Unsolved Murders | Missing People Canada

Listing Of Unsolved Murders & Missing People In Canada => Alberta Unsolved Murders & Missing People => Edmonton => Topic started by: Desespere on February 13, 2009, 02:25:56 AM

Title: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: Desespere on February 13, 2009, 02:25:56 AM
Melissa Jane Letain
Age: 24
COD: Strangled
DOB:
Date last seen: February 13, 1987
Location last seen: Edmonton, AB
Date found: February 14, 1987
Location found: Genesee, AB

Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton - Melissa was last seen leaving work at a popular West Edmonton Mall hair salon where she worked as a hair stylist. She was carrying Valentine's gifts for her boyfriend. It is believed someone abducted her from the walkway leading to her apartment which was right across the street from WEM.

Her body was found the next day 75km SW of Edmonton under the Genesse Bridge on the ice of the North Saskatchewan River. She was spotted by a 14 year-old boy and his friends. An autopsy revealed she died of asphyxiation, ligature strangulation. The killer used a hangman's noose made of 7 coils which is a deviation from the standard 13 coils. He used what looks like standard 1/4" yellow nylon rope.

Items of Melissa's never recovered was a CN Trucking key chain (those clear rectangular acrylic keychains) with a single key, a woman's gold tone watch with a rectangular face, a blue leather or leather looking woman's wallet and a green clutch purse with a gold clasp.

The video showed a flash of a witness description issued of Melissa's killer. The description said: White male, 6' tall, slim to medium build, dark hair swept back at the sides, dark pants and what appears to be a black and grey jacket, bottom half black (or dark) and the top half grey (or light).

Melissa was recovered from the middle of the ice under the Genesee Bridge. The killer abducted her and threw her body off the bridge onto the ice below. The Genesse Bridge is on Highway 770 which leads to the Genesee power generating station. Back in the day, I heard, Genesee used to provide rental housing for their employees. I don't remember what year they stopped doing that, but I think in 1987 it was the case.

Wabamum Lake is the big lake one can see Genesee borders. This lake is often not frozen in parts because the water spoils from the plant is heated when it's dumped into the lake. Ducks stay in that part all year. I wonder if the killer thought the ice would be thin enough, due to heating, and Melissa would go through.

Melissa's friend said in the video he thinks it's someone known to Melissa. He is not a suspect. There is DNA profile retrieved in about 1997 and it's being put or has been put into the database. I really have no clue how this database works.

This is all the information I could get from the video. There is more information about Melissa and the people who knew her and found her at this link provided in another thread:

http://edmonton.ctv.ca/servlet/an/local/CTVNews/20081022/edm_unsolvedmurders_feature_081022/20081022/?hub=EdmontonHome#TopVideoAn

modified to add: February 13 was a Full Moon.  :'(
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: Chris on February 16, 2009, 09:16:13 PM
I know which bridge that is, I just looked it up. You drive west on highway 16A to the Carvel exit and head south on 770. Eventually, you cross the river.

If I am not mistaken, there is a HUGE power plant there too so it seems unlikely that area provided any privacy. I could be wrong though, it could have been a different bridge, but there is a lake called Genesse right there too.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: bestcho on January 01, 2010, 02:06:49 PM
I was the lead diver that unfortunate day. my task was to collect her and any evidence that may be in the area. The murderer obvoiusly thought he was dropping her body into open water on the river. In fact, there was water flowing on top of a thin layer of ice. Her torso was partially frozen into that thin layer where much of the evidence was found. Although evidence was limited, there were a few things to mention. It appeared she was strangled and sexually assaulted. it did not appear that she was hung. numerous garbage bags were located immediately beside her but the RCMP have never released the description of their contents so it is not known if they are related. a bic lighter was also found next to her but there was no indication that she smoked. there were also rub marks on the railing of the bridge.  Indicating that there was likely only one killer. I have been trying to find additional info to try and refresh my memory with limited success. it should be noted that there was an unusual fact. Assuming that the vehicle she was in, was travelling from Edmonton, it would have been travelling in a southwest direction. The river there runs in a northerly direction. Whats unusual about this is the killer would have had to stop his vehicle then remove her body , and carry it accross the bridge to the south side railing before lifting it over. Hardly something a panicked and new killer would do.   It would seem then, that he had done this before. As I recall there were also vehicle paint chips recovered which probably would have identified a make and model of vehicle.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: bestcho on January 02, 2010, 02:39:32 PM
Although there was running water around Melissa, she was not totally submerged. much of her clothing and personals were frozen into the ice. A great amount of time was spent by us to collect even the smallest fibres in the ice. With todays science, I think there would be a good chance that DNA is recoverable. The RCMP officer that I used to deal with on water related cases is now retired so I am kinda out of the loop. I still have an interest though, as after all the situations that I worked on, tis is the only unsolved one
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: haunted on January 02, 2010, 02:50:35 PM
Welcome bestcho.

I wonder if the retired officer whom you used to work with, might still have connections?

Being that involved, I can totally understand why you have a vested interest in the solving of this crime.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: bestcho on January 02, 2010, 03:23:53 PM
it stuns and frustrates me that with the technology available today, that our politicians seem to take such a come-by-chance attitude toward cold cases. How many others are dying because new evidenciary practices are not being used for a national/international data base that may identify suspects. The status quo seems to be hit and miss at best.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: Chris on January 03, 2010, 05:42:15 PM
bestcho... thanks for the info. That is itneresting observation that this killer might have done it before due to the obvious lack of panic.

I am under the impression though, that bodies dumped in rivers are almost alwasy found? I might have gotten that from CSI though so I am probably wrong.

Wouldn't that river eventually have carried the body thru Edmonton? Makes you wonder if that was part of the plan, who knows.

Hope the evidence you folks got then, can lead to a conviction now.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: bestcho on January 04, 2010, 08:20:01 AM
Chris, thanks for responding. In fact, thank you all for responding. In answer to your query, yes, most unfortunates are recovered. There are many many variables to  weigh when discussing and /or investigating water related deaths. For instance, type of water, movement of water, size of person, clothing, ingested material(food,drink,alcohol, etc) Temperature (air & water), time of year, cause of death as well as others. While I am more than willing to discuss these matters with anyone interested, the details can sometimes be rather disturbing to some.
I would be happy to give anyone interested, the Readers Digest version if they have specific questions. For the full monty however, you may consider trying to locate a book that to this day is considered to be the bible of underwater investigation. Although written nearly twenty five years ago its still the "go to" book. If you find it however, be prepared to, at least be shocked. Not the kind of book and pictures that you bring out at the dinner table.

Underwater Investigation
Written by Corporal Teather
RCMP Vancouver
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: bestcho on January 04, 2010, 09:07:16 AM
Chris,

In respone to your a  question regading whether her body would have made it to Edmonton had it been dropped in open river water. Unfortunately, there is no exact answer to that question. But I will try to give you a synopsis. The Gennessee bridge crosses the North Sask river about 65 miles from Edmonton. upstream from that bridge is the Brazzeau dam. because it is a dammed river, water levels can and do change quite drastically. From a slow wandering river from Jan to May to a fairly nasty one june thru Aug depending on the spring thaw from the mountains. It is though, a fairly cold river. Generally speaking, the colder the water, the less movement of particulates and bacteria. In warm water, bacteria (decomposition) occurs faster. than in cold water. in non-moving water, that rate is somewhat more predictable. The problem with moving water, is that the unknowns such as speed of the water, depth, branches/trees, bottom covering(rocks,pebbles,sand,grass etc) and the topography all change the movement of a body. Additionally, what the person had to eat/drink also come into play. Gassy foods or alcohol can increase the internal gasses inside the stomach and digestive system. This changes the speed at which a body decomposes and/or floats,sinks or refloats days or even weeks later. As a rule, once a body starts to sink, it will sink all the way to the bottom. It will not suspend at a mid-levels or "hover". Once on the bottom, all the above, will come into play and the body may or may not refloat. As the vast majority of Alberta lakes are shallow (less than 50 feet deep) the likelyhood of refloating is good because the water temp is fairly warm, and the heat from the sun will make it through the first thermocline. As the body decomposes gas is created within the body, it bloats, then refloats. In rivers however, if the movement is sufficient, the body, once it sinks, will tend to roll. This doesn't allow gasses to build within the body as the gas is expelled by the rolling motion. As such, the body will stay on the bottom. It will continue to roll if the current is sufficient until it either completely decomposes or it gets caught by rocks, branches, or he water gets too shallow. There are large sandbars at Devon and just east of Edmonton. These generally slow or stop bodies from going further. there is the odd exception though. I hope I didn't totally confuse you with my partial  explanation.





















Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: bestcho on January 17, 2010, 11:16:07 AM
In a recent discussion, I mentioned to someone that when looking at crime scenes, photos, videos, etc. we often focus on the obvious. That is human nature. News types and camera men are aware of this and tend to centralize what it is that they want us to see. Here is a small tip to help you would-be sleuths. We all too often look for the obvious, or for what our minds and/or preconceived notions are thinking what should be there. Here's the tip. Try and clear your mind of those notions and look for those things that either aren't there or those things that just don't belong there. Everyone has at one time or another, dropped something on their bedroom floor, spent hours scouring the floor, with no luck, only to find that item later when NOT looking for it. That's the point. The difficulty of finding something you are not looking for especially when you don't know what that might be. For example. A number of years ago, I was asked if I might be able to locate an overturned jet boat in a river. Two separate amateur groups had searched for it with no success even though numerous people knew exactly where it had gone down. Within a short period, I located it by not looking for a jet boat, but by looking for something that was out of place or shouldn't have been there. I found it by seeing a part of something that was out of place. It just shouldn't have been there.
You have all seen hundreds of well meaning volunteers out searching a small area looking for a small child with no luck, only to have someone weeks later in the same spot while out casually walking their dog. Automatically, we think, "how could so many people have missed that". There's the point. someone found something because they weren't looking for it, they merely noticed something odd or out of place. Hope that helps you all a little bit . Good hunting!!
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: Chris on January 18, 2010, 01:10:38 AM
You know that is a good point. Indeed that is great advice.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: whodidit on August 02, 2010, 12:43:33 PM
Hello everyone, this is my first time on here. This case seems to come up in the back of my mind from time to time. About a year after the murder I met one of Melissa's sisters through a mutual friend who was her roomate at the time. We had gone out for supper and a few drinks and that is when I heard the story from her sister. I have never forgotten the pain and devastation that was so apparent that evening. It also turns out that I worked on the same jobsite as Melissa's boyfriend a year prior to the murder.
For whatever reason, I've gained a renewed interest in this case and that's why I'm here.
I have read whatever I can find on the net, which isn't a whole lot but from what I've read about the case so far I do not personally believe for one minute that this was a random act or the work of some serial killer travelling all over North America, doing his thing.
This guy knew Melissa and I think he had an emotional connection to her on some level, perhaps an infatuation or obsession, which she may or may not have been aware of.
This guy could perhaps have been a client of Melissa's who became obsessed with her through regaular contact at the hair shop, it could've been someone working in the mall that she had regular interaction with, such as a place where she regularly went for coffee, lunch etc or perhaps a member of the mall security staff or whatever other regular exposures to a certain individual there may be. I'm just throwing this out there.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: Chris on August 02, 2010, 12:51:30 PM
Quote
I do not personally believe for one minute that this was a random act or the work of some serial killer

I agree with your opinion. Had to have been someone she would have had normal, even if casual, contact with on a regular or semi regular basis.

