PA PA - Cpl. Robert Corriveau, 20, Downington, 18 Nov 1968

Discussion in 'Cold Cases' started by Richard, Oct 28, 2014.

  1. Richard

    Richard Active Member

    Messages:
    5,118
    Likes Received:
    22
    Trophy Points:
    38
    CPL Robert Daniel Corriveau, USMC, 20, murdered 18 November 1968, Downingtown, PA

    I first posted this case in 2010 in the Unidentified topic area of websleuths. At that time, it was the case of a John Doe, found in Downingtown, PA on November 18, 1968. In 2012, he was finally identified positively as Corporal Robert Daniel Corriveau, United States Marine Corps. He had been missing and declared a deserter by the Marine Corps for 44 years, but was given a burial with full military honors in October 2012.

    Because he was identified, the Unidentified John Doe Case, and that of the Missing person case has been "resolved". But it is still an open and unsolved Murder case and that investigation continues.

    Here is a brief case summary:

    Corporal Robert Daniel Corriveau, known as "Bobby Dan" to his friends and family, was from Lawrence, Mass. where he graduated from High School and entered the United States Marine Corps in 1965. This was during the Viet Nam War.

    Upon graduation from USMC boot camp, and follow on training, Corporal Corriveau was shipped to Japan. From there, he was deployed to the northern province of South Vietnam near Dong Ha in Quang Tri Province in 1966.

    Corporal Corriveau was wounded on three different occasions during heavy fighting between US forces and those of North Vietnam. The first two times, he was treated for his wounds and returned to combat duty. In 1967, he was wounded more seriously and was medevaced out of theater. He spent the rest of 1967 and much of 1968 in stateside Naval Hospitals recovering from his wounds.

    By October of 1968, Corporal Corriveau was offered an early honorable discharge from the Marine Corps, due to his wounds and time served. He wanted to continue serving in the Marine Corps and turned down the offer. It soon became evident that he was suffering from what is today referred to as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and he was transferred to the US Naval Hospital Philadelphia for treatment.

    On the weekend of 14-18 November 1968, Corporal Corriveau left the hospital on authorized liberty in the local Philadelphia area. Where, exactly, he went and what he did are not known. By Monday morning 18 November 1968 at 0745 (AM) he was not present for morning muster at the hospital. Because he was missing, he was declared to be UA (Unauthorized Absence) from the Marine Corps. At the end of 30 days, when he was still missing, he was declared a deserter. His records were forwarded to the National Personnel Records center in St. Louis, MO and his name was placed on a national listing of military deserters. He remained in this status until 2012.

    On Monday morning, 18 November 1975, only a few hours after Corporal Corriveau was declared UA, his body was found near a highway interchange in Downingtown, PA - only 30 miles west of the Naval Hospital Philadelphia. He was dressed in civilian clothing and had been killed by a single stab wound to the heart from a sharpened round spike type weapon. No weapon was found in the vicinity and it appeared that his body had been transported to the place where found. There was no identification on the body and he was classified as a John Doe and eventually buried as an unknown person in a paupers grave with only a number to mark his resting place.

    He remained an unknown for 44 years. About 2009, his photo was placed on a Pennsylvania State Police Website of unknown persons and unsolved cases. Because there was a tattoo of a USMC Bulldog on his right shoulder, it seemed likely that he was a Marine. Scars from wounds also pointed to such a likely possibility. The link below shows some of the history of that case when it was placed here on Websleuths.

    A suggestion was made to Pennsylvania State Police case officers that they contact the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) and request that they check with the Marine Corps Deserter Unit to see if there might be any USMC deserters on the books from that time frame. This was done and soon the case of missing Corporal Corriveau and the "Bulldog John Doe" were connected. Family members of Corporal Corriveau were contacted and DNA comparisons were made which resulted in positive identification.

    Corporal Corriveau was laid to rest in the family cemetery in Lawrence, MA on 13 October 2012. He was given full military honors by a Marine Corps honor squad and Bugler. The Marine Corps League was also present.

