Wilmington John Doe (April 1973)

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DISCOVERY:

Starting on April 22, 1973 and continuing over the course of several days, the dismembered remains of a deceased male were found in green trash and white paper bags scattered across Wilmington, Los Angeles County, California. His torso was discovered at Alameda Street and Henry Ford Avenue, his right leg on the Terminal Island Freeway at Anaheim Street and his arms along the freeway in Long Beach. His left leg was found behind a bar called Broom Hilda’s, and his head was found behind the Alpha Beta supermarket at 7th Street and Redondo Avenue.

His hands have never been recovered.

AUTOPSY:

It was determined the deceased had died one or more days prior to his remains being found, as a result of strangulation. There were also signs the remains had been refrigerated before being disposed.

There was evidence he’d suffered emasculation and had his eyelids removed while alive.

DETAILS:

The deceased is described as a white male between the ages of 17 and 25. He likely stood between 5’2″ and 5’10”, and weighed approximately 130 to 160 pounds. He had wavy brown hair that was 5″ long, and a thin, fine moustache. His eyes were brown. It’s possible he had a small mole on the right side of his neck, below his right ear, and he had a scar on his lower abdomen, possibly from a cystotomy (also known as bladder surgery).

It’s believed John Doe was a victim of serial killer Randy Kraft. Known as the “Scorecard Killer”, the “Southern California Strangler” and the “Freeway Killer”, Kraft is believed to have killed anywhere from 16 to 67 victims between 1972 and 1983. After his arrest, investigators discovered a coded list containing cryptic references to his murder victims. His so-called “scoreboard” included a reference to John Doe, whom he called “Hawth Off Head”.

He was convicted of some of the murders in May 1989 and sentenced to death. While never convicted of John Doe’s murder, the subtle reference to him on the scoreboard and the fact his left leg was found behind the bar – Hilda’s Broom – where Kraft worked indicates to investigators he was involved.

Kraft is currently imprisoned at San Quentin State Prison in Marin County, California.

CASE CONTACT INFORMATION:

Those with information regarding the identity of John Doe are asked to contact the Los Angeles Police Department at 213-486-6850. Tips can also be called into the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner at 323-343-0512 or 323-343-0754.

Image Credit: NCMEC/The Doe Network

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