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Thursday, December 30, 2021

Decemystery (2021) 30: Los Angeles John & Jane Doe (1921–1951)


Let’s be honest for a moment: teenagers do some really stupid things. There is absolutely no denying that—it’s kind of a part of being a teen (in my eyes at least). I mean, I did some stupid things. I rebelled against my parents, I acted like I knew everything there was to know, and I thought I could do and say anything I desired without consequences.

That, naturally, backfired, and I learned a lot of harsh lessons.

Lucky for me though, I’ve since learned my lesson (for the most part) and have become a better person. Well, I’ve at least attempted to become a better one. I sure as heck am not perfect by any stretch of the imagination and am still a deeply flawed human being, but I no longer try to pick fights with hornets and light fires inside my own home.

Yes, I actually did the latter one. Admittedly, I did that as a pre-teen, but I thought that fire wouldn’t burn as fast as it actually does.

Err, well, anyways: all of that brings us to today’s story. Teenage tomfoolery/stupidity is the name of the game for today. You see, the Los Angeles John & Jane Doe both made a big oopsy daisy and now have remained unidentified for upwards of a century. Let’s find out why.

The Story

The exact date this story took place is unknown. All I can find is it was at some point between 1921 and 1951. Two bodies were discovered near a dam in Los Angeles County, California by a crime scene photographer. At the scene, he found the lower-half of a male (his top-half had been completely obliterated). He also found the body of a female—who’s suspected to have been between the ages of 13 and 19—who was luckily not blown to smithereens.

Police were immediately able to determine why the two teens had died: there were sticks of dynamite that had been left near a dam. Why they were there, I have no idea because there’s exceedingly little information available on this case. The Unidentified Wiki pages for the two deceased individuals are really small, and the Doe Network profile for the female is also lacking in information.

What is known—or rather presumed—is that the two were out and about when they came across the dynamite. Having tricycles for brains, the male decided to pick them up. At that point, they exploded, destroying his head and body. Why they exploded exactly, I’m not entirely sure. I’m not an explosives expert, so I don’t know if dynamite is volatile, or if the guy decided to light the fuse. Whatever the case, the guy’s companion, meanwhile, was killed by the blast, but as stated earlier: she remained in one piece. At least, I think she did anyways.

By some miracle, the clothing the teens were wearing survived. Although it really isn’t important, I’m going to list it off here for the sake of completion. The man was wearing, according to the aforementioned Unidentified Wiki: a pair of dark-colored loafers, dark-colored socks, medium-toned pants, and “possibly a dark-colored, long-sleeve shirt”.

The man’s female companion, meanwhile, sported a “light-colored, long-sleeved top”, a “dark-colored skirt or pants” (really strange they couldn’t determine which it was), and a pair of “dark-colored socks with stripes at the top”. Given that both victims were likely wearing long-sleeved shirts, I can only guess that it was winter or spring when they died, which I guess could’ve helped in the investigation, but I digress. I’m not a detective and I’m not going to attempt to play one.

As far as I’m aware, that’s where the story ends. I, personally, can only guess the two individuals were likely friends or perhaps lovebirds enjoying the day, but I find it rather poetic that their relationship/friendship came to an explosive end (boy, I’m on a one-way ticket to Hell for that comment). Anywhoozle, let’s move onto the theories section.


1. There really aren’t any theories

Just as it says on the tin, there aren’t any theories as to who these two deceased individuals were. As far as I’m aware, they were just two poor souls who did something stupid and lost their lives. That really doesn’t narrow the list of possible missing persons down, and given nobody came forward to attempt to ID the girl, I doubt we’ll get one upwards of a century later.

My Take

While I may have poked fun at the two victims, it doesn’t appear any missing persons reports were ever tied to them—nor does it appear that police ever bothered to do a whole lot. It’s honestly rather sad that they weren’t able to ID the two to any missing persons reports from around the time—nor does it appear that anyone came forward in an attempt to ID the female (whose face was actually reconstructed). Why that is, I haven’t the faintest clue.

It’s also been stated that this case fell victim to “poor record keeping”. That really pisses me off because it only means that future attempts to look back on the case will be difficult because hey, it isn’t like technology will advance and thus be capable of solving age-old crimes. Nah, that’s just tomfoolery put out by Sci-Fi writers.

All of that said, I firmly believe that there’s a very good lesson within this story to any and all children out there. If you find something that looks dangerous, it likely is dangerous and you shouldn’t pick it up or go near it.

On one final note: I want to just state—once more—that I have no idea why on God’s green Earth there was dynamite left near a dam. If I could somehow access construction records from that era, I would happily do so. I honestly thought at first that some old-timey ecoterrorist was going to blow up the dam in an attempt to make some sort of weird political statement, but I’m guessing it was just left there on accident by some construction crew. Whatever the case may be, I wonder if the person[s] in charge felt bad if/when they learned about the two victims.


To end this story on a light and upbeat note: tomorrow is the end of Decemystery 2021. I’m really hoping you’ll enjoy this year’s capstone entry, which I hope will be the most entertaining one I’ve done to date. So stay tuned and as always: stay happy and healthy!

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