Was Baba Booey a Victim of Murder in the 1970s?
Recognize him? Investigators initially thought the man, who was wearing this shirt when found, was a boy because of his small stature. Dental examination revealed he could have been as old as 55
Hidden from view: The skeleton was discovered here, at the side of the Northern Parkway, hidden from view
Concealed: The body was found in woods that run along the center of the highway and that few, if any people, ever walk along
Within hours of the gruesome discovery in March 2004, investigators from the New York State Police began to recover the rest of a fully clothed male skeleton – the body of which had been partially stuffed into a plastic bag.
The police were stumped. They had no idea who the man was or how he died – and more importantly, who dumped his body.
Luckily, there were some clues that cops were able to seize upon and they earnestly begin to generate a profile of the victim.
One of their best clues to his identity was an item of clothing, an iconic artefact from the era of Pac-Man and MTV – his 1980s Members Only jacket.
Evidence: It's known as the 'Members Only case', named because the man, his entire, fully clothed skeleton had been stuffed into a plastic bag and when eventually unearthed, was wearing a Members Only jacket
Change: Even some coins were found in the man's pockets - although they tell us nothing about who he was
The victim was wearing a white button-down shirt, bellbottoms, tube socks and the Members Only jacket. Bellbottoms were popular in the 1970s, and the jacket had its heyday in the 1980s.
The jacket was taken to a lab where detectives learned the item had been made at a factory in Sri Lanka in 1982.
It meant the man had probably been hidden in the woods by the side of the highway for more than twenty years, before being found.
Almost ten years on since the discovery of the missing body in 2004, detectives still haven’t identified the victim or figured out who might have killed him.
‘We want to identify him to give somebody, somewhere, closure,’ said Senior Investigator Thomas Hughes to NBC News.
‘Maybe there’s a kid out there who wants to know what happened to his father.’
Hughes, who caught the case when the body was first found, says the 2004 investigation was ‘painstaking,’ and that it was frustrating not to have resolution.
Mystery: The victim was wearing this shirt when they died but did not have any JD on them
Found: A 1970s-style 'Afro-pick' comb was found with the body
The man inside the clues: Despite his unglamorous clothing, he was also wearing a fancy Bulova watch. The timepiece had been manufactured by the Queens, N.Y., based company in 1960, when it had carried a retail price of $500
Bare bones: The case was only looked into when a woman involved in a car accident stepped onto a human skull after her car slid off the road
‘When it went cold,’ he said, ‘I kept working on it myself.’ He’s now been paired with a new investigator to take another pass at the evidence.
There were no bullets found at the crime scene and there was no trace of identification found anywhere near the body.
The investigators have had to make guesses about who the man was and where he may have lived.
A computer generated reconstruction of the victim shows a high-cheekboned face with dark hair and a slightly dark complexion.
In 1994 the Medical Examiner believed the victim to be Caucasian, based on his cheekbones, but Hughes says that now he’s not so sure.
There were coins in the pocket of the bellbottoms, and the date on a dime, the newest coin, was 1974, meaning the crime couldn’t have happened any earlier.
The man’s money clip was empty but had the logo of a New York City heating oil company called Paragon Oil.
He was also wearing a fancy Bulova watch.
Short: The man was just 5ft 1in tall and was wearing bellbottoms which were popular in the 1970s
Tube socks: Buried for almost 30 years
Cops say the most distinctive thing about the dead man was his height.
At first police thought he may have been a child because he was only 5 foot 1 but dental analysis puts the man’s age at anywhere from 35 to 55.
Twenty years ago, during the original investigation, the combination of a fancy watch and the small stature of the man made investigators believe that he man could have been a jockey – but no jockey’s had been reported missing.
Investigators are focusing on the man’s height as a way of trying to identify him. Someone who was shorter than 99 percent of American adult males.
The case will restart its inquiry in Queens and attempt to retrace life in the 1980s.
Few of the missing persons cases from the early 1980s and before have been computerized.
‘Back then missing persons cases were filed and put in a box,’ explained Hughes. ‘We’ll literally be looking through warehouses full of boxes in Queens.’
Anyone with information on the ‘Members Only’ case should call the New York State Police Troop ‘L’ Major Crimes Unit at (631) 756-3300.
Last edited by RobinsBedSores; 10-20-2013 at 02:16 AM.