Mountain Jane Doe documentary to screen

Published 10:27 am Monday, March 19, 2018

The Pineville Players, LLC and Bell Theater invite the community to an evening with the cast of the Emmy Award winning documentary “The Dead Unknown” with a special screening of the film. For those who attend, a free scan copy of the film will be given out.

“The Dead Unknown” is a documentary film about the infamous 1969 Mountain Jane Doe murder case in Harlan, those who came together to solve this mystery, finally naming the victim, laying her to rest and bringing some closure to the family after all these years. The documentary was also filmed in Harlan, adding as much authenticity to the production as possible.

The case began almost 50 years ago when a man out picking flowers came across the body of a young woman who had been determined by law enforcement to have been stabbed numerous times. The case grew in infamy in the community due to the mystery surrounding it.

Todd Matthews of UNT Health Science Center, the National Missing and Unidentified Persons Database and director, communications and case management for NamUs.gov will speak at the screening regarding what he and his organization do, as well as cases solved and still open. He will also discuss his experiences with the identification of the Mountain Jane Doe and the filming of “The Dead Unknown.”

The author of the book, Harlan County Haunts’ Darla Saylor Jackson, will also be present at the screening. Jackson is a native of Harlan and her novel featured the story of the Mountain Jane Doe. This story is what first alerted Matthews to the case. Jackson will be signing copies of her book after the presentation.

NamUs.gov reports that on average, 85,000 people are reported missing people at any given time in the United States. Across the country 4,400 remains are found annually, and 1,000 of those remains continue to be unidentified after one year.

The screening will take place on March 24 at 7 p.m. and tickets are $10.