Legendary forensic pathologist Cyril Wecht tackles a suspicious death on a peaceful college campus.

Jack Davis, Jr.

Jack’s body was found in a stairwell


Dr. Cyril Wecht performed the second autopsy

Forensic pathologist Dr. Cyril Wecht can read a dead body the way most people read a book.  Wecht has performed some 14,000 autopsies and consulted on or reviewed another 30,000—including the autopsies of Elvis Presley and JonBenet Ramsey.  Dr. Wecht was also called as an expert witness by the congressional committee investigating the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

Although Dr. Wecht is often involved in the most high-profile and controversial cases, he has also assisted smaller scale investigations.  Among those was the suspicious death of Jack Davis, Jr., a student at Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

Authorities found Jack’s body on a Wednesday evening.  He was sprawled at the bottom of a stairwell next to a classroom building.  Jack had last been seen the previous Friday at a party with some of his fraternity brothers.

Jack’s body was autopsied by a local pathologist.  The results were sent to County Coroner Thomas Streams.  This is how Streams described his ruling that Jack’s death was accidental:

“The body was not in disarray from a fight. There was no sign of defensive wounds, as a struggle. There were no drag marks.  There was just nothing remarkable about the body.  The scenario was that Mr. Davis wandered down into the stairwell in an intoxicated state, perhaps to urinate, collapsed in an unconscious state, vomited, inhaled the vomitus into his lungs, which therefore then subsequently caused his death.”

There were questions about the initial findings

The official report concluded that Jack died early Saturday morning, several hours after he was last seen. According to the official account, Jack’s body remained in the stairwell for nearly five days…from his death on Saturday morning until his body was discovered on Wednesday evening.

Jack’s family doubted the official determination.  When a local journalist began publicly questioning the ruling, the family turned to Dr. Wecht for a second opinion.  Even before he began his forensic workup, Dr. Wecht found problems with the official scenario:

“I was puzzled as a matter of common sense.  How could a body have been lying outside on a college campus…for 5 or more days unseen, unnoticed by anybody?  The other thing that puzzled me was I thought, ‘Gee, why would a young man in the early hours of the morning walk 15 steps down a landing and another five steps to urinate?’ I remember when I went to college and I remember what young men will do when they have to urinate, if they are inebriated.  Not too many people have that kind of discretion and personal sensitivity.  So that did not fit either.” 

Jack’s body was later exhumed

Dr. Wecht soon found discrepancies in the toxicology report.  Jack was known to be drinking heavily on the night he supposedly died, yet absolutely no alcohol was found in his blood.  Dr. Wecht knew that was scientifically impossible if he died on Saturday morning:

“Whatever level you have at the time of your death will be the level that will be found later on.  In order for him to have wound up with no alcohol in his blood at the time of death, he would’ve had to have been alive for about 30 hours. The fact then, that there was no alcohol in his blood, indicates to me that he did not die at that time when they theorized he had fallen down the steps.”

That extra 30 hours would put Jack’s death on Sunday afternoon—not Saturday morning. Dr. Wecht found additional evidence that indicted the official story.

Jack had been clean-shaven Friday night when he was last seen, but when his body was found, there was heavy stubble on his face.  He had to have been alive for a significant time—perhaps days—beyond Saturday morning in order for his beard to grow.

And, Dr. Wecht described one final discrepancy — the autopsy slides of Jack’s lungs proved that the young man could not possibly have choked to death on regurgitated food:

“If you’re going to list that as a cause of death, you’ve got to find food particles deep down inside the small terminal air passageways, and that wasn’t present.  The other thing about the autopsy that really stood out for me was the fact that the head had not been examined. The pathologist who did the autopsy had not opened up the cranial vault.”

Dr. Wecht reviewed the autopsy slides

After hearing Dr. Wecht’s initial findings, Jack’s family considered bolder action.  Jack’s mother their thinking:

“We all agreed—as a family and with Dr. Wecht—that the body needed to be exhumed.  It was the only way we would find out the true cause of death.

After performing the autopsy, Dr. Wecht proposed an entirely different cause for Jack’s death:

“When I opened up the skull, I found 3 fractures, 3 areas of skull fracture with significant bleeding overlying the brain. It’s a blood clot.  It’s a pooling of blood.  And that was the cause of death, which had never been appreciated because the head had never been examined in the first autopsy.”