I am surprised that no suspect has been identified yet.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: whodidit on August 02, 2010, 01:05:03 PM
To me, the most telling thing is the Hangman's noose. It shows planning, pure and simple. I've made a hangman's noose before and to do it well and neatly which it appears to be in the pictures, takes time. The rope has to be procured, the knot tied etc. Do the seven coils mean something? who knows. Maybe he ran out of rope before getting to thirteen coils, maybe he didn't know about the standard thirteen coil noose or maybe the seven was in fact very significant to his sick mind.
The fact that the murder happened on Valentine's day (more or less) has got me curious. That's a day for lovers. Pure coincidence? or again the signs of a sick and obsessed mind? I don't know.
I think the guy is an outdoorsy type, he has some knowledge of ropes, he seemed to know where the river was not frozen in the dead of winter, he was probably quite familiar with the bridge and fairly comfortable with stopping on it and dumping the body over without being seen.  I don't agree with Bestcho's asessment about being so calm and experinced that he actually took the time to stop in the other lane and carry her body across to the other side of the bridge. I believe he crossed the bridge in his vehicle, travelled down the road a bit to check for traffic, turned around and came back to the bridge, vehicle facing back towards Edmonton. The other way would've been to vulnerable for him, travelling out of his comfort zone instead of back to it, had he been seen
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: whodidit on August 02, 2010, 01:39:57 PM
The location where the body was dumped and the instrument of murder (noose) are in my mind, secondary components. They were both planned and thought out. The primary object of this guy was Melissa. I don't think anybody would focus on buying the rope, making a noose and then think about where the river might be un frozen and THEN go look for some random victim nearby a mall where the risk of getting caught would be far greater than let's say just waving a fifty dollar bill in front of some prostitute who would gladly get into the car without any kind fo a struggle. With the DNA profile in place, I would venture to guess that the police have eliminated any jilted boyfriends or close friends and so on.
They need to focus on people that were farther removed from Melissa yet close enough that some form of emotional connection was present. The emotional connection here is key, without it Melissa would be just another complete stranger and be of no interest to the murderer.
I'ts coming up to a quarter century here, I say it's time the cops blow the icing sugar off the files and get to work on this before any of the potential witnesses die from old age!
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: whodidit on August 03, 2010, 10:11:49 PM
Does anyone recall the brutal murder of Brenda Mclenaghan in 1986 in or near Edmonton? Was the guy caught? I remember reading about it and it seems to me she was strangled with a chord or something and I think it happened in a wooded area? Does anyone know where she was found?
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: whodidit on August 10, 2010, 07:48:02 AM
I have never seen the Genesse bridge before so I went for a drive yesterday to have a look. At this point I will stick to my previous theory that if the killer was coming from Edmonton and if had I been in his shoes, I would not have stopped in the southbound lane because as the highway countiues south off the bridge it rises and turns to the right and quickly becomes somewhat of a blind corner with not a lot of visiblity. That would seem like a very vulnerable place to stop and actually drag a body right across the other lane. Had it been me, I would probably have driven up the south side, check for traffic and then quickly hit the bridge again and stopped. Coming from Edmonton there is a fairly long stretch of road that you would be able to monitor in your mirror for lights behind you to make sure no one was going to surpise you from behind. My other thought is that the killer could've crossed the Devon bridge and then come across back roads to the genesee bridge where he would then be in the north bound lane, quickly thrown her off and then kept going.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: whodidit on August 10, 2010, 08:17:52 AM
I came away with more questions than answers. The question that stuck out for me was: why take such a chance as to stop on the bridge, dump a body and risk being seen? Why not dump the body on some little back road where the chance of being seen is, in my mind, a lot less? I understand the part of hoping the body would disappear beneath the ice, but looking at the recovery video, the ice appears to be snow covered and thus frozen. What I'm saying here is that there appears to be no large, open water under the bridge. This certainly all appears to be planned to some extent, if the killer was hoping for the body to disappear, wouldn't he have scouted the area in broad daylight first? To make sure the river below was in fact open, and in the process see that it was not thawed. Why take such a chance?
Maybe he was just stupid? It made me wonder if he had planned on hanging the body from the bridge railing but it didn't work out for him (horrible thought, but the rope appears long enough) If he did plan on hanging the body from the bridge then, why? To taunt the police? To punish Melissa? To punish someone very close to her? Just more questions that need answers. I have never heard mention of the fact there is a minimum security prison only nine mile southwest, across country from the Genesee bridge. It's now closed but it was open for business in the 80's right up until Apr 2009. Interesting indeed!
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: whodidit on August 11, 2010, 08:37:00 AM
Ok, after watching the recovery video over and over again I've now come to believe that the killer had full intention of dumping the body into open water below. In the video one can see only one or two spots that "appear" to be open water, the rest of the width of the river is covered with snow, thus froze over. There is no water visible whatsoever on the upstream side of the bridge, only a couple of smaller spots around two of the pillars on the downstream side. On a cold and somewhat foggy February night, that river valley is darker than the inside of a cow, the killer would never have been able to see where the river "appeared" to be open. He had to have been there sometime earlier on, whether the day before or even days before, to scout the place. Not only that, he would have somehow marked or measured off exactly on the bridge deck where the water was open below. The open water target below was small and in the pitch blackness he would never be able to see it, especially when I'm sure he was in one hell of a hurry. The planning that went into this is eerie, I cannot for the life of me understand why this hasn't been solved yet. It's pretty obvious the guy knew her and that she was the target
One would think that somebody would have seen this guy scoping the bridge out, maybe driving slowly over it and getting out to look below or walking across it
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: whodidit on August 12, 2010, 08:08:40 PM
After some digging through old archives, this is what I came up with in regard to Brenda Mclenaghan:
Jan. 12, 1986. Brenda McClenaghan, 20, was abducted as she got in her car after visiting a lounge at the Convention Inn on the Calgary Trail. Her body was found two weeks later on the outskirts of the city by a man walking his dog. She had been raped, tied to a tree and strangled.
This case was eventually solved, some guy from Ontario was convicted.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: bestcho on September 05, 2010, 10:02:39 AM
There are obviously some very odd facts about this case, and just as many theories as to what occurred that evening.  Interestingly, though, Everyone close to Melissa were (i assume), extensively interviewed with no concrete info arising. Thus, leading one to believe that the person is either a complete stranger or someone with an arms length connection as previously mentioned.  Another point may also be some things that were not recovered. Odd little mementos perhaps?. As we worked on the ice that day, it was evident that personal things were missing. Things that the RCM Police have not divulged(and as such, I don't think it would be proper for me to do it). Not even the type of vehicle involved, (which they likely know due to paint chips). Or whether they are looking for one or perhaps more suspects, (which should be apparent based on DNA evidence).
As all my notes were turned over to the RCM Police, I don't remember the exact weather that night Melissa went missing. As such, I can't comment on what the visibility would have been that night. As the entire occurrence happened on the upstream side of the bridge, and faced south, with a full moon, the visibility may have been quite good.  Standing on the bridge the following morning, it appeared that there were two bits of open water. one very near the shore, and one at nearly the center of the bridge. That she was dropped near the center, would indicate to me that visibility was at least fairly good.  Additionally, even in the daylight, the water under the bridge appeared to be open, even though it was not.  There was a two layered opening. That is to say that there was water flowing over another layer of ice submerged about eighteen inches below it. Her body was only partially submerged, which allowed us to collect many samples but also did not wash away what is likely valuable evidence. From what we could see, there were no obvious signs such as cuts, bruising or swelling or injuries other than those already mentioned.  Perhaps the release of some of this info, might jog a few memories.....Lets hope
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: Chris on September 05, 2010, 10:39:41 PM
I do hope so. This case seems to solveable IMO.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: A Pink Flower on October 21, 2010, 04:49:57 PM
Hey everyone. I'd like to introduce myself as a member of Melissa's family. I have been interested in the details of this case for quite a long time. From what I know from talking to family, there are a few interesting facts that have not been mentioned. February 13, 1987 was Friday the 13th (and also a full moon I guess as someone already mentioned). It was also the day before Valentines day (which someone also already mentioned.) Our family has kept a record of all the print news stories about the case and also a few similar cases around the same time. One of the things about Melissa's murder that bothers me the most is this that on her way from work, Melissa was carrying home some Valentine cards she received. Apparently the Valentine cards were destroyed by either the RCMP or the Police because they were deemed insignificant. Those Valentines could have have DNA on them or one of the cards could have been from the killer himself. Throughout the case the RCMP and Edmonton Police had been arguing about who should investigate the case because the body was found outside of Edmonton but the people involved were from Edmonton and that is most likely where she was kidnapped. Now speaking about kidnapping, I don't think that she was kidnapped. I believe that the person who killed her was someone she trusted (as someone already mentioned) and my theory is that this person she trusted offered to give her a ride to meet her sisters (they were supposed to meet that night) who were at a restaurant (or maybe it was a bar they were at.) As you can probably guess, Melissa never made it to see her sisters one last time. Well anyways the Letain family has not contacted the Police on solving the case any time recently because yes it would be great to have the murder solved, it will only bring up a sadness that we all have kept with us since Melissa left. Thank you all for your insights on the case.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: SAP on October 21, 2010, 05:11:51 PM
Welcome Pink Flower. I'm sorry for your loss and do hope you will have some answers soon. My heart is with you all.
You have brought up some very interesting points...the Valentine cards...if the Police had them at one point, do you know they destroyed them? I am under the impression they keep a container of the victims possessions until the case is solved, at least that's the way it should be. I too think that a card would hold prints and possible clues. If they did destroy them, it wouldn't be the first time in Police history that possible evidence was destroyed. Possibly evidence was destroyed while the two Police depts were arguing whose case it was. >:(
Also you say you feel she knew and trusted the person she accepted a ride with...do the Police have a list of people whom she knew well, as well as possibly more recent acquaintances? Or even if family don't know, maybe friends can remember if she met someone in their outings that may have made a sort of impression?
I wish your family some closure, and peace.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: A Pink Flower on October 21, 2010, 05:27:15 PM
I don't know 100% that the cards were destroyed but from what I hear from Melissa's mother, they were destroyed. Yes the Police have a list of people she knew and trusted. Most of those people were interviewed multiple times and they did have some suspects back in the 80s and then again in the 90s but as far as we know, they don't have any current suspects. A few years ago the police gave us an update on the case but it was mostly what we had already known. There isn't much evidence that could help them find the murderer because the DNA that they do have does not match anyone in the database. There is a police officer with the Edmonton Police who is in charge of the case but it doesn't seem like they are interested in trying to solve the case since it was over 20 years ago. I don't mind if people share theories about what happened. It makes me feel better that there are people who still remember her.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: SAP on October 21, 2010, 05:40:07 PM
There were other instances near the time of Melissa's murder. The perp could have been in town for a time and moved on down the line to other places where his MO is unknown, across Canada or even USA. I would hope that Police would cross reference the DNA with other jurisdictions.
Not having a current suspect doesn't always mean they have no one, possibly just don't have enough evidence, etc.
Do you know if the family have asked the local Police whether they have cross referenced? I don't know if the data base city police use would be the same as what the RCMP use or whether it's all combined. Also wonder if USA would use the same data bases...I don't know. Perhaps this was a one time thing for the perp. Melissa is a beautiful lady and she probably had many admirers and it could have been anyone that noticed and watched her at work. I hope the work colleagues were grilled on whether they noticed anyone hanging around.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: debbiec on October 21, 2010, 06:07:13 PM

