top of page

The Unsolved Murder Case of Tuscaloosa County Jane Doe

unsolved murders

A case that remains unsolved even after almost 40 years of the crime

In the world of crime, there are often cases that remain unsolved. A website sent shock waves across the world when it published an article that there is a 40% chance that one can escape custody after murdering in the United States, which indicates the number of unsolved murder cases currently in the country.

It also went on to notice that the solving rate is even lower for the other crimes. Out of the many, many unsolved murders over the past decades, we take a look here at the case of Jane Doe from Tuscaloosa County, who was found murdered in the year 1982.

What we know about the crime:

On April 18, 1982, while fishing on Slaughter Branch near the Old Robinson Bend Landing, next to Robertson Cemetery Road, three fishermen found a woman's body that was partially submerged in the waters of the Black Warrior River. The officials believed that the body was found within 24 hours of the murder, although the exact reason behind the murder couldn't be determined.

Neither do we know about the whereabouts of the woman who had been murdered, nor could the identity of the murderer be revealed. The lack of information indicates why this has remained a case of unsolved murder despite the numerous investigations by the authorities.

Physical description of Jane Doe:

The physical description of the lady goes like this – a white woman in her mid-30s (aged between 34 and 38) having a ruddy complexion, indicating that she engaged in outdoor activities and having shoulder-length, dark brown hair. She weighed about 120 pounds and stood at 5 feet 4 inches.

Further investigations of the body suggested that she possibly had brown eyes, and there was a visible scar under her right eyebrow. There was also enough evidence to suggest that she had given birth to a child in the past, participating in manual labour. She had been wearing long-sleeved blue shirt coupled with knitted blue pants and tennis shoes.

Early investigations:

It was suggested that the victim had been beaten, strangulated and sexually assaulted hours before her death. She was possibly fishing in the region, where she was eventually murdered brutally, as is evident from the signs of early struggle and also the earthly disturbances.

The post-mortem report later confirmed the cause of death to be 'strangulation'. The chief investigator at that time, Capt. Shirley Fields went on to say on record that it was one of the most brutal and hideous attacks he had seen in his then-17 years of law enforcement.

Possible suspect!

After the body was found, a few witnesses gave accounts of their encounters with the woman who they believed to be the victim of the unsolved murder case. The witnesses in three-wheeler cars had seen the woman on April 16, 1982, near the cemetery on Robertson Cemetery Road.

She was seen with a man of quite the same age or a little older, and their car had gotten stuck in the mud. The witnesses said that the man was angry, abusing and blaming the lady for the vehicle getting stuck.

The man had also made references about being at a bar earlier in the day. He was also described as being white, clean-shaven of muscular build, standing at the height of about 6 feet and weighing almost 220 pounds. The car was described as being a 1973 or a 1974 green Ford LTD, with a dark vinyl top and having possible damage on the front end.

There were desperate attempts by the authorities to track down this man but sadly, none bore fruit. Investigators tried to run down on all the available leads, but all that could not ultimately help to unearth the secrets of this unsolved murder mystery.

Mystery around the crime:

The lack of knowledge about the murdered individual and, owing to no claims from any kin, added an aura of mystery to the woman's real identity and this unsolved murder case, and she came to be known as "Mrs. X" in a few quarters. On December 9, 1982, she was ultimately buried in Sunset Memorial park on Watermelon Road in Tuscaloosa County. Later, the Doe Network set her name as Jane Doe.

They have succeeded in solving a few unsolved murder mysteries in the United States, but sadly, they could not do much here despite their countless attempts. Her last remains were unearthed in the year 2013 to try and get additional information on the case and get a DNA sample.

Acquiring the correct and precise DNA sample has helped solve quite a few unsolved murder cases in the past. The hope was that it might give some essential leads that might have been missed or entirely overlooked in the investigations carried out over the years. But, to the disappointment of many crime and mystery solving enthusiasts, the DNA sample failed to provide substantial evidence to indicate the actual killer.

Unsolved to the date:

39 years later, the locals still find it hard to accept that their residential town has been at the epicentre of an unsolved murder that could not be resolved despite so many years of frantic research and investigations. They still believe that the unknown man in the car has to be accounted for.

A local vividly remembers saying that the crime would be solved in 2-3 days and the murderer would be accounted for. He says he is still waiting. There had been a group who had spent the night before the body was found camping at the place where the murder had happened, but none of them had heard anything. The residents are still waiting to know for a murderer needs to be convicted, no matter what.

This article was a look at one of the most baffling and disturbing unsolved murder mysteries over the years. With the lack of enough evidence and many roadblocks it has experienced over the years, it’s hard to see how the guilty can be convicted of, in this particular case of the murder of Jane Doe of the Tuscaloosa county.

SIGN UP Now to get these articles directly into your inbox


Be the First to Expand Your
Intellectual Horizon!

bottom of page