DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Strict//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-strict.dtd"> Who Killed Theresa?

Thursday, October 25, 2007


Questions in need of answers


If you're like me, the more you read about Theresa's case, the more questions you have.

I've already explored some questions in previous blog entries (e.g., Why wasn't Theresa found sooner?) but there are still plenty more that need to be resolved.

Unfortunately, since we don't have much in the way of hard evidence, I've pretty much resigned myself to the fact that unequivocal answers are unlikely at this stage. I'll have to settle for probabilities and hypotheses.

Here are some of my top questions...


1. Ruling out a spouse or family member, 47% of homicides in Canada are committed by people the victim knew (other than family members). Only 17% are committed by strangers. If Theresa's case matches the national statistics, she was likely killed by someone she knew--maybe a friend or someone she encountered casually. So who did Theresa come in contact with that could have been her assailant? A student? A friend of student?

2. Why were Theresa's clothes not found at the crime scene? (There is reason to believe that the clothes the hunters found were Theresa's. If so, why were they located so far from where her body was found?)

3. If Theresa didn't die from strangulation, how did she die? (Personally, I believe she was strangled for reasons mentioned in another blog entry...e.g., vomit found in her throat.)

4. When did Theresa die? The night she went missing or later? (I don't think a time of death was ever determined with certainty.)

5. Was she killed where her body was found? (There's a strong possibility that she was killed at another location and deposited in the bog next to the Gagnon farm.)

6. Did she meet her fate after she left Lennoxville and before she got to Compton? Or did she die after she was reported seen in King's Hall by Sharon Buzzee and Tamara Westall?

7. Was her murderer someone local or transient? (This one is a tough one. Right now, I think her murderer was somebody who lived in the area. If it was a "transient", and by transient, I mean someone who was passing through--not a vagabond, then it could have been a hunter or someone who visited the Compton area on a regular basis.)

8. Is her murderer sitting in jail serving time for another offense? (According to statistics, this is highly likely.)

If you have theories or questions of your own, I'd like to hear them. Leave a comment or send me an email (maritime.missy@gmail.com). I promise to keep your information confidential.

===
Maritime Missy

10 Comments:

At 1:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 2:34 PM, Blogger - said...

I have a theory for why Theresa was not found sooner. It came to me this summer when reading 'Green River, Running Red' by Ann Rule about the many young women who were abducted and murdered by serial killer Gary Ridgway in the 1980s in states of Washington and Oregon. I wrote to Ms Rule and asked her permission to write this text. Be warned, it is graphic. A young woman has just been violently raped by a man who she took a ride with. He has taped her wrists together behind her back and he had just puncher her. She is outside of the car.
*****She is bleeding now, and the rapist was furious that he'd gotten her blood on his hand. He climbed back in his car, grabbed a rag, and wiped it off. She lay very still on the ground, hoping that he would just drive away and leave her there, wherever she was. But he sat quietly in the driver's seat for what seemed a very long time. She hoped against hope that he wouldn't come back.
But he did. When he headed toward her, she could see that he had changed his clothes. Methodically, he tore the tape off her wrists, and finished ripping her dress off. He grunted as he used her pantyhose to strangle her, but they tore in two. He reached into his back pocket for a blue bandanna. Once again, he placed a ligature around her neck and tightened it, but even though the bandanna was stronger, it broke too.
"I pretended I was dead," Moira later told a female F.B.I. agent. "He went back and sat in the driver's seat again. After a while, he came back and checked my pulse and my neck. He said, 'Sorry, but I'm going to have to kill you. You might tell.' "
She lay as still as death, offering no resistance at all as he grabbed her ankles and dragged her backward over rocks and sharp weeds for about seventy-five feet to the edge of a steep embankment. "It was about thirty-five feet down, but he pushed me over. I stayed limp and kept playing dead. I rolled only about halfway down because something, maybe a tree, caught me."
The rapist waited at the top of the bank, smoking a cigarette and watching her. Then he clambered down to where she lay still, "dead." Once more, he checked her pulse under her arm and in her neck. He must have felt her heart because he pushed her again until she landed at the bottom of the embankment in a fetal position, still not moving. She saw that he was smoking another cigarette, deciding. And he came back again.
"He stabbed me in the chest---straight in. I took both my hands and pulled the knife out, but then I went completely limp. This time when he checked for a pulse, I held my breath and I guess he didn't feel anything."
He climbed the hill to smoke. And then, for the last time, he crawled down to where she lay, sending rocks and dirt ahead of him. She was getting good at not breathing, and she wondered if she was dying. He evidently felt no sign of life, and he pulled a big oil drum in front of her body as if he was trying to hide her from the road above. Then he changed his mind and moved it away, but he pulled up handfuls of tall grass and threw them on top of her.
She never heard his car engine start or the crunch of the gravel. She figured he was up there, waiting to kill her.
When it was full daylight, Moira painfully inched her way up to the road. There was a car in the turnout but she thanked God that it wasn't the blue taxi. She staggered toward it and gasped, "I've been stabbed and raped and the taxi driver did it!" *****