I've posted a picture of Melissa below.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: A Pink Flower on October 23, 2010, 09:31:16 PM
Do you know if the family have asked the local Police whether they have cross referenced?
No, I have no idea if the police cross referenced the DNA. It would be something to look into though.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: Chris on October 25, 2010, 02:24:19 AM
Sorry about your loved one. I find it is effective if the family starts to bug the police a little more about looking into this. It does seem solveable. After this much time, it is probably a good idea to start from scratch and see if they can solve it.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: 14 back then on October 28, 2010, 03:00:32 PM
Well, I am not sure where to start, as this has been an ongoing memory for so long, would you believe that it even haunted me for close to two years. i signed in to this site as "14 back then", and now i am 38 yrs old, life of coarse has gone on, but the thought has always been there. I f I could shed some light on this at all I will, as well as my memory allows.
My actual name is Craig, and i was 14 at the time. I was not the best behaved teen, but probably not the worst. My parents made the decision to send me to an all boys private school, known for its strict influence, and a reputation for cleaning up bad behavior. I was first enrolled in '86, and continued through 87. Among many activities that the school did, snow shoeing was a main winter sport. We would set out from the school (which I should mention is about a Km away from the Genesee bridge) at a crazy early time in the day, and venture on a all day excursion of snowshoeing. The day in question was a different day, as it was our main race, where the teams were set depending on grade, and all of our families came out for the big event. I was in grade 9, and our trek was a long one, some 25kms, which would take all day to do. I cant remember how many teams there were, but we had a team of five or six. As we were virtually kids, we were sent out with an alumni adult as our guide. It was extremely dark when we left, and our route passed over the bridge, we travelled on the same side both ways. Being the little trouble maker I was, as we were crossing the bridge in the morning, I was goofing around on the railing, and ended up losing one of my gloves over the side. As I said, it was dark, and there was no way i could see it after it fell. I spent the whole day without my glove, and really hated myself for my stupidity. Forward to after a very long day of snowshoeing, it was the later afternoon when we were racing back to the school, fighting for first place and making great time. When we got to the bridge, i wanted to see if my glove was visible from the deck. It was a high bridge, now maybe not as high as I thought, but it seemed like a hundred feet. When i looked over for my glove, there she was. A sight at first I thought was a prank, and not ever expecting to see such a sight. When I saw her, I was mid sentence rambling about my lost glove, and stopped as I looked. The rest of the team must have caught on somehow, as we were all glancing down at her from above. At this point, as expected, our adult leader, made the decision to send the team back up to the school to get help. he kept myself with him, and once the team left, we went down below the bridge. You have to remeber that we were in a mode of fright, and excitement; fright that we had just found a body, and excitement as to whether this girl may be alive and need help. We came off the bank of the river onto the ice, now down on opur hands and knees as we were fearful of ice break. Crawling out to Melissa, we could only go so far. As we went further out, the ice was getting less stable, and our safety was now a concern. I rember many things, but the details would be both hard for me to explain, but I fear also difficult for any family members/friends to read. If it is needed, I will answer questions at a later time. The time that it took for the school officials to come down, and for the first emergency response eludes me, as I know it seemed like an eternity. i remeber looking up to the bottom of the bridge, where there was a catwalk(I am guessing for the original construction and maintenance) and wondering to myself if Melissa had been discarded from that catwalk, and not the road surface of the bridge. The whole time thoiughts were streaming through our minds as to what happened, and how. Then, as expected, we were removed from the premises to go back to the school. After the snowshoe race, we were on a week long break, and went back to our perspective homes. I was a wreck, i was scared, and I was playing mind games like mad. i slept in my older sisters room, for that whole week, as it was the only way i felt better. My nightmares started, foolish thoughts of the killer, and how he knew who I was. The worst was the reoccurring dream of me looking up at the catwalk, and he was there, starring down at me with a grin, like he knew he would find me. As I said before, it did haunt me for a time, and eventually stopped. I remember the police contacting me on a number of occasions, to clarify my glove being on the ice, and to get my detailed testimony. But then nothing. For years I have watched for any stories, breaks or arrests in this case. Nothing. I only stumbled across this site a few days ago, and that is where I decided to log on.
The memories of my nightmares, or the actual finding, are nothing compared to the distraught the Letain family has endured. I have always wanted to say it to them, and now is my chance if they may be on this thread; my heart goes out to you for your loss, twenty some years later wouldnt make it any easier. I have children, and i would be devasted to have to endure what you have.

I only hope one day the culprit will be caught.

Craig
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: Chris on October 30, 2010, 02:31:15 PM
Thanks for posting Craig,

That must have been a eerie experience. A spooky thing to have come across.

I was not aware of that facility nearby, the police must have thought you or someone from there did it? Maybe a staff or alumni member? What do you think? Since it was so remote, do you think someone there might have done it, someone with a car?

Was the bridge being worked on at the time, hence the catwalk? Did it appear to you that maybe that was more likely?

Thanks a lot,

Chris
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: 14 back then on October 30, 2010, 09:51:10 PM
Thanks for posting Craig,

That must have been a eerie experience. A spooky thing to have come across.

I was not aware of that facility nearby, the police must have thought you or someone from there did it? Maybe a staff or alumni member? What do you think? Since it was so remote, do you think someone there might have done it, someone with a car?

Was the bridge being worked on at the time, hence the catwalk? Did it appear to you that maybe that was more likely?

Thanks a lot,

Chris

Hello Chris,

The school only closed last year, Saint Johns School of Alberta. One of three started many years ago.; one in Manitoba, one in Ontario and our school. Times have changed and the schools age old way of moulding young men into model citizens was getting too old I guess. As i said, the school closed last year, sadly. Let me explain something as I re read some of these posts; SJSA(the school) was not a reform school, or a prison/detention centre of any sort. Yes, i was a trouble maker, and yeas they could fix up kids like me, but the school was packed with future chemists, doctors, genius' etc. There were students enrolled while I was there, that were from Hong Kong and Mexico. The school may have seemed like a prison to the students, but it was not al all.

As for your you inquiries Chris; I think the police gathered as much info, and investigated all possiblities related to the school. But i do not believe they ever felt it was the workings of anybody at the school. They did, as I said, contact me a few times regarding my glove being so close to Melissa, but i think that was to cover all evidence recovered.
as for possible suspects from the school? Well, as a student , you were straned out there, no way of getting anywhere. the teachers/staff lived on the property also, and limited to their travel to the city. And,i never heard of any suspicions at all.

As for the catwalk; the bridge was finished construction long before, and the catwalk was not at all temporary. I havent been down there for years, but i am sure it is still under there, as it was steel construction.

Hope that answers some of your questions.
Thanks
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: SAP on October 31, 2010, 08:57:17 AM
What a shock for you at a young age Craig and then to relive that in your dreams must have been difficult. I'm glad you are over it enough to talk about it. Thank you for the information. I'm a bit shocked that an elder person would ask a teen to accompany to the body.

My cousin's son went to St. John's as well, b/c his father wanted to make a man of him and learn to buckle down and study, I guess. He was a momma's boy too much. I heard alot of good about the school. I don't know where people would get the idea it was a reform school for teenage problem kids.

eta: to change an error.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: 14 back then on November 01, 2010, 02:09:16 PM
Hello SAP,
yes it was emotional at the time, and as a young man I got through it. But there is an anger which is not because of my grief, but an anger towards whomever is responsible. How the heck can someone get away with this for so long? I remember the same anger in regards to Punky, years ago, and somewhat relief when her killer was caught.
Regarding the school;many things could be misconceived about the school, as I sais, i was a handful at the time, but no criminal. The school spanked as a disipline, and i know that was a huge issue with many. The activities were gruesomely tough, but is that such a bad thing? I know for myself, the school was an eye opener to the world, and the school has produced many influencial people in our society. My years at SJSA taught me to be a man, well before the average joe.

Anybody can speculate as to what happened that Feb day, but for me the issue is that there is a person  out there, somewhere, that has gotten away with murder, and caused such harm on a family with such torment.
i cant imagine this happening to my family, my sons or daughter. And I do not know where people find the strength to get through, but I would be a mess. You'd think that guilt would eat you up, and that there were some shred of remorse from what you have done. To go on so many years with the knowledge that you took someones life, and caused so much turmoil, and not reveal the truth just amazes me.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: SAP on November 01, 2010, 09:06:17 PM
Quote
Anybody can speculate as to what happened that Feb day, but for me the issue is that there is a person  out there, somewhere, that has gotten away with murder, and caused such harm on a family with such torment.
i cant imagine this happening to my family, my sons or daughter. And I do not know where people find the strength to get through, but I would be a mess. You'd think that guilt would eat you up, and that there were some shred of remorse from what you have done. To go on so many years with the knowledge that you took someones life, and caused so much turmoil, and not reveal the truth just amazes me.

