The Trail Went Cold – Episode 321 – The Bellingham John Doe

September 20, 1987. Bellingham, Washington. A worker at the Georgia-Pacific pulp mill discovers some skeletal remains inside a chimney on one of the boilers at the mill’s steam plant. The victim is determined to be male, but since he has been burned so badly by the extreme heat and cannot be identified, he becomes known as the Bellingham John Doe. Over the years, investigators explore a number of different theories about how the John Doe wound up inside the chimney, but since his remains were carbonized, there are no traces of DNA available to make an identification. Who was the Bellingham John Doe and how did he wind up dead in such an unusual location? On this week’s episode of “The Trail Went Cold”, we explore one of the most baffling cases you’ll ever find involving an unidentified decedent.

If you have any information about this case, please contact the Bellingham Police Department at (360) 778-8800.

Additional Reading:

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“The Trail Went Cold” is doing a weekly livestream show on Vokl every Thursday from 7:00-8:00 PM ET as part of their “True  Crime Thursday” line-up. For more information, please visit their website.

“The Trail Went Cold” is going to be appearing on podcast row at “Crimecon UK” at the Tower Bridge, Leonardo Royal Hotel & Spa in London on June 10-11, 2023, as well as “Crimecon” at the World Center Marriott in Orlando, Florida on September 22-24, 2023. To get a 10 % discount on the purchase of tickets to either event, please use our specialized promo code, “COLD23”, by visiting or

“The Trail Went Cold” will be appearing at the True Crime Podcast Festival, taking place at the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel in Austin, Texas on August 25-27, 2023. To get a 15 % discount on the purchase of tickets, please our specialized promo code, “TRAIL”, by visiting

The Trail Went Cold is produced and edited by Magill Foote.

All music is composed by Vince Nitro.