Dana “Polly” Pastori Murder: Where is John Henry Morgan Now?

Dana “Polly” Pastori, residing in New Orleans in 2002, vanished unexpectedly after informing friends weeks earlier that she intended to move in with her parents. It wasn’t until 2007 that her remains were discovered concealed in a trunk within a New Orleans residence. ID’s ‘Disappeared’ episode titled ‘Hard Life in the Big Easy’ details the events that ended in Dana’s murder and also tries to identify the person who killed her.

Dana “Polly” Pastori’s Body was Found Three Years After Her Murder

Dana “Polly” Pastori, born in 1966, experienced her parents’ divorce, leading to her mother residing in Texas and her father in South Carolina. Throughout her childhood, she had no contact with her father. However, in 1992, he reached out, reconnecting Dana with her half-siblings. At that point, Dana was married and had two daughters with her husband. As her relationship with her siblings blossomed, particularly with her sister, Dana confided that she felt disconnected from her husband and sensed her marriage might be unraveling.

In 1994, Dana made a significant change by relocating from the house she shared with her husband and initiating a new chapter in New Orleans. She envisioned her daughters joining her later, yet when the divorce was settled, her husband gained full custody by asserting that she had abandoned them. Dana, distressed by this decision, began visiting her daughters on weekends. Later in 1994, after suspecting signs of physical abuse on her children, she chose to leave with them without notifying her husband.

After being on the run with her two daughters for about a year, Dana faced legal consequences when the allegations of physical abuse were debunked. She was arrested on abduction charges, leading to the loss of custody of her daughters once again. In 1996, she received a two-year probation sentence. Following this, she opted to restart her life in New Orleans and found work as a tarot card reader. During this period, she encountered John Henry Morgan, also a tarot card reader, and the two formed a connection. They eventually moved in together and worked the late-night shift at Quartermaster Deli on Bourbon Street.

In 2002, Dana grew tired of her current lifestyle, expressed her intention to resign, and disclosed her plan to move back to her parents’ house. She aimed to concentrate on writing a memoir. The last known sighting of the 39-year-old by her colleagues was on February 27, 2002. It wasn’t until October 21, 2005, in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, that a woman residing on Elysian Fields Avenue in New Orleans discovered a trunk in her house.

Upon opening it, she found a corpse and promptly informed the police. The forensic examination identified the body as Dana’s, determining that she had been strangled to death and had died in 2002. The body had been dismembered at the legs and abdomen and the murder weapon was believed to be a hair curler found inside the trunk.

A Trunk Helped Police Track Down Dana “Polly” Pastori’s Killer

The police promptly interviewed the homeowner where Dana “Polly” Pastori’s remains were discovered. She revealed that the trunk belonged to her daughter’s boyfriend, who had resided with them for approximately a year but left after the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. She identified the man as John Henry Morgan. During their investigation, the police found another box in the house containing Dana’s ID cards and passport.

The police initiated inquiries by interviewing Dana’s former colleagues. According to them, after she informed them about her departure, she missed one of her final shifts at work. Morgan had informed them that she had been in an accident and had relocated to South Carolina for medical treatment near her family. After a few months, he updated them, claiming that she had traveled to Prague for better treatment, enjoyed her time there, and decided to stay to focus on her writing.

Upon contacting Dana’s family, the police discovered that, following Hurricane Katrina, the family had become concerned for her well-being. They had sent an officer to check on her, and the officer found that she had not picked up her glaucoma medications since early 2002. When the family inquired, Morgan informed them that she had chosen to move to Europe to focus on her memoir. As her sister continued to receive emails from her regularly, the family believed she was pursuing her passion and didn’t give it much thought. The police also contacted the landlady who had rented her apartment to Dana and Morgan.

She recalled that she suddenly stopped seeing Dana around February 2002. When she inquired with John about it, he claimed that she had been in an accident and had relocated to South Carolina. The landlady mentioned that John abruptly moved out in 2003, and when she entered the apartment, she detected a foul smell. Assuming it was dead rats in the walls, she didn’t investigate further. She pointed out a specific crawl space where the smell emanated, and when the police swabbed the area, they discovered blood, which was sent for testing. Due to procedural delays, the DNA reports came back only in 2008, confirming a match. Subsequently, the police obtained a warrant and arrested Morgan in North Carolina.

John Henry Morgan is in Prison Today

In his testimony to the police, John Henry Morgan claimed that Dana “Polly” Pastori had discovered his involvement in drug use and had threatened to report him to the authorities. According to his account, she had been insisting that she would tell on him and his associates. Morgan alleged that, in a state of anxiety, he contacted his drug dealer to warn him about Dana’s intended action. Upon returning home, he claimed to have found her lifeless body. Morgan then described his attempts to dispose of the body. He detailed how he had tried to break her legs first and when he had failed, dismembered her and stuffed her body in the trunk.

In August 2009, following his trial, Morgan was convicted of second-degree murder and received a life sentence without the possibility of parole. His appeal was denied. At the age of 57, he is presently incarcerated and serving his sentence at the Louisiana State Penitentiary.

Read More: Danice Day Murder: Where is Victor Braun Now?