Dr. Wecht also investigated the alleged site of Jack’s death, the stairwell where his body was found.  Wecht wanted to see if the location could somehow validate the official finding that Jack had died from a fall in the stairwell.  Wecht’s personal observations confirmed his doubts about the “stairwell” scenario:

“I realized that that body could not have accidentally fallen or been thrown from high up, because he would have had eggshell, depressed-type fractures. Similarly, it did not appear that he had stumbled down the steps, because there was no pattern of abrasions and bruises, and so that did not fit.”

Dr. Wecht then visited a classroom located directly above the stairwell where Jack’s body was found and looked out the window.  Some 200 students had passed through the rooms during that time.  The view of the stairwell was unobstructed.  Yet not a single student had reported seeing a body.

There was one final problem with the official finding of accidental death.  During the two days before Jack’s body was found, heavy rain fell on the campus.  Yet, Jack’s clothing was bone dry.  To Dr. Wecht, that was another glaring inconsistency in the official finding:

“Jack’s clothes were not wet.  I would say it is more likely that Jack Davis died elsewhere or was injured elsewhere and then was placed at the bottom of those steps.  I base this upon the known facts.”

Others have come to the same conclusion as Dr. Wecht. Local journalists Marlene Brennan and Sharon Santus investigated the death. Brennan theorizes that Jack may have been caught up in a feud between two rival fraternities:

“Some students report that there were up to 5 fights that night.  And it could be possible that he was involved in one of them and he was injured and someone didn’t know what to do with him.  So they kept him somewhere thinking he might get better…and he didn’t, and then they moved him to the stairwell.”

Local authorities have not changed their findings in the case.  But based on the forensic evidence amassed by Dr. Cyril Wecht, Jack’s family remains convinced he died in an entirely different manner.  They remain equally convinced that someone who attended Indiana University of Pennsylvania knows what happened.  They are hoping that someone will come forward.

Watch this case now on Amazon Prime in season seven with Robert Stack and in season one with Dennis Farina. Also available on YouTube with Dennis Farina. Various seasons available now on Hulu.



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    Murdered. Perhaps by the fraternity. What a mess of a case. The police chief interviewed in this segment was severely biased and appeared unprofessional; simply referring to Jack as a ‘drunk.’ So that’s the verdict really…a lousy police investigation.


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    IUP alum. I knew Jack. We had class together and had studied together. He was a very nice guy. His mysterious death has always bothered me. From what I can recall, there were rumors of fraternity fights that night. When I asked a friend in the rival fraternity about the fight, he refused to discuss it, and said no one is ever allowed to talk about it. I don’t know if they just didn’t want to ever be suspected of such a thing, or what it could be. As for the Donky Kong game mentioned above, the steps to the basement at that fraternity house were dangerous. People were falling down them all the time. I can easily see how he could have met his fate that way. After all these years, I wish the family would have the peace of knowing what happened, because surely somebody knows the truth.


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    angel numbers 9995

    Attain out to them, as they are reaching out to you.


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    This case stuck with me for year’s they also have a Reddit page which is a great read. Btw yes he was murdered by the fraternity.


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    I guess hes PERFECT at іt!? Laugheԁ Larry.


