Has This 20-Year-Old Grateful Dead Mystery Been Solved At Last?

15 January 2015 | 6:15 pm | Staff Writer

The internet is in thrall to the resurgent saga of the man known as 'Grateful Doe'

Pic via Imgur

Pic via Imgur

On June 26, 1995, an unidentified young man and his 21-year-old driver died in a car accident the day after a Grateful Dead concert at Washington DC's RFK Stadium. Without identification, he has endured in myth as "Grateful Doe" due to his concert T-shirt and ticket stubs found on his person at the site of the crash. 

Since then, Grateful Doe has languished as an unknown victim — despite also having a note addressed to "Jason" in his pocket — but, now, following the internet's renewed interest in the case, the mother of a teenager who left home in 1995 to follow the band on tour has filed a missing persons report with South Carolina police, nearly 20 years after she last had contact with her son.

According to documents obtained by public-records site The Smoking Gun, 63-year-old Margaretta Evans filed the report with Myrtle Beach Police Department, advising an officer "that she has not seen or heard from her son since early June of 1995".

The report goes on to explain: "She advised that he left to follow the Grateful Dead at that time."

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Her son, Jason Patrick Callahan, would now be 38 years old, but while it seems strange to wait so long to file such a report, social media has played an integral role in edging the mystery closer to being solved — according to BuzzFeed, Evans came forward to confirm that the man in a series of photos shared on Facebook (and Reddit, and Imgur, and — seriously, the internet is awesome at this) was indeed her son before filing the missing persons report. Sadly, the photos were shared as part of the Grateful Doe cold-case solvers' campaign, and several have garnered comments from former roommates and acquaintances identifying him as "Jason". 

While Evans' police report says that Callahan had "no known marks, scars or tattoos", Grateful Doe is known to have had a DIY tattoo of a star on his left shoulder, and a scar on his back. Regardless, Myrtle Beach police are presently conducting DNA tests to determine whether Callahan is indeed the same "Jason" who has stirred the internet into action.

It's not 100% — final results will be available in the near future — but the question of Grateful Doe's identity may be closer than it's ever been to having an answer.