There are many motivations behind the reasons why killers kill. Sometimes money is the motivation for murder, sometimes jealousy and revenge, but in the case of an unidentified John Doe murdered in Alaska in 1978, the reason for his untimely death was due to how “annoying” his travel buddy found him to be.
The man responsible for his murder (a man named Jesse Burt Bishop who died in prison in the early 2000’s) had picked him up while driving nearby Boise, Idaho. Although John Doe stated to the driver that he was making his way to Oregon, he ended up jumping in the vehicle and riding along to Alaska instead.
Doe was described as being in his mid-thirties with long brown curly hair and a leather eye patch worn over his missing left eye. Apparently he was working as a logger and lost the eye in a work related accident. Due to this distinguishing feature the unidentified man came to be known as “One eyed Jack Doe”. According to his killer, one eyed Jack might have actually been called Jack, or John, although he couldn’t remember which. A marble was found in the dead man's pocket and was assumed to be used as a false eye.
Bishop also said that the man was a smoker and had an Oregon driver’s license, which if true narrows down the search. However bear in mind this case is from the Seventies, and this man was hitchhiking wherever he could get a ride to, which makes me wonder if / how long exactly he’d been living his nomadic lifestyle.
I imagine the only people who would have a chance of identifying him would be those that he possibly could have worked with around various parts of the US. He was hitchhiking to Oregon originally, and his license was also from there, though, so it’s possible he has connections and maybe even roots there. Would anyone remember one eyed Jack Doe some 40 years later?
His remains were found in 1979 in Fairbanks North Star, Tok, Alaska (where from what I can gather he was murdered and tossed out onto the highway). The reports I found about his case state the cause of death as “undetermined” but a poster on Websleuths writes that Doe was stabbed and strangled.
Also it’s noted that his mandible was never recovered, so in many of the composites and reconstructions his likeness is estimated from the nose down. (it was later updated)
His body had been torn apart by wildlife and his bones, hair and skin were scattered. Ripped material from the deceased's clothing at the scene corresponded with the description provided by Bishop, confirming his statement about his responsibility for the crime.
When asked why he killed the man, Bishop simply stated “He was getting on my nerves”.
Case details have him at around 185lbs and 6ft tall.
He remains unidentified.