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    Next Door Neighbor

    I lived next door to this man’s fraternity house the year of his passing. Ran into a man in about 2015 while attending a church function, and this subject matter came up among about 4 attendees who all attended IUP, and another man who claimed to know personally, one of the men who were present when the pact was made place Jack in that stairwell, and for the group (being the only men who knew what happened, since they all kept their mouths shut while waiting and hoping that Jack would get better, or come out of the unconscious state he was in for a few days) to essentially swear an oath to never speak of these events ever again for the rest of their lives. The man who attended the church function who claimed to be personal friends with one of the brothers of Jack’s fraternity, stated that this man who was present when the accident happened, witnessed first hand Jack sustaining head injuries from a game known to be played at that particular fraternity house, which was a real life game of Donkey Kong, in which they would role 1/2 keg beer barrels down the steps form the top, and the pledges or whoever would elect to take part, would have to attempt to ascend the staircase [A staircase then made of concrete and very well anchored steel hand rails. NOTE: This house no longer exists, as IUP bought the properties and knocked down the three houses used by Phi Delta Theta, Sigma Tau Gamma and Alpha Chi Rho, and that AXR house at the end of Maple Street, was formerly the Lambda Chi Alpha house when Jack was on campus] as they dodged, ducked or fended off the kegs while they would come rolling down the steps. The man spoke of a small group of Jack’s brothers, who had taken him away from the frat house to an off campus apartment after Jack had sustained head injuries from catching one of the kegs in the head, and falling down the concrete stairwell. He further stated that the man whom he knows personally, was there for the next few days, while the few brothers who knew what happened, waited and hoped that he would come out of it, from the state of unconsciousness Jack remained in, when suddenly he died. And finally the man described how they choked, didn’t know what to do, and that they decided that he would be placed where he was found, and that once they walked away from the Oak Grove, and Weyandt Hall where Jack was found at the bottom of the staircase there, THAT THEY WOULD NEVER EVER SPEAK OF THE ENTIRE INCIDENT FOR THE REST OF THEIR LIVES. After hearing this story told to me, and combining that with my first hand knowledge of the houses, knowing that stairwell in Sig Tau’s house from partying their regularly, and hearing tales of the Donkey Kong game actually having been played within their house, and realizing that the story told would fit perfectly with every fact of the case, and those mentioned within this report here on Unsolved Mysteries, I personally came be believe that what I had heard, was actually the truth, and that it is in fact how the scenario played out resulting in the passing of Jack Davis. I even went as far as to contact a private investigator who was involved in the Jack Davis case, and while remaining anonymous, I informed the man of what I stated here today, and asked that he inform Jack’s parents, that this was in all likelihood, the accurate story of what had actually happened, and resulted in his demise. The man I spoke to on the phone, assured me that he would tell the Davis family about the information I had come into, and he tried to get me to identify myself, but I informed him that so many years had passed, that no District Attorney in the world would ever take on this case with no evidence, and no ability to prove his/her case, and that I would therefore not be willing to step forward and go any further than I already had, by providing him the info I had just told him…………


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    This is so tragic, I just watched it on unsolved mysteries and looked it up on my phone hoping there was an update 🙁 Based on everything I’ve read about this I feel like he was definitely killed by the fraternity, mayb not intentionally, and I really think that there are at least a couple people, maybe more, that know about it and panicked and swore to take this secret to their Graves. That being said, these people would now be in their what, 50s, have families possibly, and have been living with this dark secret for the past 30 some years, I’m sure it has affected them with horrible reoccurring nightmares, paranoia, etc. at least and possibly affected their lives even more than guilt and bad dreams and will continue to affect them until the day they die . When it seems to me it wasn’t intentional and just an accident and I’m sure it’s happened before and colleges with fraternity rivals accidentally going bad and if these young ADULTS, would have just came clean from the beginning or even the next day when they were sober or if even just one of them had enough empathy or morals or balls to come forward sooner they could’ve already been taking the steps to put this horrible tragedy behind them in attempt to live a normal life and most importantly give this poor family some closure. I hope whoever knows about what happened to this young man is suffering every day every second of their life. I feel like this went from an honest intoxicated accident, that would obviously devastate this young man’s family of course, had all the facts been presented at the time of his death, and his family could have already started the healing process and excepted his death and went on with their lives so to speak but now 30 years later it’s a full blown murder investigation and because of that this family is still living this still looking for answers still suffering. I’ve never commented on things like this I hardly comment on my friends post on Facebook this is the first time I’ve ever took time to do anything like this obviously because I am horrible at writing in general, I was terrified of unsolved mysteries as a kid just the theme song alone I had to cover my ears when my mom was watching , this is the first time I’ve watched unsolved mysteries since I was a kid and now I remember why, so sad so tragic.


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    There’s no doubt about this. He was murdered I mean seriously if your a well trained coroner how could you miss three fractures to the skull and no alcohol in the system? This bothers me most because so many things are unanswered and this poor young mans life ended so abruptly. What makes it so much worse is that his parents still don’t know what happened to their son it makes me extremely sad and angry that no one has bothered to look into this since the case was closed.


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    Murdered. Prob by the fraternity.


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In the event we determine the occurrence of a data security incident, we will notify you by email, US mail, telephone, or other means as permitted by law.

If you have questions, comments, or complaints concerning our privacy practices or if you wish to change, access, or remove your Personal Data, please contact us as indicated below.  We will attempt, where practical, to respond to your requests and to provide you with additional privacy related information.

Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. is the owner of this Website and retains all ownership rights to the information collected at this Website. Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. reserves the right to change, modify, add, or remove provisions of this Privacy Statement. Any changes to this Privacy Statement will be posted here, and we encourage you to check back from time to time. In addition, Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. will notify registered users of changes as they occur.

We allow third-party companies to serve ads and/or collect certain anonymous information when you visit our web site. These companies may use non-personally identifiable information (e.g., click stream information, browser type, time and date, subject of advertisements clicked or scrolled over) during your visits to this and other Web sites in order to provide advertisements about goods and services likely to be of greater interest to you. These companies typically use a cookie or third party web beacon to collect this information. To learn more about this behavioral advertising practice or to opt-out of this type of advertising, you can visit networkadvertising.org. Your use of the site constitutes your agreement to accept cookies, beacons and third-party advertising. Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. assumes no responsibility for third-party ads.

ARTICLE 1. Personalization
1.1 We may use the contact information you give us to better tailor your Website experience to your interests, and to send you information about Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. and its services as well as promotional material on behalf of some of our partners. We may use other information that you provide to us to show you content in which you may be interested and to display the content according to your preferences. We will also share this information within Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. in order to enhance your experience on this and other Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. Websites.
1.2 In addition, we may share this information with advertisers or other third parties that are not part of the Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. family on an aggregate or other basis that does not disclose your identity or contact information.

ARTICLE 2. Online Surveys/Contests
2.1 From time to time, we may conduct online surveys and contests. These may ask you for contact information (like name or email address) and demographic information (like zip code or age).
2.2 We may use this contact information from our surveys and contests to provide you with information about our company and promotional material on behalf of some of our partners, and to contact you when necessary.

ARTICLE 3. Shopping/Commercial Services
3.1 This Website may offer shopping services, which may be offered by us or by a firm that operates a store under contract with us. If our Website offers shopping or other commercial services, you will use a customer order form to request information, products, and services. The order form will ask you to give us contact information (like name or email address), financial information (like account or credit card numbers), and demographic information (like zip code or age).

3.2 We will use the financial information that you provide to bill you for products and services. By giving our Website your credit card and related personal information, you are authorizing our store to give that information to the merchant and credit card company in order to confirm and fulfill your order.

3.3 We will use contact information from the order form to fulfill your orders. We may also use contact data to get in touch with you when necessary. We will not otherwise use or distribute your financial information without your prior approval.

ARTICLE 4. Public forums
4.1 This Website may make available chat rooms, blogs, forums, message boards, and news groups. Please remember that any information that you disclose in these areas becomes public information and you should exercise caution when deciding to disclose your personal information. Information disclosed by you or by others enters the public domain and may be freely used by any other persons or entities using the site.

ARTICLE 5. Information Sharing With Third Parties
5.1 From time to time we may enter into a special relationship with another company that is not owned by Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. to provide additional features at this Website. These special relationships may include “powered by” partners, business partners, sponsors, and co-branded sites (referred to here as “co-branded pages”). These might include, for example, pages that share our name and that of another entity. You should look for a specific privacy statement on any such co-branded page. Any personal information that you provide when signing up at one of those co-branded pages may be shared with our third party partner. You should also check our partner’s website for information regarding its privacy policies.

5.2 Also, the nature of some features of our Website may require that we share personal information about you with persons or companies outside of Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. For example, this may occur at a feature that enables you, via our Website, to ask questions of persons or entities that are not part of Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. By responding to those features of the site, whether by email or direct entry of information on our Website, you are consenting to our transferring that information to such persons or entities.

5.3 With respect to specific registration modules, like contests, we may disclose personal information collected, and we may post a conspicuous statement on the registration module to the effect that we will be disclosing the information collected with third parties.

5.4 Finally, we may share any of the information collected from you with these other non- Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc companies in an aggregate basis. The aggregated information is not linked to any information that can identify you.

ARTICLE 6. IP Address and Log Files
6.1 We may use your IP address to administer our Website, to help diagnose problems with our server, to analyze trends, to track users’ webpage movements, to help identify you and your shopping cart, and to gather broad demographic information for aggregate use.

ARTICLE 7. Cookies
7.1 This Website may use a standard technology called a “cookie” to collect information about how you use the Website. Cookies reside on your computer and help our Website to recognize your computer’s browser as a previous visitor. This information allows us to customize delivery of information. For example, our Website may use cookies to save and remember registration information or preferences that you may have set while browsing the Website, to keep track of your shopping cart, to ensure you don’t see the same ad content repeatedly, to deliver content specific to your interests, and to save your password so you do not have to re-enter it each time you visit our site. We use cookies only to gather information as indicated in this policy.

7.2 In addition, on occasion our site may also set a “session cookie” which helps us administer the Website. The session cookie expires when you close your browser and does not retain any information about you after it expires.