    The investigation into his death has continued. Investigators have located all personnel rosters - both Navy and Marine Corps - from the Naval Hospital Philadelphia. Although the Hospital itself was decomissioned and razed long ago, records still exist in the National Archives at College Park, Maryland. From those records, a number of Doctors, Nurses, Hospital Corpsmen, and Patients have been located and interviewed in an attempt to learn more.

    Interest in the case has been generated through a number of personal appearances and talks by private investigators and Marines. All information obtained has been turned over to official Pennsylvania State Police case officers.


    LINK:

    http://www.websleuths.com/forums/sh...v-68-quot-USMC-quot-tattoo-Robert-D-Corriveau
     
    brainstorm2018 likes this.
  2. Loading...


  3. Richard

    Richard Active Member

    Messages:
    5,118
    Likes Received:
    22
    Trophy Points:
    38
  4. Pettibon Junction

    Pettibon Junction Member

    Messages:
    380
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    18
    The murder weapon sounds like it could be an ice-pick which sounds like organized crime, and the Daily Mail article suggests Corriveau suffered from violent mood swings and may have been self-medicating via illegal drugs (likely heroin, which was regularly trafficked through Philly). Perhaps he owed someone money and was killed as a result and but, out of respect for his rank, was not made to suffer and left out in the open so his family could have a funeral. After all, Angelo Bruno, head of the Philly crime family, wasn't known as "the Gentle Don" for no reason.
     
  5. jacksonbrown

    jacksonbrown New Member

    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    1
    That's an interesting theory!
     
  6. jacksonbrown

    jacksonbrown New Member

    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Pettibon Junction: That's an interesting theory!
     
  7. TMAN2014

    TMAN2014 Active Member

    Messages:
    2,895
    Likes Received:
    12
    Trophy Points:
    38
    This man is a true American hero.
     
  8. Richard

    Richard Active Member

    Messages:
    5,118
    Likes Received:
    22
    Trophy Points:
    38
    This Marine was successfully identified in 2012 after lying in an unmarked grave for 44 years. He was murdered in 1968 and the case remains open and unsolved...
     
  9. Tori8788

    Tori8788 New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Actually he wasnt on any drugs. Its called PTSD.
     
  10. Tori8788

    Tori8788 New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    He was NOT i repeat NOT on drugs. He had ptsd.. i would know since its my family
     
  11. jacksonbrown

    jacksonbrown New Member

    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Close family would not have a reason to post this comment. Who ever you are please do not make comments about drug use, nor identify yourself as his family. You could not have possibly known Bobby Dan.
     
  12. Tulessa

    Tulessa Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    22,164
    Likes Received:
    172
    Trophy Points:
    63
    I think the drug comments are coming from this article.
     
  13. Richard

    Richard Active Member

    Messages:
    5,118
    Likes Received:
    22
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Bumping this thread up. Corporal Corriveau's death is still unsolved.
     
  14. Richard

    Richard Active Member

    Messages:
    5,118
    Likes Received:
    22
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Semper Fi, Marine.
     
  15. J. J. in Phila

    J. J. in Phila Verified Insider

    Messages:
    6,922
    Likes Received:
    25
    Trophy Points:
    38
    There was a VA Hospital in Coatsville in 1968 (the successor facility still exists). It is about 5.25 from Downingtown. I'm wondering if there was a connection, e.g. visiting someone he served with in Vietnam with him and who was receiving treatment there.

    I wish the exact location of the body could be determined.
     
    brainstorm2018 likes this.
  16. silverjug

    silverjug Active Member

    Messages:
    220
    Likes Received:
    105
    Trophy Points:
    43
    My condolences to you. I wonder how long PTSD was suspected before it was shown as a cause
    for the problems this young man and others suffered.
     
