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  1. #1
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    FL - Miami, WhtMale UP10130, 17-32, killed in insurance scam, May'82

    UP#10130

    DEMOGRAPHICS

    Age: 17 - 32 years old
    Race: Caucasian
    Sex: Male
    Height: 71 inches
    Weight: 160 pounds
    Postmortem interval: 12 hours
    State of remains: Burnt beyond recognition

    CIRCUMSTANCES

    9901 SW 138 ST, Miami, FL 33136

    According to police investigation, the deceased was working underneath a car to repair a leaky gas line, when the car caught fire. Neighbors heard an explosion and summoned the fire department. When the fire was extinguished, a body of a male was found pinned underneath the vehicle, burnt beyond recognition.

    IDENTIFIERS

    Fingerprints: Available and entered
    Dentals: Available and entered
    DNA: Available - not yet submitted
    Last edited by CarlK90245; 10-11-2014 at 03:41 AM.

  2. #2
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    This actually happened about 7 miles from my home. I found out about this case through a Dr. G episode; I'm not a big fan of her show, but I found this particular episode fascinating.
    It's a pretty crazy story. The circumstances on NamUs don't really explain what really happened, so here's the background information.

    Here is the Dr. G episode about the case (it's the first 20 minutes or so): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=99cW2Uot5_k
    Dispatch article: http://news.google.com/newspapers?ni...g=5086,6037505
    Wall Street Journal: http://alb.merlinone.net/mweb/wmsql....mageid=5446032

    The following excerpt is from the Wall Street Journal article printed in 1986:

    In May 1982, Ezzat Aboul-Hosn, a Lebanese, was said to have been repairing a Vega in the garage of his Miami home in the company of his close friend Bassam Wakil, a Syrian. Wakil later contended that he had gone out for pizza and had returned to find the car in flames and Aboul-Hosn dead. Apparently, the Vega had slipped off a bumper jack, pinning Aboul-Hosn underneath. The jack had punctured the fuel tank and a hot light bulb had ignited the escaping gasoline.


    Forensic evidence pointed to an accident. Carbon monoxide found in the body showed that the dead man had been alive before the fire started. "If there had been evidence the person was dead before the fire started, that would have raised intense suspicion of criminal activity," said Dr. Joseph Davis, Miami's chief medical examiner.


    Aboul-Hosn was insured for $1.3 million. His sister and beneficiary, a Florida nurse, had received $550,000 when investigator Healy entered the case in December 1982. "One of the insurance companies was suspicious," Healy said. "We lacked a positive ID. There were no fingerprints or dental records, and nobody to identify the body."


    Something else seemed fishy. "The Syrian told me he had no photo of Eddie," Healy said. "But I had seen five cameras in the Syrian's living room. Could it be he'd never taken a picture of good friend Eddie?"


    Aboul-Hosn's sister told Healy that her brother's passport and driver's license were all in Lebanon. "That seemed strange," the investigator said. "Also, Eddie supposedly loved to work on old cars. But I found that he'd been a very fastidious guy who didn't like to get his hands dirty."


    The Syrian, on the sister's instructions, had cremated the body after the autopsy. But Dr. Richard Souviron, Miami's chief forensic dentist, had taken photos of the dead man's teeth. These proved helpful later, when Rafael Nazario, a Miami police detective, found a toothy photo of Aboul- Hosn on file with the state motor vehicle bureau.


    Souviron concluded, he said, that "no way is this the same individual. I told the detective, who said, 'My God! I've got a homicide on my hands.'"


    But the evidence might not have been strong enough to hold up in court if Aboul- Hosn's sister had sued for the rest of the insurance money. So Healy embarked on a quest for any X-rays of Aboul-Hosn's mouth.


    Aware that the insured had attended college in Kentucky and that his ex-wife was a Kentuckian, Healy flew to Louisville. It turned out that the ex- wife was in the Navy and at sea. Healy was waiting when her ship put in at Norfolk. "She thought Eddie had had one or two wisdom teeth pulled," recalled Healy, who correctly assumed that Aboul-Hosn would have had the work done at a dental school to save money.


    "Once in a while, God is good," Healy said. "The first school I went to and bingo, up came Eddie's dental chart." Souviron said that the X-rays confirmed that the dead man wasn't Aboul-Hosn. But the body still hasn't been identified. "It's an open, pending case," Nazario, the detective, said, adding that he will arrest Aboul-Hosn for murder if he ever finds him.


    In 1983, the Miami Herald found Aboul- Hosn's sister in Lebanon and reported that she denied being a party to his scheme. She said that she was so angry at the way he had used her that she had given him the money she received as a beneficiary. The Herald also said that Aboul-Hosn owned two new cars and a truck, had a villa under construction in Lebanon and maintained a "fat" savings account at a bank.

  3. #3
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    Hoping I can revive this thread. I was just doing some research for something I'm writing, and found some more info about the case itself and the John Doe.

