At 4:30am on the 3rd of June 1978, the body of a young man was discovered at the intersection of Division and Corona Street in Long Beach, California. He was found lying face down. John Doe was pronounced dead at the scene and believed that he may have been thrown from a vehicle. Investigators initially thought he died from a drug overdose, however, an autopsy ruled that he had died from being strangled to death.
John Doe is described as between the ages of 15 and 19, standing between 5″7′ and 5″11′ and weighing between 120lbs – 145lbs. He had hazel eyes, brown hair that went to his jaw, a light complexion, freckles, a scar above his right eyebrow, and a slender build. John Doe also had a faded “PAID” stamp on the back of his right hand, which suggests that he may have attended a party, event or even just been at a bar despite the fact his age is estimated to be younger than the legal drinking age.
At the time of his death, John Doe was wearing a blue t-shirt, blue Levi jeans, blue socks, a brown belt, and blue Redwing Tennis shoes with white stripes. Based on his clothing, the theory that he was homeless or a runaway for an extended period of time seems less likely.
It has been theorised that John Doe was a victim of serial killer Randy Kraft. Randy was active between the years 1971 and 1983, and he was known to strangle and sexually assault young men and children in the Southern California area. John Doe’s body was also found just over a mile away from the LGBTQ+ – friendly nightclub Ripples, where Randy would often visit and choose his victims.
However, Randy was known for dismembering his victims and disposing of their bodies along highways after strangling and sexually assaulting them. In this case, the victim was found fully dressed and not dismembered, and there is also no mention of the victim suffering from sexual assault. The same can be said for 1980 Marion County John Doe, who was a confirmed victim of Randy. That John Doe was also found fully clothed, non-dismembered and no record of him being sexually assaulted.
If you have any information regarding the identity, or the murder, of Long Beach John Doe (3rd of June, 1978), please contact the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 1-800-843-5678 or the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office at 323-343-0754.
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