IA - Jane Wakefield, 26, Iowa City, 5 Sept 1975

Discussion in '1970's Missing' started by 2sisters, Jan 14, 2006.

  1. 2sisters

    2sisters New Member

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    http://www.charleyproject.org/cases/w/wakefield_jane.html
    http://doenetwork.us/cases/55dfia.html

    Authorities searching the Iowa City apartment of estranged husband, John Wakefield, seized pieces of bone debris and a piece of metal believed to be a tooth filling. Five vacuum cleaners also are seized from two bars owned by John Wakefield. No charges are filed in the case; however.

    I wonder if the police have any DNA on file to test the bone against? Seems like good evidience, if John Wakefield is alive maybe he should be questioned again.
     
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  3. carolina

    carolina New Member

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    why is she classsified as disabled on the charley project?
     
  4. meggilyweggily

    meggilyweggily New Member

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    Because the Iowa DPS had her classified as disabled.
     
  5. carolina

    carolina New Member

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    oh i wasnt saying it was wrong or anything...i was just wondering what exactly her disability is!
     
  6. meggilyweggily

    meggilyweggily New Member

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    I have been wondering that myself. If she graduated college and had a teaching job and everything, it doesn't sound like a serious disability. Maybe she was bipolar or something (not trying to say that's not a serious disability, it's just the kind of thing that you might be able to live with reasonably normally, depending on its severity and how well you respond to meds)
     
  7. carolina

    carolina New Member

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    yeah, and i have noticed on other websites that people who have drug addictions are often listed with a medical condition. the term disabled could apply to a broad number of conditions. i suppose if it were anytthing really drastic that would make her stand out from the general population they would be more specific.
     
  8. Richard

    Richard New Member

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    Jane Ellen Wakefield
    Missing since September 5, 1975 from Iowa City, Johnson County, Iowa.
    Classification: Endangered Missing

    Vital Statistics

    Date Of Birth: November 19, 1948
    Age at Time of Disappearance: 26 years old
    Height and Weight at Time of Disappearance: 5'2; 112 pounds
    Distinguishing Characteristics: White female. Brown hair; green eyes. Wakefield wore eyeglasses at the time of her disappearance.
    Dentals: Missing tooth #14

    Circumstances of Disappearance

    Wakefield was last seen on September 5, 1975 by friends in the north section of Iowa City on a bicycle. Some reports list she was last seen at her mobile home at the Bon-Aire Mobile Home Lodge, in Iowa City, Iowa.

    She was reported missing on Sept. 8, 1975, by Penn school principal Larry Sharp, where she was a teacher.

    A police check of her trailer revealed her bicycle at its usual place beside the trailer and clothing in a location suggesting she had recently taken a shower. The trailer was orderly and nothing was missing or out of place.

    At the time, a series of lie detector tests narrowed the list of suspects. However, one major suspect had refused to take such a test questioning the validity of such tests.

    On Sept 10, 1975, Iowa City police drained two city lagoons near the victim's trailer court but no evidence pertaining to the case was uncovered. In January of 1976, police armed with search warrants went to an Iowa City tavern where the woman had worked, an Iowa City apartment house and a billiard parlor, both managed by her estranged husband, John A. Wakefield.

    Ashes sifted from an incinerator at the apartment in question were sent to the Bureau of Criminal Investigation Laboratory in Des Moines: Lab analysis of bone fragments found in the incinerator were found to be inconclusive. Subsequently, a stretch of 1-80 north-of Iowa City was also searched by some 20 officers. No official explanation for the search has ever been released.

    Jane has never been seen again.


    Investigators

    If you have any information on Wakefield's whereabouts, please contact:
    Iowa City Police Department
    Lt Sid Jackson
    319-356-5276

    E-Mail: investigations@iowa-city.org

    OR
    Iowa Missing Persons' Clearinghouse
    800-346-5507

    E-Mail: mpicinfo@dps.state.ia.us

    All information may be submitted on an anonymous basis.
    NCIC Number: M-703329643

    Please refer to this number when contacting any agency with information regarding this case.

