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Murrumbidgee River John Doe was a male whose naked, headless body was found stuffed in a log near the Murrumbidgee River in New South Wales, Australia on 19 October 1888.

Case

The decedent's body was discovered by a fisherman named R. Whittaker. He was described as young (approximated age hasn't been disclosed) and short. His head had been severed from the body with two distinct cuts from a sharp tool, with pieces of flesh hanging from his shoulders, arms and back, indicating a fierce struggle with his assailant. His head and clothing were never located.

Constable Nixon was put in charge of the investigation, but subsequent inquiries revealed no missing persons from the area. Based on this, authorities presumed that the man was possibly a foreign labourer who had come to Murrumbidgee seeking work.

Two years after the discovery, Albert Schmidt, a German-Australian man convicted of killing his travelling companion, was investigated as a possible suspect in the murder and that of another man, German laborer Jacob Rick. Around the time of the murder, Schmidt worked as a fisherman in Murrumbidgee and was recognized by hotel owner William Givney as a client who had registered into his hotel shortly before the body was located. Schmidt admitted solely to the murder of John Young Taylor but later recanted his confession. He was hanged at Wagga Wagga on November 18, 1890.

Sources

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