An Unlikely Twist In An Art Student's Career
The toe tag on the corpse said number 5223 -- a Jane Doe found murdered near Philadelphia International Airport in the fall of 1977. At the time, a young artist by the name of Frank Bender was struggling in a sculpting class. He reached out to a friend who worked in the Philadelphia morgue who brought Frank into the morgue one night to study anatomy and told him when he saw the body of the Jane Doe, "this is one we'll never solve."
Frank rose to the challenge. He did a bust of what he thought the woman looked like in life and the Philadelphia police, who had never used a forensic sculpture, gave a photograph of it to the Philadelphia media and published it on fliers to police departments. A few months later, she was identified as a missing Chicago woman. Frank became world famous after the Jane Doe was identified as Anna Mary Duval. She would be Frank's first case in a long and distinguished career.
Over the years, America's Most Wanted has turned to Frank for help on its toughest cases, and there have been many successes as the result of his artistic recreations.
Frank's Mission Continues
Despite Frank's unequalled talents, there are cases that he has created busts for to help solve, but either the person remains unidentified or the fugitive remains on the run.
The busts that Frank has done of children are the ones that have impacted him the most. How could someone hurt them let alone kill and discard them?
One such child is the North Carolina Boy Doe. His badly decomposed remains were discovered along a highway with money stuffed so deeply into his pockets that when his body was originally examined, it was not found.
Frank has rebuilt this boy's face, and now police need your help to identify him.
Frank's last reconstruction is that of a young woman found murdered in Williams Township, Penn. Like the young boy found in North Carolina, this woman was discarded, her manner and cause of death unknown.
Williams Township Jane Doe was found by a hunter early on the morning of Nov. 30, 2001, as he was trekking through a wooded area not too far from Pennsylvania’s Interstate 78. Before they can solve the mystery of her death, police need to know her name.
Two Unsolved Cases Close To Our Hearts
30 Years On, The Hunt For Brad Bishop Continues »
Unknown Baby Bones Killer »
Two other cases that we have brought to you before still need your help. One is the still unsolved case of Baby Bones, a female child found in New Jersey, was found near an amusement park by a hunter in March 2005.Investigators are determined to identify her and need your help.
Over the years, Frank has also done forensic busts of fugitives -- a three-dimensional image of what someone who has been on the run for decades looks like now. Still unsolved is the case of William Bradford Bishop, a U.S. State Department official accused of murdering his wife, three young sons and his mother in a quiet Washington, D.C., suburb and dumping their bodies in North Carolina. U.S. Marshals have never given up the manhunt for this man, who they are convinced has been living the good life in Europe for more than 30 years. It’s time to bring him back to the United States to face justice.
These are four cases that mean a lot to Frank Bender and to all of us at America's Most Wanted. Please, if you know anything about these cases, make the call to 1-800-CRIME-TV or leave the tip online. Remember, you can make a difference.
The final bust created by Frank Bender and his assistant, Joan Crescanz. We need your help to identify her.
One of Frank's last busts built from the skeletal remains of a young boy found abandoned near a North Carolina Highway.
The bust of a young girl found in New Jersey. Until her identify is known and her killer found she is known as Baby Bones. The bust of a young girl found in New Jersey. Until her identify is known and her killer found she is known as Baby Bones.
The bust created by Frank Bender to show how William Bradford Bishop may look years after he murdered his family.