    Source Information:
    Iowa Missing Persons' Clearinghouse
    GazetteOnline
    Iowa City Missing Persons
    Gazette
    The Doe Network: Case File 55DFIA

    LINK:

    http://www.doenetwork.org/cases/55dfia.html
     
  9. meggilyweggily

    meggilyweggily New Member

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  10. Richard

    Richard New Member

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    Jane Ellen Wakefield
    Missing since September 5, 1975 from Iowa City, Johnson County, Iowa.
    Classification: Endangered Missing

    Vital Statistics

    Date Of Birth: November 19, 1948
    Age at Time of Disappearance: 26 years old
    Height and Weight at Time of Disappearance: 5'2; 112 pounds
    Distinguishing Characteristics: White female. Brown hair; green eyes. Wakefield wore eyeglasses at the time of her disappearance.
    Dentals: Missing tooth #14

    Circumstances of Disappearance

    Wakefield was last seen on September 5, 1975 by friends in the north section of Iowa City on a bicycle. Some reports list she was last seen at her mobile home at the Bon-Aire Mobile Home Lodge, in Iowa City, Iowa.

    She was reported missing on Sept. 8, 1975, by Penn school principal Larry Sharp, where she was a teacher.

    A police check of her trailer revealed her bicycle at its usual place beside the trailer and clothing in a location suggesting she had recently taken a shower. The trailer was orderly and nothing was missing or out of place.

    At the time, a series of lie detector tests narrowed the list of suspects. However, one major suspect had refused to take such a test questioning the validity of such tests.

    On Sept 10, 1975, Iowa City police drained two city lagoons near the victim's trailer court but no evidence pertaining to the case was uncovered.

    In January of 1976, police armed with search warrants went to an Iowa City tavern where the woman had worked, an Iowa City apartment house and a billiard parlor, both managed by her estranged husband, John A. Wakefield.

    Ashes sifted from an incinerator at the apartment in question were sent to the Bureau of Criminal Investigation Laboratory in Des Moines: Lab analysis of bone fragments found in the incinerator were found to be inconclusive.

    Subsequently, a stretch of 1-80 north-of Iowa City was also searched by some 20 officers. No official explanation for the search has ever been released. Jane has never been seen again.

    Investigators
    If you have any information on Wakefield's whereabouts, please contact:

    Iowa City Police Department
    Lt Sid Jackson
    319-356-5276
    E-Mail: investigations@iowa-city.org

    OR
    Iowa Missing Persons' Clearinghouse
    800-346-5507
    E-Mail: mpicinfo@dps.state.ia.us

    All information may be submitted on an anonymous basis.

    NCIC Number: M-703329643


    Please refer to this number when contacting any agency with information regarding this case.

    Source Information:

    Iowa Missing Persons' Clearinghouse
    GazetteOnline
    Iowa City Missing Persons
    Gazette
    The Doe Network: Case File 55DFIA

    LINK:

