Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Mysterious Disappearance of Madalyn Murray O'Hair

The Man Without a Name

MacCormack published more stories, and the authorities were definitely interested in his findings. But suspecting someone of murder and proving it are two different things. No bodies had been found and no evidence existed that would certainly convict Waters and Karr of anything.

In September 1998, three years after the O'Hair family had disappeared, MacCormack once again broke the case wide open. He noticed a wire service story that mentioned the third anniversary of an unsolved Dallas murder. The nude body of an unidentified white man had been found in some woods near the East Fork Trinity River on October 2, 1995.

The victim's head and hands had been missing, eliminating any simple identification and rendering him a John Doe. All investigators could determine was that he was about 40 years old and had been killed somewhere else, since little blood was found in the area where his remains were discovered. The timeline of the man's death matched up with the O'Hair and Fry disappearances; MacCormack was suspicious. He asked the Dallas authorities to check whether their John Doe could be Danny Fry.

Danny Fry
Danny Fry

Dallas investigators ran a DNA test and three months later were able to positively identify the victim as Danny Fry. He had reached out from the grave to provide law enforcement with the evidence needed to solve the O'Hair case.


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