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CANADA Canada - Unsolved murders of young people in London, Ont, 1960s-70s

Discussion in 'Cold Cases' started by Snoopster, Mar 22, 2014.

  1. Snoopster

    Snoopster Well-Known Member

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    Much belated, but there are many unsolved murder of young people in London Ontario Canada back in the 1960s and 1970s. While a couple of serial killers were arrested, many other cases remain unsolved.

    These unsolved cases have recently attracted the attention of various people, including a LE officer, Dr. Mike Arntfield, who happens to be a university professor. "Dr. Mike" felt compelled to bring some of this information public through a TV show, particularly in light of the trove of information that was brought forward by the son of the key detective originally involved in the investigation of the murders of these young people.

    The London Free Press published this article today:

    http://www.lfpress.com/2014/03/21/boxing-in-a-serial-killer


    Included in these unsolved murders in the London area:

    Jacqueline Dunleavy, 16, disappeared, in January 1968, on her way home from work at a variety store. Her body was found less than 2 hours later a few miles from work in the northwest area of London.

    Frankie Jensen, 9, disappeared on his way to school in February 1968, only a couple of miles from where Jacqueline Dunleavy's body was found. His body was found a couple of months later in a river northeast of London.

    Scott Leishman, 16, disappeared in March 1968, from a village northeast of London (Thamesford). His body was found in the mouth of a creek, near Lake Erie, southeast of London.

    Lynda White, 19, a university student in London Ontario, disappeared after writing an exam in November 1968. Her body was found many miles SW of London a few years later. It was nude and in a very shallow grave.

    Bruce Stapylton, 11, disappeared in June 1969. His body was found a few miles north of London in a woodlot.

    Jackie English, 15, disappeared on her way home from work in October 1969. Her body was found, nude in a creek, a few weeks later and her clothes and personal belongings were found in various places south and southeast of London.

    Soraya O'Connell, 15, disappeared while hitchhiking home from a community centre at 10 pm in August 1970. Her body was found many mile east of London, under limbs and leaves.

    There are a number of other crimes against young people, or young adult women, during this general time period, however it is clear that a predator, or predators will operating in the area.
     
    villiscan likes this.
  2. LadyL

    LadyL Well-Known Member

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    wow - this is creepy

    I had no idea about these cases!

    they're all over the board age and gender-wise ... makes me wonder if they could be victims of more than one serial killer

    also, notice how the locations of bodies found are:

    northwest
    northeast
    southeast
    southwest
    north
    south/southwest
    east

    makes me wonder if a) - there's some kind of pattern there and b) - one serial killer was operating in the north end of the city and the other towards the south

    ok, off to read more!
     
  3. rosesfromangels

    rosesfromangels Amateur speculations and opinion only

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    Aside from youth, I wonder if the victims had a connection?
    Same church or dentist or family tax person or piano teacher or?
     
  4. Snoopster

    Snoopster Well-Known Member

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    Whoops! I noticed that I mistakenly said that Lynda White was found SW of London, when in fact she was found well SE of London. Almost all of the bodies were found either in London or East or Southeast of London.

    In the Jackie English episode of 'To Catch a Killer' that aired tonight, the investigators believe that she was murdered by someone from a town South/Southeast of London. Jackie's body was found dumped from a bridge into a creek just east of this town. Her clothes were scattered in a few various sites. Her shoes were found very near where the coat of another teenage female murder victim's coat was found. (The subsequently convicted killer was still at large at the time.)

    What they don't state, for legal reasons, is that the town is Aylmer, Ontario.

    I didn't even mention another victim, Priscilla Merle, from London, whose dismembered body was found in yet another creek, south of London.

    Really, there are an amazing number of unsolved murders from back at that time!! And that doesn't count the solved murders. In addition to the solved case I mention above, two serial killers were arrested in yet other sex-related murders. Both Russell Johnson and Christian Magee are still incarcerated at Penetanguishene, in the unit for violent, criminally insane individuals, for multiple murders each.
     
  5. Woodland

    Woodland Well-Known Member

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    Another killer convicted for a murder in that area, at that time was David Bodemar. He was convicted in 1972 for the murder of Georgia Jackson in Feb 1966, leaving him at large for 6 years.

