At any given time, there are around 40,000 deceased bodies in America that have yet to be identified. While law enforcement officers and crime scene investigators work tirelessly to nail down their identities, many of these bodies go unidentified for years on end.
One technique that seems to do a pretty good job is the practice of facial reconstruction. With various programs, the faces of unidentified bodies can be recreated and then reproduced digitally. That being said, these reproductions are also kind of disturbing.
Ashley County John Doe, Arkansas.
This man tragically died in a tractor accident in 1989, but his identity was never discovered…which is probably because this reconstruction makes him look like one of the wet bandits from Home Alone.
Broward County Jane Doe, Florida.
This is either the reconstruction of an unidentified female decedent in Florida, or someone’s drawing of what their cocker spaniel would look like if it were a person.
Baker County Jane Doe, Georgia.
By the looks of this reconstruction, it was painted after the body was reanimated as a zombie.
DeKalb County John Doe, Georgia.
I’m pretty sure that this is one of the trick-or-treaters who kidnapped Santa in The Nightmare Before Christmas.
Hollywood John Doe, California.
Ironically, this reconstruction is the last one that I’d associate with Hollywood.
Trabuco County John Doe, California.
The problem with this reconstruction is that it’s vague enough that it somehow looks like everybody and nobody at the same time
Cook County Jane Doe, Illinois.
When this body was found in 2005, it was just the skeleton of a woman who had died approximately eight years earlier, so we’ll excuse the reconstruction artist for making her look one of the townspeople in The Year Without a Santa Claus.
Ramsey County John Doe, Minnesota.
It’s a shame that this deceased man’s identity was never found, but if I were to guess based off of this crappy reconstruction, he was the lion that roared at the beginning of the old MGM films.
Clark County John Doe, Nevada.
I don’t know who this man was when he was alive, but why does he look like he’s trying to hit on me?
Jersey Village John Doe, Texas.
I am not a facial reconstruction artist, but this is simply not how people’s faces are shaped.
Caroline County John Doe, Virginia.
Wait…how does the face reconstructor know that the man had missing teeth before he was killed?
Delafield John Doe, Wisconsin.
This might be the most handsome decedent reconstruction I’ve ever seen, and I’m only including it here because he appears to be almost…too handsome? Based on the brooding sunset in the background and the guy’s slightly unbuttoned shirt, I think it’s pretty clear the artist had a crush on this corpse. And I mean, who wouldn’t?
We’ve had our cynical fun at the expense of these unidentified decedents, but the truth is that while these facial reconstructions may seem hilariously bad, they are actually very helpful for investigators and for the families of missing people.
For more information on missing people in your area, visit the Justice Department’s National Missing and Unidentified Persons System.