The identity of a woman murdered over 40-years-ago in Massachusetts could soon be revealed after Stephen King’s son says he believes she was an extra in Jaws.
In a bizarre twist to the long-standing murder mystery of a woman dubbed ‘The Lady of the Dunes,’ King’s son Joe Hill took to his blog with his own tantalizing theory about her possibly being in a scene in Jaws.
The still unidentified woman was found in July of 1974 nearly decapitated, with several of her teeth pulled out, and her hands had been cut off making it impossible for law enforcement to get her fingerprints.
Police say she was likely between the ages of 25 and 30 and was five-foot-eight and weighed approximately 145 pounds.
Hill says he watches the iconic shark flick every year, and he must have watched it 25 times, but had never seen it on the big screen until its 40th anniversary in 2015.
Having just finished reading a book titled ‘The Skeleton Crew: How Amateur Sleuths are Solving America’s Coldest Cases,’ which focuses in on the tale of ‘The Lady of the Dunes,’ he was sitting watching Jaws in a theater when he says he believes he spotted her.
Could they be the same woman? Scene from Jaws filmed likely in June of 1974 on Martha’s Vineyard a month before the woman on the right was found dead in nearby Provincetown
Several other sketches of ‘The Lady of the Dunes’ through the years show some look like the woman in the scene, while and others appear to be less of a match
Stephen King’s son, Joe Hill, posted his theory on his blog after watching the film on the big screen for the first time during its 40th anniversary run
Iconic: The film is a summer legacy and King’s son says it is his favorite film of all time
‘Suddenly,’ he says he ‘found myself half-lunging out of my seat, prickling with gooseflesh.’
‘And now, suddenly, impossibly, there she was… life-size and looking over her shoulder at me. There for a moment in a busy crowd scene, and then gone,’ he said.
The geography and time frame line-up for the woman that flashes very briefly in the ‘July 4th – Crowd Arrives’ sequence to possibly be her.
For one, the woman was found dead in the dunes outside of Provincetown in July of 1974, that particular scene Hill says would have likely been filmed in June, and Hill argues, Jaws, which was filmed on Martha’s Vineyard, is ‘a short hop from Provincetown.’
While Hill says there is no way to say completely precisely when they filmed ‘July 4th- Crowd Arrives’ scene, he says ‘we know it was almost certainly shot in June, because they filmed all the ”on island” scenes they could early.’
‘The water was too cold for swimming, and the malfunctioning shark wasn’t ready for the ‘at sea’ material until late July.’
Hill’s adds that ‘we know the Lady of the Dunes was alive in June.’
‘Lots of folks turned up to try and get a peek at the stars, or the shark, or to see if they could sneak into a shot.
‘It would be no surprise at all if a girl summering on the Cape decided to take a few days to explore the Vineyard… especially with the added bait of celebrity to draw her in.’
The dead woman was also found with a blue bandanna, just like the one the extra in the scene is sporting.
The woman that Hill believes could be her, is in the ‘July 4th – Crowd Arrives’ sequence- far left
‘The Lady of the Dunes’ body (pictured) was found a month after Hill believes the July 4th sequence would have been filmed, which he determines would have been in June
Joe Hill (pictured) posted the theory to his blog
While Hill is excited about the possibility, he also knows it is nearly impossible to say the woman in the Jaws scene is definitively one-in-the-same as ‘The Lady of the Dunes,’ however he implores fellow internet sleuths and people who either were in scenes of Jaws or in the area when it was filmed, if they recognize her.
‘In all the time since her death not one person has stepped forward to say, ”I saw her. I met her a few weeks before she was found. I can tell you her name.”
‘But what if we’ve all seen her? What if she’s been in front of us for decades and we just never noticed?
‘I turn this possibility over to the greatest puzzle solving instrument humans have ever created: the Internet. Give JAWS another watch. Look for the Lady.
Hill poses: ‘Did you spend the summer of 1974 on the Cape or on the Vineyard? Were you in JAWS? Who else was there, the day they captured you on camera? Who did you talk to between shots? What do you remember?’
Hill shares a shot of the cold case sketch of the woman, stating ‘This woman does not have a name.’
He then writes, ‘Does this one?’ sharing the image of the woman in Jaws, twice zooming in, until its as far as that old 1974 film can go before the haunting shot is almost unrecognizable as a face.
There are other valid theories about the ‘The Lady of the Dunes.’
One of the plausible theories is that the woman found dead was possibly from Ireland and was killed by Irish American gangster James ‘Whitey’ Bulger who was grooming her for sex slavery.
Alternate theories: James ‘Whitey’ Bulger (left) killed the woman, who could have been from Ireland. Another theory was that she was escaped inmate Rory Gene Kesinger (right), who was never seen after she broke out of county jail- DNA later disproved that theory
He and his Winter Hill Gang were notorious for pulling out teeth and chopping off hands making it more difficult for authorities to identify them.
That theory was by the woman, Sandra Lee, who was 13-years-old when she found the decomposing corpse during a walk along the beach with her dog.
Lee wrote a novel based on the case, and has the woman killed in Boston around July 4, when her body was stored in a freezer to be dumped in the dunes at a later date.
Police have also posed that she may have been escaped inmate, Rory Gene Kesinger, 24.
Kesinger escaped from Plymouth County House of Correction after a drug raid and kept nefarious acquaintences.
Once she escaped she was never seen again. However that theory eventually proved false after DNA analysis was made available and authorities had taken a sample from Kesinger’s mother and found they were not a match.