Identified! PA - White Haven, 'Beth Doe' & Unborn Baby 169UFPA, 16-22, Dec'76 - #2 - Evelyn Colon

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webrocket

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something doesn't make sense here with the suitcases, the handles and the dump site.

I've been on Route 80 and while I suppose anything is possible, I'm trying to see how someone could pull over the shoulder of a major interstate, right before or after crossing a river on an overpass/bridge, then remove not one, but three suitcases (without handles) and throw them over the side unnoticed. it was assumed the killer thought they'd go in the river and be washed away but they all were found on land.

if the killer wanted to dump them, then having handles surely would have made the dump easier. also, if he wanted to make sure they went in the water, then stopping mid-bridge would do it.

is anyone aware of any pictures of the actual dump site? I'm thinking that he dumped them not from Route 80 but from some cliff-like elevation where he tossed them down and then left the scene.

one last thing about the newspaper, the Doe page says "New York Sunday News" which I assume is the Sunday version of the NY Daily News, a tabloid like rag and not the NY Times.
 

carbuff

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The NamUs database does show that there was DNA tests done on the fetus. Look in the DNA section and it lists an ID number for the fetus. https://identifyus.org/cases/8913

As for the father ever being in trouble, I don't think that LE routinely take DNA on everybody arrested, just if they are suspected of a crime that would involve DNA (rape, murder, etc.) I am pretty sure that they were not using DNA tests in the late 1970's.

Changing the subject: This is the first that I have come across this case. I grew up in NJ less than an hour from where Beth Doe was found. I graduated high school in 1977, so we would be close to the same age. Something about her image is eerily familiar. I can't place it, but it could be a childhood memory of a girl that was in the foster care system. I can't remember her name but I think it started with a D - Darlene, Donna or Debbie? She was in our school district for maybe a year or two, probably around 1972/1973. I remember the place where she lived, it was a sort of group home or home for "wayward girls" as my mother described it. It seems to me that she was of Italian descent, which would match the Mediterranean mentioned.

Another thought is that she could have been part of culture that practiced arranged marriages when the girls were in their mid-teens. One of my high school friends was from Greece and her family arranged to have her husband brought over when she was 16. She was pregnant by the time she was 17 and by the time she was 20 she was divorced. The guy had beat her pretty badly but still she was shunned from the family when she left him. Beth Doe's murder seems very personal, not just random. So could it be that she was pregnant when the man she was promised to came to the US and when he found out, he killed her? Just a thought...

Do you remember the name of the home, or the town it was in? This sounds like a real possibility.

One of the biggest reasons to have nobody looking for her would be that she was from foster care or some such situation where there was nobody to care.
 

ScorpRising

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For some reason I can't picture a hunting camp with a bunch of hunters as the place she was killed and mutilated. I cannot picture more than one man interested in murdering, cutting off parts of a pregant woman; to me this murder/mutilation is very personal. i also can't picture a hunting camp with bedspreads, but I could be wrong.

Deer hunting in the PA "southern tier" (I don't know what area that encompasses exactly) is a place well-known by hunters even from as distant as the Canadian Border of NY, they visit, about once a year or so. But, I believe??? the deer season was past by then, does anyone know? I never cared to keep track since we weren't much of a hunting family.

On camps: The one I'm familiar with is a group of guys but they use it as a personal getaway weekends throughout the year. It's each member's responsibility to provided bedding. I know my comforter from my college years is on the bed of one member so it's possible.

On deer season: Archery starts at the end of September. Rifle starts the Monday after Thanksgiving (it's a school holiday here) and goes 2 weeks. Muzzleloader starts right after Christmas. Bear is in there somewhere too.
 

carbuff

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For some reason I can't picture a hunting camp with a bunch of hunters as the place she was killed and mutilated. I cannot picture more than one man interested in murdering, cutting off parts of a pregant woman; to me this murder/mutilation is very personal. i also can't picture a hunting camp with bedspreads, but I could be wrong.

I wasn't picturing a bunch of hunters there, I was thinking of someone who knew it was there and took advantage of it being empty. I was assuming someone's wife had furnished the place, probably with stuff she wanted to get rid of anyway.

I also wonder about the date of death, 1976, a Bicentennial year, for most of the states. Could that have played into this?

It could have, but I can't see an obvious connection. The other thing that happened in 1976 was the Olympics in Montreal, which drew people from all over the world, many of whom spent additional time traveling in North America. But most of them would have been gone by Christmas.

We have a NY Times, either a freebie or hanging around wherever the deed was done. It it was from a motel, that I can understand, grab the free paper, or put in your dime and run. If it came from home, however, that suggests the perp was a hair smarter than the average.

I think it was the Sunday News, which would be the Sunday version of the Daily News, which is most decidedly not an intellectual publication. It also tends to be something not read much outside of the NYC metropolitan area.
 

Trident

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something doesn't make sense here with the suitcases, the handles and the dump site.

