Monday, 11 August 2014

"The Highway of Tears Killer"

Between 1969 and 2006, 18 known young women were murdered or disappeared on the 900 mile stretch of road in the Canadian province of British Columbia.  The true figure is believed to be 40 or more victims.  This road, Highway 16, has a number of warning signs, stating to women not to hitch-hike as a killer was still on the loose.  Naturally, this does not work and many young women still hitch lifts on this road that stretches for hundreds of miles through desolate, yet beautiful surroundings.  Massive forests adorn both sides of the highway - perfect locations for dumping bodies!  Just how many sad and terrible secrets do these forests hold?

    Police have been running an investigation into these deaths and disappearances for over 5 years, but so far, only one man has been positively linked to any of the deaths of travelling and hiking women.  That man is Bobby Jack Fowler, a man linked to two double murders of young hikers in Oregon, and thought to be linked to some of the murders on Highway 16.  The only drawback investigators have, is that Fowler died in prison in 2006.  He was positively linked to a 1974 murder by DNA.  The clothes of a young victim had been preserved with biological evidence on them and now forensics were able to draw a DNA profile and it came up with a match to Fowler.  Yes, Fowler is dead, but at least one murder has been cleared up.

    The killing spree ran for 37 years so it was thought could the same man be responsible?  Yes, it is possible, but considering the length of the highway and the time span of the crimes, it is reasonable to speculate that several killers are at large, or even individual killers.  That could be too much for some authorities to grasp.  Some victims were driven off side roads and dumped, which implies local knowledge.  Going off up a side road, you never know who could be around, but if you know the lay of the land for some distance, then you will know your chances of being disturbed.  I believe there are a number of killers at work.  Fowler was one.  But he was undoubtedly a travelling killer.  A truck driver is a reasonable inclusion.  He could be one who decides that the girl he picks up today will die, but the next one, not.  The lone killer, with the time span, 37 years, makes this ridiculous.  The much vaunted "cooling off period" that inhabited profiling for years, does not come into it.  What does he do to feed his craving for death, as 18 known victims over 37 years, does not add up to much, statistically?  And how many women have thumbed lifts on this 900 mile stretch of road and lived, in that time span?  The murders would add up to a very tiny fraction.  

    So my belief that there are the travelling killers like Fowler, possibly a truck driver, but most women fell victim to opportunists, seeing a lone woman, wanted to have sex with them, were rebuffed so in a rage they killed them.  With the added bonus of massive swathes of forestry, they were spoilt for choice for dumping grounds for the victims.  Do any readers pass huge forests and fields and wonder if they hold any secrets?  Sobering thought.