Craig,
I can't either imagine going through what all these families of murdered kin have gone through and as I write this, I feel that I couldn't do it. My mind goes to the terror the victim was feeling at the hands of the perp/s and it gets stuck in that mode. No family should have to face that, yet the instances of it keep happening with more and more frequency.
I keep sensing that the perp probably doesn't lose any sleep over it and felt he was justified. Like Thomas Svekla. Once was easy, no one suspects them, and next time they have the urge, it's easier.
Our whole justice system stinks. Many times even when Police do their homework on a case, it gets thrown out by the Judge. It probably becomes a vicious circle...Judge doesn't give a decent sentence to the perps, the Police become apathetic.
There have been several cases that have been solved many years later because of new technology and we can only hope that more cold case files will be taken off the shelves and dusted well. In the meantime, we could all be pelting our elected with letters and e-mails regarding changes. As it stands, the victim has no rights, imo. As soon as a suspect is picked up, various and many rights come into play for the suspect/perp, and it just is not right!
I doubt very much any of these murderers feels guilt since they have felt entitled to take a life that was not their's to take.
I suppose I should not include those perps who have been known to fly into a fit of rage and had not meant to take a life, but if they are aware they have a rage problem that can escalate and they don't seek help to control themselves, they are just as guilty as those who plot to kill. The leniency in the Justice system is just not enough of a deterrance.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: D1 on November 02, 2010, 12:38:33 PM
Extremely unusual circumstance and a lot to absorb in context with all that was in the area. A question though, when the whole class went out on that marathon adventure, how many were left behind at the school? Was this a planned event and course, every year, same same sort of thing?
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: 14 back then on November 02, 2010, 03:33:46 PM
Extremely unusual circumstance and a lot to absorb in context with all that was in the area. A question though, when the whole class went out on that marathon adventure, how many were left behind at the school? Was this a planned event and course, every year, same same sort of thing?

D1
The school had already been operation for decades, and yes it was a planned event evry year, not always the same date. The course was different every year, due to amounts of snow, and each grade had different race courses. The area farmers would allow the school to use land for a majority of the tracks as you could imagine that snow shoeing on roads isnt the best route. The bridge was used as a bypass to cross the river to the trails we were to travel. As for attendance at the school; you would have the majority of parents/family, keeping warm and waiting. Staff to entertain. There was emergency staff om hand in case of any injuries/hypothermia. i guess really, with 80-100 students, there were quite a few people at the school. And yes, there were emergency vehicles over looking the race and the students, although more for supervision than emergencies, as the students would of coarse take short cuts or goof around. All in all, there were hundreds of people around the vicinity of the school, in turn the bridge, all day, but the people outside the school were on the move as were the students. Standing out on the race routes was not a fun thing to do for the families, so if they were out there, it was in vehicles.
To clarify, the dates would change due to the calender, as said, we went on holidays for a week afterwards.
Hope that helps.
Craig
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: D1 on November 02, 2010, 04:52:42 PM
What sticks out with me from all that was the numbers of strangers, family, rescue personal etc all showing up that morning for the planned event. Strangely coincidental, almost suspiciously so even just on its own.

I must add, I am left wondering if the perp knew those activities would be taking place on that day?
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: 14 back then on November 03, 2010, 06:29:48 PM
I came away with more questions than answers. The question that stuck out for me was: why take such a chance as to stop on the bridge, dump a body and risk being seen? Why not dump the body on some little back road where the chance of being seen is, in my mind, a lot less? I understand the part of hoping the body would disappear beneath the ice, but looking at the recovery video, the ice appears to be snow covered and thus frozen. What I'm saying here is that there appears to be no large, open water under the bridge. This certainly all appears to be planned to some extent, if the killer was hoping for the body to disappear, wouldn't he have scouted the area in broad daylight first? To make sure the river below was in fact open, and in the process see that it was not thawed. Why take such a chance?
Maybe he was just stupid? It made me wonder if he had planned on hanging the body from the bridge railing but it didn't work out for him (horrible thought, but the rope appears long enough) If he did plan on hanging the body from the bridge then, why? To taunt the police? To punish Melissa? To punish someone very close to her? Just more questions that need answers. I have never heard mention of the fact there is a minimum security prison only nine mile southwest, across country from the Genesee bridge. It's now closed but it was open for business in the 80's right up until Apr 2009. Interesting indeed!

I atually just looked at the video at the start of this thread. James Waikle, who was in the news video, was one of my fellow students. In the video, you hear fo one student yelling out that there was a body under the bridge, unfortunately, that was me. Back to the video; at one point you can see the rescue crew sliding on bellies to get the body to shore. Although it looks frozen, it wasn't. As I said earlier, we tried going out to Melissa, but ended up crawling as the slushy ice was so soft, eventually stopping due to safety. I am guessing that had to do with the currents of the river.
As for hanging Melissa, sick, but possibly.
As for the school, not a prison at all, and only two kms away, top of the hill. Our garbage dump was to the north of the bridge, at  the bottom of the hill from the school. The big feild beside the bridge was our potato growing feild. The school is pretty close to the bridge.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: D1 on November 03, 2010, 07:07:58 PM
from whodunnit-

Quote
It made me wonder if he had planned on hanging the body from the bridge railing but it didn't work out for him (horrible thought, but the rope appears long enough) If he did plan on hanging the body from the bridge then, why? To taunt the police? To punish Melissa? To punish someone very close to her? Just more questions that need answers.

Maybe it had nothing to do with Melissa in particular

from 14
Quote
Regarding the school;many things could be misconceived about the school, as I sais, i was a handful at the time, but no criminal. The school spanked as a disipline, and i know that was a huge issue with many. The activities were gruesomely tough, but is that such a bad thing?

Maybe a former student? Motive to shock the school, message to old teacher? One of those who had a huge issue with the spankings? Someone who knew the outdoor treck was going on. Maybe a hanging was the plan but failed. Perhaps not all the students were destined for rocket science. Just takes one odd ball. Anyone show old school pictures to the other hairdressers?
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: D1 on November 03, 2010, 11:57:42 PM
I am confused as to whether she was strangled with the rope at the murder scene or earlier by hand?
Quote
there were also rub marks on the railing of the bridge.

Did the perp intend to hang an already dead body off that railing and it slipped? Look at the other end of the rope from the noose.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: D1 on November 04, 2010, 12:49:31 PM
It is the other end of the rope that looks to contain discoloration similar to blood. Or maybe the railing above the bridge with the rub marks imparted coloring?

Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: D1 on November 11, 2010, 06:13:12 PM
I am finding this to be a very bizarre set of circumstances, so bizarre I think it means something that could very well lead to the perps identiity.
I have noticed 14 back then that you have visited the page several more times but haven't commented again. Fair enough but questions are still lingering.. one keeps coming to mind that I can't avoid... based on the following-

Quote
Melissa was recovered from the middle of the ice under the Genesee Bridge. The killer abducted her and threw her body off the bridge onto the ice below.

from betsco
Quote
It appeared she was strangled and sexually assaulted. it did not appear that she was hung.

Quote
there were also rub marks on the railing of the bridge.  Indicating that there was likely only one killer.

from whodunnit
Quote
To me, the most telling thing is the Hangman's noose. It shows planning, pure and simple.

and more from whodunnit
Quote
The location where the body was dumped and the instrument of murder (noose) are in my mind, secondary components. They were both planned and thought out.

then
Quote
I came away with more questions than answers. The question that stuck out for me was: why take such a chance as to stop on the bridge, dump a body and risk being seen? Why not dump the body on some little back road where the chance of being seen is, in my mind, a lot less? I understand the part of hoping the body would disappear beneath the ice, but looking at the recovery video, the ice appears to be snow covered and thus frozen. What I'm saying here is that there appears to be no large, open water under the bridge. This certainly all appears to be planned to some extent, if the killer was hoping for the body to disappear, wouldn't he have scouted the area in broad daylight first? To make sure the river below was in fact open, and in the process see that it was not thawed. Why take such a chance?
Maybe he was just stupid? It made me wonder if he had planned on hanging the body from the bridge railing but it didn't work out for him (horrible thought, but the rope appears long enough) If he did plan on hanging the body from the bridge then, why? To taunt the police? To punish Melissa? To punish someone very close to her? Just more questions that need answers.

Finally a witness to the events arives here on unsolved
Quote
Well, I am not sure where to start, as this has been an ongoing memory for so long, would you believe that it even haunted me for close to two years. i signed in to this site as "14 back then",

Then 14 discloses the utmost of coincidence which occurs at the exact spot where the girls body was dumped-
Quote
Being the little trouble maker I was, as we were crossing the bridge in the morning, I was goofing around on the railing, and ended up losing one of my gloves over the side. As I said, it was dark, and there was no way i could see it after it fell. I spent the whole day without my glove, and really hated myself for my stupidity. Forward to after a very long day of snowshoeing, it was the later afternoon when we were racing back to the school, fighting for first place and making great time. When we got to the bridge, i wanted to see if my glove was visible from the deck. It was a high bridge, now maybe not as high as I thought, but it seemed like a hundred feet. When i looked over for my glove, there she was. A sight at first I thought was a prank, and not ever expecting to see such a sight. When I saw her, I was mid sentence rambling about my lost glove, and stopped as I looked

Quote
My nightmares started, foolish thoughts of the killer, and how he knew who I was. The worst was the reoccurring dream of me looking up at the catwalk, and he was there, starring down at me with a grin, like he knew he would find me. As I said before, it did haunt me for a time, and eventually stopped.

Quote
I remember the police contacting me on a number of occasions, to clarify my glove being on the ice, and to get my detailed testimony.

The school came under question
Quote
Yes, i was a trouble maker, and yeas they could fix up kids like me, but the school was packed with future chemists, doctors, genius' etc. There were students enrolled while I was there, that were from Hong Kong and Mexico. The school may have seemed like a prison to the students,

and
Quote
Regarding the school;many things could be misconceived about the school, as I sais, i was a handful at the time, but no criminal. The school spanked as a disipline, and i know that was a huge issue with many. The activities were gruesomely tough, but is that such a bad thing?

Quote
You'd think that guilt would eat you up, and that there were some shred of remorse from what you have done. To go on so many years with the knowledge that you took someones life, and caused so much turmoil, and not reveal the truth just amazes me.

Which almost gets me to the question,

By coincidence, the glove lost at that exact same spot leads to finding the body, then two people go out on the ice, maybe contaminating the area or retrieving other objects or something while the rest of the class is sent off.
By coincidence it is the same student who lost his glove who is also one of the only two to venture out on the ice that day.

from 14
Quote
In the video, you hear fo one student yelling out that there was a body under the bridge, unfortunately, that was me. Back to the video; at one point you can see the rescue crew sliding on bellies to get the body to shore. Although it looks frozen, it wasn't. As I said earlier, we tried going out to Melissa, but ended up crawling as the slushy ice was so soft, eventually stopping due to safety.

