Author Topic: SACRED HEART CHURCH JOHN DOE: WM, 35-45, found in Sacred Heart Church in Boise - 4 December 1982 *GR  (Read 276 times)


  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8173
    • View Profile


Reconstruction of the decedent; likeness of bolo; belt. To view a postmortem photograph, please click here.

Date of Discovery: December 4, 1982
Location of Discovery: Boise, Ada County, Idaho
Estimated Date of Death: Hours prior
State of Remains: Recognizable face
Cause of Death: Suicide by cyanide poisoning

Physical Description
Estimated Age: 35-45 years old
Race: White
Sex: Male
Height: 6'0"
Weight: 175 lbs.
Hair: Sandy, possibly sun-bleached. He was clean-shaven and his hair was styled.
Eye Color: Gray with hints of brown
Distinguishing Marks/Features: Tanned complexion. Well-groomed.

Dentals: Unknown.
Fingerprints: Available.
DNA: Unknown.

Clothing & Personal Items

Clothing: A green, long-sleeve "casual" shirt, blue jeans, a belt with a white-metal buckle and cowboy boots. Described as fashionably-dressed.
Jewelry: Seiko wristwatch. Nickel-silver, Western-style string tie (or bolo) with a turquoise stone in the center. "P. White" was stamped on the back, which is presumed to be the name of the artist behind its creation.
Additional Personal Items: $1,900 in cash and a type-written suicide note.

Circumstances of Discovery
The decedent was discovered under a pew at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Boise, Idaho on December 4, 1982. He was observed at the pew shortly before his death, prior to the start of the confession service, at about 4:00 PM.

The man had committed suicide with the aid of cyanide. A type-written suicide note and $1,900 were located with the body. The note detailed the man's wishes for the money he carried to pay for his funeral and cremation. The remaining funds would be donated to the church. The note was signed with the alias name "Wm. L. Toomey."

A public funeral was held on December 6. 200 to 300 people attended the service. Despite the man's wishes, his money was kept by the county and he was buried at taxpayer's expense in the Syringa Gardens Cemetery.

It was later discovered the name used by the unidentified man was taken from a company which manufactured clothing for priests and nuns. The belt buckle he wore was traced to a gift shop in Arizona.

Based on his tanned complexion, it was believed he came from California, Arizona or New Mexico. Investigators followed leads to Pennsylvania, New York, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Illinois. They were unsuccessful with finding additional information.

There is speculation he may have been involved in the murders of two priests from Odessa, Texas and Yuma, Arizona. Despite this, there is no evidence to support this theory.

The case was featured on the television show Unsolved Mysteries in 1990.

Investigating Agency(s)

Agency Name: Ada County Coroner's Office
Agency Contact Person: N/A
Agency Phone Number: 208-287-5556
Agency E-Mail: N/A
Agency Case Number: 431-82

NCIC Case Number: Unknown
NamUs Case Number: 57814

Information Source(s)
Austin Chronicle
UPI archives
The Idaho Statesman archives

Admin Notes
Added: 10/14/19; Last Updated: 10/14/19