By M.P. Pellicer | Eerie.News
On March 20, 1980, Thomas Newman and Stanley O'Dell, maintenance workers found a steamer trunk behind a dumpster at the Hudson View Apartments. Naturally they assumed someone wanted it to go out with the trash. Then they noticed blood on the outside.
The trunk was old, green and beat up with black trim and brass fittings. There were stickers on the outside for the French ocean liner Flandre and others from the Cunard Lines. It appeared the trunk had been tampered with because there was tape around the seams, and some of it had been pulled off. The men tried to lift it, but found it was too heavy. So they opened it, and inside was the nude body of a white, young woman with her head and hands missing.
Later Newman told newspapers he was having nightmares, he said, "I woke up in the middle of the night and I saw the white thing with no head."
Police responded to the apartment complex located off Route 9D in Fishkill, New York, about 70 miles from Manhattan.
Authorities searched the wooded area nearby for the body parts but found nothing.
The corpse had been fitted into a space that measured 21"wide, 37"long, and 14"deep. Inside the trunk had blue fabric lining with no design and it was in good condition.
Troopers interviewed the occupants of the 500-plus apartment complex for any leads in the case. It was believed the trunk was left there between noon and 10 p.m. on March 18.
The body was originally examined by Dutchess County Medical Examiner Dr. John Supple, and then was autopsied by Dr. Francis McMahon at Vassar Hospital. It was estimated she was 5'3" to 5'6", weighed about 140 pound and had dark body hair. She wore a size 12 or 14, had a 26 inch waist, wore a size 34B bra and had type O negative blood.
Her uterus exam indicated she had not been pregnant. The M.E. found no marks of violence on the body, however the head was amputated between C3 - C4 level, and the hands were amputated at the wrist joints. The head and hands were cut carefully but not surgically. The body had been virtually drained of blood, and it was "very clean". She had small feet, about a size 4 or 5 which is unusual for a woman of that height.
The trunk was traced to a Greenwich Village resident; an artist named June Leaf. She told police in 1980, that she had lost track of the trunk in 1960. The stickers corresponded to when she had crossed from New York to Le Havre, France, and returned on the Cunard Line in the 1950s.
The police followed many leads, and according to reports of the day they try to match the corpse up to any missing women reports from the eastern United States.
Without fingerprints or teeth to compare, the limited technology at that time did not permit any identification to be made of the remains, which is what the killer intended when they mutilated the body, however whoever left the body there knew it was bound to be found.
The case became cold, and she became known as Dutchess County Jane Doe or Fishkill Jane Doe.
During those years there were similar murders of other women.
In April 1976 a woman's body, missing the head and one or both hands was found floating in Greenwood Lake in Warwick, Orange County, New York.
Three months before Fishkill Jane Doe was found, firemen were called to a fire at the Travel Inn Motel on the West Side (Manhattan).
A fireman carried a body outside and set it down ready to administer mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, then he realized that would be impossible because the body had no head. The hands were also missing.
A second corpse was found as well, also missing the hands and the head.
The women were believed to be in their late teens or early twenties. The lower portions of the bodies had been doused with a flammable liquid and set on fire by whoever killed them. The perpetrator also took their heads and hands.
Officials said the amputations had been done with surgical skill, perhaps using a scalpel.
Two sets of name brand jeans, blouses and platform shoes were found neatly piled in the bathtub, and a fur coat was next to one of the burning beds.
The room had been rented four days before by a man who it was assumed to have been using an alias.
One was later identified as a prostitute from Trenton, New Jersey, however who committed the crime remains unknown.
In 2011, the Dutchess County Jane Doe case was entered into the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs).
The FBI was able to obtain a DNA sample from the mutilated body and handed it over to a private lab, which created a DNA profile for the victim.
State Police were able to positively identify the victim as Papalardo-Blake on May 26. However, the identification was not publicly announced until now
Her full name was Anne L Papalardo-Blake, 44. She was reported missing on March 18, 1980. She worked as a receptionist at the Vidal Sassoon Salon at 160 5th Ave. in Manhattan and was last seeing at her place of employment about 6 p.m.
No one has ever been arrested in connection to Papalardo's disappearance or to the once unidentified woman who was sealed away inside a steamer trunk.
Sources - Poughkeepsie Journal, TheUnidentified.com
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