MA MA - Granby, WhtFem 720UFMA, 19-26, shallow grave off Route 116, Nov'78

Discussion in 'The Unidentified' started by hmg, Apr 23, 2009.

  1. RickshawFan

    RickshawFan Verified Outdoor Recreation Specialist

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    It could just be a cheap knock-off. I doubt a real Gloria Vanderbilt shirt would have a logo right in the middle of the front: that seems kind of tacky, especially for the late '70s, which was before wearing logos was popular. IIRC, that concept started with IZOD and maybe Ralph Lauren, but now has been distastefully maximized by companies like UnderArmor and The North Face ( for the last decade or so owned by Vanity Fair).

    I don't believe that shirt style would have been unusual in the late '70s. It's made to look like a two-layered kind of thing. Synthetics like polyester especially were popular. In those days, scrubs were plain and nurses, dental hygienists etc. wore white.

    I don't believe there were labels on the inside seam in those days that indicated fabric content and washing instructions. Potentially, there would have been a label at the neck, but those can be itchy and may have been removed. It would be easy to tell from looking at the seams whether this item was home-stitched. It does not look home-stitched to me. If the fabric is a knit, that would seem even more unlikely to me, since it would be hard to get that neck detail with a knit. I know from sewing knits myself in the '70's.

    Holyoke Hospital is not too far away.
     


  2. mrsobrien

    mrsobrien Well-Known Member

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    As a longtime seamstress, I think this top is hand made, the swan a hand appliqué. If i could see the inner seams more clearly, i could say 100% one way or the other. Is there a higher res version of this pic somewhere?

    I'm off to google vintage sewing patterns.
     
  3. carbuff

    carbuff Well-Known Member

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    I wasn't good enough to make a shirt with that kind of detail, but I had friends who were.

    Mrsobrien, when I was looking last night I saw some Simplicity patterns that looked very similar.
     
  4. mrsobrien

    mrsobrien Well-Known Member

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    I saw some that could have been used as a "base" for a shirt this the one in question, but would need modification. Patterns for knit fabrics were less common then, so that helps narrow it down a lot. I'm going to consult my mom, she is roughly the same age as our UID and also has sewn for many years.
     
  5. carbuff

    carbuff Well-Known Member

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    I wonder if she started with a knit shirt and modified it to have the in-style smock look.
     
  6. mrsobrien

    mrsobrien Well-Known Member

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    I think this is totally possible, it crossed my mind last night. I am a prolific repurposer, and t shirt reconstruction is my strength, lol. It could even be two shirts spliced together, although I don't think this is true here.
     
  7. Skeeter

    Skeeter New Member

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    New here. Sorry to throw everyone off with the shirt.
    But this I find interesting.

    This young lady who was also found with a belt around the neck, a size 36 belt. Thats a bigger man.

    I-90 to I-95 runs from Fl to MA. That would be a route for a truckdriver. Imo. I would search the stretch of I-95. http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interstate_95_in_Massachusetts


    That shirt reminds me of something I wore in the 70s. Home made clothes,no tags or labels. My mom back then would have been this persons age, it doesn't look like the style for adults back then. Not even 19. I don't understand the "chunky" part though. Size 14-16 is more than likely a teenage size.
     
  8. RickshawFan

    RickshawFan Verified Outdoor Recreation Specialist

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    I realize these are old posts, but......... that area in the '70's was much tamer than anyone seems to be imagining. Few young people had cars in those days, and you'd have needed a car to get to any kind of larger population, except maybe Northampton. But Northampton is a college town as well. Just to give y'all some perspective, imagine: sit-down dinners, family style, every night; real silverware at table, with real silver urns to serve tea or coffee; at the colleges, pretty much everyone lived in dorms; at UMass, there likely was more freedom, but there weren't large tracts of privately owned student housing; the nearest mall was in Connecticut, and there weren't a whole lot of "box stores" in existence yet; the party scene was beer at Amherst frat houses; a smallish percentage watched TV with any regularity, and that tended to be Walter Cronkite; you'd get an occasional whiff of MJ in a dorm, but no rumors of hard drugs or alcoholism (except on weekends); strangely enough, a lot of students studied!; several of these campuses had very competitive student bodies and very high standards. Many of these students lived very sheltered lives! Three of the campuses were like country clubs: riding stables, lakes, top notch gym facilities, extensive libraries, museums, dorms with state of the art furniture..... A fourth campus was brand new. There was a considerable loosening in the area of sexual discussion and experimentation, both the "free love" variety, homosexuality, "premarital sex", and S&M. And the Vietnam War had not been over for long. Issues of social justice, student empowerment.....

    I hope this helps your picture of things regarding college life. I interviewed for a position at one of these campuses in the early '80's and it wasn't a whole lot different from the early '70's. I did not have much experience with UMAss, but it, too, was tame compared with these days.

    It does occur to me regarding this UID that something might have gone wrong at a frat house.....
     
  9. RickshawFan

    RickshawFan Verified Outdoor Recreation Specialist

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    I did a lot of sewing in the '60s and '70s, thus my comments above. I taught myself how to sew knits. Yes, there were patterns for knits. Sewing knits became popular in the early 70's. You had to have a sewing machine that would sew zigzags, and most sewing machines out there did not.

    Even if you were used to sewing knits, the round yoke and the stitched-in V at the neckline on that top would be tricky: there's no pucker, and the yoke edging would be on the bias. And if the inset piece isn't a knit, you're working with a knit seamed with a non-knit. Yowza! And if the green stuff is a knit, then the appliqué is a knit, too?

