n 1930, Alfred Rouse attempted to fake his own death by bludgeoning a man over the head with a mallet and burning the body in his car. He was spotted fleeing the scene and was eventually hanged for the crime. However, the identity of his victim was unknown.
For a long time, it was thought that the victim may have been William Thomas Briggs. Briggs had gone missing on his way to a doctor’s appointment around the time the murder took place. He was similar in appearance to Rouse and would have made an ideal victim for the hoax.
At the start of 2014, members of Briggs’s family arranged to have DNA tests done to finally put the mystery to rest. But when the results came back, the DNA didn’t match, opening up two separate mysteries. Who was the man murdered by Rouse, and what actually happened to Briggs? While the latter question will probably never be answered, DNA technology may eventually lead to the identification of the murder victim.