    http://www.doenetwork.org/cases/55dfia.html
     
  11. GarAndTeed

    GarAndTeed Member

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    Ok, I'm going to try to reveal my personal knowledge about this (IMO) homicide without crossing any inappropriate lines. First, I want to be absolutely clear that the following info is based on: 1) talks w/ various members of LE over a period of years; 2) interaction with individuals who personally knew Jane and/ or John Wakefield; and 3) my face to face encounters with John (hereafter referred to as "the POI"). The people I mention have very strong opinions about the POI (myself included); but to the best of my knowledge, the alleged homicide was not witnessed, and there wasn't enough evidence to bring the case to trial and give Jane the justice most people feel she deserved.
    The background: Jane was allegedly being abused (I'm not sure of the exact nature of the abuse), and was preparing to leave the POI. She was a small woman; the POI is not a large or tall person, but he is very cunning, and diabolical. If you passed him on the street or saw him in the grocery store, you probably wouldn't look twice; he's basically a "Joe Average" looking guy. Anyway, he allegedly (sorry to keep using that word, but I have to protect myself & this forum... believe me, it's not easy!) murdered Jane & cut her body into pieces. Before the murder, he had driven to a town about 30 miles from here & bought a bunch of "charcoal" from a crematorium (at that time, none of the local funeral homes did cremations). He burned the pieces of her body in his fireplace, vacuumed up the cremains, and dumped them in various dumpsters behind the bars he owned downtown. LE searched his house, his businesses, and the dumpsters. All they were able to find were a couple of TINY fragments of what appeared to be human bone; they were so destroyed by fire LE was unable to determine what bones they came from or any info as to blood type, age, sex, DNA, etc. He told her family she had "run off." Every LE officer I've spoken with is certain that he killed & disposed of her as I've described, and to this day they are beyond frustrated that the POI was able to commit this crime without leaving enough evidence to put him behind bars where he belongs.
    I met the POI about 15 years ago; I'd heard of him, and, ironically, he was a good friend of a person I was working with who I also considered a friend. I met him at my co-worker's house one afternoon; I'd heard my co-worker (we'll call him "X") talk about "John" a lot, but I had no idea it was *that* John. When I was introduced to him by his full name my blood ran cold. A female friend was with me that day, and John asked us if either of us could use some vacuum cleaner bags (yes, he has that much audacity, and more). My friend accepted the bags; after we left I told her who he was and the story behind him, and she threw the bags away; she didn't want anything he'd handled in her home. Occasionally, I'd meet my friend "X" at one of John's bars. John was constantly trying to sell and/or give things away. He tried to sell me a TV; the case of the TV was kind of warped, and he explained to me that it had been struck by lightening during a storm & had briefly caught fire (yes, this guy knows NO shame). I was SO disgusted I replied, "Yes, John, very strange things can happen with fire, huh?!" I then proceeded to load the jukebox w/ quarters & play every da*m song in it that mentioned fire ("Light My Fire", I'm On Fire", etc. etc.). He just looked at me, smirking, with a gleam in his eyes. It was absolutely unbelievable.
    Last I heard, he was living with a woman who had 2 or 3 small children. I'm sure I don't have to describe my horror over this. She was not from this country & hadn't even been in the U.S. when the (alleged) murder took place & was being investigated. I don't want to reveal her occupation, but suffice to say she was very intelligent from all accounts. This reinforces to me how "charming" a sociopath can be.
    I'll be happy to answer any questions I can, as long as they don't involve personal info about me or other innocent parties.
    Thanks,
    G&Td
    The above post in my personal, constitutionally protected opinion only.
     
  12. Richard

    Richard New Member

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    Was the house ever searched by forensic folk for blood or for items that he might have used to kill or butcher her? Although he may have succeeded in burning the body, it is likely that body fluids, blood, etc containing DNA might have been left behind in the house or on knives or other implements.
     
  13. GarAndTeed

    GarAndTeed Member

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    Hi Richard,
    It's been quite awhile since I've discussed this case with LE, so I can't recall exact details of my conversations. The LE people I used to talk to include undercover detectives from both the Iowa City Police Dept. & Johnson County Sheriff's Dept., in addition to the then (I'm "guesstimating" around 1984 thru mid 80's) head detective & supervisor of the P.D. To the best of my recollection, the house was searched by the PD and the forensics team from the State (I don't recall the FBI being mentioned, but, on the other hand, I wouldn't be surprised if they were involved-- I'm sure they would have been if there was any legal/procedural way they could have been brought in...I don't believe there was any reason to think the crime had crossed state lines, if that makes sense). I know John was the primary suspect pretty much from day 1; I'm sure I would have heard about any other suspects considered worth pursuing in any depth. I know there was tremendous frustration at the unbelievable lack of physical evidence; I have no doubt that the house AND businesses were searched meticulously & repeatedly...along with vehicles the POI owned & had access to. I think I can safely say that LE was/is stunned by this suspect's ability to plan & carry out such a "messy" homicide that left virtually no useful forensic evidence, as well as his audacity in openly purchasing the materials from the crematorium using his own name ( I've often wondered what, if any, "reason" he gave the crematorium for "needing" the supplies necessary to effectively cremate a human body-- having never personally considered, let alone carried out purchasing cremation materials, I can't begin to fathom how one would know what & how much is required to perform a cremation in a time before people had internet access to this type of "specialty" information).
    I can tell you with certainty that LE would love to nail this POS; sadly, I know of no evidence in storage that might yield DNA or other forensic info which wasn't possible to test for in 1975.
    I remain committed to doing all I can to help get justice for Jane, and welcome any questions, comments, or suggestions.
    Thanks,
    G&Td
    P.S. I also recall LE not being sure of what was used to dismember the body...but I know they retrieved all instruments that could have been utilized & nothing contained any evidence. My impression was they felt he effectively disposed of whatever he used.
     
