07-25-2008, 09:21 PM #1
NY - Bear Mountain State Park - The Unknown Hiker: Male 30UMNY, 45-60, 1990
computer reconstruction of victim
The remains of this man were found a short distance from the Appalachian Trail, a popular hiking trail in the north end of Bear Mountain State Park, in an area densely covered with mountain laurel bushes. He was discovered on November 8th, 1990. LE believes he had been dead several months prior to his discovery. Among the items found with the man were a book of "Bear Mountain Inn" matches, a "Bronkaid Mist" inhaler (indicating that the deceased may have been a cigarette smoker or suffered from asthma) and other items which I will post and discuss below. The UID had extensive dental work (gold fillings) and is believed to be of European or South American descent. He was wearing a denim jacket, Andre Francois jeans, heavy crew socks, and hiking boots.
Bear Mountain State Park is an extremely popular park located in the Hudson Valley, next to the Hudson River. It is at the northern terminus of the Palisades Parkway, making it easily accessible to residents of NYC, some 50 miles to the south. Among its other features, including playgrounds, a fishing lake, a nature museum and a large public pool, the park includes endless miles of hiking trails through the Hudson Highlands.
The Appalachian Trail, or more commonly the "AT", is arguably one of the most popular trails east of the Mississippi River. Its 2,174 miles stretch from Georgia to Maine. Though more and more people hike the entire route each year, most hikers are content to hike the AT in small sections. The lowest point on the trail, 124 ft above sea level, is at the Bear Mountain Bridge. The AT then travels near Hessian Lake, continuing past the Bear Mountain Inn (which features information on the park, dining and lodging) before ascending Bear Mountain itself. The trail at this point is exceedingly steep, badly eroded and rocky. Thousands of people visit the park every year, and are lured by the "noteriety" of the AT and the Perkins Memorial Tower, which sits atop the mountain.
Below are some of the items the man was carrying.
a yellow-gold chain, which the UID was wearing.
a money clip bearing the logo Klein Tools. The clip includes a folding pocket knife. Klein Tools are available in most hardware stores; I found this item for sale on their website.
a brown wallet
A knapsack, brand name Academy Broadway. Packs of this brand name are available in most "box" stores such as Target. An ID tag on the bag strap reads 'RJ Bass 2101 Kentucky Washington DC'. LE could find no link between this name/address and the UID.
a military style hiking compass
and a copy of The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge by Rainer Maria Rilke. Rilke (1875 to 1926) is considered to be "one of the German language's greatest 20th century poets". Despite most information posted on this case, this is not a collection of poems. This is Rilke's only novel. A common synopsis of the book can be found on several sites--- "
Malte Laurids Brigge is a young Danish nobleman and poet living in Paris. Obsessed with death and with the reality that lurks behind appearances, Brigge muses on his family and their history and on the teeming, alien life of the city. Many of the themes and images that occur in Rilke's poetry can also be found in the novel, prefiguring the modernist movement in its self-awareness and imagistic immediacy.
Not exactly light reading for a spring afternoon lunch break while hiking...
Some questions that immediately rose for me when I started looking into this case. Despite the other items the man carried--he was also wearing Hi-Tec brand hiking boots--he had no water with him (no canteen or other such water-carrying device was found).
It is not stated anywhere if the inhaler was full or empty. Bronkaid, from my reading on the subject, is ephedrine. Not only is it used as a bronchial dilator, it is also used by athletes to enhance performance. Perhaps others with more knowledge of asthma and Bronkaid can comment on its effects.
Last edited by Cubby; 02-24-2011 at 05:42 AM.
07-31-2008, 12:51 AM #2
Are we sure that he didn't have any water? Looking at the photo of the knapsack, which I would call a daypack (good for a day trip, not overnight, so he was probably visiting for the day or staying at a cabin or hotel and doing short hikes), I think it does not look empty. Maybe he had a bottle of juice or something in that. I think that the inventory list is incomplete. If that daypack was empty, that raises more questions in my mind - like is it really linked to him, or coincidental?
08-01-2008, 10:11 PM #3
All good questions..If he were carrying juice or the like animals may have carried it away.
With the trail's proximity to the Bear Mountain Inn, and its "picnic in the park"-like atmosphere, a lot of people try the trails and are completely unprepared for them.
08-02-2008, 10:29 AM #4Registered User
- Join Date
- Mar 2005
I wonder if the inhaler could be traced. People need prescriptions for those don't they? I have never needed one but I always thought they were not over the counter. Maybe it has some type of number on it that can be traced.
08-02-2008, 11:22 AM #5
It was (and perhaps still is) possible to purchase the Bronkaid brand mist inhalers over the counter. Now, since it contains ephedrine the inhaler might be located behind the pharmacist's counter and you would have to ask for it specifically. But back then I am sure it was on the regular shelves within the pharmacy.
08-21-2008, 03:57 PM #6
I realize this is extremely unlikely...All the same, something about this caught and held my attention (so do shiny things, but's that a different story).
From The Doe Network:
Case File 997DMNY
Lake, circa 1967 at 37 -----------age progressed to 73 ------------NY UID hiker
John Eric Lake
Missing since December 10, 1967 from New York City, New York.
- Date Of Birth: February 18, 1930
- Age at Time of Disappearance: 37 years old
- Height and Weight at Time of Disappearance: 6'0"; 180 lbs.
