It was Monday, August 7th, 1972 in Springfield Township, New Jersey.
Raven haired, sixteen year old Jeanette DePalma waved goodbye to her mother and said that she was taking to a train to visit a friend.
She would never be seen alive again.
She failed to arrive at her friend’s house, and never made it back home.
Her parents, of course, filed a missing persons report.
Everything was quiet, until six weeks later, when a dog from the local area retrieved a severed, decomposing piece of DePalma’s right arm, from a cliff at Houdaille Quarry.
The cliff was known to locals as “The Devils teeth”.
The teen’s skeletal remains were found encircled by various suspected occult objects, including sticks and branches said to have been placed around her in a coffin like structure, as well as in the shape of crosses.
Others residing in the immediate area claimed that sticks had been laid in the shape of pentagrams and the remains of mutilated animals surrounded the body.
Investigation showed no signs of bullet wounds, knife wounds, broken bones or other.
High levels of lead were found in the body, however for whatever reason is undisclosed.
The death was ruled as suspicious and remains a homicide.
There have been no leads on who the suspected killer could be.
A homeless man, known to locals as Red, was said to have abandoned his camp around the time of Jeanette’s disappearance, however he was ruled out as a suspect and no other leads were ever found.
Still reeling from the shock of the Bogeyman of Westfield, and taking the locals mutterings of mutilated animals and occult symbolism into account, local newspapers began reporting stories of the occult and spinning them in stories of sacrifice. Coupled with the Evangelical link between the DePalma family’s pastor and an alleged Watchung reservation based witch’s covern, the theories started to fly.
Nobody knows who is responsible for the death of sixteen year old Jeanette DePalma to this day.
EDIT: POST-MORTEM PHOTOGRAPHS REMOVED.LYLE STEVIK HAS BEEN IDENTIFIED.
EDIT: Lyle Stevik has finally been identified!
I was recently (and very politely) contacted over the RLIH tumblr (here) to remove the post mortem pictures from this blog due to the recent identification of John Doe, and was completely unaware that he had been identified. So thank you to "miss buttons" for alerting me. The images from this blog have been removed and I will attempt to do so over at the tumblr.
If you're not aware of the case, you can read about it HERE <<
An article online had a quote from the team who identified him: (DNA Doe project) “We can confirm that one of his grandparents did in fact come from Rio Arriba, New Mexico, where many of his DNA cousins’ families originated.”
The article continues: "His relatives reportedly thought he was still alive but had simply left because he didn’t want to associate with them. His real name has not yet been released at the request of his family, who are finally allowed to grieve some 17 years after his death."
Lyle Stevik was the pseudonym used by an unidentified suicide victim who checked into a small motel in Amanda park, Grays Harbor county, Washington and hanged himself in a closet.
The name is shared with that of a character who contemplates suicide due to failure in a book by Joyce Carol Oates titled “you must remember this”.
The body was discovered on the 17th of September 2001, in a kneeling position, in the closet of room 5, surrounded by pillows with a belt acting as a makeshift noose around the victims neck.
He had checked in the previous Friday 14th, killed himself and left $160 on the dressing table with a note stating “for the room”.
There was another note in the rooms waste paper bin that simply said “suicide”.
He had limited luggage, including tooth paste, a tooth brush, a pen found in his pocket and a few dollar bills in his pocket.
The body was found in good condition so samples and finger prints were taken, but when ran through CODIS and IAFIS turned up no information on the mans identity.
He had provided an address upon check in, that Of an address for a small motel in Idaho, however nobody could identify him and it seemed to provide no link.
The victim was said to have lost large amounts of weight before his suicide. Many photo reconstructoins depict him post weightloss. Do you recognize this unknown man?
The crowd-funded photo regression picture of Lyle has recently been posted in the /r/lylestevik/ reddit sub.