1. Solving America’s Oldest Unsolved Murder
In 1607, Jamestown, Virginia, became the first permanent English settlement in the Americas. For the last two decades, it has also been at the forefront of Colonial America archaeology since the Jamestown Rediscovery Project led to the reveal of the ruins of the original James Fort. Originally slated to last only ten years, the venture has been prolonged indefinitely due to the continued discovery of new artifacts and knowledge.
Part of the findings in 1996 included the skeleton of a young man given the designation JR102C. He had been shot in the right leg, and the lead bullet was found alongside the remains. His 400-year-old death became an unsolved murder.
It took over 17 years since his rediscovery, but in 2013, forensic archaeologists announced that they had identified not only the victim but also his killer. They believe JR102C was shot in a duel, as he was hit in the side of the knee, suggesting he was positioned sideways. Based on records and other evidence, researchers named George Harrison as JR102C and a merchant named Richard Stephens as his killer. The two took part in a duel in 1624, in which the latter shot the former in the leg, with Harrison subsequently dying of blood loss.