    - The UID's official cause of death is smoke inhalation. No soot was found in his airway, but his carbon monoxide blood saturation level was 61.9%. 20% is enough to make someone ill, 60% is a fatal dose.
    - He had fractures on both forearms. These were listed as "thermal fractures". I learned that, when a body is subjected to intense heat, the heat can burn through the flesh and 'warp' the bones underneath, causing the exposed bones to become brittle and then fracture.
    - His fists were clenched and the body found in a "pugilistic" position. When a body is subjected to intense heat, the muscles in the arms contract and the body will assume a 'defensive' position, like it's holding its fists up in preparation for a fight.
    - According to a magazine article (c. 1994), the UID had no dental work at all. This makes me think he was possibly a transient (Miami is also one of the most popular cities among transients and the homeless).
    - AFAIK, his remains have all been destroyed. His body was cremated and the ashes scattered into the ocean. The forensic odontologist did save the upper and lower jaws at one point for identification purposes, but who knows what happened to them. Fortunately, there is DNA available.

    I also got a picture of his teeth directly from the Dr. G episode. You can see it here: http://i.imgur.com/WODM6hx.png

    I think I found just about all the information that was available online. I ended up with ~10 pages of notes.
    I'm off work today. I want to go to the library and see if they have any archived news articles or anything like that.

    I've checked several times over the past 1 1/2 years, but I haven't found any missing men who really fit. The problem is that there just isn't a lot of info to rule someone in or out. The body was in such bad condition that he was unrecognizable, they couldn't tell his hair or eye color, there are no distinguishing marks.
    The best identifier we have is his teeth. In particular, his two front lower teeth overlap significantly and very noticeably. That is probably the easiest way to rule a missing person in or out.

  4. #4
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    the poor guy was prob never reported missing.

  5. #5
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    As I was reading, I was thinking transient or homeless, or maybe migrant worker. Somebody who wouldn't be noticed missing right away, if at all.
    Opinions expressed are strictly my own (who else would they belong to???)

  6. #6
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    Here is the Miami Herald article written by Dan Goodgame in 1983. Almost all the articles I've read about this case refer back to this article. I'm posting it here in its entirety since the only place I can find it on the web is in the Miami-Dade Library's news archives, and you need a library account to access it.

    MAN IS ALIVE, RICH IN LEBANON

    BTEKHNAY, Lebanon -- Ten months after he supposedly burned to death in Miami, backyard mechanic Ezzat M. Aboul-Hosn is home again -- a rich man in a small Lebanese mountain village.

    He owns two new cars and a truck. His $250,000 villa is under construction. He maintains a fat savings account at a local bank. He pays his bills from a book of fancy oversized checks.

    People here wonder where a 30-year-old former army sergeant, the only son of a poor family, got his money.

    Ezzat's sister Ghada knows.

    She was paid $500,000 as beneficiary of Ezzat's insurance policies after he "died" in a freak flash fire while working beneath his 10-year-old Chevrolet Vega at his rented Kendall home.

    Ghada says her brother faked his death. She says she has no idea who the real dead man might be. Neither do homicide detectives in Miami.

    "When I found that my brother is still alive, I was shocked," Ghada insisted in an interview at her family's modest home in this snow-covered village in the mountains east of Beirut.

    "I was happy that he wasn't dead, but I was so hurt and angry that I had been used. I didn't want any of the money. I gave it to him. It's dirty money," she lamented, tears welling in her green eyes.

    Ghada said she was studying nursing in Tampa last May when her brother was reported killed. She claims she didn't know until later that she was beneficiary of his $1.3-million in life insurance.

    After paying the first half-million, insurance companies discovered from Ezzat's dental records that he wasn't the dead man. They refuse to pay the outstanding $800,000.

    Ghada claims she no longer speaks to her brother.

    "We had a big fight. We haven't talked since. Ezzat knew he had to leave here."

    Ghada claimed that her brother fled their village with his clothes and his money only hours before a Herald reporter appeared Tuesday.

    Ezzat took a taxi to Damascus, Syria, and planned to fly "to Europe, for two years, maybe longer," Ghada said. Another of Ezzat's six sisters, questioned earlier and separately, said he was still in the area. Villagers suggested that Ezzat is nearby, avoiding outsiders.

    The truth is hard to know, and dangerous to pursue in Btekhnay, a redoubt of Lebanon's mystical Druze sect. The people are fiercely clannish, at home in mountains that are easy to defend and hard to capture.

    In village streets now thigh-deep in snow, the old men wear baggy black Turkish-style pants with red tarboush hats. Young men bristle with Soviet-made submachine-guns and rocket launchers.

    They have more than insularity in common. They are all followers of the same secretive Druze offshoot of Islam, and every one of them is surnamed Aboul-Hosn. Literally, every one of the estimated 2,500 villagers is named Aboul-Hosn.

    Some of the Aboul-Hosns working as doctors, engineers, bankers and pilots in Beirut have learned from relatives in the United States of the adventures of their relative Ezzat.

    "Some of us think that we should turn him over to the U.S. Embassy so he can be tried. And if he did kill someone for this money, he should get the electric chair," said Adnan Aboul-Hosn, 34, a cargo pilot. "This is a disgrace to the Aboul-Hosn name and the village."

