Sunday, November 15, 2009
One of the long time mysteries in Boulder, Colorado, was recently partially solved. In 1954 the body of a murdered young woman was discovered in Boulder Canyon. She was buried in Columbia Cemetery with a gravestone marking her as , “Jane Doe.” The Boulder County Sheriff’s Department reopened this cold case and local author Silvia Pettum raised funds to exhume Jane Doe’s body. DNA extracted from a tooth and facial reconstruction led to clues, but for a number of years no match could be made with missing women from 1954. One likely candidate recently turned out to have been living in Australia. Then with the fortunate circumstance of a niece of another missing woman contacting Silvia through information found on her website, DNA was matched to a family member and after 55 years Jane Doe was identified as Dorothy Gay Howard. Detective Steve Ainsworth identified a suspect for the murder as Harvey Glatman. Glatman killed several other young woman, was living in Denver at the time of the Jane Doe murder but was executed in California in 1959 so there is no way to confirm the suspicions. Silvia recently published a book titled, “Someone’s Daughter” that recounts the work to track down Jane Doe. Quite a story.