    GJ was last seen after work, her clothing was found spread around various areas for many miles and she suffered a single blow to the head after an assault - same as JE. GJ was found in a wooded area, JE in a creek.
     
  6. airplanelamp

    airplanelamp New Member

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    I think you should add Karen Caughlin to your list. Aged 14, picked up on Brock St S in Sarnia in March of 1974. Found murdered near Petrolia the following day.
     
  7. airplanelamp

    airplanelamp New Member

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    Also Robert Stapylton

    1969 -- Robert Bruce Stapylton, 11, of London, disappeared from his
    Piccadilly Street home June 7. His body was found in a woodlot in London
    Township, six kilometres from his home. Police could not determine the cause of
    death and there was no evidence of sexual assault.

    And

    1982? Donna Jean Awcock, 17, of London, was last seen leaving a
    convenience store near her Cheyenne Avenue housing complex. Her strangled,
    partly clad body was found about 15 metres down an embankment overlooking
    Fanshawe Dam. She had been sexually assaulted.
     
  8. Snoopster

    Snoopster Well-Known Member

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    Looking back at my original post in the light of day, it is clear that I should have taken more care and time. My apologies for the various typos, but more important for sloppy errors I made. I mentioned that Scott Leishman disappeared from Thamesford, when in fact he disappeared from Thorndale. (I always get those two town names mixed up.)

    As well, here is a link to the WS thread for Donna Jean Awcock, that airplanelamp mentions.

    http://websleuths.com/forums/showthread.php?p=10287820
     
  9. airplanelamp

    airplanelamp New Member

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    I wouldn't be surprised to find that the murders of the 3 boys, Frankie Jenson, Scott Leishman, Robert Stapylton were connected.
     
  10. dotr

    dotr Well-Known Member

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  11. dotr

    dotr Well-Known Member

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    http://www.theobserver.ca/2014/03/23/we-deserve-some-answers

    "The report suggests the person responsible was a sexually motivated serial killer with an attraction to corpses who was willing to travel long distances and may have kept souvenirs of his slayings.

    The killer also would deposit personal belongings in various locations far away from the eventual spots where the bodies were found.

    The starting point for the investigators was the discovered memoirs of a deceased OPP officer Dennis Alsop, who led the investigations and was bothered that they were never solved.

    English-Cremers said she was shocked when “David” was revealed to her by Arntfield and his team to be the main suspect.

    She and a small group of amateur sleuths dedicated to solving English’s killing were aware of the man and noticed similarities in the cases."
     
  12. Snoopster

    Snoopster Well-Known Member

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    And...to continue with the OPP's response the next day:

    http://www.lfpress.com/2014/03/23/we-deserve-some-answers


    The OPP has had more than 40 years to solve these cases and yet they aren't willing to accept help or tell anyone what they are working on.

    These families deserve answers. If answers can't be provided, then the families should at least be provided with respect and help. Let's just drop the 'circle the wagons' mentality in LE. LE doesn't have an easy job. We know that. But please don't forget who you work for.

    Here's hoping that at least a few of the unsolved London cases will be solved!!
     
  13. dotr

    dotr Well-Known Member

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    bbm.
    http://www.torontosun.com/2014/03/22/tv-shows-investigates-ontario-cold-case

    "The civilian investigative team, using some clues left behind by a deceased OPP detective and modern investigative tools, narrowed the search down to a man convicted sometime in the 1970s of non-capital murder.

    The full name of the suspect, his original hometown and other details about his previous crime were obscured during the show for legal reasons.

    The show, the brainchild of London police officer and Western University professor Mike Arntfield, re-examined the cold case murder of English, who vanished on Oct. 4, 1969.

    Her naked body was found in Big Otter Creek near Tillsonburg, Ont., four days later.

    A map shown during the broadcast pinpoints the suspect’s home base to west of Tillsonburg."



    >>>Snip>>>


    “David,” the show claims, is alive and well and no longer living in the area.

    English's diary was also studied by the private investigation team".
     
  14. mikkismom

    mikkismom Well-Known Member

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  15. Kell1

    Kell1 Verified law enforcement

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    Unfortunately a linkage analysis is almost impossible without crime scene photos, autopsy protocols, and autopsy reports.

