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A Murdered Murderer Mystery

Written by: George Chittenden : 04 Jan 2020

We all love a good murder mystery, so today we bring you one with a difference. Back In 1979 the remains of a man were discovered in an Idaho cave. The remains consisted of a headless torso wrapped in a burlap sack, and the identity of the deceased were a mystery for nearly 40 years, but that mystery has finally been solved. To make this case even stranger, in 1991 limbs were discovered in the same cave where the torso was originally found.

Joseph Henry Loveless

Joseph Henry Loveless

So who did the remains belong too? Well, anthropologists described the victim as being aged between 25 and 45, with reddish brown hair. The case was taken on by the DNA Doe Project, a non-profit volunteer organisation that uses forensic genealogy to identify previously unidentified deceased people. Discovering the identity of the victim was far from easy, and after they analysed the DNA they created family trees that included more than 31,700 individuals, and eventually they confirmed the victim was Joseph Henry Loveless, by comparing the victims DNA to the DNA of his living grandson.

The cave entrance

The cave entrance

So who was this victim, Joseph Henry Loveless? Well, he wasn’t too nice a guy, having murdered his own wife with an axe, before being sent to prison back in 1916. Surprisingly he managed to escape after sawing through the bars using a saw he'd hidden in his shoes. It’s fair to say he probably deserved what he got in the end. But who murdered the murderer? Maybe one day we will find out.


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