December 5 - 1893: Twenty-four dead as Square-rigger Jason shipwrecks off Truro

1988: "Five bodies prompt hunt for a slayer"
Twenty-four men perished and only one survived when the "Jason" wrecked off Truro on this day in 1893.

1893: Cape Cod lives up to its reputation as the graveyard of sailing ships

One survivor of 25 sailors as square rigger "Jason" hits bar

Donald G. Trayser wrote about this day in 1893 in his Cape Cod Historical Almanac:   

"Lifesavers of Nauset station saw through the flying snow of a northeast gale late this afternoon ... the outline of a large square-rigger, close in shore.

"They sensed trouble, and they notified stations all along the backside. Soon the north patrol of Nauset saw her; then Cahoons Hollow; then Pamet River.

"At dark, the glow of a signal from the north patrol of Pamet gave the alarm. She had struck near the station; offshore 300 yards her dim outline could be seen, and above the storm's roar, her sails could be heard slatting against the spars.

"Already her end was near; life savers shot their lines over the big ship, but no answering pull came. Soon wreckage came piling ashore, then, clinging to a bale of jute, one young Englishman. He was Samuel Evans, 18, an apprentice seaman and only survivor of the 25 men of the crew of the British ship Jason, on right in a painting in happier days, an iron ship of 1,511 tons burthen, belonging in Greenock, Scotland, and carrying jute from Calcutta to Boston. Of her cargo of 10, 816 bales of jute, worth $160,000, only 670 were picked up on shore." 


1988: "Five bodies prompt hunt for a slayer"

One of the bodies is found in Dennis

In 1988 skeletal remains of five people had been found along highways in southeastern Massachusetts. On this day in 1988, the New York TImes ran a story about a sixth body found in Dennis.

A sixth body was discovered Friday in Dennis, about 50 miles east of New Bedford on Cape Cod, but officials said they had no idea if it could be connected to the five bodies found in the New Bedford area.

The authorities suspect one killer may be responsible in those deaths because the remains were found in a radius of six to eight miles in dense woods within 25 feet of Interstate 195 and Route 140. All the victims are believed to have been women.

Read the full story in the New York Times here.

Still unsolved - 11 Women killed, does anyone care?

Read a 2007 follow up Op Ed by Jeff Blanchard that appeared in the Providence Journal here.

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