Home » Law & Government » Joseph Henry Loveless was Murdered in 1916 with His Dismembered Body Left in a Cave in Utah. It was Found in 1979 but Only Identified in 2019.

Joseph Henry Loveless was Murdered in 1916 with His Dismembered Body Left in a Cave in Utah. It was Found in 1979 but Only Identified in 2019.

When Joseph Henry Loveless, an outlaw and ax murderer with a long criminal career, escaped jail in 1916, it was as if he’d vanished. It would be more than a century before the world learned of his heinous fate. But the story isn’t over yet. In Idaho, there is still an open murder investigation into who murdered Loveless, dismembered his body, and dumped it in a cave near Dubois in Clark County. But did you know when his body was official identified?

Joseph Henry Loveless, an American bootlegger, murderer, and prison escapist, was murdered in 1916, and his dismembered body was discovered in a cave in Utah in 1979. Only in 2019 will it be positively identified.

Who is Joseph Henry Loveless?

According to the Post Register, Joseph Henry Loveless was born in Utah Territory on December 3, 1870, into a well-known Mormon pioneer family. On the other hand, Loveless must have been a bad seed because he abandoned his family for a life of bootlegging, counterfeiting, and general criminality. According to the Associated Press, he used several aliases and was known for his skill in breaking out of jail, often sawing through bars with a knife he kept hidden in his shoe.

Loveless was charged with the murder of his second wife, Agnes Caldwell, in 1916. His first wife divorced him after he abandoned her and their child. The authorities imprisoned him pending trial. Loveless, however, escaped as he had on previous occasions. At Caldwell’s funeral, one of his sons is reported to have said, “Papa never stayed in jail very long, and he’ll be out soon.” However, Loveless did not live much longer after escaping because he met the same fate as the wife he murdered.

According to CBS News, a family searching for arrowheads in Buffalo Cave in the summer of 1979 came across a gruesome discovery when they stumbled over a headless torso wrapped in burlap and partially buried. After a girl discovered a mummified hand, investigators discovered more body parts in the same cave system in 1991. It would take modern forensic techniques and the assistance of numerous researchers and agencies, including the FBI, to determine that it was Loveless’ body. (Source: Grunge)

How Did Modern Technology Solve the Case?

The Clark County sheriff recruited students and faculty from Idaho State University’s anthropology department to assist with the investigation in 2015. The FBI and Smithsonian Institution both assisted in subsequent years. The researchers could determine some details about the body but could not identify it. According to the Associated Press, the victim was about 40 years old when he was killed, had reddish-brown hair, and was of European descent. However, it took the assistance of the DNA Doe Project, a non-profit dedicated to forensically identifying Jane and John Doe, to solve the case in 2019.

The forensic team determined Loveless was the likely victim after 2,000 hours of work, and thanks to the outlaw’s 87-year-old grandson, who provided a sample of his DNA, they made a positive ID, according to the Post Register. While they solved one major mystery, another remained unsolved. The Clark County Sheriff’s Office is keeping the case open in the hopes that more clues will emerge as to who murdered the ax, possibly with an ax. (Source: Grunge

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