  17. jacksonbrown

    jacksonbrown New Member

    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    1
    His body was located on the Pa turnpike at mile marker 313.3. In 1968 PTSD was not a term that was used. The article written by the Daily Mail was incorrect, this was a paid interview based on a unsubstantiated reference to drug use. In fact his condition was something entirely unexpected until his military records were finally released. No further information has been received from law enforcement as to solving his homicide. Although it is a cold case the PASP do follow-up on any information received. Had he been reported missing to the Philadelphia police department or the PASP at the time of his disappearance his case may have been solved. The newspapers did run stories of finding an unidentified John Doe. The USMC correctly reported his status on the morning of November 18, 1968 in the same manner as was in existence then and is now. His records have been corrected. I, for one am grateful that he has been found and brought home. This is a cold case, as such should be used to gather any information to solve his murder.
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2018
    brainstorm2018 likes this.
  18. jacksonbrown

    jacksonbrown New Member

    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    1
    He was at Philadelphia Naval Hospital.
     
  19. jacksonbrown

    jacksonbrown New Member

    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    1
    The 'term' PTSD was unknown in 1968. Thank you for your condolences..
     
  20. Richard

    Richard Active Member

    Messages:
    5,118
    Likes Received:
    22
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Corporal Corriveau was wounded on 3 separate occasions in Vietnam. The first two times, he was treated and returned to duty. The third occasion got him medevaced out of Vietnam and eventually back to the States. His shrapnel and bullet wounds had been healing and he was sent home on convalesent leave. He was offered an early honorable discharge from the Marine Corps, but he wanted to recover and reenlist, so he turned down the early discharge.

    At home in Mass. he began to have mental problems including flashbacks and violent episodes, which would today be interpreted as PTSD related. At his family's request, he was picked up by the Marine Corps and taken to hospital for evaluation, then transferred to the Philadelphia Naval Hospital for treatment in October 1968.

    After a few weeks of close observation, medication, etc. he was allowed to sign out on weekend liberty. Following one such weekend (15 - 17 November 1968), Corporal Corriveau missed Monday morning muster on 18 November 1968.

    Standard procedure was to declare/report him UA (Unauthorized Absence) and to simply await his return. Most UA incidents resolve themselves when the member finally shows up and reports in. In this case, he never turned up and after 30 days of being UA, he was "declared a deserter". This is not a legal finding of the crime of desertion, but rather an administrative procedure in which his records are forwarded to either the National Military Personnel Records Center, or (if he is suspected of other crimes) to Military Legal authorities. After another short interim, his name would have been added to the Marine Corps deserter list.

    Unfortunately, his disappearance was never reported directly to local police officials, hospitals, morgues, etc. and as a consequence, his identifying information was not available to compare to the unidentified young man found in Downingtown. The young man found dead Monday morning 18 November became the "Downingtown" or "Bulldog" John Doe and Corporal Corriveau was considered simply a missing deserter - as of the very same day.

    The Pennsylvania State Police started a website which featured unidentified bodies some time around 2009 or 2010. I saw the photos of their Downingtown John Doe with his short hair, healed bullet wounds, and tattoos of a Bulldog and Swallow. I felt that he might be a Marine or a Navy Hospital Corpsman (who serve with the Marines).

    I spoke with the Pennsylvania State Trooper in charge of the case and we discussed it for some time over the phone. I suggested that he contact the Naval Criminal Investigative Service and/or the US Marine Corps Deserter Office in Arlington, VA to see if they might have someone from that time frame listed as a deserter. I also posted their case information here in Websleuths.

    About a year later, the USMC Deserter office and the Pennsylvania State Police were talking and comparing notes. The Marines located Corporal Corriveau's mother and sister and after some testing and DNA comparison, a positive match was made.

    His body was eventually exhumed from the grave in Pennsylvania and reburied in his home state with full military honors.

    His murder, however, has yet to be solved.
     
    brainstorm2018 likes this.
  21. J. J. in Phila

    J. J. in Phila Verified Insider

    Messages:
    6,922
    Likes Received:
    25
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Corriveau was, but someone he might have known from the service might have been at Coatsville.
     
    brainstorm2018 likes this.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice