John G. Wilson – Pocatello, Idaho 1995

Pocatello, Idaho – John Gilbert Wilson, a transient age 54, was found dead near the I-15 interchange at the northbound exit of Pocatello Creek Road on August 8, 1995.  At nearly the same time, city workers and a motorist sighted his body around 1PM in the afternoon. When found, his head was resting on a transistor radio, as if asleep. He possessions were neatly beside him.

At first, the discovery of his body was thought to be another untimely passing of a transient, but after further investigation, Wilson was found to have a crushed skull.

John was born November 18, 1940, in Dallas, Texas to Gilbert M. Wilson and Minnie Irene Stewart.  He served in the U.S. Navy, with enlistment dates of 18 Feb 1958 to 30 Nov 1965, and a second enlistment date of 1 Dec 1965 to 12 April 1972. John served in Vietnam, relating several war stories in an interview with ISU Journalism intern Philip Ferolito only months before his death. Wilson seemed to have difficulty rejoining society after his service in Vietnam.  He suffered from alcoholism.  In the interview, Wilson discussed his experience in the war, as well as his wife and mother dying shortly before he was released from prison on robbery charges in 1990.   He seemed to have emptiness about him, yet had faith in people and was not a bitter man according to the reporter.

A retired Pingree farmer befriended John Wilson 1.5 years before his death, as they both served in Vietnam and shared war conversation in common. The farmer attempted to help Wilson where possible. He also visited Wilson at a hobo camp in Blackfoot several times.  Wilson was known to carry an American flag with him wherever he traveled.  The transient nature of Wilson’s lifestyle could make finding a perpetrator difficult.

If you have any information about the murder of John Wilson, contact the Pocatello Police Department.