I've been on Route 80 and while I suppose anything is possible, I'm trying to see how someone could pull over the shoulder of a major interstate, right before or after crossing a river on an overpass/bridge, then remove not one, but three suitcases (without handles) and throw them over the side unnoticed. it was assumed the killer thought they'd go in the river and be washed away but they all were found on land.

if the killer wanted to dump them, then having handles surely would have made the dump easier. also, if he wanted to make sure they went in the water, then stopping mid-bridge would do it.

is anyone aware of any pictures of the actual dump site? I'm thinking that he dumped them not from Route 80 but from some cliff-like elevation where he tossed them down and then left the scene.

one last thing about the newspaper, the Doe page says "New York Sunday News" which I assume is the Sunday version of the NY Daily News, a tabloid like rag and not the NY Times.

BBM, you are absolutely correct about the NY Sunday News, and not the Times. That lays to rest one of my questions, and lowers the perps IQ a bit - thanks.

There are pictures of the bridge and the exact spot where the suitcases landed somewhere on the net, I've seen them, but I don't remember where.
 

webrocket

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this sounds like something Joel Rifkin would do although he was only 17 y.o. in 1976.
 

carbuff

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something doesn't make sense here with the suitcases, the handles and the dump site.

I've been on Route 80 and while I suppose anything is possible, I'm trying to see how someone could pull over the shoulder of a major interstate, right before or after crossing a river on an overpass/bridge, then remove not one, but three suitcases (without handles) and throw them over the side unnoticed. it was assumed the killer thought they'd go in the river and be washed away but they all were found on land.

if the killer wanted to dump them, then having handles surely would have made the dump easier. also, if he wanted to make sure they went in the water, then stopping mid-bridge would do it.

is anyone aware of any pictures of the actual dump site? I'm thinking that he dumped them not from Route 80 but from some cliff-like elevation where he tossed them down and then left the scene.

one last thing about the newspaper, the Doe page says "New York Sunday News" which I assume is the Sunday version of the NY Daily News, a tabloid like rag and not the NY Times.

Since I started following these cases, I've noticed when I'm driving -- there are a LOT of cars and other vehicles that pull over to the side of the road beside busy highways, and people pay very little attention.

I think if I saw a car beside the road with a couple of suitcases on the ground beside it, I would assume they had a flat tire and had to move the contents of the trunk to get to the spare.

I put the little Google walking man on the highway and took a look -- it appears to be right at the start of the ramp for the next exit.
 

webrocket

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let me state it this way - someone might pull over to the side of an interstate and throw pieces of luggage containing body parts, but having gone through all that effort of dismembering a body, etc, it seems like an awful risk to take at the last moment of the process.
 

carbuff

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let me state it this way - someone might pull over to the side of an interstate and throw pieces of luggage containing body parts, but having gone through all that effort of dismembering a body, etc, it seems like an awful risk to take at the last moment of the process.

Well, yeah. It would not be what you or I would do -- but then you or I would not have just brutally murdered and dismembered somebody, either. Clearly this person does not share our mental processes.
 

CCJD

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let me state it this way - someone might pull over to the side of an interstate and throw pieces of luggage containing body parts, but having gone through all that effort of dismembering a body, etc, it seems like an awful risk to take at the last moment of the process.

I think it's a safe bet to assume the suitcases were thrown sometime overnight Dec 19-20th. Where they were thrown may actually have been unplanned..with maybe a bit of serendipity for the killer. He's driving along I-80WB, it's late and there's probably not a lot of traffic when he sees this sign:

bethdoei80.jpg


so he pulls over. As carbuff said, any passing cars seeing him remove suitcases from the vehicle may just assume a flat tire. And the suitcases won't raise suspicion since it was 5 days before Christmas. He would've just looked like a typical traveler on his way to family for the Holidays who ran into a little bad luck. The sign on the side of the road has alerted him that there's a river below but again, it's night and dark AND, December 20, 1976 just happened to be a New Moon,
http://www.timeanddate.com/calendar/?year=1976&country=1
so there was no moonlight shining on to the river. All he had was the sign and the sound of the water below to guide him. Must've been a little frustrating for him - 3 throws, 3 misses - not a single splash.

I'd bet he got off I-80WB at the next exit, turned around and got on I-80EB and high-tailed it back to where he came from, probably, hopefully, panic-stricken.

And I wonder how long it took for him to get a little cocky, knowing that somehow he actually got away with it.
 

webrocket

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I still don't get the removal of the handles. to remove/prevent fingerprints? there are easier ways to do that.
 

CCJD

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I still don't get the removal of the handles. to remove/prevent fingerprints? there are easier ways to do that.

McAndrew said the suitcases, which had the handles removed, were also thoroughly investigated.

“The handles on the suitcases were cut off,” he said. “With people saying the handles were cut off because of fingerprints, the person would still have to handle other parts of the suitcase.”

