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Galveston County John Doe was a newborn who was murdered in Galveston, Texas on April 21, 1950.

Case

The victim was found by two youths, Ned Gurnell and Arthur Drummett, who were on a fishing trip at the beach. They spotted a twelve-spotted tiny bundle just above the water line at 6:00 AM, but they did not investigate its contents until two hours later. The beach area where they found the infant was at the end of a "lover's lane" side road near La Porte, Texas. He was wrapped in a cotton red-and-white blanket of a single bed size and a towel. His umbilical cord was still attached.

According to then-La Porte justice of the peace, Calder Ewing, the cause of death of the infant was homicide via his throat slashed with a safety razor blade that was found nearby. Ewing also stated examination showed the infant was born alive and had air in his lungs. Dr. G.M. Miller of La Porte confirmed he was deceased for five hours before his body was found.

Then-Chief of Detectives John Fox spearheaded the investigation and worked with Houston and La Porte police officers. His investigation determined the towel found was from a Galveston tourist court. The owner stated it was stolen two days prior from their cabin, which was occupied by a sixty-five year old Iowan farmer the night before the infant's discovery. The farmer was identified and eliminated as a suspect in the case. Detective Fox also stated a check at the Galveston court disclosed no clues to indicate a local was responsible for the murder and he believed the murder occurred "somewhere across the causeway from Galveston" and the infant was killed fifteen minutes after birth.

On April 24, 1950, La Porte residents arranged funeral services for the victim and had him buried at La Porte Cemetery in La Porte. Starting with La Porte lumberman A.H. Norris, merchants and residents donated up to five hundred dollars for reward money for information leading to arrest of those responsible of the victim's murder.

By the time he was buried, Sheriff's Captain Charley Nix admitted there was little progress in the investigation and deputies followed tips on ten unmarried women who reported to have given birth recently, but the tips led to nowhere. Captain Lloyd Frazier stated to Galveston Daily News on April 25, 1950 that they were searching for a missing Houston stenographer who took an absence of leave to give birth, but no further information is available to indicate what happened afterwards.

Characteristics

  • Red hair.
  • Well-formed.

Sources

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