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Old 01-29-2014, 05:22 PM
 
Location: NJ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodlands View Post
Has anyone heard anymore on this case? This was another SC mystery that I do not think has ever been solved.....
Link to post SC - Dail Dinwiddie, 23, Columbia, 24 Sept 1992

One of these days the mystery couple will get ID'd... Just a matter of time due to a bunch of websleuths that donate their time. Members find posts from relatives looking for missing loved one. One members got a missing husband & wife listed in NamUs. I was pretty convinced they were the "mystery couple"

Tear Drop It is solvable!!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tear Drop View Post
After watching several “disappeared” episodes, I felt compelled to try and solve a missing persons case myself. I started in my own state of SC and trolled around looking for cases that seemed solvable, which led me to this case. I believe, like so many others, that this couple had to have a family that was missing them and there was enough pieces of the puzzle to at least identify this couple. IT IS SOLVABLE!!!

I first started by eliminating missing people from 1976, and essentially eliminated all but a handful of missing persons. I kept coming back to Michael and Cordelia Mcminn, a couple from Portland, Oregon who went missing in May of 1976. Information about their disappearance wasn’t posted on missing person websites until 2008. At first glance, it seemed to be a “lost at sea” tale, but after doing some more investigating, there seems like something else was going on. They were spotted within 25 miles of their port of destination and LE has confirmed spottings in Canadian waters just north of the border as late as July. After doing some research about Michael and Cordelia Mcminn’s disappearance, it became clear (at least from news articles) that drug smuggling seemed to be a central theme in their disappearance. It was speculated that couple was high jacked and murdered by drug smugglers. On the other hand, in another news article, that references the Mcminn’s disappearance, the DEA indicates that high jacking of boats by drug smugglers for the purpose of smuggling drugs was not common, due to the fact that drug smuggling operations aren’t interested stealing boats, since they have plenty of money to buy boats and drug smugglers like to remain low key. Also, their boat was only a 25’ trimaran, not an expensive boat. Moreover, their boat was installed with an automatic radio beacon that would have been activated in the event that boat was sinking that the search parties would have easily located. Could the Mcminn’s been involved with drug smuggling themselves and were purposefully eluding authorities?

That being said, I also believe drug smuggling is at the center of the Sumter case. I think these are not drifters or hitchhikers as some people have suggested. I believe, for many reasons, foremost because they were to have been staying at the KOA, indicating they most likely had a vehicle or a camper. Also because of a news article which I have not seen any discussion about. A news article about a mechanic in York, Nebraska (where there is a Grant’s truck stop) who said he recognized John Doe and he had done repairs on their vehicle. He also stated that he remembered the license plate had either OREGON, or Washington plates. The most direct route from Portland or Vancouver region to SC goes through York, NE……….Hmmmm….

At this time in the drug smuggling history, camper vans were the vehicle of choice for the distribution of drugs(LE believes the tire tracks were from a van). Could Jane and John Doe have been smuggling drugs? According to David Batson, the guy at the KOA who shot pool with John Doe stated the couple was driving back and forth to Florida via I-95(The largest drug cable in the US). John Doe also stated “I was disowned for being a teacher rather than doctor…. like his father….and being from Canada” as one person described it…… “It sounds like something out of a Victorian novel”. This was a fabricated story to explain his North Eastern accent and why they are so far from home and are available to travel so much. If they are drug smugglers on the run, it would sound like a very likely story. The fact that the couple had been to Florida the year before, based on the ’75 IMSA shirt John Doe was wearing, also lends itself to this theory. The whole thing stinks of drug smuggling. Ultimately, I think Jane and John doe were executed for being a liability to the drug smuggling organization. I have also interviewed someone else that said they saw them at the campground.

During my investigation, I also saw that Reannan had contacted Michael’s brother.




I have also contacted the brother and it is his position, as it was then, that he doesn’t believe that this is his brother and sister in law based on looking at photos. I think there are several reasons that can explain why he was unable to make an identification. Primarily, because it would be tough to identify anyone with so many varying composites and crummy photos, and also because of the enormous amount of time that has passed.





When I look at these photos, especially Carl’s composites, I see the same people. Thanks Carl for such fantastic composites! Also, I believe you can see a mole on Cordelia’s cheek. Michael Mcminn had a piece of metal pierce his shoulder in a motorcycle collision with a street sweeper rear view mirror which would explain the scars on his shoulder. Cordelia has blue/green eyes. All physical characteristics match: height, weight, hair color, eye color. I have been in contact with both families and they are willing to submit to DNA testing. This process will begin soon and I will keep the community updated with the progress.
I apologize for the length of the post, as I am new to websleuths. I have read every post on websleuths on this case. I think there has been some amazing investigating taking place on websleuths, by far the most in depth discussion of this case. I have conducted several interviews and have way more to post, but I will keep it short for now. I think the IMSA connection is the missing connection as some people have alluded to.

