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San Mateo County John Doe was a young man whose torso and legs were discovered on the Linda Del Mar State Beach in 1974.

Case

The victim was discovered by two women walking a dog on the beach in a bundle. Both arms were tied by wire at sides of the torso and the knees bound to the chest. The lower abdomen was cut from the hipbones and the victim’s head, hands, and feet were never recovered.

In 1974, Anthony Harris went to the police and told them about the Death Angels, a black Muslim nationalist gang that did random attacks against white people in San Francisco that killed fifteen and wounded eight to ten between 1973-1974. Harris told them specifically about the unidentified victim, now dubbed "John Doe #169". The victim was a homeless man they abducted in Ghirardelli Square. They then brought him to the Black Self-Help Moving’s warehouse where they gagged, tied up, and took turns torturing the man by hacking his limbs while he was still conscious.

The information Harris gave led to the arrest and convictions of four individuals: Manuel Moore, Larry Green, Jessie Cooks, & J.C.X. Simon. The murders were later dubbed, "The Zebra Murders". Four others could not be charged due to the lack of evidence against them.

A year after his discovery, John Doe #169 was buried in the Potter’s Field of Woodlawn Cemetery.

Characteristics

  • No tattoos or scars evident on the body parts found.

Clothing

  • Blue Levi's Strauss jeans.
  • White brief-type underwear, unknown brand or size.

Sources

Footnotes

  1. Clark Howard's book describes the victim being found on December 24, 1973.
  2. Clark Howard's book describes the victim being found at the foot of Pacheco Street in San Francsico.
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