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Obsessed

Buckskin Girl – An Update

As some might have read, I previously wrote a post on the unidentified homicide victim, Buckskin Girl, who was found on the side of the road in rural Miami County, Ohio in 1981. My sister sent me an update that was provided last month to coincide with the 35th anniversary of Buckskin Girl’s death.

Two new computer generated images were released of Buckskin Girl, which are a much needed update and huge improvement from the previous composites that I posted in my blog.

Buck2
Buckskin Girl

 

Buck1
Buckskin Girl  2

Along with the new pictures, Buckskin Girl’s clothing was sent to a U.S. Federal Government Lab in Texas to do an analysis on any pollen other microscopic evidence that could be found after all these years. Analysis showed that the fibers in her clothing contained pollen from the northeastern regions of the U.S. (from Rhode Island to Pennsylvania) as well as pollen from the western part of the U.S. or Mexico.

Analysts also found soot in her clothing which could indicate she had lived in an urban area or was hitchhiking, where soot from cars and trucks could blow into her clothing as she hitched for rides. This is a scenario I feel is the most plausible.

Investigators are still working to identify Buckskin Girl. To read the full article on the update, click here.

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The Devil is in the Details

I was catching up on my reading over this past weekend, and the author of the book I was reading quoted from The Devil’s Dictionary. A dormant, tiny memory was plucked in my head when I read the words “Devil’s Dictionary”, but I didn’t know who wrote it or exactly what it was about. So I did some research and came across a quite interesting fellow (whom, you can guess, my overly intelligent daughter already knew all about):

His name is Ambrose Bierce. (Why don’t people name their sons Ambrose anymore? It is derived from Greek, meaning immortal/divine. And it makes me think of tiny marsh mellows, and fruit, and coconut, and summer. Go figure.)

And you guessed it, he is from Ohio.

He was a civil war veteran who became a famous literary figure, journalist, and satirist. He wrote short stories about the civil war that were highly realistic and psychological thrillers that were ahead of their time in writing style. I’m currently reading through his short stories and was entranced by one of his most famous, “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge”. You can read it here:

An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge

bierce_ambrose

Ambrose Bierce and his mustache.

But he might be most famous for his work, The Devil’s Dictionary, where he humorously and slashingly (that’s a word, I swear!) defines common English words.

I worked my way through many of the definitions this weekend and was very amused, but one I read this morning made my daughter and I laugh:

GHOST, n. The outward and visible sign of an inward fear.

             He saw a ghost.
It occupied—that dismal thing!—
The path that he was following.
Before he’d time to stop and fly,
An earthquake trifled with the eye
              That saw a ghost.
He fell as fall the early good;
Unmoved that awful vision stood.
The stars that danced before his ken
He wildly brushed away, and then
               He saw a post.

                         – Jared Macphester

Accounting for the uncommon behavior of ghosts, Heine mentions somebody’s ingenious theory to the effect that they are as much afraid of us as we of them. Not quite, if I may judge from such tables of comparative speed as I am able to compile from memories of my own experience.

There is one insuperable obstacle to a belief in ghosts. A ghost never comes naked: he appears either in a winding-sheet or “in his habit as he lived.” To believe in him, then, is to believe that not only have the dead the power to make themselves visible after there is nothing left of them, but that the same power inheres in textile fabrics. Supposing the products of the loom to have this ability, what object would they have in exercising it? And why does not the apparition of a suit of clothes sometimes walk abroad without a ghost in it? These be riddles of significance. They reach away down and get a convulsive grip on the very tap-root of this flourishing faith.

This struck my daughter, KJ and I as hilarious:

KJ: “I never thought about this; why do all the ghosts on the TV shows and in ghost stories have on clothes? Because that is what they died in?”

Me: “Maybe so. But what if they died having sex? Shouldn’t they be a naked ghost? Or at least a ghost with only socks on if it was a man who died during sex?”

KJ: “Yeah! And what about the autoerodic asphyxiation deaths? Where are the ghosts floating around with a ball gag in their mouth? You don’t want to be that ghost. That would be embarrassing.”

Me: “You sure don’t. Maybe that why we haven’t seen David Carradine’s ghost…”

Makes you think, right? Or too soon?

 

The Mystery of Buckskin Girl

I grew up in Ohio – not rural, rural, Ohio, but a suburb that was surrounding on one side by a moderately sized city, and the other three sides by rural, rural, Ohio. And I spent a large part of my childhood in rural Ohio. In the late 70’s and early 80’s, I spent most of my weekends and summers at my cousin’s farm playing and exploring the barns and silos that we were supposed to stay clear of (the creepier the barn, the better). And as a teenager my sister Debbie and I or my friends and I would cruise the back roads of Ohio sometimes looking for something scary or haunted (like the devil’s backbone or an abandoned house) or just cruising the flat, endless country roads so we would have something to do. I know we must have cruised down every back road in Greene, Montgomery, Clark, and Miami Counties.

So I know rural Ohio.

But I never knew this.

Sometimes, well a lot of the time, I go on these tangents. Not bad tangents, just tangents. (tangent is a weird word. look at it. it makes me want to eat something citrusy.) Anyway…what happens is, I start interested in one topic and it leads me somewhere that leads me somewhere that leads me to something I never knew, but is somehow related to me. Sometimes its a place I’ve been or a clue I’ve found on another subject I’m obsessed with researching. This time my little trail of unrelated research led me to this.

To her.

To Buckskin Girl.

To rural Ohio circa 1981.

Buckskin_Girl_Montage_002

Authorities don’t know who she is. And like others, I have exhaustively searched databases of missing persons looking for someone who looked like her, but have come up empty. And when I take on a new obsession, I always make sure I call my sister Debbie because I know she will jump on the obsession bandwagon and help me search for clues. But nonetheless, this is all that is known about Buckskin Girl.

It was April 1981.

She was found face down on the side of a rural road in Troy, Ohio (Miami County).

She had blunt force trauma to her head and was strangled to death.

She was between 18-26 years old and of average height and weight.

Her hair was reddish-brown and braided into two braids. She had freckles.

She was dressed in jeans and a deerskin poncho – that’s where she got her name – Buckskin Girl.

She had no shoes.

It has been 25 years since she was killed and she is still unnamed. She has friends or family somewhere who don’t know what happened to her.

There are theories. One of which is that of a suspected serial killer in Ohio who killed women in the 1980’s and 1990’s. Other girls during this time period had been killed in the same manner and the killer had taken their jewelry – Buckskin girl had no jewelry as well.

buckskinSomething about her speaks to us.

She needs a name.

She needs justice.

Her family and friends need closure.

Her name needs to be spoken. She mattered.

 

My Theory of What Happened to Buckskin Girl

I think Buckskin Girl was not from the area and was hitchhiking, as happened often around that time. She was picked up, I believe by a truck driver, and was relaxed enough to take off her shoes. Her feet had been hurting. At some point the killer tried to sexually attack her and hit her with an object on her head and neck. For some reason (was he interrupted?) he was unable to finish his horrific task and strangled her. He drove the few miles off of the highway and dumped her body. This was not his last victim.

For more information on Buckskin Girl:

Buckskin Girl Wiki Page

Doe Network Buckskin Girl Page

Unidentified Persons Database – Buckskin Girl

Facebook Page – Buckskin Girl

 

 

 

 

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