    EXTRADITION UNLIKELY

    In Beirut, the American Embassy says there is little chance of forcibly returning Ezzat to Miami.

    "There is no extradition treaty betweeen the United States and Lebanon," said consular officer Lisa Piascik. "It's up to the local authorities."

    The local authorities in the mountains around Btekhnay are not Lebanese, but Syrian. The Syrian Army has occupied the territory since Lebanon's 1976 civil war, under an Arab League mandate.

    Even reaching the village now is a heart-of-darkness gantlet of Syrian and Druze checkpoints, snow-clogged, shell-cratered roads, the wrecks of bombed cars. Along the road, Soviet-made tanks sleep like hibernating bears, blanketed to their turrets in snow.

    The usual route to Btekhnay, about 20 miles east from Beirut, has been closed by snow for two weeks. The route newly carved through the snow is a tortuous, roundabout, single-lane track, about 42 miles long and two and a half hours from Beirut.

    Ezzat has run, but it remains to be seen whether he can hide
    from his Aboul-Hosn clan.

    "People in the village are beginning to hear about Ezzat and his 'accident,' " said Dr. Aref Aboul-Hosn, a Beirut physician. "If he's a criminal, we don't want him running loose."

    PROSPEROUS TOWN

    Like a half-dozen Aboul-Hosns interviewed in Beirut, he expressed concern for "the family name" and "the reputation of the village."

    Btekhnay is considered one of the best-educated and most prosperous localities in Lebanon. Its major export seems to be professionals to the United States, including to the Florida cities of Orlando, Tampa and Titusville.

    Local commerce revolves around apples and cherry orchards, and the harvesting of pine cones for snobar, or pine nuts.

    In the village, the family of Ezzat Aboul-Hosn was not prominent until Ezzat's ostentatious return from Miami. His father, Aref (the Aboul-Hosns often also share first names), owned a grocery shunned by some villagers, according to both Dr. Aref and Adnan, the pilot.

    "The son joined the army after his schooling, and everyone thought it was good that he was turning out better than the father," Adnan said.

    A few years ago, however, Adnan crossed the path of Ezzat in Louisville, Ky., where a number of prosperous Aboul-Hosns have settled.

    "The police wanted him for paying someone to steal his furniture, then claiming it on insurance," Adnan said.

    (According to Louisville police, Ezzat reported $2,300 in stereo equipment, cameras, encyclopedias, clothing and jewelry stolen in February 1979.)

    After moving to Miami, Ezzat took jobs as a waiter, taxi driver and salesman, accumulating his life insurance policies over two years.

    SISTER IN DARK

    His sister Ghada says she lived with Ezzat for about 18 months in Miami, renting at the Caravel Apartments in Kendall. She studied medical technology at Miami-Dade Community College before moving to Tampa.

    During this time, she claims, she never knew that she was the beneficiary to Ezzat's insurance.

    "I didn't know he had insurance until I went through his papers" after his reported death, she asserted.

    Ghada says she returned to Lebanon in mourning shortly before last summer's Israeli invasion. She claims she didn't see Ezzat in the village, or learn that he was alive, for several months.

    "He wasn't here when I came back in May," Ghada said."He convinced everyone not to tell me when I was in the village the first two times."

    It wasn't until "just before Christmas" that she saw Ezzat, Ghada insisted.

    That, she claimed, was after she had returned to Miami last fall to collect the first insurance payment.

    Adnan and one other native of the village, however, said that Ezzat and Ghada returned to the village only "one or two days apart" in late May or early June.

    PLEASANT HOME

    When confronted on the street below her family's home, Ghada first refused to talk. After about 15 minutes standing knee-deep in snow, chatting about the neighborhoods of Tampa, Ghada agreed to step inside.

    Her mother, a pleasant white-haired woman named Linda, was too polite to refuse a request for coffee brewed on a cast iron wood-burning stove that kept the living room comfortable and
    sent smoke curling about the red-tile roof.

    Ezzat named a Miami company after his mother, at least on his business cards for "Linda Advertising," which he hands out to villagers when he explains how he struck it rich in America.

    Before Ezzat returned with his money, Linda helped support the family by skillfully knitting woolen sweaters in a distinctive twisted pattern. Sitting around the wood stove, dark-haired Ghada wore one of her mother's white sweaters.

    "Now that this has happened, I have no social life," Ghada complained. "Nobody talks to me and I don't talk to them. I work at the village medical clinic, alone in the lab. I come home and help with the house and read my books ... mostly medical books. I want to go back to Miami and clear this up. I just want to go back to nursing school in Tampa."

    She said she wonders whose remains she had cremated. She left the ashes with a Syrian friend of Ezzat's in Miami.

    Dade medical examiners retained the teeth of the burned corpse, and with the help of an insurance investigator established some seven months after the fire that the victim was not Ezzat.

    "I went crazy knowing that I had these ashes of someone else," Ghada said.

    When her brother's friend, Bassam Wakil, learned that the remains were not those of Ezzat, Ghada said, "he threw them into the ocean" somewhere near Miami.



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