Whether Jaws does include clue solving one of America’s oldest cold cases it still seems like it might never be solved according to one unfortunate fact: there were no records for the extras on the set of the summertime horror flick. Now it’s very apparent that Joe Hill, son of legendary Stephen King and a great writer in his own right, might be onto something here with what he happened to notice while watching the famed movie with his sons. The Lady of the Dunes, a murder victim that was found around the same time that Jaws came out, does greatly resemble the woman in the picture after facial recreation was performed. But while the theory may pan out in some way thanks to a creative mind that happened to notice this one tiny detail, there’s still a mountain of facts that would need to be uncovered to make the transition between the two.
It is kind of amazing that he would notice this, but in the eyes of a writer there are many different types of minutiae that stand out from time to time that others will either see and dismiss as nothing or will fail to recognize at all. The mind of a writer is no different than anyone else’s save that it’s been trained either by habit or by some other innate quality to notice things in a different way than others so as to keep it in mind and as part of their experience that might be used in some way at a later date. This doesn’t mean that writers are somehow superhuman or more intelligent than others, but it does tend to mean that we observe things in a much different light for different reasons than those around us. The connection that Joe Hill made with this woman is kind of astounding however since it means that there might actually be a small lead on this woman if his theory were to pan out. That’s still a long stretch however though it’s better than nothing.
The biggest problem of course stems from the same fact that allowed him to notice the woman in the first place, and he’s even admitted as much. He writes ghost stories, and as such the imaginative writer will constantly be looking at things in a light that might be anything but logical and will be looking put pieces together that don’t necessarily fit by fabricating certain points and blurring edges just enough to make sense of everything. It’d be an amazing thing indeed if this woman, one of many extras from the Jaws film, was in fact the unfortunate Lady of the Dunes. It would be a long stretch to prove it since no one ever identified the woman, therefore giving her the moniker that she’s had for so long, but it would at least provide something to go off of. The idea of anyone being so virtually unknown even in the 70s, or that no one would be able to identify her, is worthy of a well-scripted murder mystery and is something that few people would ever bother to look for unless they knew a little something about the story.
It’s kind of easy to give Joe kudos on this one simply for noticing it, especially since after all this time no one else has seemed to put this image together with the case even as a hypothetical. It also makes a person wonder just where this woman came from and what she was doing in the area at that time. Back in the 70s it was still possible to move around without being able to tracked every step of the way, but disappearing entirely from public view and going off the grid has been kind of difficult for a while. In those days it might have been a bit simpler to deal in cash, not credit, and keep a low profile by keeping to yourself and not bothering to get to know anyone. But it’s still hard to believe that in that big of a crowd that no one would remember seeing her or would have even talked to her at least once. Well, it is and it isn’t hard to believe since the size of the crowd would help her to blend in and disappear in the eyes of most and the fact is that a person could go without talking to anyone pretty easily if they so desire.
The mystery of the Lady of the Dunes is something that might never be solved but there is this theory however that Joe Hill managed to come up with, even if it’s the product of a writer’s imagination and little else. If nothing more it’s something interesting to think about, and something else to ponder. It really makes you think.
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