08-22-2016, 05:30 PM #1
Babes in the Woods: Two Brothers Found Murdered in Stanley Park in 1953
On January 14, 1953, a park worker found two child skeletons among the brush at Stanley Park in Vancouver, British Columbia. They were believed to have been there since fall of 1947.
Items found with the children's remains:
a blue tin lunch box, deteriorated clothing (zipper jacket or sweater), two leather aviator helmets, a child sized belt, brown oxford shoes, a broken hatchet (a lather's axe by some accounts), a woman's shoe, a bracelet with pictures of dogs, and a woman's raincoat (which covered their remains).
Because woman's clothing was found with the children it is believed their mother was the perpetrator. Several witnesses came forward about a woman and two boys being spotted at Stanley Park, but these tips were disregarded at the time because one of the boys remains was thought to be female until a DNA analysis was conducted in the late 90's, which confirmed they were both boys. They were also found to be half brothers, with different fathers.
Description of victims:
There is not much listed for their descriptions.
Both boys were between the ages of 7(some list 6)-10 years old, and they both had light hair.
In one particular witness account, two logging camp workers picked up a woman and two young boys (at least one had a aviator helmet). The woman said they were from Mission, BC and that she had gotten in trouble with the Mission police for vagrancy, which is believed that the woman meant "VAG C", which is criminal code for prostitution. Because of this witness account, and the finding of the boys being half brothers, their mother is commonly assumed to have been a prostitute.
Last edited by aThousandYearsWide; 08-22-2016 at 05:41 PM.
08-22-2016, 06:15 PM #2
Did the loggers give a description of the woman they claimed to have picked up? If she had sons that age, she must have been between 25 and 50 which would make her over 94 today.This my opinion and to the best of my knowledge, that is, if I'm not joking.
08-22-2016, 06:30 PM #3
aThousandYearsWide, thanks for posting this. I have been reading the blogspot site along with the comments and while reading, I read about two older boys (13 y.o.) who ran away from a foster home and were murdered and found in Stanley Park, circa 1989 and their case is The Hunter Murders.
This case is so heartbreaking and I pray they get their names back.
Godspeed sweet angels
Last edited by U2forever; 08-22-2016 at 06:31 PM. Reason: angels
08-22-2016, 06:35 PM #4
Something really interesting to look at if you are looking into the Babes in the woods case, a past volunteer for the Babes in the Woods Task Force, Katarina Thorsen who is an author and artist is creating a graphic novel based on the case.
She recovered an article about a woman named Molly O'Dwyer who committed suicide. she was from Alberta and had relocated to the city (presumably Vancouver) in 1947. She found another article that stated a Molly from Alberta headed West in 1947 with her two children and was never seen again. It's interesting how her finds parallel the Babes in the Woods.
This link provides a preview to her graphic novel based on the murders. she has pictures, and sketches of what she thinks went down.
08-22-2016, 07:06 PM #5
As Iam reading this case ..I know it's not the same location or people but what i picture in my mind is Melinda Duckett walking hand and hand with Trenton duckett into the forest and then i can in my mind see her walking out of the woods alone....PS I forget the forest i think it was in or around orlando..Everything I Write Is JMHO ..
08-22-2016, 07:13 PM #6
I also read in the comments on the blogspot that someone thinks it may be a German lady and she died in 1972, and something about the boys aunt.
Not sure if I believe this, but in a case as old as this, nothing should be discounted without further research.
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08-22-2016, 07:19 PM #7
08-22-2016, 07:34 PM #8
http://vancouverpolicemuseum.ca/murd...-in-the-woods/ from 2014 that says he's investigating an even earlier lead from 1944, after he discovered the style of shoe the boy'a were found wearing was available earlier then previously expected.
The current lead being followed by investigators:
“In May 1944, there was a sailor from Esquimault and his fiancée walking along the seawall when a woman crashed out of the bush in front of them, wearing just one shoe and no coat, and letting out a guttural sound, according to the report at the time. She took off running.” from http://www.theprovince.com/clues+rev...341/story.html
You're welcome U2forever! I have been interested in this case since I saw it featured on Cold Case Files ("The Skulls of Stanley Park", Season 1:Episode 5) Here's a script of the episode: http://mreplay.com/transcript/cold_c...21_2009/86448/ The episode also features the two 13 year olds missing in 1989, their names were Ramsey Rioux and Kenneth Lutz.
