Highway of Tears (Canada’s Highway 16 Murders)
The Highway of Tears was given to the 720km section of Highway 16, between Prince George and Prince Rupert, in British Columbia, Canada. The horror started in 1969 when Gloria Moody, 26, was murdered. Her body was found at a cattle ranch, 10 km away from a Williams Lake bar, where she was last seen. Her death was the start of a decades long killing spree which to this day remains unsolved.
The Highway of Tears has been the final resting place of nineteen victims, according to police reports, but local aboriginal organizations report that the number is over forty, largely because they include disappearances and murders from a greater distance from the infamous highway.
The highway itself is in a region which is plagued with poverty and lack of public transportation, thus persuading its occupants to turn to hitchhiking as a form of transportation. The victims are typically young girls in their late teens. Some wind up dead, others just disappear without a trace.
It is possible that there were multiple attackers, but with very little evidence to go on, there’s a good chance most of the cases will go unsolved.
However, in 2009, police discovered a link between the Highway of Tears murders and Bobby Jack Fowler, a deceased American criminal. His DNA was found on the body of Colleen MacMillen, a 16-year-old victim of the Highway of Tears murders from 1974.
Investigators compiled a DNA profile of Fowler in 2007, but the technology that was available at the time was limited and could not produce a strong enough sample. However, new technologies allowed investigators to re-examine the DNA in 2012, which led to the identification. Fowler is also strongly suspected of the murders of both Gale Weys and Pamela Darlington in 1973. The RCMP believe that he may also have killed as many as ten of the other victims from the Highway of Tears. Despite identifying Fowler to be the killer in these cases, police are doubtful they will solve all of the murders.
Do you think the murders and disappearances are connected? Let us know in the comments below.
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