The Girl with the “S” Tattoo

Jane Doe Facial Reconstruction

On October 5th, 1980, a young woman’s brutalized dead body is discovered on the side of Arroyo Grande Road, a small dirt road in Henderson, Nevada. Detective John Williams arrives on the scene and is deeply disturbed by what he finds: the victim’s face is bruised and battered and she has suffered stab wounds to her torso and fatal blunt force trauma to the back of her head. An autopsy also reveals signs of sexual assault. On a more eerie note, it’s clear that the victim’s body was moved from the location of her murder, carefully washed, and placed naked, face-down on the ground. Without an original crime scene or a shred of personal identification, Williams cannot identify this young girl. His only two clues: the autopsy reveals that the young woman has recently undergone a unique dental procedure, and she also has a small, amateur “S” tattoo located on her forearm. Uncovering the girl’s identity, who Williams affectionately dubs “Jane Arroyo Grande Doe,” becomes a life-long personal mission for the dogged detective. Unfortunately, Williams retires before solving the case. Now, forty years later, Detective Joseph Ebert has picked up where Williams left off. Ebert and famed genetic genealogist Barbara Rae-Venter, are now working together using revolutionary advancements in genetic technology to try to solve this decades-old cold case– a case that is really two mysteries: Who was the girl with the “S” tattoo? And who killed her?

UPDATE: Thanks to a DNA match, The Girl with the “S” Tattoo has been identified as Tammy Terrell. Joe Ebert and the Henderson Police continue to pursue the investigation into her killer. You can watch the announcement here. We will continue to provide updates as more information becomes available.

If you have any information about Tammy’s murder, you can submit your tips to the Henderson Police Department Investigations Bureau at 702-267-4750, or you can submit your tips through our website at

Download a transcript of this episode


  1. Anon

    Have Gerald and Charlene Gallego been considered as possible killers? Timeline and MO match up.


  2. Anonymous

    Has anyone looked into David and Donna Courtney as the potential killers of Tammy??? They were featured on the old Unsolved series in 1991 for allegedly murdering a single mother in 1976, and they fit the bill perfectly as the potential couple that could have been seen with Tammy Terrell at the diner in 1980:

    1) David and Donna were caught in 1980. David David subsequently confessed to a multi-year, multi-state killing spree with his wife in 1985 that last from the mid-1970s until around the time they were caught in 1980, thus making them active around the time Tammy Terrell was last seen.

    2) The couple with Tammy were described by witnesses who saw them at the diner as being in their mid-forties with brownish hair. This matches the age and hair color of David and Donna at that time.

    3) David and Donna were known for abducting, assaulting, and murdering single women who traveled alone. This would have matched Tammy’s MO at that time.

    Please look into this. It’s crazy how much the details are matching up.


  3. alex gallegos

    They finally founded the identity of Jane Doe


  4. Bill Shennigans

    Please fix the “reply button” to reply to a specific comment. I’m using a iPhone XR and can’t click the reply ? Thanks!


  5. Vitor

    The transcript is not working :/


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