Photo of Rioux, couldn't find one of Lutz
This article mentions them along with the 1953 case. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/...ticle13942211/
08-22-2016, 07:58 PM #9
08-22-2016, 08:24 PM #10
I agree, in really old cases nothing should be discounted, especially in the cases where the murder is likely dead. The babes in the woods case is a great example to why older cases should be reevaluated with today's technology. In the 1950's the Stanley Park murders were a boy and a girl who were killed no earlier then the fall of 1947; after further research in more recent years, we have two boys who may have been killed as early as 1944.
08-23-2016, 01:49 PM #11
Was pondering the idea that the killer of these two boys was either a single mom, or separated. If separated though, you would think a husband or an ex would have come forward. If the mom was from another province however, family may have just thought she went to Vancouver and they never heard from her again. Then I came across this info about women from other provinces and war-time employment in Vancouver:
World War Two changed the lives of women, as it would do elsewhere. Single women from the Prairies came to work in Fraser River canneries during the war. Many of them married local fishermen and stayed on. Out of a work force of 13,000, a thousand women worked at busy Burrard Dry Dock where, at the war's height, 34 "Victory" ships were built in 26 months. (When victory was announced in 1945 some women at Burrard found themselves in tears knowing their jobs had ended and that, despite a fight by their union to keep them on, the returning men would necessarily put them out of work.)
Last edited by sillybilly; 08-23-2016 at 01:54 PM. Reason: added "and any child caregivers"
08-23-2016, 02:29 PM #12
If we take the earliest date of the shoes being 1944, and the boys were aged 6 to 10, they would have been born approx. 1934 to 1938.
I wonder if Mission police records were checked for the names of any prostitutes.
Whether she had a job as a prostitute or otherwise, somebody had to be looking after the kids while mom was out working.
08-24-2016, 07:02 PM #13
You make some great points, there has to have been someone else in the picture regardless if she worked or not. Her children did have 2 different fathers, so she could have been married twice, and possibly left her second marriage, traveled to Vancouver, then found herself unable to care for her children. Or maybe she was widowed because of the war? That would make sense to why a father never came forward.
I highly agree that the mother was probably from another province, and her family just assumed she lost touch with them. My mother's birth father, the last time he saw his children was in 1963, and my grandmother moved away not too long after that. Sometimes this happens if it was a bad enough situation.
I believe this was a mercy killing, if she was a single mother who just lost her war-time job, what options would she have had in those times? It was definitely a premeditated decision. The murder weapon was a hatchet, and I doubt there was one just laying around Stanley Park. I see a scenario of someone who was really bad off, and didn't want her children to starve to death, and she didn't have enough money to travel back home to get help from family. So she brings her children to Stanley Park for one last good time together, likely a picnic because of the lunchbox found at the scene.
One question I do have is if someone else was present during the murders; I wonder this because she might have had to kill them one at a time, and the other one would probably have run away in terror. The bodies were found together, so was there evidence they were dragged? The main reason I believe this was a mercy killing is that the mother placed her coat over her children, which is a sign of remorse when a killer covers the face of the victims.
I saw somewhere the suggestion of checking suicides around the time of the murders, a murder-suicide is definitely a possibility. a woman who just murdered her kids, has no coat, one shoe, and no money has very little options. Someone would definitely notice her wandering around (the 1944 witness account fits this). The first babes in the woods case was in 1934 in Pennsylvania. In this case, it was a murder-suicide when the father realized he couldn't care for his family and didn't want to watch his children to starve.
Both Babes cases have notable similarities. Both found in a park (Pine Grove Forrest Park in the 1934 case), both were murdered by a parent, both cases were half-siblings, and the time periods are close. A few things to mention about the 1934 babes in the woods case, the family wasn't in anyway close to home when they were found. They were from Roseville, California, which is 39 hours away from where the girls were found in Pennsylvania. Also, the father was known to have been a devoted father to his 3 girls, so the mother in the Stanley Park case could have very well been a devoted mother prior to hitting hard times.
Last edited by aThousandYearsWide; 08-24-2016 at 07:20 PM. Reason: Making it easier to read
08-24-2016, 10:56 PM #14
Just correcting a typo- the 1934 babes in the woods case took place in Pine Grove Furnace Park, not Pine Grove Forrest.
09-07-2016, 03:53 AM #15Registered User
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Firstly I don't think that just because they were covered with a woman's coat means that the killer was definitely a woman.
Secondly, it's possible that they were killed by a relative or other caregiver who didn't want the responsibility of [continuing to] look[ing] after them.
I'd suggest that a woman would be more likely to gas or smother children. Taking a hatchet to them is more of a man's crime.
In any event, I don't think we can say that even for a mother or other caregiver fallen on hard times there was no option but to kill children. During and after the war there were huge numbers of children who had been orphaned or abandoned and there were well organised services for taking them in and looking after them.
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