A Maryland-based video production company is wrapping up a one-hour documentary on a long-time mystery that captured Scott County imaginations for three decades.
Sirens Media has completed filming of an episode of “Who Killed Jane Doe?” that likely will air in February on the Investigation Discovery Channel, coordinating producer Troy A. Schreiber said Monday.
The focus will be on “Tent Girl,” identified in 1998 as Barbara Ann Hackman-Taylor of Lexington.
Tent Girl was the moniker assigned to the then-unknown woman whose body was found by Wilber Riddle in May 1968 as he scavenged for glass insulators along Eagle Creek alongside U.S. 25 near Sadieville.
Instead, he found a tarpaulin-covered body with no identification.
The case was a local sensation.
Authorities tried for three years to identify the woman, who was killed by a blow to the head, before burying her in the Georgetown Cemetery under a donated headstone.
The headstone told what was known about her story: “Died about April 26-May 3, 1968; Height 5 feet 1 inch; Weight 110 to 115 lbs; reddish brown hair.”
She rested there until 1998, when, through the efforts of Tennessean Todd Matthews, DNA confirmed her identity.
“We flew a small crew to Georgetown this summer, where we interviewed Todd Matthews, two of Tent Girl’s sisters and a daughter,” Schreiber said.
“We filmed from August 15 to 18 in Georgetown,” he said.
After compiling the interviews, the crew returned to Scott County to film reenactments in early October, Schreiber said.
Matthews came to the story circuitously: He married Riddle’s daughter in 1987.
Riddle shared the tale about finding the body and took Matthews to her grave — and Matthews’ mild interest became a near-obsession, with him scouring newspaper stories for clues.
Then came the internet in the mid-1990s.
That helped Matthews identify Rosemary Westbrook who had spent decades wondering what had become of her sister Barbara Ann in January 1998.
The prime suspect in Barbara Ann’s death was her husband, George Earl Taylor, but he died of cancer in October 1987 — the same year Matthews had become fascinated by the case.
Schreiber said “Who Killed Jane Doe?” generally tries to tell its viewers who committed the crime, but the Tent Girl case hasn’t been solved.
By this time, Matthews had launched the Jane Doe Network and become active with NamUs, both being organizations that focus on identifying unknown deceased persons.
He was a principal among those who, earlier this year, helped reunite the body of a young man, buried under a Georgetown Cemetery headstone inscribed “Some Mother’s Boy,” with Pulaski County family members.
Matthews notified the News-Graphic on Sunday about the upcoming “Who Killed Jane Doe?” episode.
Schreiber said the current schedule calls for the episode to run at 9 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 13, but emphasized that that is a tentative date.
Investigation Discovery Channel is on Channel 471 on Spectrum/Time Warner Cable in Georgetown.
Dan Adkins can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.