parallel to tattoos 3 and 4.
    • Tattoo #3: Laughing skull with top-hat and cigarette. The words BORN TO DIE encircling design. Red ink inside eyes. Green ink inside nose. Located on right arm/inside bicep. Approximately 1/2 inch above tattoo #4. Total size approximately 1 3/4 inches wide at brim of hat by 2 inches long.
    • Tattoo #4: Female face with dark hair under a sombrero. Fancy design on brim of sombrero. It's believed that the sombrero was put on after the female's features were tattooed. An additional tattoo of JOHN is visible under the design inside the sombrero brim. From top of the hat to the chin of the female face is approximately 2 1/2 inches. The brim of the sombrero is approximately 2 1/4 inches wide. Located on the inner-arm approximately 3 1/2 inches from the elbow joint. (right side) Approximately 1/2 inch below the skull in top-hat design.
    • Tattoo #5: Female facial-profile/left side. Located on right side of chest above nipple. Tattooed so that female's hair appears light-colored. NOTE: A distinctive feature is that the female has a "gear" with a wrench through it for an earring. Dimensions: Tattoo would take up most of victim's right breast-area.
    • Tattoo #6: Appears to be a spotted snake coiled around a tree. Dark ink. Located in the middle of the chest; along the sternum, from the xiphoid process to the angle. Majority of this tattoo is indistinguishable due to skin deterioration.
    • Tattoo #7: Dark-colored ink. No combination for colors. Believed that skin-section from abdominal area/right side between navel and chest. Approximate dimensions: (male cartoon figure minus head due to skin deterioration.) toe to toe - 3 inches; sole to upper-chest - 3 3/4 inches.
    • Tattoo #8: Dark-colored ink. No discernible color combinations. Butterfly pattern. Located on the rear of the right-side shoulder; towards the collarbone area. Dimension: Approximately 1 1/2 inches long. NOTE: No pattern distinguishable on rearward wing (possibly due to skin deterioration)
    Case History
    The victim was located in brushy area along a dirt trail in Des Moines, Iowa on February 28, 1984.
    He had a plastic comb, a plastic Copenhagen snuff box and a pocket knife on him.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    western PA, USA
    Posts
    901
    Doe Network profile: http://www.doenetwork.org/cases/92umia.html

    NamUs profile: https://identifyus.org/cases/2623

    Two July 2010 articles about this UID:

    http://www.wowt.com/news/headlines/9...4.html?ref=134

    http://www.desmoinesregister.com/art...g-to-ID-Bones-

    Also, there are better-quality sketches of the UID's tattoos on his Doe Network page, and I think the headless cartoon character in "Tattoo #7" is most likely Goofy, judging by the long ear still visible, the vest, glove and shoes. It's almost like the tattoo artist drew him from memory, though, and didn't have a very good reference image, because his vest isn't that long.

    Reference image:
    http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_qZmf9l-HC1...+126+1Orig.jpg

  4. #4
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    Dec 2009
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    Northeast USA
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    at the risk of asking a stupid question, I see from the Namus profile that his remains were characterized as "near complete or complete skeleton". how then did they find all these tattoos if his remains were mostly bones?

  5. #5
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    there is this guy Ron Knutson, lka Dec 18, 1982 in California. was 5'10 (a little taller than the estimate) but he had both brown hair and multiple tattoos including some biker themed ink. believed to have been a victim of foul play and was a member of a biker gang. distance from CA to IA might be a problem but bikers do get around:

    https://www.findthemissing.org/cases/2658/5/

  6. #6
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    Feb 2010
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    Myrtle Beach, SC
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    Quote Originally Posted by webrocket View Post
    there is this guy Ron Knutson, lka Dec 18, 1982 in California. was 5'10 (a little taller than the estimate) but he had both brown hair and multiple tattoos including some biker themed ink. believed to have been a victim of foul play and was a member of a biker gang. distance from CA to IA might be a problem but bikers do get around:

    https://www.findthemissing.org/cases/2658/5/
    My first thought was that this man was the victim of members of a biker gang. Don't know if there was a chapter of HA in Des Moines at this time, but I do know that there was a well established chapter in Omaha, NE during this time. If LE believes a biker gang may be involved than the FBI would probably be aware of this theory also.
    I grew up in Omaha & have one too many outlaws in my family tree.
    It does seem odd that this man cannot be identified based on all his tattoos! Maybe he was an associate/hang-around of a biker gang, and ticked off the wrong person.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sin City View Post
    My first thought was that this man was the victim of members of a biker gang. Don't know if there was a chapter of HA in Des Moines at this time, but I do know that there was a well established chapter in Omaha, NE during this time. If LE believes a biker gang may be involved than the FBI would probably be aware of this theory also.
    I grew up in Omaha & have one too many outlaws in my family tree.
    It does seem odd that this man cannot be identified based on all his tattoos! Maybe he was an associate/hang-around of a biker gang, and ticked off the wrong person.
    it is not that odd that the tatts alone can't identify him. let's say for the sake of argument the UID lived life on the edge or even on the outlaw side. he might not have seen his real family in years and associated with like-minded people.

    members of biker gangs, and I am not saying for certain he was in one, are not likely to go to the cops and say either 1. one of their own is missing or 2. they did one of their own in.