I think more compelling than anything else, is this that this explains why two families never went looking for their family members. They haven’t been looking for them, because they thought they were already deceased!

Man gets new leads on 1976 mystery couple

John McMinn and Cordelia McMinn
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Old 02-22-2015, 03:37 PM
 
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I have been trying to find out who these people are for years now it would be awesome if this did turn out to be them.good job on all the work you have done on them cant wait to see what the results are
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Old 02-22-2015, 09:41 PM
 
Location: NJ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by helen1958 View Post
I have been trying to find out who these people are for years now it would be awesome if this did turn out to be them.good job on all the work you have done on them cant wait to see what the results are
Its not them
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Old 03-08-2015, 10:22 PM
 
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back to the drawing board
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Old 08-15-2015, 08:35 AM
 
Location: Northampton, Mass.
694 posts, read 711,291 times
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I remember this case. I had first heard about it on the television show Unsolved Mysteries sometime around 1989; the second time I heard about it (and read much more on it) was back in 2007 or so when the couples' remains were exhumed from their grave in Sumter County, South Carolina---I was living not far from there then, so it was all over the local news. Very strange case indeed.

The DNA disproved the theory they were brother and sister, despite their similar appearance. The DNA showed they were not biologically related. Unfortunately, not much else could be done besides collect DNA as the bodies had decomposed to essentially skeletal remains in the thirty years they were buried in the county cemetery.
I wonder if they ever did any DNA testing to determine ancestry? That could at least help point towards foreign birth, as has been suggested. I think at least the male was from Canada.
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Old 02-27-2017, 11:23 AM
 
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Default Dna

I have just contacted sumter county through facebook about some DNA upload sites used by genealogist. Hopefully they can upload the DNA and find the family of the Sumter county does.
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Old 02-27-2017, 11:54 AM
 
Location: NJ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scngagirl View Post
I have just contacted sumter county through facebook about some DNA upload sites used by genealogist. Hopefully they can upload the DNA and find the family of the Sumter county does.
Its not that easy, otherwise they'd all do it. If UNT (NamUs) has the DNA then they'll only transfer the raw data to a government lab. Ancestry and 23 and me need saliva.
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Old 03-02-2017, 07:23 AM
 
Location: Northampton, Mass.
694 posts, read 711,291 times
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I remember this case--I first learned of it back in the mid-90s when Unsolved Mysteries ran an episode on the case--and then I read more around 2006 when the bodies of the two victims were exhumed from their resting places in Sumter County for DNA testing, etc.

It is a very interesting case and I am a little surprised it has gone so long without being resolved.
One aspect I have found interesting, aside from the general circumstances, is the unusual dental work found on the male victim ("jock" Doe).

This link is to an article from the Sumter Daily Item newspaper of June 28, 1977 (its Google newspaper archive, free to view):

https://news.google.com/newspapers?i...g=1367,7773272

There are some remarks made about the dental work found on the male victim that was very unusual, including a "fluted" root canal. A fluted root canal is uncommon in the US and involves drilling several tiny holes into the tooth in order to give the crown additional 'grip'...another tooth contained radio opaque under the filling, which in 1976 was a very new material in dentistry, having been introduced about 1974. So, that really narrows down the timeline for when some of the high-quality dental work was done.

Another aspect was the missing Wisdom teeth: they were not recent extractions, so the dentist who examined him estimated the male victim was likely at least 25-27 years old and not the around 18-22 as initially thought and reported (link to article above contains this information as well).
Unfortunately, the female victim did not have any unusual dental work or other distinguishing marks.
This second link is to an article from August 9, 1976, reporting the discovery of the two murder victims:
https://news.google.com/newspapers?i...d+bodies&hl=en

Since they were found near I-95, its likely the two had been traveling and passing thru the area.

Last edited by Austin023; 03-02-2017 at 07:25 AM.. Reason: added info
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Old 03-02-2017, 08:27 AM
 
Location: NJ
8,079 posts, read 18,844,025 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Austin023 View Post
I remember this case--I first learned of it back in the mid-90s when Unsolved Mysteries ran an episode on the case--and then I read more around 2006 when the bodies of the two victims were exhumed from their resting places in Sumter County for DNA testing, etc.

It is a very interesting case and I am a little surprised it has gone so long without being resolved.
One aspect I have found interesting, aside from the general circumstances, is the unusual dental work found on the male victim ("jock" Doe).

