This Hitch-Hiking Man Has been Unidentified Since 1978

If you were born at least 50 years ago, please think hard… Did you know a man who just seemed to vanish in the year 1978? Was he known to hitch-hike? Did he have any ties to Oregon or Idaho? Was he missing his left eye? (Consider that his eye may have been injured after you last saw him too.)

Maybe you have a missing family member that was known to be a drifter or transient who just seemed to vanish from the family. Anyway, this man you see in this photo is nick-named One-Eyed Jack. He is a John Doe who was murdered in 1978 by a man who had given him a ride from an area near Boise, Idaho to Alaska. “Jack” actually allegedly wanted to travel to Pendleton, Oregon, but the driver told him he was on his way to Alaska. Jack decided to go along for the trip. Upon their arrival to Alaska, the driver strangled and stabbed “Jack”. He then disposed of his body in the woods near the highway. The driver claimed that the man told him his name was either John or Jack. But keep in mind, “Jack” may have been lying for privacy concerns. Or it may have been a new-found nick-name. Or, the driver may have lied. So, keep an open mind with the name. For all we know, his name could be anything.

“Jack” also told the driver that he was married and that he was about 32 years old in 1978, making him born around the year 1945-1947. Apparently Jack had a driver’s license from the state of Oregon. He told the driver that his eye was damaged in a logging accident. He also told the driver that he used to be a car washer back in Colorado or Utah and that he may have worked for Lincoln Auto Dealership, possibly in CO or UT.

“Jack’s” remains were found in Tok, Alaska on August 20, 1979, about 11 months after his death. He is described as being Caucasian, about 6′ tall, about 185 lbs, with almost shoulder-length wavy brown hair and brown eyes. He was found wearing a red and black flannel button-down shirt. He also had an eye mask on. He had some facial hair as well. In his pocket was a marble. It is believed he was a smoker. He was allegedly found with an eye mask, but due to the age of this case, passed down information could have been skewed.

So, here’s what we can conclude about this murder victim: He likely has ties to Oregon and/or Idaho. He was likely a transient or maybe even homeless. He may have just loved to travel. He was possibly a habitual hitchhiker. He was possibly married. He “may” have been missing his left eye. It is unclear whether or not his eye was definitely missing before his death, because we are relying on the words of a murderer. His eye could have been injured after or upon his death. When his body was found, it was skeletonized.

“Jack’s” murderer was sentenced to prison, and he passed away in 2003.

You’re probably wondering a couple obvious things:
1- Where is this alleged driver’s license? Well, I don’t even know if detectives know where it is. It supposedly was not found on “Jack’s” possession. Since he was found a year after his death, anything is possible.
2- Why has he not been matched with a missing person? There are so many reasons why this could be the case:
-Theory: He didn’t have a family or loved ones.
-Theory: He was estranged from his family.
-Theory: His family figured he was fine.
-Theory: He told his family not to worry and they just presumed he was starting anew.
-Theory: His family assumed he abandoned them.
-Theory: He was habitual hitchhiker and a known transient, and his loved ones figured he just went to somewhere new, or may be living off the grid.
-Theory: His family may not have filed a missing person’s report.
-Theory: His family did in fact file a missing person’s report, but it somehow “slipped through the cracks”, as many cases did in those days! They were often not taken seriously, or lost with system modifications, etc.
-Theory: His family filed a report but have all since passed away.
-Theory: He is a known / filed missing person who is not in the database. (This happens often.)
3. Where is his wife? Was she alive at the time of his passing? Did he even have a wife? Did she look for him? Were they estranged?

Please contact the Medical Examiner’s Office at 907-334-2200 if you have any information on this case.
You can also interact with me on my Facebook page, and I will forward tips to the Medical Examiner.

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