posted July 13, 2003 11:54 PM
Who was this
In 1954, an unidentified female was found
murdered in Boulder, Colorado. This
webpage is dedicated to her, with the
hopes that someone who has information
on her identity stumbles upon it, so she
can have her name back.
The article below came from the
book, "Boulder, A Sense of Time
and Place", written by Silvia Pettem
"Jane Doe" mourned but never identified
In 1954, Boulderites were shocked by the brutal murder of an unidentified young
woman. After a futile attempt to establish her identity, as well as that of her killer,
citizens donated funds for woman's burial in Columbia Cemetery. She's still there today,
with "Jane Doe" engraved on her headstone.
Police didn't have much to go on. Two male CU students hiking along Boulder Creek
below Boulder Falls found her body lying on rocks at the bottom of a 29-foot
"At first we thought it was a store dummy," one of the students was quoted as saying.
"We didn't think it could possibly be a human body." But it was. They jumped in their
car, rode into town and returned with a skeptical sheriff.
All identification had been removed from the slender young victim, estimated to have
been 20 years old. She had been stripped, beaten, and left to die, and then was exposed
to the elements for three or four days. All that remained of her personal belongings were
three pins in her long reddish blond hair.
There were no fillings in her teeth, so there could be no dental records. The only clue
was a scar from an appendectomy.
Police combed Boulder Canyon and nearby mountain areas for her clothing, but
nothing was ever found.
Request for missing persons went out all over the country. Several parents, whose
daughters were missing traveled to Boulder, but no one could identify her.
The Camera dubbed the victim, "the mytery girl." A week after her body was found,
county officials announced that she would be buried in a section of
Colombia Cemetery designated for paupers. The statement created an uproar in Boulder
and brought in more than enough donations to cover the price of a cemetery lot. Others
made in-kind contributions.
The casket and funeral service were provided by Howe Mortuary. The Rev. Paul
Fife, pastor of Sacred Heart Catholic Church, donated his time and read a mass for the
dead. A reporter who attended the service wrote, "There was a blank- an almost
imperceptible pause in the priest's voice at each point in the service where the name of
the dead person is recited."
"A organ played softly in the mortuary chapel, and a few women wept," he
continued. "Six pallbearers carried the casket with its frail burden to the hearse. The
services were simple, restoring in death the dignity her murderer destroyed in the last
violent moments of her life."
Each of the three Boulder florists, as well as five individuals, sent flowers. The drab
gray of the cloth casket was said to have been in sharp contrast with the colorful sprays
of lilies and roses that covered it.
"To Someone's Daughter" was written on a card that accompanied one of the
floral pieces. Boulder Marble and Granite Works engraved and donated the headstone.
As he stood at the head of the grave, Father Fife intoned, "I am the resurrection and
the life. Deliver us from the hand of the enemy. Accept this soul of thy servant.. .may she
escape the justice of vengeance. May she rest in peace."
Said Coroner George Howe, "We don't know who she was or what religion she
followed. We can only do what we think is right."
If you have any questions or
you have any information on
the identity of the ,"Mystery
Girl", please email
Todd Matthews www.TentGirl.com
Media Director for www.Doenetwork.Org & www.OutpostForHope.Org