Although the open mouth suggested to some that he might have been poisoned, it’s been concluded since that this is just a natural result of the head falling back post-mortem.
Interdisciplinary analyses seem to suggest that he could be one Prince Pentawere, someone who was involved in a plot to assassinate his father, Pharaoh Ramses III, during an otherwise failed palace coup. Both were found together in the royal cache at Deir el Bahari back in 1886.
As noted by National Geographic, a conspiracy to slash the throat of said pharaoh was based on papyrus documents dating back to the 12th century BCE, one which speaks of the key role Pentawere played.
Researchers have understandably linked this long-gone kingslayer to Unknown Man E, as such a traitor would be buried with a similar level of indignity, potentially near the dead pharaoh himself if they were related. As it so happens, DNA evidence points toward a father-son relationship between the two.
Ahram Online notes that Unknown Man E also appears to have been hung by the neck. This conveniently matches up with the description of the death sentence given to Pentawere, as described in the papyrus documents detailing the entire affair – as well as the physical evidence inferring suffocation.
It’s certainly possible that this mangled mummy is Pentawere, then – but much of his life, as well as the circumstances of his burial, will remain as mysterious as his pained expression will remain haunting.