Real Name: Unknown
Nicknames: Lady of the Dunes (by Law Enforcement)
Location: Race Point Dunes near Provincetown, Massachusetts
Date: July 26, 1974
Date of Birth: Between 1934 and 1949
Weight: 145 pounds
Marital Status: Unknown, possibly Single
Characteristics: Caucasian female. Reddish blond hair, athletic body, and extensive dental work. Her DNA is available for comparison. She was between twenty-five and forty-years-old at the time of her death.
Details: On July 26, 1974, a woman's body was discovered in the dunes about a mile east of the Race Point ranger station. The woman's hands were missing; it is believed that they were removed by the killer so that she could not be identified through fingerprints. Her head was nearly severed and her skull was crushed. Her nude body was discovered lying on a beach towel with her head resting on her folded jeans. Despite their best efforts, police were never able to identify her.
Her body was exhumed in 1980 and 2000 in attempts to identify her; DNA was collected from her body during the second exhumation. Several women, including fugitive Rory Gene Kesinger, were investigated as possible matches for the victim; all were later ruled out. Sadly, she has never been positively identified and her killer has never been caught.
Suspects: Serial killer Hadden Clark has been called a suspect because he admitted to murdering the Lady of the Dunes. However, his confession may not be credible as he has lied several times before. In 2004, Clark sent a letter to a friend stating that he had killed a woman on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. He also sent two drawings: one of a handless, naked woman sprawled on her stomach, and another of a map pointing to where the body was found.
Whitey Bulger may also be connected to the case, as he was seen in 1974 with a woman resembling one of the reconstructions.
Extra Notes: The case has not appeared on Unsolved Mysteries; however, it has appeared on the show Haunting Evidence.
The case may have connections to fugitive James "Whitey" Bulger, who was profiled on the show.
Results: Unsolved. Recently, there was some speculation that the victim was an extra for the 1975 film Jaws, which was filmed in Massachusetts in 1974. However, no new leads have come forward from this theory. In 2019, investigators began to look into using genetic genealogy to help identify the victim.
- Lady of the Dunes at Wikipedia
- Lady of the Dunes at Doe Network
- Lady of the Dunes at NamUs
- Lady of the Dunes on the Provincetown Website
- Lady of the Dunes Facebook Page
- Cape murder haunts police chief
- Police hope second exhumation will identify Lady of the Dunes
- Lady in the Dunes may be another Whitey Bulger victim
- 'Jaws' mystery: Did long unknown 'Lady of the Dunes' Cape Cod murder victim appear in movie scene?
- The True Story Behind Wild Theory That Jaws Could Identify Woman Found Almost Beheaded Near the Beach
- New look at old ‘Lady of the Dunes’ mystery
- Lady of the Dunes at Find a Grave