Case File: 454UMOH
|The Doe Network
Physical Description** Listed information is approximate
Clothing & Personal Items
Police responded to a call regarding a suicide involving a man named Joseph Newton Chandler III. He had committed suicide in his apartment by shooting himself in the head using a .38-caliber Charter Arms handgun.
The probate courts worked through his estate, which included an $82,000 legacy. Upon contacting his next of kin, a mystery surfaced. The real Joseph Newton Chandler III was killed in a car accident with his parents on December 21, 1945, when he was 8 years old. They were traveling on US Highway 82 from Tulsa, Oklahoma, to Weatherford, Texas, to spend Christmas with family.
The decedent assumed his identity September 1978 in Rapid City, South Dakota, when he wrote off for a copy of Joe Chandler III's birth certificate, and applied for his first Social Security Card. He then moved to East Lake, Ohio.
Police believe the decedent and Joe Chandler III would have been about the same age. He used the same birthdate of March 11, 1937, birthplace of Buffalo, and same name of parents as the real Joseph Chandler III. His dental records were made during the 23-year period he went by the alias.
The investigation went on to reveal that at some point he was in California, worked around or was in the US Navy, and had some electrical engineering experience. He moved to the Cleveland, Ohio area in 1979, and moved to his last apartment in 1986. He lived a hermit's life, going only to work and out to eat. He worked as an electrical designer and draftsman. His co-workers were listed as his emergency contacts and executor of his estate.
The decedent listed a sister named Mary R. Wilson who lived in Columbus, Ohio, on his rental application. When investigators went to find her, they found a vacant address.
The handgun he used to kill himself had been purchased at a Western Auto store in Seagoville between 1968 and 1978. The store has been closed for some time and its records destroyed. The gun has never been reported as stolen or missing. Other sources indicated he purchased the handgun three months before his suicide from a Lake County store.
Investigators attempted to obtain fingerprints from his belongings but all were smudged. The U.S. Marshalls are examining several possibilities, including a handful of fugitives, as well as the Zodiac Killer, and inmates who escaped from Alcatraz.
It is believed that the decedent was on the run from law enforcement since at least 1978 and was a violent fugitive.
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Added: Prior to 2011; Last Updated: 4/18/15 - By: DD / Unidentified Persons Coordinator
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