    If there is consensus that the top is homemade, I would try Butterick.
     
    branmuffin likes this.
  10. DBinMA

    DBinMA Member

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    My husband was born and raised in the next town over(and we still live in town) and every teenager had a car. You couldn't get anywhere without one. Cars were easily had, much cheaper and easily worked on. My husband can't think of one friend that didn't have a car in those days. Perhaps some bigger or financially strapped families had kids share one but at least here in Belchertown it was more common for teens to have their own car than not. We're talking about towns that in the 70's (and even today truthfully) that do not have stores, restaurants etc on every corner. Belchertown didn't even have a grocery store of its own until the 2000's LOL
     
  11. carbuff

    carbuff Well-Known Member

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    I didn't move to New England until 1980, but I had the impression that in the Northampton area there were a lot of town and gown issues.
     
  12. RickshawFan

    RickshawFan Verified Outdoor Recreation Specialist

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    You are correct in saying that in the '70's you couldn't go anywhere without a car in that area. However, that meant a lot of students didn't go anywhere! That was true for all 5 campuses, I believe, although there was generally a frat party or two on weekends at Amherst College. Even wealthy college students didn't have cars. (Cars actually weren't allowed freshman year on my campus.) I knew one student in my class who had one, but she was a day student from Granby with a single working father. I knew twins in the class after me who had a car (a Pinto, lol), but they were able to split the price and upkeep; they were the only ones in my entire dorm to own a car! This was pretty typical.... Students were in the area to study, not to party (the dorm had only one TV, and most of the time it was off, for gosh sake). My friend from Granby partied in high school, but it was a whole different scene when she got to college.

    So, although many high school students in the area might have had cars, this was not true of college students.

    I even had professors who didn't have cars (professors were required to live nearby, incidentally).

    And, as I mentioned in my post above, the nearest big mall was in Connecticut (Enfield). The current busy drag through Hadley was mostly fields: certainly not the mix of major stores and hotels there now. There were not a whole lot of restaurants, even. I remember the Rusty Scupper, but that was it! A restaurant meal was a big treat.

    There was a free bus that linked the five colleges.

    I didn't know of a single person in my high school, either, who had a car. Except my older brother, who worked 30+ hours per week, which allowed him to pay for one. Even at grad school, students didn't have cars: I did grad school at a wealthy university and I was the only one I knew who had one, and I worked for 2 years before grad school so I had some savings. (Tires weren't good in those days, so it frequently had flats.)

    My parents could never have afforded a car for any of their offspring, even though my father had a comfortable salary.

    Something nasty could have gone down at an Amherst frat party...... If anything, frat parties in general were worse then than they are now (since then, frats have been abolished at Amherst IIRC). At Amherst, frat parties were reputed to be ankle-deep in beer: a young woman could easily have been assaulted while in a stupor.

    What do you think the possibility is that the perp(s) in this case could have been a local high school student(s)?
     
  13. RickshawFan

    RickshawFan Verified Outdoor Recreation Specialist

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    Yes, local high school students didn't usually mix with college students, though there were a few local day students. It's my impression that Smithies are much more integrated into Northampton culture now than they were then. Northampton also seems a lot wealthier now.
     
  14. DBinMA

    DBinMA Member

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    Yes it may have been true that the college population didn't go anywhere and they would have been primarily confined to Amherst and Northampton, And while Massachusetts as a whole is now and always has been a fairly well educated state. I would say going to college was less common in towns like Granby/Ware/Belchertown. So really we're talking about 2 very different populations in a relatively small area that despite close proximity likely didn't intersect all that much.

    And because of that I think this particular case probably doesn't involve a student. The state school was out here and there was a large population of people that wouldn't be looked for too hard. There were a lot of mentally ill housed in private rooming houses and I do question (from personal experience) how closely these folks were monitored. My grandmother housed at any given time 3-8 mentally challenged adults, strictly for money, not their best interest. I know she wasn't alone.
     
  15. RickshawFan

    RickshawFan Verified Outdoor Recreation Specialist

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    Interstate 91 goes through Northampton-Holyoke-Springfield, and it looks from the map as though it would be a reasonable "en route", but, in fact, it is quite convoluted to get to this location. Unlikely to be a truck driver on his/her way through, IMO.
     
  16. Owutatangledweb

    Owutatangledweb Well-Known Member

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    I have looked at 1970s vintage patterns and some 1960s on line as well As for "swan appliqués" including on etsy. I have had no luck. I still think this is a very weird shirt and is for someone younger than they have estimated. I do think it is probably homemade and I do think that if an older person was wearing it, that it may have been as one person has mentioned here, it could have been someone who had challenges.

    I think that someone could have recognized this shirt Long ago and that it is probably too late.
     
  17. carbuff

    carbuff Well-Known Member

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    It might be worth publicizing it. For years it was described as a "Hawaiian shirt" which is nowhere close...
     
  18. Skeeter

    Skeeter New Member

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    Bullet entered the left temple and exited. Would it shatter the passenger window?
    I'd have to think she was shot in a vehicle and drug out of the car with the belt.

    Were there no pants, shoes, undergarments that may give a better size of this person. I don't know how they could determine "chunky".

    http://www.officialcoldcaseinvestigations.com/showthread.php?11855-SWAN-JANE-DOE
     
  19. Skeeter

    Skeeter New Member

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  20. carbuff

    carbuff Well-Known Member

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    I take any estimates of build with a large grain of salt. In this case I suspect they were thinking "smock top=fat girl clothes," which was totally not the case in the 70's.
     

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