  8. #8
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    Aug 2014
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    Australia
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    You would think someone would recognise the tattoos. like someone knows who he is. just i dont think enough people would have seen the drawings. i have heaps of tattoos no one would recognise except maybe my partner. i hid nearly all my tatttoos from my family and they are just in places you dont often see. so i can see how people might not know. they need a composite done on his face

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
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    19,103
    Identified!
    http://www.kcci.com/article/authorit...d-case/9967901
    Distinctive clothing, surgical intervention, and multiple distinctive tattoos were present on the victim, but authorities were unable to identify the man at the time of the investigation.

    The Polk County Medical Examiner's Office said they received a call from the FBI’s Latent Print Unit saying a new fingerprint identification technique made a positive match of the victim to John Clifton Downey, a 39-year-old Caucasian male.

  10. #10
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    Oct 2009
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    http://whotv.com/2017/06/02/1984-hom...im-identified/
    Earlier this year the FBI and NamUS combined their databases and resources in hopes of identifying more crime victims. Since the two joined forces 178 victims have been identified. Des Moines Police say they received a call on Thursday that the victim of the 1984 homicide was positively identified as John Clifton Downey who was 39 at the tiem of his death
    .

    http://www.desmoinesregister.com/sto...ars/364105001/
    Advances in technology and continued investigation by local and national authorities led to the identification of John Clifton Downey, 39, the medical examiner's office announced in a news release on Friday.

    Authorities have notified Downey's relatives, who do not live in Iowa, according to the news release. His death remains under investigation by Des Moines police. The case was labeled a homicide when Downey was found dead in 1984
    In 2014, the FBI national database for fingerprints underwent an extensive upgrade, improving the system's capabilities. In February this year, NamUS provided more than 1,500 fingerprint cards to the FBI to be examined by this upgraded system, according to the news release.

    The Polk County Medical Examiner's Office received a call on June 1 from an FBI lab in Virginia, saying that the unidentified homicide victim's thumbprint had matched Downey, according to the news release.
    "This case highlights the advancements in investigative technologies, the initiative of the Polk County Medical Examiner's Office and the benefits of the cooperative efforts of local, county and federal agencies," he said.
    Last edited by dotr; 06-02-2017 at 03:02 PM.


  11. #11
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    Jun 2016
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    Another one ID'd with the new fingerprint technology. This is very interesting. Lots of hope for all those cold cases.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------
    Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. Romans 12:21

  12. #12
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    Feb 2016
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    Wow. They're really making headway with the fingerprints.
    RIP, John Clifton Downey. Glad you have your name back.
    I think we need to start a thread for these IDs (if there isn't one already) so we can keep track of who has been identified by this method and whether or not the person was reported missing.
    All you need is love and. . . .(fill in the blank)

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alleykins View Post
    Wow. They're really making headway with the fingerprints.
    RIP, John Clifton Downey. Glad you have your name back.
    I think we need to start a thread for these IDs (if there isn't one already) so we can keep track of who has been identified by this method and whether or not the person was reported missing.
    That's a great idea!
    "He who does not prevent a crime when he can, encourages it.
    ~ Lucius Annaeus Seneca

    My confession... I


  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alleykins View Post
    Wow. They're really making headway with the fingerprints.
    RIP, John Clifton Downey. Glad you have your name back.
    I think we need to start a thread for these IDs (if there isn't one already) so we can keep track of who has been identified by this method and whether or not the person was reported missing.
    This is the second time I've seen it requested so I started a thread here: http://www.websleuths.com/forums/sho...7#post13414717

    (MODS please move thread if not in the appropriate forum thanks)
    --------------------------------------------------------------------
    Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. Romans 12:21

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gardener1850 View Post
    This is the second time I've seen it requested so I started a thread here: http://www.websleuths.com/forums/sho...7#post13414717

    (MODS please move thread if not in the appropriate forum thanks)
    Excellent job! Thank you.
    All you need is love and. . . .(fill in the blank)

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