A John Doe from Worcester, Massachusetts (NamUs #UP16104) has been removed from the Trans Doe Task Force case list and map.
A lot goes in to evaluating whether or not a case could be considered under the trans or gender-variant umbrella. In this case, it was the fact that the NamUs profile listed a “John Doe” found with a white skirt. We received a tip about this case from a volunteer, and followed up on our case research within our group. We found that the Worcester PD had created a new position for an LGBTQ Liaison Officer in 2014. This was noted on our case research document. In 2016, the position was appointed to Officer Sharon McQueen. We had the good fortune to run into her while tabling for TDTF at Worcester Pride. We sent her an email regarding this case a couple of days later, and she was able to speak with someone who looked into the details of this case. As it turns out, the “white skirt” was actually a sheet and the John Doe was wearing blue jeans. Worcester has no knowledge of why the details were entered into the NamUs profile in this way, and did not feel that it was a trans person.
Is it possible that any John Doe could actually have been a case that should be under the TDTF umbrella? Yes, absolutely. People can be transgender or gender-variant without any outward “signs” that investigators might note. Is it possible that we might have cases on our list in which the person did not identify as trans or gender-variant? Absolutely. All we can do is make our best guess, given the details provided. In this case, it seemed appropriate to us to remove Worcester Doe from the TDTF list.
We would like to thank Officer McQueen for her assistance in following up on this case. We would also like to thank our dedicated volunteers who help us to find cases and research them.