- Distinguishing Characteristics: White male. Lake wore black-rimmed glasses.
- Marks, Scars: Small scar on chin
- Clothing: Lake may have been wearing a navy blue blazer with a striped lining at the time of his disappearance.
- Dentals: Detailed dental records are available.
- Fingerprints: Available
Circumstances of Disappearance
John Lake was last seen on the evening of December 10, 1967 in Manhattan, NY, after having dinner with an acquaintance. According to the acquaintance, he had several drinks when he dropped her off at her apartment in Midtown and began walking to a subway station to go downtown to his apartment in Greenwich Village. He was not seen again.
Lake was the sports editor for Newsweek Magazine at the time of his disappearance.
Many of Lake's co-workers at Newsweek feel his disappearance was voluntary. He had been depressed for at least a year, due mainly to the deteriorating relationship with his wife and growing dissatisfaction with his job. Despite his high-profile position, he had struggled financially for years. More than a few of Lake's associates thought he just wanted some peace, although none seem to find suicide likely.
His disappearance was investigated by the NYPD as well as Pinkerton Detective Agency.
NYPD Missing Persons reopened the investigation in 2004.
Lake was extremely fond of sports, especially track, basketball, football, baseball and car racing. He was a runner himself and believed in keeping fit, although he also loved an occasional cigar.
Lake was a lover of the arts, including literature and theater; he preferred folk and country music. He was an extremely talented writer and editor and was a voracious reader.
Lake was not impressed with material wealth and, if still alive today, he is likely to have chosen a very simple lifestyle.
***** ****** ******
Lake was famous in his day as a sports writer, interviewing such legends as Willie Mays and Cassius Clay. He had seperated from his wife and was living in an apartment in Greenwich Village. Though they had tried to reconcile, Lake agreed to a divorce just weeks before his disappearance. He had had various "flings" with friends and co-workers, but nothing seemed serious.
Its not so inconceivable that Lake just chucked it all and started a new life, maybe writing for a small town paper or changing directions altogether.
Lake and the unknown hiker share similar builds, both being around 6'. Lake was athletic, as a hiker most likely would be, but he also smoked cigars (and LE believes the hiker was also a smoker). Lake would have been around 60 when the hiker died, within the age range given for the UID (45-60). Lake was an avid reader with an interest in literature; the UID's choice of reading material that day certainly fits in with that interest.
The tag on the knapsack reads "RJ Bass". A creative person with the last name "Lake" might well chose an alias like "Bass" as a play on his own name.
08-22-2008, 05:30 PM #7
Was there ever a determination of manner of death? I cannot seem to find any...John 3:16
Everyday it is my fervent prayer that these cases are solved
08-27-2011, 06:18 AM #8Registered User
- Join Date
- Jan 2011
- North Island, New Zealand.
11-25-2012, 04:28 PM #9
What about Edward Grossman? Not much information about his lifestyle, but he disappeared from NY in around the right timeframe (September 1989) and his picture (without beard) looks similar.
NY NY - Edward F. Grossman, 59, Dale, 3 Sept 1989 - Websleuths Crime Sleuthing Community
Last edited by KateB; 04-29-2015 at 01:40 AM. Reason: repair url tag.
05-04-2013, 07:24 PM #10
How about George Primavera? He's the spitting image of this UID. I happen to be from the area where he lived when he disappeared and one of my family members worked with a friend of his. Foul play is suspected because he was known to be deep in conflict with his business partner. At the time of his disappearance, he feared for his safety, so I always assumed that he'd been murdered. What if his fear for his safety lead him to hide out, and he incidentally died in the meantime? He was from Mount Kisco, New York (was last seen at his place of business in Bedford Hills, NY). Mount Kisco is within easy driving distance of Bear Mountain State Park and was a common destination for people from that area.
He was the right height (5'11") and was wearing size 11 1/2 shoes when he went missing (the hiker's were 11).
05-04-2013, 11:25 PM #11Registered User
- Join Date
- Dec 2009
- Northeast USA
not sure about Primavera. he was said to have had a deformed finger which is not mentioned with the UID.
at first I thought this was Dutchess County but that's the opposite side of the river from where this guy was found. he was found in Orange County which has a number of UIDs in Namus but not this one.
I wonder what made them think he might be from South America?
05-04-2013, 11:55 PM #12
I don't know why they thought he might be South American - the entry also mentions Europe. It could be because of some genotype typical to Europeans and particularly southern Europenas who mostly populated South America? Or else perhaps they were going by the clothing? In any case, Primavera sounds like an Italian or Spanish name, so if authorities suspect Southern European, he could fit. Agree about the finger deformity, but wonder if it was evident by just seeing the bones or if you would have to see some other tissue that had already deteriorated by the time they found the body (e.g., a nerve or tendon problem).
05-05-2013, 07:17 AM #13Registered User
- Join Date
- Dec 2009
- Northeast USA
usually foreign dentistry is pretty good evidence someone was from overseas but they did not explicitly say that. frankly, I don't know what dentistry in Europe would have in common with dentistry in South America in terms of style, material, etc.
05-05-2013, 07:53 AM #14
I guess it's even possible that Primavera was originally from South America or Europe. I tend to doubt it based on where he lived and his first name. I know someone who met and she did not remark on an accent. His place of birth should be easy to verify if anyone has access to Ancestry.com.
05-05-2013, 08:31 AM #15Registered User
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- Dec 2009
- Northeast USA
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