Case of the Month: Mark Carlson

Mark Carlson courtesy Carlson Family

Mark Carlson courtesy Carlson Family

Case of the Month: Mark Carlson 1957-1974. “We know that on October 20, 1974, Mark Carlson heads into Boise County to do some hunting and doesn’t return home that night,” according to Idaho State Police Captain Bill Gardiner. And that ‘s the gist of the case.

Mark before his murder courtesy Carlson Family

Mark before his murder courtesy Carlson Family

Mark Carlson left to go hunting. A store clerk saw someone with Mark but police are not sure that the clerk has the correct date in mind. It is after all a case from 1974.

On October 22, 1974, Mark was found face down in the snow. His sister said that Mark was shot once with a single, high-powered rifle in the stomach. The bullet exited through his back and was never recovered. He had trauma on his back. Police believe that Mark had been dragged to the spot where he was found. After two years, Mark’s hunting weapon was found several miles from where his body was found.

Mark's hunter report card courtesy of the Carlson Family

Mark’s hunter report card courtesy of the Carlson Family

Was this a hunting accident? Police ruled out that Mark killed himself. Was this a robbery? Some valuables were still on his body. His car was there too. Could it have been an accident? Someone hunting, seeing movement, shooting, and not realizing that what they shot was not game but another hunter.

There are so many questions. Mark didn’t have any enemies and didn’t show any signs of risk behaviour. He didn’t drink, he didn’t smoke, and he loved being with his family.

Newspaper clipping courtesy Carlson Family

Newspaper clipping courtesy Carlson Family

Over the years police did receive calls about Mark’s case but not anything that can be considered a lead to the suspect. There is very little information online about this case except for the repeated content.

Mark’s family made a Facebook Memorial Page online. Please support them. If you knew Mark and have memories, consider posting them on the memorial page. It is wonderful for victim family members to read that others have not forgotten their loved ones.

Anyone with information about Mark’s case can call the Idaho State Police detectives at 208-884-7113.

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Newspaper articles courtesy Carlson Family

Newspaper articles courtesy Carlson Family

In the series “Case of the Month” I highlight old cold cases. These posts are not an in-depth analysis and of course, sometimes more information can be found online and in newspaper archives. The goal of these posts is to get the cases back in the spotlights, to get people talking again, and if anything to make sure that we do not forget the victims. Just because their cases are cold does not mean that we can forget about them.

If you have any thoughts about this case I encourage you to post them on your own social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus, etc. Every time that we mention Mark’s name online we enhance his digital footprint.

We must make sure that Mark retains a web presence if we ever wish to find answers in his case. You can help by linking to or sharing this post.

Thank you for remembering Mark Carlson with us.

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Resources:

KTVB

Facebook Memorial Page

the Carlson Family (photography)