Well she survived and was able to provide a good description of her attacker. Of course it is 'stunning' to read, but what struck me was his method of 'hiding her body'. He picked up nearby leaves and covered her body. Then I thought of Theresa. I had started reading this book to get some insight as to why bodies were put in water back in the pre-DNA days, but now I think I also understood why nobody saw Theresa's body... she was covered by the things that surrounded her and therefore was not visible, especially from the bridge at 34 metres. And then of course, once the snow fell, that provided extra coverage.

What also struck me about this story was the torn pantyhose and bandanna in strangulation attempts. And of course I see that police drawings that John showed us on the blog...

Ann Rule also wrote this in that book:

*****I don't think that the killer selected the body disposal site at random. It is a very high risk situation to go into an unknown area...without knowing something about the location. I just do not believe that the killer went there with his victim for the very first time...He would have to be very familiar with where he went with a body.
[Sgt. Pierce] Brooks was positive that the killer lived or worked nearby...He urged the taskforce to learn who lived there or worked there, even on a temporary basis." *****

I also believe that it was someone from the area. I don't however think that it was someone that Theresa knew. I think she was abducted in a car, most probably assaulted and strangled in the car, carried to the bog and left face down near the edge of the water and covered with fallen leaves and branches. I believe the testimonies of the girls who saw her at King's Hall. I believe that she was abducted on her way to or from the village. I think that she died shortly after she was abducted on November 3, 1978. I think that those were probably her clothes found in the woods in Austin but they could also have been thrown in the river. I also think that somebody knows something and is living with a huge burden.

anon

 
At 9:32 PM, Blogger Bill Widman said...

The most amazing thing about this story, to me, is that the victim actually survived.

 
At 11:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

No kidding... as I was reading it, I kept thinking... "She actually survived to tell this story?"

anon

 
At 11:52 PM, Blogger Sharron Prior website said...

Who knows?? maybe Theresa did know her murderer? maybe living around the area.
What I would like to know if the farmers did have anyone working/helping at the corn field for them at the time of Theresa's disapearance. Someone knew that the clothes that were found had to be taken away..

 
At 12:22 AM, Blogger - said...

Doreen, if those were Theresa's clothes spotted in the woods in Austin, I highly doubt that the killer (having just gotten away with murder) would take a chance to go back to the woods to take the clothes away. There was no need to worry about DNA back then. I think that they might still be there, the location was just not properly noted by the hunters and/or properly searched by the police that were brought there to see them. I think that is was written somewhere, that the hunters weren't really sure where to return to, something like that.

anon

 
At 12:22 AM, Blogger - said...

Doreen, if those were Theresa's clothes spotted in the woods in Austin, I highly doubt that the killer (having just gotten away with murder) would take a chance to go back to the woods to take the clothes away. There was no need to worry about DNA back then. I think that they might still be there, the location was just not properly noted by the hunters and/or properly searched by the police that were brought there to see them. I think that is was written somewhere, that the hunters weren't really sure where to return to, something like that.

anon

 
At 11:40 AM, Blogger Sharron Prior website said...

I'm just saying that someone removed those clothes for a reason!!

 
At 3:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, I agree, Doreen. There could be a few reasons. Like in the story of Moira, above, he had already raped her but once she was on the ground, he finished tearing off her clothing, leaving her naked and vulnerable. Now, Theresa was not wearing a dress, but we all understand that it is not necessary to remove a girl's pants in order to rape her. Theresa, left in her bra and underwear, suggests that some sort of sexual attack probably took place. Also, she was left without any sort of identification, clothing included and this could signify that her killer may have been seen talking to her at the Entre Deux while she was buying her cigarettes, and he wanted to remove that identification and therefore hid her clothing in the woods, far enough from her body to try to create a disassociation. In 1978, DNA was not a factor, so even if he left any on her clothing, it would not have been a reason to remove them, especially if he was leaving her in water. So for me it was either that her clothing were removed for sexual purposes or to deter identification.

anon

 
At 4:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

MM - Point #3, I also believe she was strangled, but because of the torn scarf and the marks that were seen on her neck when her body was first recovered from the water. I believe the vomit in her throat was from gagging during an oral rape. Also, because the coroner could not rule out a possible drowning, Theresa may have been alive but unconscious when she was put face down in the water and consequently drowned, either on her own or because she was held down by her killer.

anon

 

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