Friday, July 7, 2017

The headless man of Andover


The nude, headless, handless body of an unidentified man was found by John Billings as he headed to work around 6:30 am on March 20, 1970. The man had an x slashed on his chest and also a 2 inch gash below his armpit on the left side, possibly from the removal of a tattoo. He was described as a light complected white male, around 25-35 years old, shoe size 9-10, most likely had sandy brown hair and suffered a defect of the neck/cervical spine which most likely caused him to have neck and back pain. The initial autopsy listed him as weighing about 165 lbs and to be about 5'6" to 5'8" tall but after a later examination was done he was said to weigh closer to 200 pounds and be about 5'11" to 6' tall. The man had a scar about 3 inches long on the right inside of his elbow, and a 2 inch hairline scar under his left knee. Due to the scar from a small pox vaccination on his right shoulder and the impression of a watchband on his left wrist, it was assumed he was left handed. A small but obvious mole was located at the base of his neck on the left side. One of the examiners thought the man had been dead for a day, another felt he could have been dead as long as 4-8 weeks if the body had been kept in a cool place, such as the trunk of a car and considering weather conditions. It was felt by both and also detectives that the body had been dumped between 1:00 am and 6:30 am that same morning due to statements from people living in the vicinity having traveled the road and also because his body was found directly on the shoulder. It was assumed the unknown murder victim was not from the area and that he was murdered by a gang due to the measures taken in covering his identity. Later in the year when other headless bodies were found within a 100 mile radius and also in various locations of Pennsylvania, police felt there was no connection. In September a fire destroyed a cabin on Davis Hill road. Arson was suspected. Interestingly the man living there was a renter from a neighboring county who had been charged in the stabbing death and viscous assault of two older men a few years before. He was under the age of 18 when this occurred. No inquiry was made that I found. Despite extensive efforts by officials to solve the case, the identity of the man remains a mystery. The headless, handless man was buried in the Hillside Cemetery at Andover near the body of an unidentified baby girl found inside a box on Greenwood Road in 1935. Her case was never solved.

May they both rest in peace...