McAndrew said investigators learned that a specific suitcase manufacturer discarded flawed suitcases by removing the handles.

http://archives.timesleader.com/2011_31/2011_12_20_35_year_old_mystery_remains_unsolved_-news.html

As someone who has worked in retail for years (and years), I know a bit about discarded merchandise. It could be defective, recalled (think lead, for instance, in toys) or just discontinued. When the product is disposed of, it is often rendered unusable, i.e. cut up or broken, bleach poured all over it, whatever it takes to make it useless. There are a lot of dumpster divers out there who will scavenge for items either for their own use or to sell (which could be downright dangerous in recalled items) or to take back to a store to try to refund for $$$.

That's retail, but manufacturers will also take those steps when discarding defective/rejected merchandise.
 

carbuff

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I think it's a safe bet to assume the suitcases were thrown sometime overnight Dec 19-20th. Where they were thrown may actually have been unplanned..with maybe a bit of serendipity for the killer. He's driving along I-80WB, it's late and there's probably not a lot of traffic when he sees this sign:

bethdoei80.jpg


so he pulls over. As carbuff said, any passing cars seeing him remove suitcases from the vehicle may just assume a flat tire. And the suitcases won't raise suspicion since it was 5 days before Christmas. He would've just looked like a typical traveler on his way to family for the Holidays who ran into a little bad luck. The sign on the side of the road has alerted him that there's a river below but again, it's night and dark AND, December 20, 1976 just happened to be a New Moon,
http://www.timeanddate.com/calendar/?year=1976&country=1
so there was no moonlight shining on to the river. All he had was the sign and the sound of the water below to guide him. Must've been a little frustrating for him - 3 throws, 3 misses - not a single splash.

I'd bet he got off I-80WB at the next exit, turned around and got on I-80EB and high-tailed it back to where he came from, probably, hopefully, panic-stricken.

And I wonder how long it took for him to get a little cocky, knowing that somehow he actually got away with it.

I pretty much agree with this scenario. I only drove this way once -- was surprised that with such a wide tall bridge went over what's really quite a small river. And it's damned dark at the best of times on the Pennsylvania highways away from the urban areas; with a new moon, it must have been totally black.

What's about an hour's drive east down I-80? Does that take you into New Jersey?
 

carbuff

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I think that the ink would last 8 to 12 hours on a living person who is actively rubbing against their clothing and washing themselves. Ink on a deceased person would probably last much longer if the body remained dry.

I can only think of two reasons for the writing on her hand:

* She needed to write a note to herself, probably about directions for where she was going, probably because she had pen but no paper. Though I did know one woman who routinely wrote important notes on her palm so she wouldn't forget.

* When she realized she was in danger, she wrote something that she thought might identify her killer
 

CCJD

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I can only think of two reasons for the writing on her hand:

* She needed to write a note to herself, probably about directions for where she was going, probably because she had pen but no paper. Though I did know one woman who routinely wrote important notes on her palm so she wouldn't forget.

* When she realized she was in danger, she wrote something that she thought might identify her killer

I've always thought the notations were directions (I may have said so way earlier in this thread, I don't really remember). It's the only thing, IMO, that really makes sense. I still do that and this case made me realize just how often I do it. I always have a pen, but not always paper so I write on my hand. It's almost second nature to do so.

I don't think the notations have anything to do with a clue to the killer's ID. Too cryptic, for one. If she had presence of mind to leave a clue, I think it would be plainer. Again, jmho.
 

webrocket

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what is strange about the writing on her skin is that I would tend to think she was writing a license plate. it is highly improbably she was writing her killer's initial (why not write his whole name if she knew all three initials)?

what is really odd to me is that he butchered the poor woman and would have seen her whole body. you would think he would have seen the writing and said "oh s--t, I better get rid of that".
 

carbuff

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I've always thought the notations were directions (I may have said so way earlier in this thread, I don't really remember). It's the only thing, IMO, that really makes sense. I still do that and this case made me realize just how often I do it. I always have a pen, but not always paper so I write on my hand. It's almost second nature to do so.

I don't think the notations have anything to do with a clue to the killer's ID. Too cryptic, for one. If she had presence of mind to leave a clue, I think it would be plainer. Again, jmho.

Directions seem much more likely, I agree.
 

CCJD

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what is really odd to me is that he butchered the poor woman and would have seen her whole body. you would think he would have seen the writing and said "oh s--t, I better get rid of that".

Too much blood, butchered is exactly what he did. I imagine her arms and hands were spattered in it. If he did think of the notations, he may have thought the blood would wash them away or he knew they wouldn't lead to him.
 

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WARNING GROSSNESS ALERT

Anyone read the report on NamUS that said that the nose and breasts were not recovered? Don't some middle eastern cultures cut noses off? Honor killing, maybe?

What database was the dna put into? If I read right, more than one.
 
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