Cold Case Wiki
John Donovan
John in 1947
John "Boomer" Donovan
Portrayed by Neil Jackson
Episode Sandhogs
Status Deceased (1948)

John "Boomer" Donovan is the main victim of the episode "Sandhogs". He was a young miner with his sights set on taking on management to improve the working conditions of miners.

Donovan's friend Nate Stallworth died in a mining accident. His death prompted Donovan to try to unionize. He also began an affair with Nate's widow Alice Stallworth. His boss Sam Bertleman Sr. knew of the affair and threatened to hurt Alice to stop the miners from unionizing. Donovan broke up with Alice to save her life before she could tell him that she was pregnant.

Donovan was murdered in April 1948 by his brother-in-law, Bobby McCallister, by exploding a portion of underground mine. Bobby was bitterly jealous of Donovan's success on the job and the affection he received from Bobby's family, especially his father Eamon "Big Mac" McCallister. He couldn't handle being passed over by his own father, who chose Donovan as foreman. Donovan was given a special lighter by Big Mac and Bobby took it as a trophy.

In 2006, his remains were found and his case went from missing person to murder. The cold case team were told by Bobby that his lighter was given to him by his father. Alice told them that the lighter belonged to Donovan, which pinned his murder on Bobby. After the case was solved, Alice went back to the old diner and imagined herself and Donovan having their last dance.