"What if the young murder victim no one has ever been able to identify has been seen by hundreds of millions of people in a beloved summer classic?" It's a wild idea, but one Joe Hill just can't shake since seeing Jaws on the big screen in 2015. Some 54 minutes in, a woman with a blue bandana over her auburn hair is briefly seen waiting to board a ferry in a non-frightening scene, per the Washington Post. Stephen King's son nonetheless got goosebumps. The comic book and horror writer had only recently been reading about the Lady in the Dunes, an unknown woman found brutally murdered in the sandy dunes of Provincetown, Mass., in late July 1974, while Jaws was being filmed 100 miles away in Martha's Vineyard. The female extra in Jaws was "almost a twin of the figure" presented in a composite sketch of the victim, Hill tells Esquire.
The Lady in the Dunes was believed to be in her mid-20s to 30s when she was killed in late June or early July. The naked woman's hands were removed, preventing fingerprint identification, and her head, which suffered a fatal blow, was resting on jeans and a blue bandana. Perhaps, Hill suggests, she was among the many Cape Cod residents to head to Martha's Vineyard in the hope of appearing in Jaws that summer. Shared on Tumblr, his theory has caught the attention of Internet sleuths and the new podcast "Inside Jaws." It's also been mentioned to investigators, despite a failed attempt to find the name of the extra; Jaws' casting director died in 2009. "Anything that stirs people's memories could potentially be productive," Hill tells the Post. And "if nothing else, it's a pretty good little ghost story." CapeCod.com has more, including on a serial killer's confession. (Read more cold cases stories.)