Finally, the question, do you know more than you are saying 14 back then? Did some one put you up to dropping your glove or "saying that you dropped it" that morning? Was that an excuse to explain finding the body and maybe covering up the reason someone else's glove was down there? He lost it the night before while lowering her body off the bridge? It got caught in the rope? Is the guilt getting to you? Who was the other party who went out on the ice with you that morning?
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: D1 on November 11, 2010, 09:44:12 PM
Ps.. 14 back then .. I'm sure you must have realized that the events you described could appear a little suspicious when you posted that. Please check in with us again on your next visit, maybe you are really just crying out for help! Perhaps the time has come to relieve yourself of the rest? I'm sure the family would appreciate it.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: SAP on November 12, 2010, 01:14:33 AM
http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/St._John'_School_of_Alberta,_child_welfare_investigation,_19_Jan_1990 (http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/St._John'_School_of_Alberta,_child_welfare_investigation,_19_Jan_1990)

 >:(
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: solvy on November 12, 2010, 01:32:33 AM
Good find Sap .  so the school had a rather vigorous form of punishment, I am surprised it lasted as long as it did.  Wonder how many people sued them?
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: SAP on November 12, 2010, 09:47:00 AM
I was shocked to see that. It reminded me of of some very old English movies of how kids were treated in schools.
Earlier a page back I mentioned a nephew going there...I always considered him a nephew for some reason but he was my husbands' cousins' boy. He never complained but he may have been one who listened well, as he was a gentle sort. Still is.
The exercise activity with competitions, and work never hurt anyone, but it also seems the school  may not have bothered to find out if the kids had any medical problems.
The younger children were often paddled, and then still took abuse from the older kids without speaking up??
That is bullying in my opinion, straight and simple.

A group of alumni are thinking of re-opening, the article says.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: SAP on November 12, 2010, 10:52:30 AM
SAP.
Quote"
A group of alumni are thinking of re-opening, the article says.

If they were to do that do you think they could open in a new name. ???

That is possible but wouldn't it have to be through the Anglican church still? After all that controversy, would they even dare? I don't know. The person who initially organized the school was Ted Byfield. Why is that name so very familiar??

http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.com/index.cfm?PgNm=TCE&Params=M1ARTM0011899 (http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.com/index.cfm?PgNm=TCE&Params=M1ARTM0011899)
 :o

Carol-Lynn, do you think this info deserves it's own thread so as not to take away from finding Melissa's murderer, yet show possible links?
Read the artilce above...same Ted, and not the most upstanding guy in my opinion.
eta: to explain myself. Ted was a renowned Journalist, however as far as his personal ideosyncracies go, founding a school for boys with that type of corporal punishment, was totally out of his realm, imho.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: D1 on November 12, 2010, 11:45:42 AM
All of this is quite interesting and in some ways could become quite relevant. I'd leave all these links on here in relation to Melissa's murder. It's unsolved and maybe for reasons we aren't aware of or can't fathom right now.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: SAP on November 12, 2010, 11:53:04 AM
I'll leave it up to Admins/Mods then I guess.

"14 back then" was only 14. I doubt he knows anything nefarious behind the case. None of the students were allowed to leave during the school week.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: D1 on November 12, 2010, 12:39:02 PM
I am not suggesting 14 was involved in the actual murder. Given the background of this school, I wonder whether he was subjected to and coerced into making a fear based decision. The church is no guarantor of righteous decision making. Look at the history of all of these sort of schools, it was an eye opener for many from forced native schooling to church run orphanges and pastoral misconduct. Back then no one would believe you if you even suggested some fine upstanding member of society was involved in anything like this. The young shut up when faced with the unimaginable. Fear and trauma in time erase or hide memories, its a survival mechanism.

from 14
Quote
I know for myself, the school was an eye opener to the world, and the school has produced many influencial people in our society. My years at SJSA taught me to be a man, well before the average joe.

Maybe its not even a cognitive memory, possibly a suppressed memory of 14 back then forced to grow up too fast. 14 may still be haunted and not know what to do.. I support 14 back then.. I do not condemn him for it.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: SAP on November 12, 2010, 01:07:28 PM
I'm happy you explained yourself D1. I think I got the wrong message from the previous page. Apologies.

Take a look at this:

New Phone Number for SJSA
As of March 19, 2010 we have a new phone number for the office. This number takes you directly to our east wing office. The number is 780-701-5625
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: D1 on November 12, 2010, 01:11:06 PM
My apologies, I reread and see that I had left that impression.
New phone number, reactivating the school?
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: SAP on November 12, 2010, 01:15:45 PM
There's an answer at the school office... ??? Yet it's not listed in the private schools of Alberta...
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: D1 on November 12, 2010, 10:17:41 PM
Doubt there will be much more said but an interesting lead. Would love to see the old class student and teacher lists.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: jobo on November 14, 2010, 08:05:34 AM
We have to chalk it down to 'fate'.  14 lost his glove over the bridge.  I could picture him now, class clown type, horsing around, glove goes over, and once the laughter, joking died down, 14 regrets doing it, as his hand is cold.   Of course it is on his mind when they cross the bridge again...and this time when he stops and gets a good chance to look over, he sees more than his glove..

I do feel that the perp had ties to the area of the bridge, either past or present. 
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: D1 on November 14, 2010, 10:20:51 AM
Could be, but this is murder and however a glove ended up beside a body in the middle of a half frozen river has to be looked at aside from whatever excuse was provided. No one can dispute that it would have been looked at with suspicion without this particular explanation. A grade 9 kid isn't going to be involved in anything like this after all. Anyone else older, a teacher for instance giving an explanation like this for how he lost a glove there would likely have made him the prime suspect.

You have pretty major coincidence that the kid goofing around in the dark, just happenes to loose his glove off a bridge where a body had just been dumped off in the dark. He just happens to loose a glove on the exact same day in that exact same location.

Then that same kid and another person go out on the ice on the pretence of checking to see if they could help the frozen girl. The ice is too soft and they can neither reach the body nor the glove.

According to Bestcho, there were several garbage bags full off something scattered around the body also. No explanation as to contents or motive provided. Did someone mess up big time and loose a personal item in the dark off the side of the bridge that night? Were the bags an attempt to confuse the crime scene and disguise a lost item amongst the other trash?

Were the gloves (mitts) school issue and everyone wore the same?

Are we seeing a staged and orchestrated attempt to provide a motive for the glove in order to mislead investigators? It has already been postulated that the body accidentally slipped from the rope and ended up on the ice. Are the ensuing events a further indication of more gone wrong and an attempt to cover up? If so, the killer is pointing himself out!
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: SAP on November 14, 2010, 10:44:47 AM
Quote
Are we seeing a staged and orchestrated attempt to provide a motive for the glove in order to mislead investigators? It has already been postulated that the body accidentally slipped from the rope and ended up on the ice. Are the ensuing events a further indication of more gone wrong and an attempt to cover up? If so, the killer is pointing himself out!

I don't know, but I'm sure I will never ever mention a sighting of a body (if it should happen) on any site or forum that's for sure.
In fact some things sound so accusatory that I would never come back.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: D1 on November 14, 2010, 11:10:50 AM
Well it's murder, killers go to extreme lengths to hide their crimes. Whatever evidence is left behind is all there is to go on. An accident may have occured while the killer was disposing of the body in a way that evidence was left behind in a manner he could not retrieve it. The preponderance of coincidence in this excuse and the resutant actions that generated are on record. Sorry, but its there.

If the killer had gone down and out on the river the night before attempting to retrieve a lost glove or a dropped lighter or? ?, his tracks would have been down there along the river and visible. The actions of those two the next day could have disguised and obliterated that too.

I have given 14 back then an out, it is the other person I am suspicious of. Should we accept every excuse given in a murder investigation? If this were your daughter found murdered would you not ask and question everything? Im sure there was no DNA testing back then, if the glove was 14's thats one thing, if DNA were tested and showed it wasn't his, thats another.

Hey it's been unsolved for a long time, just pointing out a sequence of events that comprises a theory that could lead to evidence of a killers identity. Unfortunately, the theory brings into question a poster on this site. If there is nothing to it and it was all just coincidence all right, but should the whole topic be avoided without questioning it?

Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: SAP on November 14, 2010, 11:24:59 AM
Quote
Should we accept every excuse given in a murder investigation?


No of course not.
Was the glove tested for dna other than the owner's dna? All of the material the Police collected will likely have been tested and kept in their files. All of those who were present there that day before Police arrived were likely all grilled and tested, imo.
If 2 gloves had fallen over the railing I would be concerned alot more...as in the perp stole the gloves off a student, etc. That would bring it closer to home...an alumni, teacher, etc.
Young boys horsing around on the bridge, maybe readjusting their scarves, toques, etc...I can see them placing their gloves on the railing...going to grab them and whoops...there goes one...
A disgruntled parent wanting to get the school closed down with adverse publicity?

Quote
If there is nothing to it and it was all just coincidence all right, but should the whole topic be avoided without questioning it?


No of course not. Perhaps the method of questioning? I'd sure like to know what information the Police have from their line of questioning.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: D1 on November 14, 2010, 11:35:09 AM
re:
Quote
Was the glove tested for dna other than the owner's dna? All of the material the Police collected will likely have been tested and kept in their files. All of those who were present there that day before Police arrived were likely all grilled and tested, imo.

In the years that this murder took place, no such testing was known or done. I doubt it has been done since. The excuse if accepted, probably pre-empted any further questioning along this line.

I readily accept that the glove could have been dropped as described, but I also find it just too coincidental, it doesn't sit well with me.

re:
Quote
If 2 gloves had fallen over the railing I would be concerned alot more...

Not sure how that comes into play, I figure if the one glove was dropped by  the killer, it was accidental, two would seem more deliberate.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: D1 on November 14, 2010, 11:54:42 AM
ps..
Quote
No of course not. Perhaps the method of questioning? I'd sure like to know what information the Police have from their line of questioning.

Ok, point taken.. the theory just sort of developed itself as I went along and I didn't quite realize how much there could be to it untill too far in....

I'll try to look a little further ahead next time..can't unring the bell here now though..
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: SAP on November 14, 2010, 12:03:49 PM
re:
Quote
Was the glove tested for dna other than the owner's dna? All of the material the Police collected will likely have been tested and kept in their files. All of those who were present there that day before Police arrived were likely all grilled and tested, imo.

In the years that this murder took place, no such testing was known or done. I doubt it has been done since. The excuse if accepted, probably pre-empted any further questioning along this line.

I readily accept that the glove could have been dropped as described, but I also find it just too coincidental, it doesn't sit well with me.

re:
Quote
If 2 gloves had fallen over the railing I would be concerned alot more...

