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"John Doe No. 24"

John Doe No. 24 was found Oct. 11,1945 by police in Jacksonville,IL. He was found to be "feeble minded" and was sent to the state hospital. He was a black teenager. He was a deaf mute and was blind from diabetes they believed. He was taught sign language by caregivers and was eventually moved to a nursing home in Peoria where he pantomimed about foot stomping jazz and scrawled the name "Lewis". Was this his name? His caregivers did not believe he was feeble minded. He was happy in the nursing home. He carried a backpack from the day he found. Inside it had a collection of rings, glassware and silverware. He had a straw hat as well. He loved it and wore it all the time. He died of a stroke on Nov. 28,1993. He was aprox. 64 years old. Country singer/songwriter Mary Chapin Carpenter after reading about in the New York Times wrote a song called "John Doe No. 24" for him and purchased a grave marker for him as well. Dave Bakke wrote a book about him called God Knows His Name: The True Story Of John Doe No. 24 in 2000. The title is derived from a statement his nurse made as he lay on his death bed. She said<" God knows his name." He then died.  /


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