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Meanwhile, a new book scheduled to be published strongly supports a theory featured two years ago in a Calgary Sun special report that the women were taken to sea on freighters as sex slaves. The book Bad Date — The Lost Girls of Vancouver’s Low Track , by Trevor Greene, quotes many street women who believe the missing prostitutes were taken aboard freighters and dumped at sea. “Until the living or dead bodies of the disappeared women start appearing, it is one of the most likely explanations, and it is what many of the citizens of (Vancouver area) Low Track are suggesting,” he wrote. “They dope her up, she overdoses or they overdose her, then it’s a midnight burial at sea.”
April, 2001 – After downsizing its investigation, the Vancouver Police department hands the missing women case over to the RCMP cold case squad.
August 6, 2001 – Since the case of the missing prostitutes was made public in 1999, the original VPD task force dwindled to three officers. To date, police have found four of the 31 missing women. Two of them were dead, one from heart problems, the other from a drug overdose. Two were found alive, but police have not release details about them. However, four more missing women have been added to the list. First, Brenda Ann Wolfe, 32, who disappeared in February 1999, and was reported missing the following April. Then, Jennie Lynn Furminger, was reported missing in March 2000. Finally Dawn Teresa Crey, 42, and Debra Lynne Jones, 43, were both reported missing in December. “I guess it does say that the problem still exists,” said VPD Sergeant Geramy Field. “For a while there — for the majority of 1999 — we felt that we didn’t have any [more missing] and that either somebody was in custody or the perpetrator had died or moved on, perhaps because of the media pressure.”
June 2001 – Kim Rossmo, 46, a geographic profiler in the VPD sued the department for wrongful dismissal. Rossmo, who at the time was Canada’s first police officer with a Ph.D., developed a ground-breaking computerized crime investigation tool for geographic profiling, making him a fast-rising star in the department. Rossmo was quickly promoted from constable to detective-inspector and was allowed to set up a geographic profiling unit, which went on to win the department international acclaim and awards, but jealousy and the department’s “old boy’s network,” kept undermining his work.
In 1998, when Rossmo said that there was a strong possibility of a serial killer active in Vancouver, others in the department, perhaps out of spite, quickly rejected his claim. In his suit Rossmo, who now works in Washington D.C., specifically accuses Deputy Chief John Unger and major crime police Inspector Fred Biddlecombe of freezing him out of the missing women investigation. According to court documents Biddlecombe “threw a small temper tantrum” when Rossmo suggested that police should tell the media of the possibility of a serial killer is at work on the Downtown Eastside. Rossmo equated the experience to being on a 747 jetliner when someone tells the pilot there’s smoke in the cabin. “If the captain says, ‘Prove to me there’s a fire,’ you know he’s either a fool or incompetent.”
Remarkably, this is not the first time Rossmo has warned fellow officers about a serial killer on the loose, and it’s not the first time he is stonewalled by his colleagues. In 1994, after analyzing three sets of remains discovered outside Saskatoon, Rossmo suggested they were the work of a serial killer. Police dismissed his claims, even though they had a convicted rapist — John Martin Crawford — under surveillance. Crawford turned out to have murdered at least four native women and is suspected of killing three others.
According to Warren Goulding, author of “Just Another Indian-A Serial Killer and Canada’s Indifference,” Crawford was able to allude authorities and kill repeatedly because his victim’s were native women. Goulding believes that there are as many as 450 aboriginal women missing from western Canada and no one seems to care. Not surprisingly, a large number of the missing Downtown Eastside women are also of aboriginal descent.
Since 1999, Wayne Leng, the friend of Sarah DeVries, has been keeping track of the investigation of the missing women on his web site, www.missingpeople.net. Though he started the web site as an online memorial for his friend Sarah, the site has grown into the nerve-center for keeping track of all the disappearing women. With the help of his web site a small but vocal contingency of family and friends of the missing have kept the police investigators from completely dismissing the case. Leng and the others are now talking about filing a class action lawsuit against the VPD for incompetence and neglect in their handling of the missing women file.
Vancouver city police finally dropped their guard and now publicly acknowledge the strong possibility that one or serial killers are abducting women from the Downtown Eastside. In fact, a new joint force of city police and Mounties has been formed to look into at least 60 solved and unsolved homicides of women working in the sex trade or living a similar lifestyle in the past two decades. Vancouver police.