  14. Richard

    Richard New Member

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    I wonder if there are any more modern techniques which could be used to test the bone fragments or ash which was obtained from the incinerator?
     
  15. GarAndTeed

    GarAndTeed Member

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    Hello again Richard,
    I just sent an email to Lt. Sid Jackson (whom I've met briefly a couple of times, although I doubt he remembers me). I asked him about the possibility of retesting the bone fragments, ash, & possible tooth filling; I also explained that I am a member of Websleuths (and only a lay person), and asked him to please let me know if there is any up-to-date info he can share with us that can be posted on a public forum. I'll let you know if I hear back from him.
    If you have any suggestions in re: specific research I can do on the forensics angle, please let me know. I have a migraine today so my mind isn't as sharp as usual (I'm generally pretty resourceful)!
    Thanks,
    G&Td
     
  16. GarAndTeed

    GarAndTeed Member

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    Follow-up to post on 3-24-2009:
    I did email Lt. Sid Jackson; I have not gotten a response. Just a few days ago, I learned that Sid Jackson had been fired from the Iowa City Police Dept. I'm not sure when this occured. I have no idea who the current contact person is in the Wakefield case (FWIW, I would think the email I sent would have been read by someone at the PD). I'm more than willing to try to find out so I can ask about current forensics & case info; however, I don't want to come across as bothersome or do anything to alienate LE. Any suggestions???
    Thanks!
    G&Td
     
  17. maima

    maima Still learning.

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    Hi, I grew up in Iowa City (I'm 41 years old now and live in Chicago) and I never heard about this case until several years ago.

    G&Td, after doing some searching online I found some city council minutes from 2001 that prompted a couple of questions: Do you have any idea if J. A. Wakefield had property on S. Governor St.? And, do you know whether he is still living in town or if he has moved to South Dakota?
     
  18. Fukiyama

    Fukiyama Member

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    There is no listing for J.A. Wakefield in the Iowa City phone book. Of course, it could just be unlisted...
     
  19. QueryOne

    QueryOne New Member

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    I guess there isn't any news. This is a very intriguing case, as I was acquainted with the POI from 1973-1978. I hesitate to say acquainted, but was part of the landscape of one of his "businesses". Very creepy person. I just hope there can be resolution for the family. I never thought of him as "allegedly" being involved. I believed it.
     
  20. Kat

    Kat Kind words do not cost much

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    Bump

    This week mark 35 years since Jane went missing. Come home soon.

    Welcome to Websleuths QueryOne. :)
     
  21. Richard

    Richard New Member

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    Missing Person Information

    Name: Jane E Wakefield
    Age At Report: 26
    Age Now: 64
    Weight: 112 lbs.
    Height: 5'02"
    Race: White
    Hair: Brown
    Eyes: Green
    Sex: Female
    Incident Type: Endangered / physical
    Jane Wakefield was reported missing to the Iowa City Police Department (319-356-5275), in Iowa City on September 9, 1975.

    Source:

    Iowa Missing Persons

    LINK:

    http://www.iowaonline.state.ia.us/mpic/Controller.aspx?cmd=personDetailCommand&id=16921
     

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