|Location||White Haven, Pennsylvania|
|Found||December 20, 1976|
|Unidentified for||42 years|
|Postmortem interval||7 Hours - 1 week|
|Body condition||Recognizable face(B)|
|Height approximation||4'11 - 5'4|
|Weight approximation|| 140 - 150 |
|Cause of death||Strangulation|
This case contains graphic content that may not be suitable for all readers.
Beth Doe was a pregnant teen or young adult who was found dismembered in Carbon County, Pennsylvania in 1976.
The dismembered remains of a pregnant female were located near Interstate 80 by the bank of the Lehigh River. The victim had been strangled to death and had also been shot in the neck; numerous reports state that the gunshot was inflicted after the strangulation, meaning it likely occurred post-mortem. There was also evidence that indicated that she may have been sexually assaulted after death. Her unborn daughter, at about nine months gestation, also died during the attack. A coroner ruled that the victim had died less than 24 hours prior to her discovery, but some estimates state that she could have been dead for as much as a week, and the cold temperatures may have preserved her remains.
After her death, Beth Doe's body was sawed into a total of ten pieces; her torso, alone, was sawed into two pieces. Forensic analysis revealed that the fetus had been removed before the dismemberment took place and that the body had been cut with a fine, serrated tool by someone who was probably not professionally trained in medicine or anatomy, but who still was able to dismember her somewhat competently. Some of the body parts, such as half of the torso, were wrapped in newspaper, while others were wrapped in bedspread, and they were then placed inside of three suitcases without handles that appeared to have been spray-painted black. One suitcase contained her arms and legs, another contained her head and the fetus, and the last, her torso. Her nose, ears and breasts were severed and were never recovered. Although there was an attempt to disfigure her, perhaps to conceal her identity, she was still mostly recognizable upon discovery.
Her killer then threw the suitcases out of their moving vehicle over a bridge, likely hoping they would land in the river below. They missed their mark, and two of the three suitcases (the ones containing the head, torso, and fetus) opened on impact, and were later found by a teenage boy on the riverbank and in the surrounding brush.
- She had brown eyes
- Her hair was a natural brown color.
- At a younger age, she had "extensive" dental disease and had three teeth removed and many restorations.
- She had severe decay on her teeth at the time she died. Only five of her teeth were free of restorations or decay.
- Her upper right incisors was fractured, which would have been noticeable and very painful.
- She had two moles on her face, one on the left cheek and above the left eyebrow, possibly developing during her pregnancy.
- Her 2015 reconstruction also illustrates a birthmark on the right side of her upper lip. This mark was not noted in other sources.
- She had a scar above her right heel.
- The letters "WSR" followed by the numbers 4 or 5 and 4 or 7 were written on her left hand with ink consistent with a pen.
- Recent testing on her bones indicated that Beth Doe had spent time living in Europe and in Tennessee before she was murdered. Some believe she could have been of Czech, Polish, Italian or Jewish origin.
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