    These cases could be the work of a serial killer, multiple serial killers, or not at all.

    Given what's listed, at least 2 of the cases, are possibly the work of A Serial predator working the area, at the time.. again this is based, solely on media reports

    there's also s strong possibility there was (is) more than 1

    However there's simply not enough info (here) to general a psychological or general profile of the offender, with what's listed, its impossible to say definitively this is an individual with a deep interest in necrophilia etc... though I cant discount it either without those materials
     
  16. Snoopster

    Snoopster Well-Known Member

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    Exactly, but let's face it, LE has this information. They just don't seem to be pursuing it. The families are left wondering why.

    What are the chances of so many killings of children and teens in just a few years in a relatively small city? It just doesn't make sense unless some of them are related.

    Ignoring the fact that Russell Johnson (admitted killing 7) and Christian MacGee (who attacked/killed several) were incarcerated, there are still this group of murders that remain unsolved. Why would there be so many killings in this city during this time? The city was fairly middle class, with no major slums. Something else was afoot.

    Three boys were murdered...
    1) Frankie Jensen, 9. Disappeared while walking to school. Found floating far from his home in a river, with his clothes 'disturbed'.
    2) Scott Leishman, 15. Disappeared while hitchhiking home in a small town on the near outskirts of London, extremely near to the spot where Frankie's body was found. Scott's body was ultimately found far from his home in the mouth of a creek where it emptied into Lake Erie. His pants were 'disturbed'.
    3) Robert Bruce Stapylton, 11. Disappeared playing outside his house in London. His body was found in a woodlot 'towards' the town that Scott Leishman lived in.

    These weren't kids involved in gangs. These don't appear to be kids killed by a family member...they appeared to be kidnapped.

    Now, let's turn to the females. They outnumber the males. They were found in/near creeks. In some cases their clothes were placed in other spots where they would be found.

    A few of these cases were likely unrelated, but I imagine that some of them were. Soraya O'Connell was found well outside the city, covered with branches...no clothes. Linda Whyte was found even further outside the city, in a very shallow grave, no clothes.

    Jackie English disappeared heading home from her part time job and was found in a creek in a rural area, with her clothes staged in several places further afield. Georgia Jackson (whose murder was solved) was found in a woodlot, not far away, and her clothes were found staged in the same areas.

    Priscilla Merle's body parts were found in a creek. Jacqueline Dunleavy, as with Jackie English, disappeared on her way home from her part time job. Her body was found dumped in a parking lot. She had tissue stuffed down her throat, just like Frankie Jensen did.

    Too many ties. Too many coincidences.



    So many victims...no resolutions.
     
  17. Kell1

    Kell1 Verified law enforcement

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    Speaking from a Law Enforcement perspective, and this isn't meant to be an excuse, but sometimes, we don't have all the info people assume we have.

    Sometimes, departments are reluctant to share info with other departments, , I have seen it first hand, that coupled with botched investigatory practices is sometimes, why investigations stall.

    The media can also be a HUGE pain in the ass as well, there are times, when things are put out in the media that aren't true or aren't completely true about the case, which makes it appear that since the public knows it we obviously have more info on the case, which is not only untrue, but adds undue pressure .

    Then there's also always the issue of media getting ahold of and leaking critical info that law enforcement doesn't want released, which has lead to criminals actually being able to avoid apprehension .

    Now within large metropolitan areas.. Philadelphia pa for example, there can be so many homicides at one time that a department can get overwhelmed trying to solve them all, which means some will go unsolved, it may be for long periods of time, sometimes, the don't get solved.

    Now as for the victims,

    Its certainly more than coincidence, like I said with the info given Id be willing to take a guess.. without seeing ANYTHING to generate any linkage findings, you are looking at 1 possibly 2 Serial offenders operating in the same area.

    But without the required materials Id be hesitant to state whether or not I felt more were responsible, or that I thought the possible suspects were responsible for more than they may be.

    You'd have to look at the minute details in each case, to determine whether or not this was the work of repetitive predator

    Unless he was to be caught and admits to certain crimes, which we love.

    Other factors also come into play in cases of multiple homicides as well, socioeconomic factors like the crime rate , the unemployment rate in the area, the drug culture, in the specific area etc..

