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Daviess County John Doe was a man found murdered in Owensboro, Kentucky in 1990.

Case

The victim's body was discovered in a wooded area by two rabbit hunters who called the police. The victim had been sexually assaulted and shot six times with a .22 caliber long-rifle in the arm, chest, and head, resulting in his death.

Prior to being shot, the victim was also beaten with a blunt instrument about the face and chest to the point of being facially unrecognizable; his facial features are described as having been "obliterated" with several teeth knocked out. The brutality of the crime suggested that it was premeditated and that the abuse and murder of the victim took place over a long period of time.

At the time of discovery, his body lacked hands and feet, and several of his teeth were missing, complicating the identification process. A retouched postmortem photo of the victim shows significant damage to the entire middle portion of the face, including the mouth and the nose, and his killer may have also blacked one of his eyes.

The body was not decomposed, suggesting the murder had taken place a matter of days prior. Based on the fact that his arms were tan compared to the rest of his body, the victim was hypothesized to be from outside of Owensboro, but it's believed that whoever killed him was probably a local.

Semen was found on or in the victim's body, but attempts to use this evidence, if any, appear to have not yielded any viable leads.

During the initial investigation, it was believed the victim was killed as a part of a Satanic ritual sacrifice. A witness living down the road from the wooded patch at the time said he saw a white and green Ford pickup truck, likely an early 1970s model, driving in the area on the evening before the body was found.

James Cable

Police were investigating the possibility that a possible serial killer named James Cable and his accomplice, Philip Clopton, was responsible for this victim's death after reporter Stefanie Silvey discovered a possible connection in 2004. Cable was active in Kentucky during the 1980s, and like this man, several of Cable's presumed victims had been raped and dismembered, and some had been beaten to death. One of his victims was killed in Owensboro. It's worth noting that all of Cable's confirmed victims were female. In April of 1990, shortly after this victim's discovery, Cable and Clopton kidnapped, raped, and tortured a fifteen-year-old girl from Jefferson County. However, the girl managed to break free and killed Clopton in self-defense. Cable was shortly captured after. Cable died in prison on December 3, 2013, and never confessed to any of his crimes. Investigators stated they would test DNA found on this victim's body to see if it belonged to Cable. The results of this testing, if it was ever conducted, are unknown.

A spokesman for the Kentucky State Police in 2015 stated, "The last time detectives received a possible lead in the case was in May, when the department received information about a potential suspect in other killings. The lead was investigated through DNA evidence, but investigators determined there was no connection to the body found on Pleasant Valley Road." It is not clear if he was referring to Cable.

Misidentification

In 2007, it was announced that the victim had been identified as Scott Michael Morris, who went missing from Indianapolis as a teenager in 1978. However, further DNA testing in 2010 stated that identification was mistaken and the body does not belong to Morris.

Characteristics

  • Curly medium brown hair with some grey on the temples that is eight inches long.
  • Brown/Blue eyes.
  • Fair-complexion with "farmer's tan" arms.
  • Natural teeth with fillings.

Accessories

  • Gold-toned men's prescription glasses.

Exclusions

Sources

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