Everybody is somebody's somebody. For many reasons there are often bonds that exist to people you never knew in life -- or death -- but still share a connection. The whole world is hinged on a twist of fate.
A John Doe found on September 23, 1998 in Loxahatchee, Palm Beach County, Florida was special to me.
According to the case history he was located at Seminole Pratt Whitney Road, 2.6 miles North of Northlake Boulevard, in Loxahatchee, Florida.
I remember the first time I heard the story from the construction worker who had just found the body. It was my uncle, Charles Matthews, a resident of West Palm Beach who found the remains while working in an unincorporated area of Palm Beach County.
Uncle Charles describes passing by a rolled up carpet as he went by grading the roadway. "You smell a lot of strange smells when working along the roadways, but the smell of death is unique. More often than not, the smell is that of an animal struck by a passing car. But this time it was coming from or near that rolled up carpet."
He still hoped it might have been an animal wrapped and discarded -- no one truly prepared to find a human being but he began to suspect the worst. He plowed onward knowing he would pass by again on the next round, and he could get another passing glance.
But on his second pass by he saw a human foot protruding from one end. In spite of the Florida heat a chill raced up his spine.
Missing Pieces of the Puzzle
I think my Uncle was hoping we might be able to reach into the computer and pull out a name. I wish it were so simple. It often might seem that way.
More often the not the puzzle has a lot of missing pieces that make assembly almost impossible. No matter how complete a record exists on one side the same has to happen on the other side.
What We Knew Then
For this John Doe there are a lot of things that made an ID very possible. We do know he was in the process of extensive dental work. It is estimated that John Doe died close to August 12, 1998 of a gunshot wound.
Vital Statistics Loxahatchee John Doe
- Estimated age: 25 - 45 years old
- Approximate height and weight: 6'0 - 6'3"; 185 - 250 lbs.
- Distinguishing characteristics: Dark brown hair
- Clothing: He was wearing a large light colored crew neck Haines T-shirt with a pocket, Bill Blass blue jean shorts size 34 waist, Grand Lake brown leather sandals size 12
- Jewelry: A Timex Indiglo watch with a plastic band
What We Know Now
Now we know John Doe as Lawrence Scott Wikso or 9 of Hearts on the Palm Beach County's Deck of Cold Case Cards.
Wikso was identified on July 15, 2005. A resident of Lake Worth, Wikso was a known drug user and was in rehab at the time of his murder. His mother recalled their final conversation took place in August of 1998.
How did I find out John Doe was now on a deck of cards? I started to write this story about John Doe for this blog. My uncle is here in Tennessee for our family reunion, so I decided it was a good chance to interview him.
It was only revealed to me that identification had been made in doing research. I went to the Palm Beach County unsolved homicides and found he had been identified almost 3 years ago -- John Doe now Wikso, 9 of Hearts. Now I had a story of my own to share with my Uncle.
Charles was pleased to finally hear that John Doe had a name and ask for more details to fill in his own curiosities. At least I was able to provide that little bit of information. I wish I could have done something to have helped resolve this sooner.
A puzzle more complete -- we now know the subject, but the surrounding events still unknown and several pieces are still amiss.
What Will We Do About It?
Wikso was John Doe for 7 years and still remains an unsolved homicide. As the card states, he was a known drug user and in rehab. That certainly doesn't take the edge off of the fact that a murder was committed. This man has a family to consider and law enforcement has a crime to resolve.
Surely whoever killed him could have killed before, since and might again. Next time it will be someone else's somebody...maybe somebody you love.
Wikso was murdered by someone who still remains unknown -- walking among us. Are we OK with that?
Place a banner to this case on your MySpace:
Simply copy and paste this code anywhere in to your MySpace proflile:
If you have any information on this case
Please use click this link below:
Resources for this case: