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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2009

    Canada - New non-profit aims to crack cases of missing Hamilton ON women


    "Not many people in Hamilton hear the name Susan Gourley anymore, and Alissa Watt, founder of the Missed Lives Project, can't help but lament that.

    Gourley was a sex worker known to police for drug offences, but too little has been reported about her to form any kind of portrait. She was 38. She had brown hair. She had multiple tattoos, an appendectomy scar, and an eight-millimetre scar on her forehead.

    Gourley was last seen around Barton Street and Stirton Avenue in late November 2001. Her disappearance is often linked to the assault and murder of two other sex workers. But so far, her case remains unsolved.

    Gourley is just one of the focuses of the Missed Lives Project, Watt's new non-profit agency that deals with missing persons cases — particularly those involving women from marginalized communities — in Hamilton, Halton and Peel. Through the project, Watt and her colleagues aim to not only raise awareness, but provide investigative support with a goal of eventually helping to crack cases."missed-lives-project.jpg


    "One particularly unsettling case, Watt said, is that of a woman found near Lake Ontario in 1975 whose identity is still a mystery.

    This woman "doesn't fit the bill of 'ignorable cases,'" the new project website says. She was married, dressed nicely and had custom jewelry, but in 40 years, no one has identified her.

    "I find it really tragic to think that there was a woman found in 1975 in Hamilton and she's been unidentified for 40 years," Watt said. "That's crazy to me. That's really overwhelming to think about."
    Last edited by dotr; 08-21-2015 at 12:11 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2009

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2009

    " There are 356 missing persons in Ontario, according to an RCMP database. This project highlights 13 cases from Hamilton, Halton and Peel.

    In Hamilton, there are familiar names listed like Sheryl Sheppard, a Hamilton waitress and exotic dancer who disappeared in 1998 under suspicious circumstances after her fiancé reportedly dropped her off in Niagara Falls.

    And Susan Gourley, who was last seen in the Barton Street and Stirton Avenue area in 2002, at a time when the city saw a streak of violence against sex workers.

    The site does not exclusively focus on women, but it is a sad reality that vulnerable women make up the majority of missing people. "

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