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Lawrence County John Doe is a man who was found murdered in a swamp near New Castle, Pennsylvania.


The victim was discovered partially buried under a log in a secluded swamp area just north of West Pittsburgh by Samuel J. Hares, a steel worker out duck hunting. The investigators determined the victim was decapitated with some precision and although killed two to three weeks prior, was only dumped within a week of discovery. The crime scene was about three-fourths off a mile from the nearest navigable road and so the body had to have been carried a great distance. Two days later, Detective C.W. Hicks discovered the victim’s head in the same area, along with burned clothing and personal items of the victim.

Between 1925-1940, nine people, eight of them unidentified, were found dead and dismembered in the swamps or around the train yards of New Castle and West Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. The murders being dubbed, "the Murder Swamp Killings," have been theorized to either victims of the Mafia or the Cleveland Torso Murderer. Between 1934-1938, the Cleveland Torso Killer was responsible for at the murders of twelve to thirteen people in Cleveland, Ohio. Both towns are connected through the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad lines and the victims of both killings were dismembered similarly and had similar profiles. As of today, both series of killings, related or not, remain unsolved.


  • Unspecified burned clothing.
  • Hat.
  • Length of a rope.