ID ID - Boise, WhtMale, alias 'William Toomey', cyanide suicide in church, Dec'82

Discussion in 'The Unidentified' started by JupiterAmmon, Mar 13, 2011.

  1. JupiterAmmon

    JupiterAmmon New Member

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    I haven't been able to find much info on this Doe. He was featured on an Unsolved Mysteries segment. I am unsure if he was ever identified, but it seems like he hasn't been. He went into the Sacred Hearts Church in Boise, Idaho, and committed suicide by taking cyanide capsules. The John Doe was dressed in Western attire (with a very distinctive belt with a coin in it), and the only name on his person was "Wm L. Toomey," but noything can be found on a person with that name (seems to be a pseudonym). He left a large sum of money ($1900) to the church to cover funeral costs.


    Here are some links, but there seems to be practically nothing on him out there, the 2nd link is about the murder of a priest but mentions this doe, as possibly being connected to this case, there is a post-mortem photo of him in the article, about half way down:

    http://unsolvedmysteries.wikia.com/wiki/William_L._Toomey

    THE FOLLOWING LINK HAS A POST-MORTEM PICTURE OF THE DECEASED IN THE ARTICLE:

    http://www.austinchronicle.com/news/2005-06-17/275319/

    ETA: Here is a link to the Unsolved Mysteries Segment on this Doe:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dJD5buvqRs8
     
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  3. summer_breeze

    summer_breeze New Member

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    This is an unexplained death, not an "unidentified person"???
     
  4. CarlK90245

    CarlK90245 UID Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    AFAIK, he is still UID. I don't think the ID he was carrying was valid.
     
  5. necco

    necco New Member

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    The name was traced to be a manufacturer of Catholic vestments in Boston, MA. There was no connection to this man.

    The way he was found indicates to me he took the cyanide while he was kneeling to pray. As suicide is a mortal sin in the Catholic faith, I believe he was probably saying the Act of Contrition when he died. I have always wondered if this man had some connection to the sexual abuse scandals that rocked the Catholic Church.

    He had no ID on him. Wm. L. Toomey was the name signed to the suicide note.
     
  6. summer_breeze

    summer_breeze New Member

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    Oops! Thank you!

    My reading comprehension was a little off yesterday......apologies.
     
  7. necco

    necco New Member

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    I wonder if this gentleman could have been a priest or an ex-priest and/or been from Ireland. Several things make me think of this possibility:
    Looking at the picture of him, he looks Irish to me, off the boat Irish, Ireland exported a lot of priests through the 1980s.
    The link to the Boston vestment manufacturer (Boston also being one of the first places Irish emigres go.)
    The bolo and top button buttoned, could be someone who was used to wearing a collar.
    Toomey is an Irish surname.

    If he was a priest and was in Latin America (the Mexican belt), it is entirely possible he became dishearten by the violence against the clergy there at the time and left the priesthood. (Oscar Romero, three nuns and a lay missionary, etc in the year or two before John Doe's death.)
     
  8. rainwater

    rainwater New Member

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    Bumping.
     
  9. annemc2

    annemc2 her name is Suzanne Marie Sevakis

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    That Austin Chronicle article was very comprehensive and interesting.

    It mentioned this:

    The note was signed with a pseudonym, "Wm. L. Toomey," which (Boise Police Detective Frank) Richardson said he later discovered was the name of a company that manufactured priest and nun garb. There was no doubt in Richardson's mind that his Boise John Doe was intimately connected to the Catholic Church; for that reason, the story of the Ryan murder aroused his suspicions.
     
  10. rainwater

    rainwater New Member

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    AFAIK, someone cannot walk into the local neighborhood pharmacy and purchase cyanide pill/tablet. But according to this article, such tablets are routinely given to members of the military and/or espionage agents and organizations who run the risk of being captured. Maybe someone had access to that type of cyanide pill due to their type of employment.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suicide_pill


    Also, there was/is a monastery in Sandia ,TX. In the 1980's it was a Roman Catholic Benedictine monastery. It is now a monastery affiliated with the Coptic Orthodox church. There is a very long article at this link on the history of the monastery:
    http://www.abbey.suscopts.org/

    Quoting a few sentences from the abbey's site:

    The land on which the Abbey is built was originally founded by the Roman Catholic Church in 1927 as a theological school and faculty residence. In 1961, Pope John XXIII elevated the establishment's status to that of an Abbey naming it the "Corpus Christi Abbey and Benedictine Retreat Center" in which monastic vocations were accepted and fulfilled. For the next four decades the Abbey would be a place of refuge and retreat for its monks, those they served and the surrounding communities at large.

    Instead of a former priest, could John Doe have been a former Roman Catholic Benedictine monk?
     
  11. FiveFelines

    FiveFelines New Member

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    I think cyanide was easier to procure in 1982, which incidentally was the year of the Chicago Tylenol murders.

    ETA: I'm not suggesting there's a link between the two, only that someone could obtain cyanide and put it in a capsule fairly easily.
     
  12. Romulus

    Romulus Active Member

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  13. EmmaliLucia

    EmmaliLucia New Member

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    Most likely coincidences. Three different states, years apart, and nothing else too similar.

    Giving an alias on a suicide note is fairly common practice, most don't want their families to know what happened to them. Some of their families can get their life insurance if the person is legally declared dead after being missing for a few years but life insurance will not pay out to families of those who committed suicide.

    Cyanide is also a fairly common way of committing suicide. It's supposed to be extremely quick, not terribly messy, and a lot less intimidating than other means of suicide (Shooting oneself and/or jumping to their death)
     
  14. fizzypop

    fizzypop Member

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    Didn't Leonard Lake take a cyanide pill too? I don't think it was *that* hard for a regular person to get ahold of it back in those days. I've heard of a few cases, some mentioned here, where members of the general public were able to obtain it for whatever reason. I don't think that's going to be much of a clue to his identity.

    I remember seeing this case on Unsolved Mysteries many years ago. Of course this is just my opinion but I am thinking he didn't have family that he left behind. I don't know why he wouldn't want to be identified, because it seems that the church was very important to him, and you can't hide your identity from God anyway. I wonder why he chose to hide it from everyone else. I don't think this one is ever going to be solved, but for some reason I feel ok with that, more than I do on almost every UID case.
     
  15. JupiterAmmon

    JupiterAmmon New Member

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    I am posting the relevant paragraphs to the case from the Austin Chronicle article I originally posted (http://www.austinchronicle.com/news/2005-06-17/275319/). Its quite a fascinating article, including a potentially innocent man behind bars, who is thought to have killed Father Ryan (another case featured on Unsolved Mysteries). The author of the article suggests that the unidentified man may instead be the real killer. Anyways, here is the relevant paragraphs:

     
  16. JupiterAmmon

    JupiterAmmon New Member

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    Here is a composite of the John Doe. In the original article there is also a post mortem (looks like its from the investigation scene).

    William_toomey.jpg
     
  17. Piknik

    Piknik Member

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    Unbelievable. Destroyed the evidence. Those investigators should be in jail.
     
  18. ghostINshell

    ghostINshell New Member

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    Bump

    Sent from my SM-G386T using Tapatalk
     

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