Archive for the ‘ Canada True Crime ’ Category

Ex-cop baffled by severed feet mystery in B.C. Staff

Another foot has washed up in British Columbia — the 11th found along the coastline in the last four years. But while B.C. officials say they don’t consider any of the discoveries to be the result of foul play, a Toronto-based forensics expert is not so sure.

Forensics consultant and former Toronto Police detective Mark Mendelson says with this many feet being found in such a short period of time, he’s suspicious something is up.

“I don’t know whether you can look at this as just a coincidence,” he told CTV’s Canada AM Thursday.

Mendelson says one or two feet washing up on shore is weird enough; but this many feet, this often, is pretty fishy.

“You have to ask yourself: why is this only happening on the West Coast? Why aren’t these body parts floating up in Nova Scotia, or St. John’s, or off the coast of New Jersey? Something is very, very strange here,” he said.

In the past four years, 11 shoe-clad feet have washed up on beaches near Vancouver, along the southern Georgia Strait and off Washington State.

Four of the feet have been identified as belonging to three individuals who had been reported missing, but the identity of the rest remain a mystery.

The latest foot was found floating Tuesday in the water along False Creek in downtown Vancouver by a young boy. The shoe and foot were attached to lower leg bones. The B.C. Coroners Service says an autopsy confirmed the foot is human, but further tests are needed to determine whether it’s a man or woman’s foot.

In previous cases, police have said it appeared the feet separated naturally from bodies that were likely in the water for some time. Each time, they have said that foul play wasn’t suspected.

Huh? How does a foot separate “naturally”? I understand decomposition, animals feeding on bodies, shoe protecting certain parts….

See, the problem with the shoe protecting certain parts is that one the shoe and foot is loose the animal would begin feeding into the shoe.

Decomposition, why does 1 foot decompose and the other float to shore? Every time!?!?!?!

It is creepy.

But Mendelson says at this point, “You have to think dirty,” and consider foul play.

He says it’s true that a lot of people go missing in both Canada and the U.S. who are never reported missing. But if all these feet belong to people who were suicide victims or died in float plane crashes or drownings, why are only feet showing up?

“Where are all the rest of the body parts?” Mendelson wondered.

He says in his almost 30 years with the Toronto Police Service and in his 15 years in homicide, he’s done lots of investigations of bodies that turned up floating in waterways.

“Body parts do eventually make their way to the surface. So why are we only getting feet? Why are they only in running shoes? I’m not sure I buy the theory that it’s because the shoe floats,” he said.

Mendelson says forensic anthropologists will likely begin this investigation by looking at the break point of the leg, to see if there are striations or cut lines that show whether the leg was cut off with a saw or other implement.

They can also do tests on the bones to determine the approximate age of the victim. And they can talk to the shoe manufacturer about the brand of shoe that was found to determine when it was available for sale.

They’ll also run DNA tests on the foot, but that may not reveal much, Mendelson said. DNA results do not reveal identify on their own; they have to be matched with other DNA to be useful.

“If you can’t attach it to a human being, it’s just a piece of paper with letters and numbers,” he said.

Article and pictures here.

All I can say is creepy.

I am not saying it is a serial killer but I am saying that this is all strange.

How can they be so confident that the feet are not all connected? They have said some of the feet are form missing people but they do not give anymore info on who that might be and under what circumstances those people went missing.

Mind blowing.

A few updates

Michael Wayne McGray has been charged in connection with the death of Jeremy Michael Phillips.

On the morning of Nov. 23, 2010, Phillips, 33, was found dead in the prison cell he shared with McGray–who had been previously convicted of six murders and recently moved from maximum-security Kent Institution to medium-security Mountain Institution.

Phillips had been serving a six-year, nine-month sentence for an aggravated assault that took place after a failed drug deal.

McGray has been moved to a new federal prison and is no longer in British Columbia.

Full Story

I just hope this time they have him in a cell by himself!! I also hope that they have put him into a maximum security prison.


The trial of Anthony Sowell is beginning. Jury selection has started.

About 200 prospective jurors are being divided into groups of 15 and brought to the courtroom for orientation. Individuals in each group are then being interviewed privately about their views on the death penalty, according to court officials.

Anthony Sowell, 51, a former Marine, stood at military attention to face jurors as they entered. He was dressed in a white golf shirt and wore a goatee. He has been charged with the murder of 11 women in an 85-count indictment.

If Sowell is found guilty, the jury must then decide whether to sentence him to death. The decision must be unanimous.

Sowell was arrested on October 29, 2009, two days after the initial discovery of bodies in and around his home. The decomposing bodies were found by police who were responding to a report by a woman who said she had been attacked in the home.

Full Story


If Sowell is not found guilty I hope we make the jurors share custody of him..

Here is a page with video clips regarding the Sowell trial. 

In New York police are searching the beaches of Long Island again.

Police in New York say they will resume a search for bodies in the ongoing investigation into a possible serial killer on Long Island.

State police say recent FBI aerial photography is prompting a return to the area on Tuesday. State police did not specifically say if the photos, taken in April, yielded additional evidence.

Full Story

I am going to take a guess and say that the photos showed them something. Maybe not more bodies but something had to be seen if they are going back out there.


Unnamed Victims Not Forgotten


Pickton’s unnamed victims far from forgotten


Shortly after his arrest in February, 2002, serial killer Robert Pickton bragged to a cellmate that he had intended to kill one more woman, his 50th, and then stop for awhile. He held up five fingers of his right hand and made a zero with his left. “I wanted one more [to] make the big 5-0,” Mr. Pickton said, giggling.

Nine years later, police are confident they have identified 33 of Mr. Pickton’s 49 victims.

But who are the other 16?

There were no names, no bodies, no crime scene. Just the words of a serial killer.

RCMP Inspector Gary Shinkaruk has not forgotten what Mr. Pickton said. “There is no reason at this point that I know of not to believe him,” he said. “When a serial killer tells you he’s killed this many people, I think it is responsible for us to look at that.”

Insp. Shinkaruk is in charge of the Missing Women Task Force, a joint initiative of the RCMP and Vancouver Police Department that started in early 2001.

With a provincial inquiry into the police investigation of Mr. Pickton to begin later this spring, the task force is busy responding to requests for decade-old documents. Six people – of the 50 members of the task force – have been assigned to that job. But at the same time, the task force is pushing ahead vigorously with its search for the missing women, Insp. Shinkaruk said, trying to gather information for the families of victims and identify anyone else involved in the crimes.

“Our investigation has never stopped,” said Sergeant Dan Almas, who joined the task force on Feb. 6, 2002, the day after police first went onto the Pickton pig farm.

After Mr. Pickton was convicted of second-degree murder of six women in December of 2007, the task force continued to prepare for the possibility of a second murder trial in the cases of 20, and possibly more, women. Crown prosecutors decided they would not bring any more murder charges against Mr. Pickton after the Supreme Court of Canada last summer upheld the trial results. The prosecutors had decided that additional murder convictions would make no difference, as he was already serving the maximum sentence of life in prison.

The task force then shifted its focus to those on the official missing-women poster, which features thumbnail photos of each woman and the day she was last seen. After spending around $122-million in the first decade, the task force this year has a budget of about $6-million.

“We are conducting interviews, inquiries and examinations of records,” Sgt. Almas said. Teams of investigators have undertaken full homicide investigations into each of the 31 women on the official poster still unaccounted for, as well as a handful of other missing-women cases. They are trying to figure out if the 16 other women were on the poster.

The task force is also taking a second look at the massive collection of items seized during the raid of Mr. Pickton’s pig farm. With advances in DNA analysis, technicians can extract information from smaller and smaller samples. Police are reassessing their thinking about some key items from the farm as they search for new investigative leads.

The task force has dedicated considerable resources over the past year to reaching out to the families of the missing women. Several weeks before the ruling, task force members met with representatives from the coroner’s office, the prosecution, victims services, parole services and federal corrections, trying to anticipate all the questions that families might have. They compiled binders with evidence in the case.

Once the Supreme Court issued its ruling, eight teams, each with two police officers and a victim services worker, fanned out across the country and into the United States to sit down with families.

Some families wanted more detail, some wanted less. The task force teams responded to queries about issues such as parole for Mr. Pickton and death certificates. They left it up to the coroner to talk about whether human remains, which were minuscule or in some cases non-existent, should be returned or cremated.

Despite the task force’s persistence, Insp. Shinkaruk did not indicate that more arrests are imminent. Mr. Pickton had told his cellmate that, if he was convicted, “about 15 other people are gonna go down.”

Police need evidence, not speculation, Insp. Shinkaruk said. “We do not have evidence that would support laying a charge against any other individual at this time,” he said. Police will recommend criminal charges “if and when we have the evidence.”

Insp. Shinkaruk acknowledged the task force may one day close down, even if no further arrests are made. But the investigation has no deadline.

“We’re going to continue to investigate the missings to the nth degree that is humanly possible,” he said. They will stop, he added, “when there are just no more stones to unturn.”


Not enough For Some

This week’s announcement of the expansion of the B.C. missing women inquiry didn’t resonate with one of the victims’ most outspoken advocates.

The commission, headed by Wally Oppal, was originally intended to conduct a formal hearing into the police handling of the disappearances and murders of the women plucked from Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside by serial killer Robert Pickton. That hearing will unfold much like a criminal trial, and could result in findings of wrongdoing.

Oppal, however, asked that his mandate be expanded to include a more informal study portion that would visit this region to hear from those connected to the 18 women who have gone missing along the so-called Highway of Tears, and possibly make policy recommendations based on those submissions.

But Gladys Radek, whose niece, Tamara Chipman, is one of the Highway of Tears victims, said a study is simply not enough.

She said a formal inquiry is justified for the Highway of Tears just as it is for the Downtown Eastside in order to examine the police investigations conducted here in the north.

“I haven’t seen any resolve or cases solved since Tamara’s gone missing. I haven’t seen any answers. And that’s since 2005, and there hasn’t been any movement on any of those 18 victims,” said Radek.

“The underlying message here is: maybe we’re dealing with another serial killer. But in that respect, I think that until you can prove to me there’s only one man that killed all those women up there, there is (actually) 18 killers out there.”

Radek is one of the founders of Walk4Justice, an advocacy group dedicated to raising the profile of missing women cases across Canada. She said her group hired a lawyer to speak on its behalf at the Oppal inquiry in Vancouver, but is worried now that doing so will effectively muzzle the group in public.

Inquiry spokesman Chris Freidmond said the study portion has seven days tentatively scheduled for northern B.C. in the middle of June.

“It will be places like Prince Rupert, Vanderhoof, Terrace, Smithers, those types of communities,” said Freimond, adding he was uncertain if Prince George would make the cut.

The schedule was expected to be finalized after press deadline.


walk4justice site

Another article on the missing women

Lawsuit filed in McGray’s Prison Killing


Jeremy Phillips was found dead in the cell he shared with Michael McGray at Mountain Institution in B.C. 

Jeremy Phillips was found dead in the cell he shared with Michael McGray at Mountain Institution in B.C

Brian Hutchinson, National Post · Mar. 23, 2011

VANCOUVER — Correctional Service of Canada officials ignored warning signs and mercy pleas before a prison informant forced to bunk with a notorious serial killer was found dead, the deceased’s parents allege in an $11-million lawsuit filed this week in federal court.

Jeremy Phillips, 33, was discovered lying face down in his cell at Mountain Institution, a medium security penitentiary near Aggasiz, B.C. Sitting across from his lifeless body was Michael McGray, 45, one of Canada’s most prolific killers. McGray is serving concurrent life sentences for the six murders he committed during a long spree of violence in Eastern Canada.

Again and again, why the Hell was McGray in a MEDIUM security anything? Even if he was not making threats he is a violent serial killer! No one has explained moving him.

According to a police investigation report, McGray confessed to assaulting Phillips with a “ligature” made from a bed sheet; however, no charges have been laid.

I am curious as to why he has not been charged yet. He confessed, Mr. Phillips is dead. What more is needed to make a charge?

A mandatory Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) internal investigation is underway but the lawsuit filed this week accuses prison staff of “reckless indifference” and negligence. Before his death in November, Phillips had “pleaded with prison officials for a cell relocation as he was terrified of McGray,” the lawsuit reads. “Both McGray and Phillips had asked for single cell accommodation but this was denied even though there was no shortage of empty cells in the prison at the time.”

If there was not a shortage of cells what was the problem? Was it some kind of power play between McGray and prison officials?


According to his parents’ lawsuit, Phillips was known inside Canada’s prison system as an informant. “The Correctional Service of Canada knew or should have known that being labelled a ‘rat’ puts an inmate in a vulnerable situation for aggression,” the lawsuit reads. “The fact that Phillips and McGray were requesting separate accommodation and the fact the inmates were coming to CSC to seek separate accommodation should have been regarded as a precursor to violence.”

I agree with the Phillips family. This should never have occured. McGray should not have been in this prison. Once Phillips said that he felt threatened he should have been moved at once. If Phillips was known as a rat that just makes it so much worse for the officials that made this series of bad choices .

An RCMP “investigational summary” filed in B.C. Provincial Court describes the scene inside Mountain Institution on November 21, the night before Phillips was discovered dead. A lock-down was in effect; all prisoners were confined to their cells. Phillips and McGray were both counted by prison staff later that evening.

Twelve hours later, reads the RCMP report, McGray called prison officers to the locked cell. “Phillips was observed to be laying on his stomach with his hands at the top of his head,” the report reads. He “was found to be unresponsive, blue, cold and stiff.” He had blood on his face “with trauma around his nose and cheek area.” A prison doctor attended and Phillips was pronounced dead.

Why was there a 12 hour gap? Not that I think it would have saved Phillips life, I am just curious. I know the prison was on lock down but no one checked any of the prisoners for 12 hours?

While escorting McGray to a separate holding cell, a prison official asked if he had assaulted Phillips. “McGray replied, ‘yes.’ McGray further stated to Correctional Manager Brian Mathieson that he used a ligature made from a bed sheet and flushed it down the toilet,” says the RCMP report. “McGray stated that this — the murder of Phillips — took place approximately seven minutes after the count last night.”

The report notes that an RCMP constable arrived to examine the scene and observed marks on the side of the deceased’s face. These marks “appeared to be consistent with being hit by an object. A cat scratch post with exposed staples was also found near Phillips’ bed. The staples appeared to match the marks on Phillips’ face.”

Another question, why was there a cat scratch post in the cell? Do they allow pets? In the cells?

Investigators obtained a search warrant and seized dozens of items from the cell, including bed sheets, the top of the cat scratch post and a pair of McGray’s size-40-waist pants. The RCMP said they found “reasonable grounds to believe that the following offence has been committed: Murder contrary to section 235 of the Criminal Code.”

RCMP spokesman Dale Carr says police have completed their reports and are still “packaging everything up” to send to B.C.’s Attorney General department, which can then determine whether to lay a charge. The Crown will have the police package in about a month, said Cpl. Carr.

I can not imagine that they have any other choice!

McGray, meanwhile, has been transferred to a special handling unit penitentiary in Quebec, where some of Canada’s most dangerous offenders are housed in segregation.

National Post

In my opinion this is where he should have been the entire time. I am so curious as to why he was moved, given a room mate and why there is a cat scratch post in the cell. What the hell is going on in the Canadian prison system?

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