    It sounds as if it was so many so fast that Law enforcement got logged under, and couldn't link cases, before they went cold .

    Which is sometimes a sad truth of the business
     
  18. Snoopster

    Snoopster Well-Known Member

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    And for that, I definitely have empathy for them. People don't expect them to be perfect, as we know that isn't always possible. We also know that everything is easy with hindsight.

    Where I have more of an issue is with how they deal with the victims' families. I am aware of some cases where LE "knew" who the perp was and knew the perp was dead and yet still refused to talk to the family. The families spent much time tryin them on the side would have alleviated much stress.

    I wouldn't change spots with LE for anything and I know it is so easy to criticize from the cheap seats. But isn't some compassion for the families appropriate? LE knows which families are out of control and which ones are sensible. A quiet word would mean so much to them.
     
  19. Kell1

    Kell1 Verified law enforcement

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    The sad part is that MANY do expect us to be perfect,

    In my experience its not that they don't feel compassion for the family, or that they don't feel the families are owed an explanation, ive seen hardened cops break down Ive seen guys balk approaching a door to deliver bad news.

    They do fee empathy , and the families of the victims, do deserve closure .

    The problem is that sometimes, they cant

    Law Enforcement is a strange existence, many don't understand it till I tell them that in our field when you kiss your wife and kids goodbye before you leave for work.. you may actually mean it one day

    Detectives, aren't your ordinary everyday people, they're hardened, by years on the job..

    For example, take one gruesome, homicide, .. it may be a child, it may be a prostitute, it may be someone's husband....now multiply that by 10 add in there that your boss's boss is over his head, pushing him to get any one of these homicides solved, as well is the public, you're beating the public for information, but in some cases, you're dealing with the "F the police" mentality not to mention the media which can be a help or a hindrance, being careful what you say or do so as not to tip off any info you don't want leaked, yet someone over at the "daily fish wrapper" decided to put an article out stating that it could be the work of a "Serial Killer" (the en vogue term nowadays), and everyone's ears go up, and the pressure goes up exponentially, because NOW you have to try to link these cases or disprove it , all the while in your head your looking at yet another body, who sadly bears a resemblance to your own child, on your 5th day away from home, where you haven't seen your wife (or husband) or kids, and back at the precinct you have families, asking questions, 24 hours a day, leaving messages to the point your voicemail box is filled by noon . Only to have yet ANOTHER file come across your desk....

    Back at home, they may be dealing with issues, as well, their child is sick, or having problems in school, their wife, struggles with them being away all the time, and the common curse of being in law enforcement.. its not like you can come home and discuss this stuff over a spaghetti dinner!

    On top of that you still have bills to pay, your health suffers because of the relentless, consumption of fast food, gallons of caffeine , irregular sleep patterns, little time to exercise, lack of socialization with family and friends. hours standing, or sitting in a dark car looking at a house a "person of interest" may or may not even be in.

    Not to mention the regular stress of the job itself, where you have to worry about some Dbag taking a shot at you (literally) simply because you have a badge

    And on the vacation you finally do get, all you can do is run these cases through your head, while trying to enjoy tossing your kids around the pool, and that cold beer you drink becomes more of a form of relief instead of enjoyment.. Knowing FULL well that at any time your phone could ring, with info or questions about any one of those dozens of homicides.. or worse a new one

    For example look at the divorce rate for Law Enforcement officers....MANY MANY law enforcement officers marriages, fail because of the nature of the beast, and often they find themselves in the arms of Nurses, or other law enforcement personnel because its very hard to find someone who understands, not only shift work, but the horrid nature, of what they do on some level

    Over time some of it can be akin to bedside manner by physicians, some are more cold than others, some are more nurturing, depending on what they've been through

    And after all this BTW another case just came across your desk...
     
  20. airplanelamp

    airplanelamp New Member

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    Very informative post, RichKelly. BTW, I completely understand where you are coming from.
    Regarding these cases, also keep in mind that all of them were re-examined around 2000 as part of Project Angel. A specific team of officers spent time taking a new look at all of these, and re-interviewing as appropriate. Several other cases, where were also part of Project Angel were closed during its existence.
     

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