Discussion in 'Mystery couple murdered South Carolina 1976' started by christine2448, Jan 12, 2008.
Link to 1st thread:
Thanks for the new thread - we needed it. I hope everyone will move their photos and important info over to this one
Unidentified Male - Case File 198UMSC
Unidentified Female - Case File 189UFSC
Sumter County Sheriff's Office Unsolved/Cold Cases Files:
Unknown Persons (John & Jane Doe)
The Mystery Couple: Handsome Mystery Couple Found Murdered in South Carolina
John's Stone of Destiny - originally posted 9-10-2007
(John was found wearing a gray Linde Star ring (linde star = an artificial star sapphire; Sapphire is the birthstone associated with September) in a 14 K yellow-gold mounting with the initials J.P.F. - *the coroner has confirmed that the middle initial "P" is larger than the two outside initials (leading to the assumption that P is the last name and J is the first name and F is the middle name = J.F.P.)).
Today I decided to research John's ring. I found some very interesting information. I wish his stone would speak to us!!
Linde star sapphire ("Linde stars") are synthetic star sapphires that were first made by the Linde Air Products Company in 1947. The Linde company later became a division of Union Carbide. The Linde company went out of business in the late 70's.
Linde Stars (Artificial Star Sapphires) -Stone is created in a lab, along with the star and color. Linde stars were manufactured en masse by the Linde division of Union Carbide since about the early 1950’s.
Star Sapphire Legends and Lore:
Few if any gemstones have the mystery, the mystique, the legend and history of star sapphire and star ruby. Treasured since the dawn of man, they are a stone that's hard to compare.
This stone is know as the Destiny Stone or the Stone of Destiny. 3-crossed lines represent 'faith, hope, and destiny.' Many people believe the star to be a good luck piece.
The ancients regarded star sapphires as a very powerful talisman, a guiding star for travelers and seekers of all kinds. They were so powerful, they were said to continue to protect the wearer even after being passed on to someone else.
People have thought that they had demons or angels of light living in them. And because they turned dark at night, they were thought to go to sleep, just like people.
People have worn them for protection from evil spirits or attackers, they carried them in medicine and healing pouches, they are powerful spirits in the shamanistic world.
People use them for saying and seeing the future or for objects of meditation. They are said to speak for, or are the voices of the mineral world spirits.
The stars in all stones are believed to increase the gemstones magical powers, because it's the all seeing eye of the spirit contained in the stone.
They speak only when in the light and their voice is one of movement and shadow light shades. They are the symbol of the heavens.
The Bulova Accutron Watch- originally posted 9-10-2007
Date Code = M8 = 1968 (=8 years before John Doe found)
Serial Code = H918803 = made in the USA ____________________________________________________
The Bulova Accutron was first sold to the public in November of 1960.
During the Accutron’s heyday from 1960 to about 1970, only about two million units were sold.
The two (of six total) model considered most collectible are the model 214 and 218.
The 214, which came out first, has the set mechanism in the back of the watch. It is a small semi-circular lever that is lifted with a fingernail.
The 218 is distinguished by a conventional crown along the side of the watch, located at the 4 o’clock position.
Bulova introduced the 218 in 1965 and gradually phased out the 214 for several reasons.
Various models of the 218 were produced until 1977.
Bulova provided a unique dating system on their cases beginning in 1949 which allows accurate dating of any Accutron. The codes were used as follows:
A9 = 1949 (this was the first dating done)
L0-L9 - 1950's. L2 = 1952, etc.
M0-M9 - 1960's. M6 = 1966, etc.
N0-N9 - 1970's. N3 = 1973, etc.
The date code can be found at the bottom of the case back. It will be a two digit alpha/numeric code, not to be confused with the longer alpha/numeric case reference above it.
Serial numbers that begin with a letter were made in the USA.
The serial number contains no other useful information about the watch. Inside of the back cover there is a 4 digit case number printed or stamped. That number is the key to all information about the model.
A Reply regarding the Watch - originally posted 9-11-2007
Just received this...and I've answered back with a LOT of questions (*I had contacted an expert on Bulova watches)
I'm afraid that the serial number contains no useful information. This is thanks to the lack of foresight on the part of Bulova when they trashed virtually everything associated with early Accutron watches.
I do keep very good records and a computer search for H918803 turned up nothing. It's my habit to add a dash and then the date code after the serial number on all of my invoices so I tried H918803-M8 but again, no luck. I would have been pleased to contribute to your search but unfortunately, I have nothing for you.