Not sure how that comes into play, I figure if the one glove was dropped by  the killer, it was accidental, two would seem more deliberate.

I would think that Police kept everything that was at the crime scene. Even many years later, as it became available, dna testing was done on Melissa's friends from that time as seen on the video where JL was interviewed.

If one glove was dropped by the killer, or two, I guess the same thing...just means the killer had to have gotten into the residences somehow and stold gloves off a student. Why go to that bother that would implicate a smallish 14 yo? If the killer was a senior he would have needed some elaborate planning, like a vehicle for example to start with, and then the gloves...well I guess I'm just not following. I tend to go with Occam's razor. 
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: D1 on November 14, 2010, 12:18:13 PM
Dna may have been collected but not tested.

Unless the gloves were school issue? Everyone there had the same? or the gloves never were 14's? Then an excuse would be needed, not so much to set up 14, but to get around the killer had connections to that school. As in, the killer was a part of that school, had the same gloves, not stolen.

Not a young student, older, maybe a teacher? Had a vehicle, maybe the one out on the ice with 14 the next day?

Occam's may be true, but too much coincidence always leads to suspicion.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: Concerned on November 14, 2010, 12:46:40 PM
D1 you sure did put a lot of thought into this. Appreciated. I have to agree that in the explanation of the child losing the glove, I found it odd that they would try to get close to the body in an attempt to further get the glove. I would think by the time the body was found, the child would want to be as far away from the death as possible. The fact that anyone would try to crawl on the ice to get close to it, just doesn't play right with me.  It is an odd coincidence that a glove would be lost so close to the body. Almost as if to say ... oh look what I "just" found? Most kids I know don't try to find a lost glove when it has fallen so far that it becomes a nuisance to get.  The other odd thing is if a person is questioned most of their lives regarding a murder, I don't know why they would put themselves in a position to be in the spotlight on it again. So I find your theory interesting from those standpoints. Would be interesting to hear from the poster on those items.

Could be, but this is murder and however a glove ended up beside a body in the middle of a half frozen river has to be looked at aside from whatever excuse was provided. No one can dispute that it would have been looked at with suspicion without this particular explanation. A grade 9 kid isn't going to be involved in anything like this after all. Anyone else older, a teacher for instance giving an explanation like this for how he lost a glove there would likely have made him the prime suspect.

You have pretty major coincidence that the kid goofing around in the dark, just happenes to loose his glove off a bridge where a body had just been dumped off in the dark. He just happens to loose a glove on the exact same day in that exact same location.

Then that same kid and another person go out on the ice on the pretence of checking to see if they could help the frozen girl. The ice is too soft and they can neither reach the body nor the glove.

According to Bestcho, there were several garbage bags full off something scattered around the body also. No explanation as to contents or motive provided. Did someone mess up big time and loose a personal item in the dark off the side of the bridge that night? Were the bags an attempt to confuse the crime scene and disguise a lost item amongst the other trash?

Were the gloves (mitts) school issue and everyone wore the same?

Are we seeing a staged and orchestrated attempt to provide a motive for the glove in order to mislead investigators? It has already been postulated that the body accidentally slipped from the rope and ended up on the ice. Are the ensuing events a further indication of more gone wrong and an attempt to cover up? If so, the killer is pointing himself out!
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: SAP on November 14, 2010, 01:16:49 PM
I'm not sure when and how "14 back then"'s words morphed into that he tried to get his one glove that lay near the body, but here is what he said on his first post:

Quote
It was extremely dark when we left, and our route passed over the bridge, we travelled on the same side both ways. Being the little trouble maker I was, as we were crossing the bridge in the morning, I was goofing around on the railing, and ended up losing one of my gloves over the side. As I said, it was dark, and there was no way i could see it after it fell. I spent the whole day without my glove, and really hated myself for my stupidity. Forward to after a very long day of snowshoeing, it was the later afternoon when we were racing back to the school, fighting for first place and making great time. When we got to the bridge, i wanted to see if my glove was visible from the deck. It was a high bridge, now maybe not as high as I thought, but it seemed like a hundred feet. When i looked over for my glove, there she was. A sight at first I thought was a prank, and not ever expecting to see such a sight. When I saw her, I was mid sentence rambling about my lost glove, and stopped as I looked. The rest of the team must have caught on somehow, as we were all glancing down at her from above. At this point, as expected, our adult leader, made the decision to send the team back up to the school to get help. he kept myself with him, and once the team left, we went down below the bridge. You have to remeber that we were in a mode of fright, and excitement; fright that we had just found a body, and excitement as to whether this girl may be alive and need help. We came off the bank of the river onto the ice, now down on opur hands and knees as we were fearful of ice break. Crawling out to Melissa, we could only go so far. As we went further out, the ice was getting less stable, and our safety was now a concern. I rember many things, but the details would be both hard for me to explain, but I fear also difficult for any family members/friends to read. If it is needed, I will answer questions at a later time. The time that it took for the school officials to come down, and for the first emergency response eludes me, as I know it seemed like an eternity

Unless later claimed, I don't see where "14" was trying to retrieve his glove from near the body. If he had, that would sound rather cold and impersonal. He did say he would answer any questions, and possibly he was contacted again recently by real investigators and asked not to post on an open forum since the case is still open.   
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: Concerned on November 14, 2010, 04:37:08 PM
Thanks for the refresher, SAP..  it makes a bit more sense on this last read. I missed the part about  "You remeber (sic) that we were in a mode of fright, and excitement; fright that we had just found a body, and excitement as to whether this girl may be alive and need help."
Although "excitement" is an interesting choice of words, I can see now why they would attempt to go on the ice (to see if she was ok, not at that point to still try to get the glove). Although I would question why a school administrator would allow the child to be the crime scene and why he would chance the child on the ice.

When he says "We came off the bank of the river onto the ice, now down on opur hands and knees as we were fearful of ice break" is where I thought it was odd that they would try to get close to the body, for the reasons stated above.

I wonder who the adult leader was, and how far in advance this outing was planned.

Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: D1 on November 14, 2010, 07:50:57 PM
I had inserted my interpretation into the story as an alternate explanation without having spelled it out enough.

1) he (14) did say he lost his glove over the side of the bridge, same bridge Mellisa was thrown from, on the same day.
14's words-
Quote
as we were crossing the bridge in the morning, I was goofing around on the railing, and ended up losing one of my gloves over the side.


2) and 14 said-
Quote
and excitement as to whether this girl may be alive and need help. We came off the bank of the river onto the ice, now down on opur hands and knees as we were fearful of ice break. Crawling out to Melissa, we could only go so far. As we went further out, the ice was getting less stable, and our safety was now a concern.

I know the reasons for these events have been provided by 14. Guess we could just take his word for it but 14 was also subjected to following orders and actions initiated by the other older individual who could have harboured another motive unknown to 14. So 14 speaks maybe just for himself and not the other.

3) Next came my alternate interpretation of what may have really been going on in the mind of the other peron. - as copied from above posts.

Quote
Then that same kid who lost his glove and another person go out on the ice on the pretence of checking to see if they could help the frozen girl. The ice is too soft and they can neither reach the body nor the glove.

That is one point in context with the entire theory.

Details of exactly where the glove lay, I do not know, but I assume they could not reach it or retrieve it as the police seemed to be questioning 14 about why it was there.

So sure, more details would be required to prove the theory, not what I was attempting to do, nor have we been given enough information to do that. We'd have to know exactly where the glove was in relation to the body, was it underneath anything, like under one of those garbage bags that were thrown over the bridge found laying around the body? Maybe that was the purpose for throwing those garbage bags over in the first place, to hide and disguise evidence as trash? No explanation for that aspect has been provided by the official story. A glove lost the night before and maybe frozen into the ice in an unreachable location would require an explanation for a glove being there for a significant period of time. A glove lost that morning would work, not a glove lost just then on the way back.

We're not going to get any more information about the evidence so this will have to end here.

There is the official story that provides an explanation for most of the events and there is the possibility of an alternate explanation based solely on suspicion caused by coincidence.

Basic points being: (my interpretation)

1)The rope was meant to hang the body off the bridge.
2 The body accidentally slips .
3 A glove gets snagged and ripped off the killer's hand when he accidentally dropped the body.
4 The glove is left laying out on the ice somewhere around the body.
5) The killer tries to go retrieve it unsuccessfully, too dark using a lighter, and ice too thin.
6) The killer then tries to disguise the evidence he accidentally lost by scattering bags of something around the scene.
7) The events of the following day then provide an alternate explanation and that explanation removes the glove from being linked to the killer. 
8 ) Going out on the ice the next day would hide and disguise any tracks that may have been left by the killer the night before.
9 ) The same kid who says he lost his glove and has been freezing all day, is chosen from among the entire class to be taken out on thin ice by a school employee. The entire rest of the class is sent away. You'd think this would be the last kid you'd take out on the ice.
10 ) No other kids stayed to help, no other witnesses.

Maybe 14 lives in fear of something or someone and needs help?
Perhaps an older authority figure employed at a disipliarian school had lost his glove the night before and convinced 14 to say it was his, for the older male would be made out a suspect but 14 would not.  14 believing the guy, well trained and or fearful, went along back then? Maybe 14 has second thoughts now.

or I can delete these posts and leave it alone? ?




Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: SAP on November 15, 2010, 02:22:27 AM
http://edmonton.ctv.ca/servlet/an/local/CTVNews/20081022/edm_unsolvedmurders_feature_081022/20081022/?hub=EdmontonHome (http://edmonton.ctv.ca/servlet/an/local/CTVNews/20081022/edm_unsolvedmurders_feature_081022/20081022/?hub=EdmontonHome)

The video again. Listen carefully to what JW said about that time when he was just 14.

Also, some of the parents were coming the night before for this event. Lots of activity around there. Where did they all stay the night?

If "14 back then" is shielding someone, there's only one way he can be free of the burden. I hope he does the right thing if that is the case. Problem is, someone with a guilty conscience may already have noticed this website and is following.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: D1 on November 15, 2010, 10:41:14 PM
Should someone be calling the cops? I'd hate for anyone to get hurt over this, I began the questioning without realizing just how much this alibi seemed tailor made to fit this crime. If it is true, there may be evidence to back it. Minimum, guess 14 should be informed?  Maybe admin should be asked for an opinion?

Too late to undo it so best to leave up should whoever fits the glove, be contemplating any form of retribution, we and law enforcement would all know. JMO..
? ?
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: SAP on November 16, 2010, 02:04:12 AM
D1, come back. You did nothing wrong.
It's your nature to sleuth and your thoughts are always well thought out and thoughtful, also provocative in a sense, a good sense.
You have caused nothing, imo. 14 put himself out there and it's normal to question, and you're very good at it.

Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: Carol-Lynn on November 16, 2010, 06:37:58 PM
I did send 14 back then a message and asked him to come back to share his thoughts with us. I sure hope he will.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: bludrulz on November 18, 2010, 11:16:04 AM
I have a personal recollection or so I believe, of this event. The bridge where this happened was a late night party spot for some of the older students from that school. Cars would come out bringing booze or girlfriends or whatever to meet up with some students from the school and the bridge was the rendezvous point. This was all said at one time on a news report shortly after Melissa was found. I'm quite sure this is the bridge and the case the report was talking about. 14 back then or someone please correct me if I have this wrong.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: SAP on November 18, 2010, 02:03:25 PM
I have a personal recollection or so I believe, of this event. The bridge where this happened was a late night party spot for some of the older students from that school. Cars would come out bringing booze or girlfriends or whatever to meet up with some students from the school and the bridge was the rendezvous point. This was all said at one time on a news report shortly after Melissa was found. I'm quite sure this is the bridge and the case the report was talking about. 14 back then or someone please correct me if I have this wrong.

Welcome. Very interesting. I had not read or heard of those parties. I hope someone contacts you as you asked.
The man seen grappling with Melissa in the dark was estimated as:
6 ft tall
white male
slim to medium build
dark hair swept back at the sides (was that a common hair do for men at the time, I can't remember)
dark pants and jacket

That description could suit hundreds of males I suppose. No more was said about the description but I wonder if it was reported immediately to Police...may not have been.

The 7 knot noose...where does one get accomplished at making such a noose in a moment of anxiety? Warehouses, meat packing plants...nooses added to a swivel to hang sides of animal (probably not for the large companies, however a smaller plant or family owned shop); boy scouts... Seniors at boys schools...someone who launches boats frequently...just a few I can think of.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: bludrulz on November 18, 2010, 07:35:22 PM
The description of the man sounds like an older individual for that year. The noose, I have no idea.

If 14 back then or anyone else wishes to correct me about this being the late night school party spot they can post it here. That’s the way I recall it though. On one hand I readily agree that this could have happened just as 14 back then says, but then I also think, hold on just a minute, not so fast.

Nearly every killer in the world attempts to come up with some sort of an alibi when faced with the prospect of murder charges. The alibis differ with circumstance but many a killer has been caught by some small overlooked detail of his alibi. Discrepancies can suggest intentional deception. It’s not necessarily proof of guilt but it is highly suggestive as far as identifying a viable poi. An alibi that has to be made up quickly with little time to think, or by a dumber or intoxicated criminal is usually spotted as such almost immediately. The better ones devised by smarter people and or with more time to prepare have a much better chance of surviving initial scrutiny. The devil is always in the detail. An alibi that redirects suspicion and elicits sympathy for one potential suspect can serve to obstruct a deeper investigation that could lead further a field, maybe even to someone entirely different. If any of the above circumstance holds true in this case, it speaks volumes as to the type of individual who committed the crime. This killer is no dummy.

Just because it’s a good alibi doesn’t make it any different than a bad one, its still an alibi.  If any one little detail or singular piece of insignificant evidence does not match up exactly with the crime scene itself, the finger gets pointed back at the alibi’s author. In this case it appears there are two in question, a young student and someone who was apparently a teacher. Both went on to engage in actions that had the potential to contaminate the crime scene. Whether they did or not is unknown.

Melissa’s murder has remained unsolved all these years with this alibi accepted in place of any other questioning. The alibi itself is a near perfect excuse for most of what was found at the crime scene, in fact it is a little too good. The total preponderance of coincidence required to match both sides of the equation in this crime is somewhat outweighed by the odds of probability. The exact details of the crime scene if known could radically increase those odds of probability even more. There are mathematical profiling models available to policing that can be used to determine the probabilities in this sort of thing. Kim Rossmo, a former Canadian Cop from Saskatoon developed computer programs for cases similar to this. I’m sure there are other mathematical based programs around as well.

Did Melissa’s killer get away with murder just because he was a smarter than average killer, and or is this glove story really all just a lot of coincidence?  Lightning does sometimes strike twice in the same place but four or five times may be stretching the bounds.

I recall a personal incident years ago, a casino giving free lessons on the crap table every morning. I was there early and had the table to myself. Well, after rolling the dice for 7 straight 7s or 11s, I figured there wasn’t much to this game and went off to the crap tables to make some real money. Well an hour later, when I hadn’t rolled one damn 7 or 11, I finally figured it out. The odds against rolling that many straight 7’s in a row were astronomical, the dice were loaded.

Melissa’s killer is still free. This case isn’t going to be solved just by looking at it in the same light over and over again. If nothing else, I’d chalk this up as an exercise in how to see things from a different angle.

If 14 back then is who he says he is, he posted his story here, and he knows whether he should be doing some more talking to the authorities or not.



Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: SAP on November 19, 2010, 10:30:04 PM
I'm sorry to see that you cancelled your membership, bludrulz. You have some interesting and knowledgeable comments.
I'm going to try and approach this from another angle but it will take time for some research.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: bestcho on November 21, 2010, 11:48:47 AM
I was reading the threads to see if something would trigger an old memory. Something struck me as very odd. The student indicates that he and the teacher sent everyone else to get help, while he and the teacher attempted to go onto the ice in order to see if she was injured and still alive. I can understand a person of authority wanting to assist in whatever way they could. Question; What teacher, or authorative individual would risk the life of a 14 year old, and a person in his charge, to go out onto a section of unstable ice?. Is it just me, or does that sound outrageous and totally irresponsible. I cannot even fathom, including a 14 year old student in such a dangerous task. Unless , there is a connection to the crime. Thoughts?.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: D1 on November 21, 2010, 12:01:44 PM
I don't get that part either, the teacher endangers a student while sending everyone else away?  The whole scenario is strange, couple the rescue attempt with the kid taken out on the ice being the same kid who says he lost his glove that morning and well, it starts to sound a little fishy, maybe even a little contrived.

Betscho your question needs an answer and maybe even a name to go with it. What became of that teacher?

Quote
Question; What teacher, or authorative individual would risk the life of a 14 year old, and a person in his charge, to go out onto a section of unstable ice?
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: SAP on November 21, 2010, 12:20:52 PM
I was reading the threads to see if something would trigger an old memory. Something struck me as very odd. The student indicates that he and the teacher sent everyone else to get help, while he and the teacher attempted to go onto the ice in order to see if she was injured and still alive. I can understand a person of authority wanting to assist in whatever way they could. Question; What teacher, or authorative individual would risk the life of a 14 year old, and a person in his charge, to go out onto a section of unstable ice?. Is it just me, or does that sound outrageous and totally irresponsible. I cannot even fathom, including a 14 year old student in such a dangerous task. Unless , there is a connection to the crime. Thoughts?.

Agreed bestcho. glad you weighed in again. That was a nagging thought of mine at one point too. These kids were taught alot of outdoors activities and it seems the first thing the "teacher" should have thought about...if they had plans to go on the ice...send some of the kids back to get help/call police, etc while the others made a human chain, with the teacher in the lead and only to determine if the body was alive and needed immediate help, otherwise back off the crime scene.
It is beginning to sound as though the teacher may have needed to remove something or plant something.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: bestcho on November 21, 2010, 12:26:57 PM
it would be interesting to know if Melissa had any connection to the school or its personnel. The 14 year old is likely not the instigator, and would probably need to be coerced into helping someone in authority. It wouldn't be the first time, that a teacher included a student in their nefarious doings. With all the back country in the area, it strikes me as odd that the group would just be snowshoeing on a bridge. Even if the day had been planned for some time, I doubt the route was. I'm not sure where the school was located, but there are miles and miles of open country in both directions from the bridge. It would seem more logical to me, that if you were on an excursion to go hiking/snowshoeing, that you not take the side of the road and a busy vehicle bridge, you would go into the woods and the fields. There's just too many illogical events here, just to be coincidence
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: SAP on November 21, 2010, 12:47:28 PM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_John's_Cathedral_Boys'_School#cite_note-2 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_John's_Cathedral_Boys'_School#cite_note-2)

Well, there's certainly evidence that one of the schools covered up rather than go the route such a school should take, considering it was based on a religious order.

I'm trying to get in touch with a past student (on my ex's side).
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: 14 back then on November 26, 2010, 11:48:32 AM
wow!!!!!
Hello everybody, i apologize for my absence, but i am a landscaper, and the last month has been extremely busy shutting down one season, and then the snow made it even busier!
i did have some concerned pm's from a couple members on this site, and thank you for that. I responded to the messages stating that I was not offened by any comments on this forum, and I responded before I read the posts. I am still not offended.
My name in full is Craig Gxxxxx, as i do not want to hide anything, or make anyone assume that I am hiding anything. i was born xxxxx 1972. My current address can be available to anyone seeking it, as well as my phone number. Just so everyone knows, I ma completey willing to discuss anything at any time, as long as I am not busy with work or my family.
A quick read of the thread makes me feel like I set myself up for something, and I am a big boy, I can take it. i know the truth of my memories, and I also know that I am in no way involved , or was ever coerced to be involved with this murder, or anything to do with it.
By chance, i may have some of yoou realize that this site was a refreshing way for me to vent, to squash some of the long lasting frustrations in  my mind regarding the untimely demise of Melissa. i did not come on here to merit a badge, i did not come on here to seek sympathy, I did not come on here to bring up any misfortunate memories to Melissa's family. i came on here to share my memories, with strangers, of a time and incident in my life that was completely terrifying.
To answer some of the trhead inquiries;
Yes, the gloves were school issue, verybody had the same, unless you brought yoour own type, but the schools were the best for warmth and keeping dry.
No, we did not go ut on the ice to retrieve my glove, we attempted to go out to see if this girl was still alive.
The adult with me, as stated was an Alumni, a past student, not a teacher. And although he was there as a chaperoene, he was not much older than 20 i woukld guess. He was placed as a adult leader.
Why was the decision made of the team going back to the school, and me staying, then going out to the ice? ---I was what was considered the team capton, and i guess it was just a spur of the moment decision.
Am I reaching out, harbouring guilt from my actions? Am I coming on to this site to deal with my guilt, as if I were part of this terrible incident? NO
I do not feel the school has anything to do with this, or any of the people out there for the snow shoe race. Just my opinion.
And yes, as \i said, this event was planned months ahead, and had been going on for years.
Please feel free to ask any other questions. But as i open myself up to this, understand that i am a very easy going guy, who understand that there are people on this site that may find me supicious. i cannot decide what you think or feel. I can only say that i am not, nor have I ever hidden or known about what really happened to Melissa. i am laid back, but i am also a very proud person, and if you feel you need to challenge me, I will defend myself with the the strongest dedication, as I will always stand up for my dignity, and not let anybody take that away from me. This is only being said as a informative point about my character, and not meant as a threat or beligerent rant. i welcome any discussion, if it were at all able to help find some closure for Melissa'a family.
I will re read throught the thread, and see if I can clarify anything else, in the meantime, I will be back and forth on the site, so please excuse me if I am not present to answer and questions promptly.
Cheers
Craig
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: SAP on November 26, 2010, 12:29:03 PM
Thanks for weighing in 14; good to have you back. :)

Can I suggest please, it's not a good idea to leave your real life info.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: D1 on November 26, 2010, 12:35:18 PM
Excellent, glad you came back.. I am the one who wrote most of the posts regarding the details of your story as being a little suspect. I never got the feeling you were involved in the actual crime but you must admit, the story you left could be looked at in a different light than you intended. I am fine with you, glad you answered and are willing to come back again. Apologies, nothing personal, and no personal attacks envisioned. You have certainly answered all that could be expected of you. No suspicion remains as to you having any deliberate involvement. IMO

If I could ask a few more questions.

