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Unidentified Person

1989 Dane County John Doe

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  • Last updated: March 27, 2023
  • Madison, WI
  • September 3, 1989

Overview of 1989 Dane County John Doe

The victim's skeletal remains were found in the chimney of a business on University Avenue in Madison, WI. The owner of the building was doing repair work, and saw water leaking from the flue onto the basement floor after removing a boiler. He shined a light into the chimney and discovered the remains at the base of the chimney about level with the basement floor. There is no way the man could have gotten into the pipe from within the building.

The person may have been a male cross-dresser or someone for some reason disguising himself as a woman.

Detectives have speculated the man was a burglar who got stuck in the chimney and died, or a murder victim who was stuffed into the chimney. Authorities have stated it is unlikely that he voluntarily entered the chimney.

The pelvic bones of the mystery man had been severely fractured and those injuries appear to have been caused at the time of death. Some speculate the injuries were inflicted by the killer stomping on this portion of the victim's body.

Estimated Date of Death: 2 months to 2 years State of Remains: Skeltal Cause of Death: Accident or homicide

Dentals: Available. Pronounced overbite. Fingerprints: Not available DNA: Not available

Clothing: A sleeveless paisley dress, with a matching belt; a long-sleeved, button-down shirt that may have been made of Oxford-type cloth. A medium-size White Stag brand, shaggy-pile sweater. Low-heeled, pointed shoes. He was wearing one pair of socks and carrying another pair. He was not wearing underwear. Jewelry: A German iron cross medallion. Additional Personal Items: Butter knife and a pocket comb.

The Doe Network Case Number: 745UMWI


  1. Date Found:September 3, 1989
  2. NAMUS Number:4770
  3. Race:Caucasian / White
  4. Gender:Male
  5. Height:5'5" to 5'7"
  6. Weight:Unknown, but thin build.
  7. Hair Color:Brown
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