More from the gentleman I emailed about the watch: originally posted 9-12-2007
The Accutron watch was a high tech instrument in its day. It had a connection to the space program and was very popular with young people. It was cool, and relatively expensive starting at $125. Most of the ones that I repair were originally gifts from parents, wives, or friends.
Bulova was a world class manufacturer at the time, with manufacturing facilities in New York and Switzerland. Components were made in Germany and elsewhere in Europe. The total number of watches made during the 17 years of production (1960 to 1977) has been variously put at anywhere between 17 and 24 million.
They were marketed everywhere and sold with a sizeable discount to GI's at military PX's all over the world.
Finally, when an old watch is opened to reveal the works, you can often find the initials and date of the various repairers who had worked on it scratched somewhere on the case or movement. (*this was later checked by the coroner and no information was found inside the watch)
Thanks for starting thread #2 on here.
And thank you Marie, for moving the pertinent info into the new thread. I don't know how it works, but is there any way to merge the thread from Cold Cases into this one so the Mystery Couple are only in the Unidentified Category? Maybe we need the thread in Cold Cases too, I don't know. It's just kind of confusing with it being in 2 different categories.
I might have another explanation for the size of the initials. While looking at wedding invitations and such, it dawned on me that the ring could possibly be a wedding/engagement ring or anniversary gift. Some of the things I've seen such as invitations and other engraved items can be personalized with the bride and grooms initials, similar to the way the initials are engraved on the ring (center initial larger than first and last). So JPF could be: J for jacques/jock, P for his last name, and F for wife's first name?
Yes, I've seen those too and it could be a possibility. Certainly something to keep in mind while looking for the identity of John Doe. He could have also bought or traded the ring from someone else and the initials might not even be his.
I want so badly for these two to be given back their names!!
That's a good suggestion, Sable. It had been talked about before and I even e-mailed the Sumter County Sheriff to see if we could get a photograph of the initials on the ring to see if they were all the same size. Unfortunately, he e-mailed me back and said the initials were too faded after 30+ years and would not show up well in a photo.
I wonder where Gary Hilton was back then? Hey, he had to start somewhere and they were at campgrounds possibly up and down the coast. His stomping ground and he had to start somewhere. You just never know where or when.
The engraved initials would NOT fade away on the band. The only way that happens is if someone wore them away from wearing it for years but even then that would take a lot especially since they were on the inside of the ring and not exposed to wear and tear. It isn't and never was an expensive ring. None of the jewelry they had on them was expensive. It's even possible the ring belonged to some one else.
I had trouble believing they were THAT faded just sitting in a storage place too. Sumter County Coroner Verna Moore is the one who is really investigating this case. Apparently the sheriff's dept and other LE in Sumter don't think this case will ever be solved and aren't very helpful when approached with questions about the case. At one point Ms. Moore, and a detective who is helping her with the case, was supposed to look at the couple's belongings again and possibly take some more pictures but I don't know if that has happened yet.
I could have sworn that somewhere on the old thread they said that the letters were all the SAME size. And I remember Verna saying something about the pyschic saying his name was Fitz something. I know dont beat me up for talking about the pyschics LOL
From Angie4b1g, post 397, page 16 of the original thread:
"Someone asked about the middle initial being bigger and the ME or detective (forget which) confirmed that all 3 initials were the same size."
Thanks! I didn't have time to go back and find the original posts that talked about the size of the initials.
I was thinking the same thing when I saw this thread. Did you post it in Hilton's forum under SC possible victims?
Although anything is possible, they did have a suspect at the time. They did find the weapon that killed the couple.
I couldn't find the link, but this information is in the first thread, page 13, post 302, posted by phenolred.
Here is the link to the page on the Crime Library article that talks about finding the weapon.
Back from lurking-I took a look at a few Surname websites to get a sense of the most common French surnames for example, although I can't remember if it was clear that he might have been Gallic vs say Scottish. In any case, I am not a master at the internet, but here is a link to the site:
I thought it might be worth a thought to run the names, either most common or those that may be associated with a wealthy family, to see if anyone comes up. I don't have the time to devote to this and do a proper job, I have to say and you might have already done this.
Back to lurking...
Whatever happen to them testing their DNA to see if they were related? Has anybody ever heard anything??