This link is to an article from the Sumter Daily Item newspaper of June 28, 1977 (its Google newspaper archive, free to view):

https://news.google.com/newspapers?i...g=1367,7773272

There are some remarks made about the dental work found on the male victim that was very unusual, including a "fluted" root canal. A fluted root canal is uncommon in the US and involves drilling several tiny holes into the tooth in order to give the crown additional 'grip'...another tooth contained radio opaque under the filling, which in 1976 was a very new material in dentistry, having been introduced about 1974. So, that really narrows down the timeline for when some of the high-quality dental work was done.

Another aspect was the missing Wisdom teeth: they were not recent extractions, so the dentist who examined him estimated the male victim was likely at least 25-27 years old and not the around 18-22 as initially thought and reported (link to article above contains this information as well).
Unfortunately, the female victim did not have any unusual dental work or other distinguishing marks.
This second link is to an article from August 9, 1976, reporting the discovery of the two murder victims:
https://news.google.com/newspapers?i...d+bodies&hl=en

Since they were found near I-95, its likely the two had been traveling and passing thru the area.
They had put his dental x-rays in a dental magazine, but from memory I think the x-rays were back wards
I have an album for them on the missing and unidentified person's FB page I co-own with my friend who's sister has been missing since the early 70's Sumter S.C.- John and Jane Doe - August 9,1976 You'll see someone commented on one of the photos that their mother was working at a place when John and Jane came by on a motorcycle.

I personally think they were following car racing, got caught up with the wrong crowd; paid for it with their lives.

Quote:
Originally Posted by scngagirl View Post
I have just contacted sumter county through facebook about some DNA upload sites used by genealogist. Hopefully they can upload the DNA and find the family of the Sumter county does.
I do hope that they can get a DNA sample to run thru some of the family tree sites but as I was trying to say the other day, it's a very complicated process. They can also try to do pollen samples from their clothing if they still have it or do isotope testing on the bones, teeth or hair. The hair of Jane would be the best to test to get an idea of where she's been the last few years before her death. If I remember correctly, her hair was at least shoulder length. I'm not sure why I didn't suggest it to their NamUs rep when I helped her get the profiles online

Jane NamUs
John NamUs
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Old 03-04-2017, 04:14 AM
 
Location: Northampton, Mass.
694 posts, read 711,291 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roselvr View Post
They had put his dental x-rays in a dental magazine, but from memory I think the x-rays were back wards
I have an album for them on the missing and unidentified person's FB page I co-own with my friend who's sister has been missing since the early 70's Sumter S.C.- John and Jane Doe - August 9,1976 You'll see someone commented on one of the photos that their mother was working at a place when John and Jane came by on a motorcycle.

I personally think they were following car racing, got caught up with the wrong crowd; paid for it with their lives.



I do hope that they can get a DNA sample to run thru some of the family tree sites but as I was trying to say the other day, it's a very complicated process. They can also try to do pollen samples from their clothing if they still have it or do isotope testing on the bones, teeth or hair. The hair of Jane would be the best to test to get an idea of where she's been the last few years before her death. If I remember correctly, her hair was at least shoulder length. I'm not sure why I didn't suggest it to their NamUs rep when I helped her get the profiles online

Jane NamUs
John NamUs
(ref. to bold section). Yes, the dental chart published for distribution was printed upside down so many who looked at it for comparison were confused and read it incorrectly as a result. The other problem was on the same chart older, then-outdated symbols were used, which added even more confusion. Such as using the old symbol "A" for amalgam instead of the modern "Am" and so forth...so many dentists who read it confused the symbols with other meanings (in the early 1970s the US was adopting an international standard for dental symbols, which used some of the same as the old US system did, but they had different meanings, which sometimes caused confusion).

The fluted root canal was very unusual and at that time there were not many dentists in the US who did those. One newspaper article quoted that no more than like a half dozen dentists in the US were doing that kind of root canal in the mid-1970s. (please refer to the two links in my previous post. I am pretty sure that info is in those two sources). In any case, such unusual dental work had made many investigators confident the two unidentified victims would be claimed soon enough, but unfortunately--and surprisingly I think--that did not happen. I think they might had come from over-seas, perhaps stayed in the US a while before being killed.

The female victim had unshaven legs, which is of course unusual in North America but not uncommon in many places in southern Europe and parts of South America. Today, forensics would be able to do isotope testing on their teeth, which would tell where they had spent their formative years, but that was not available in 1976. (When the bodies were exhumed in 2006, only bones remained and samples of bone and perhaps teeth were taken for DNA testing).
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