7.3 Finally, we may also use an ad network provider to help present advertisements on this and other Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. websites. This ad network provider, like other advertising service vendors, uses cookies, web beacons, or similar technologies on the hard drive of your computer to serve you advertisements tailored to interests you have shown by browsing on this and other sites you have visited, and to determine whether you have seen a particular advertisement before and to avoid sending you duplicate advertisements. In doing so, the provider collects non-personal data such as your browser type, your operating system, web pages visited, time of visits, content viewed, ads viewed, and other clickstream data. The use of cookies, web beacons, or similar technologies by these ad network providers is subject to their own privacy policies, not ours, and Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. assumes no responsibility for the collection or use of such information.

ARTICLE 8. Banner Advertising
8.1 We have contracted with an ad-service to place banner advertising on our Website. All of the data provided and generated by the ad-server software remains in our possession. This feature of our Website may, on occasion, set “cookies” on your computer. Any information collected or stored by the ad-service or the cookies is treated in the same manner as other information described in this statement.

ARTICLE 9. Children’s Personal Information
9.1 Consistent with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act:

9.1.1 This site does NOT collect, use, or disclose personal information (including online contact information) of children under the age of thirteen (13).

9.1.2 In the event that a child under the age of 13 attempts to register on our site, we will NOT accept the registration and will delete information received from the child.

9.1.3 In the event that a child posts personal information in a public forum such as a chat room, we will attempt to delete that information once we become aware of it.

ARTICLE 10. Security of Your Personal Information
10.1 Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. employs reasonable security measures consistent with standard industry practice, for information collected through this Website. We believe that we have adequate security measures in place in our physical facilities to protect against the loss, misuse, or alteration of the information we collect on our Website. We also use internal protections to limit access to users’ personal information to only those employees who need the information to perform a specific job.

ARTICLE 11. Sale or Merger
11.1 If this Website is sold to, or merges with, another company not owned by Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc., you should expect that some or all of the information collected from this Website may be transferred to the buyer/surviving company. If so, CMP will seek to obligate the acquiring company to use any personal information transferred by this Website in a manner consistent with this statement, but cannot guarantee that it will be able to impose that requirement or that the acquiring company will comply.

ARTICLE 12. Legal Process
12.1 You should be aware that Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. may be required to disclose your personal information to the government or third parties under certain circumstances, such as in court or regulatory proceedings.

ARTICLE 13.  Contacting the Website

13.1        If you have any questions about this Privacy Statement, the practices of this Website, or your dealings with this Website, please contact us at: unsolved@unsolved.com.

ARTICLE 14.  general information

14.1        Choice of Law:  This Agreement and the Additional Terms shall be governed by, construed and enforced in accordance with the laws of the State of California , as it is applied to agreements entered into and to be performed entirely within such state, without regard to conflict of law principles.

14.2        Choice of Forum:  You agree that any cause of action you or Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. brings to enforce this Agreement and/or the Additional Terms, or in connection with any matters related to this Website and/or the Privacy Statement, shall be submitted to arbitration in the County of Los Angeles, State of California, United States of America in accordance with the commercial rules and regulations of the American Arbitration Association then in effect (as amended herein), provided that said arbitration shall be heard before a single arbitrator, who shall be a retired judge, selected pursuant to such rules and regulations, and shall be conducted on an expedited basis and in confidence. The arbitrator’s decision shall be controlled by the terms and conditions of this agreement and any other agreements I may enter into with you, and shall be final and binding, and shall provide for each party to bear its own costs of arbitration and attorneys’ fees.  Each party expressly waives any right to a jury.  Judgment upon the award of the arbitrator may be entered or enforced in any court of competent jurisdiction. 

14.4        If any provision of this Agreement, or the application thereof to any person or circumstances, is held invalid or for any reason unenforceable then such provision shall be deemed superseded by a valid, enforceable provision that matches, as closely as possible, the original provision, and the other provisions of this Agreement shall remain in full force and effect.  The failure of either party to insist upon strict performance of any provision of this Agreement shall not be construed as a waiver of any provision or right.  Unless expressly provided otherwise, this Agreement is the entire agreement between you and Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. with respect to the use of this Website and shall not be modified except in writing, signed by an authorized representative of Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc.

ARTICLE 15.  European Union and Other Foreign Nations

15.1        This Website is governed by and operated in accordance with the laws of United States of America and is intended for enjoyment of residents of the United States.  Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. makes no representation that this Website is governed by or operated in accordance with the laws of other nations.  By using this Website and submitting any personal information, visitors from outside of the United States acknowledge this Website is subject to U.S. law, consent to the transfer of personal data to the U.S., and waive any claims that may arise under their own national laws.