Did the guy out on the ice with you that day, have a similar appearance to the description of the suspect in any way?

Did you see those garbage bags on the ice?

How close were the bags to Mels body?

About how many were there?

Were the bags tied shut?

Was stuff falling out and left scattered around like garbage?

Was there any ropes or strings attached to any of the bags?

How close to the body did your glove fall?

Did the older student have his own car?

Did he spend nights out there at the school or was this a special thing?








Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: 14 back then on November 26, 2010, 12:45:12 PM
Thanks for weighing in 14; good to have you back. :)

Can I suggest please, it's not a good idea to leave your real life info.

Good to be back, thank you.

My real life info was posted in hopes of securing the fact that i am not hiding anything.
To be honest with you, I am way beyond any fear that I had of the killer.
Maybe it would be better to delete it, and just state that it was there, for all to see.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: D1 on November 26, 2010, 12:49:10 PM
Sure, go ahead and delete your personal info.. not required.. just click modify..
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: 14 back then on November 26, 2010, 01:06:54 PM
Well, I have typed respones to your questions twice, and both times the post did not show up. Not sure if my rocket stick internet is the problem, or I may just be messing up somehow. I hope this one goes through. i will answers your questions D1, but right now I must go back to work. My employees are wondering why I have been on the computer so long! Very unusual for me.
Hang tight, I will try to get back tonight.
BTW__D1---no hard feelings.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: D1 on November 26, 2010, 01:20:44 PM
All good, 14 bt..I run into the posting problem at times too. Seems the posting function times out when least expected. solution is to type it out elsewhere, and paste it in here hitting post or save right away. Or at least highlight and copy before hitting save or post in case you need to resubmit if something goes wrong. 

I think everyone is on the same page here, just working through the details to see if there is anything that could lead back to the killer. You gave us a bunch to look through 14 bt, process of elimination can't be avoided at times, you came through with flying colours.
Look forward to hearing more.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: Carol-Lynn on November 26, 2010, 02:27:16 PM
Welcome back 14 back then, And Yes fix your rocket stick. ;D
If you fell comfortable using your real name that is fine,But we all use AKA's on the board so we don't attract wackos' 8)
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: D1 on November 28, 2010, 12:30:52 PM
Hopefully the posting issue isn't still affecting you 14 bt.. Obviously you aren't obligated to answer any of these questions but as you have said, you know you are innocent of any involvement so I ask as if that is not an issue. Disregard any questions you don't wish to answer.

I ask some things just to narrow down the possibilities and the questions really don't mean anything beyond that. Some answers like the fact that everyone at the school had the same gloves, causes me additional interest in the line of thought that caused the question to be posed in the first place. hope to hear from u again someday..
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: D1 on November 28, 2010, 09:39:10 PM
If there was anything left of the original dna not used up, then it could just be retested under current procedures. On Melissa's side, she was a hairdresser I believe working somewhere around the west edmonton mall area? Sounded like she had a job where she would have to meet strangers and had a set pattern or routine that could be studied and predicted. The suspect description does sound like an older person for that year, or a disguise? The knot, I can't figure, to me it seems more a show knot, Melissa was not hung or killed by the rope from what I understand, she was strangled though. The rope was found with Melissa, whatever its purpose, it was to be part of the final act.

Depending on the location of the glove and the garbage bags left at the scene, those events may provide a time line of events. For instance if the glove was lost sometime in the A.M. and if any of the garbage was located over top, it may indicate that the killer had returned over the course of the day? Maybe to polute the crime scene for evidence gathering?
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: 14 back then on November 29, 2010, 03:04:50 PM
Excellent, glad you came back.. I am the one who wrote most of the posts regarding the details of your story as being a little suspect. I never got the feeling you were involved in the actual crime but you must admit, the story you left could be looked at in a different light than you intended. I am fine with you, glad you answered and are willing to come back again. Apologies, nothing personal, and no personal attacks envisioned. You have certainly answered all that could be expected of you. No suspicion remains as to you having any deliberate involvement. IMO

If I could ask a few more questions.

Did the guy out on the ice with you that day, have a similar appearance to the description of the suspect in any way?

Did you see those garbage bags on the ice?

How close were the bags to Mels body?

About how many were there?

Were the bags tied shut?

Was stuff falling out and left scattered around like garbage?

Was there any ropes or strings attached to any of the bags?

How close to the body did your glove fall?

Did the older student have his own car?

Did he spend nights out there at the school or was this a special thing?

Hey everyone, I dont know about my rocket stick, as my business partner cant even access the net on his. I am trying to answer D1 questions as I sit in my truck, so hopefully this works...

To answer your questions about the alumni; no, he was not remotely close in description. He was short, hair thinning, yes dark hair, but a friar tuck type thin. He was short and stocky. Not absolutely sure if he had a car or not, I assume he did, as he was an adult, and the school was a ways out. He would have spent the night before out at the school, as we prepped the night before, and there was always a big dinner event also. And, to not e again, we left pretty early in the mornign.
As for the garbage bags; yes I remember seeing them. Unopened, at least two. Your normal black garbage bags. Seems to my memory that at least one was tied to a part of the rope, and I think the other was a little didtance away. I do not remeber a lighter as mentioned above.
My glove was somewhat is the distance of six or seven meters from Melissa.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: jobo on November 29, 2010, 03:17:05 PM
The strange thing about this crime, is that particular night the road/bridge would have been busier than normal, because as 14 back then says, many of the parents were coming up for the cross-country skiing excursions planned for early the next morning.    This killer was damn lucky he wasn't seen in the act of putting Melissa Jane over the bridge.    It is too bad that someone from that night didn't have more info/details to tell the cops.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: debbiec on November 29, 2010, 03:17:58 PM
Quote
As for the garbage bags; yes I remember seeing them. Unopened, at least two. Your normal black garbage bags. Seems to my memory that at least one was tied to a part of the rope, and I think the other was a little didtance away.

Very interesting that you seem to remember that one of the garbage bags was tied to a part of the rope. I wonder why it would have been?
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: 14 back then on November 29, 2010, 03:28:22 PM
Ok, that one worked! Good.LOL

Seems to me and my long ago memory that there was also a undergarment tied to the rope as well. Now, if this has not been stated in previous threads, or police eveidence, this would agin put me in a position where you all question me. But This is twenty four years ago, and memory has a funny way of playing with you. Just as I feared in my dreams of seeing the killer on the bridge catwalk, I could have also iamgined other circumstances.
I do not take offense to any of D1`s comment previously, or any one else questioning my memory or stated facts. I just came on here to help if any way I could, by telling of my memories. I guess after speaking with my wife recently, i realized that I long ago held in feelings of fear and of coarse resntment to this whole situation. My wife acknowledges to me that she feels my severe protectivenss of my three children is partly due to this episode in my life. She also felt that having our two sons first, then my daughter has given me a sense of assurance that my little girl will always have someone to protect her. My wife is a pillar of strength.
As i reflect that I do not take offense to any comments, I justify it with one question that I truely do not mean any hostility to anyone on this forum. This question makes me realize that it is difficult to understand that an individual may have memories of a tragic event, and at the same time not have anything to do with it, other than the actual discovery. The question that I run through my head, and hoefully not mistakenly ask you (for fear of sounding beligerent); Have you ever found the body of a murder victim?
It sucks, for lack of better words. It sucks that a person has to witness something so brutal, at any age, 14 or greater. Melissa was the first body I had ever seen, not even been to a funeral with open casket prior to that. She was the only murder victim I have ever seen. I have had the unfortunate experiences of seeing victims of a car crash, immediatly after it happened. This was the other time that I had to see expired victims. Being the witness to an accident, and trying to help, I cannot say that the sight was remotely better, but if it makes any sense, it was easier to deal with in my own mind. Not taking away from these people that passed away, as that is not what I mean. But to me, the fact that Melissa was a murder victim, and maybe because I w\as so young, always seemd harder.
I never met Melissa's family, friends or the such. As weird as it seems, I have never even run into anyone associated at all. And I am thankfull for that. I met the families of the crash victims, and that was extremely difficult. But I think it would have been increasingly more difficult to meet Melissa"s family.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: 14 back then on November 29, 2010, 03:56:10 PM
Sititng in my truck, watching employees working, gives me time to reply today!LOL
As afr as a few things that I have re read;

Yes, the students of the school had visitors come out secretly to party at different locations, one of them being under the bridge. As stated before, this was an all boys school, and you were away from the usual young man activities that the average junior/high school boy was accustomed to. There were rules of coarse; no smoking, no booze, no drugs, even no food outside of what the school supplied. No music players of your own, at the time walkmans. Rules were basically in place that omitted any fun stuff at that age! As the school was based on building independant young men, there were many outdoor activities, one of which was the snow shoeing. There was cane trips and races, dog sledding, and long camping exploritory trips in the outdoors as well. If you were lucky, you could out smart the teachers, and invite some friends out, find some excuse that you were going out as a group, on school boundaries, and meet up for a party per say. I remeber once, an older student told me that on that weekend night, that some girls were coming out and camping not far from the school on the river. It was a nice summer type day, and a group of students and myself ventured a couple of kms away to where these girls were. With promises fo beer and girls, you could imagine we all were basically running the couple of kms! But, it wasnt all that great for me, as this older student neglected to tell me that MY SISTER(older) was one of the girls! As we got closer, I noticed my sisters car, and all hopes of having fun eluded me!LOL Turns out that the older student had the hots for my sister, and the deal was that she insisted that I get to come along. Anyhow, there were places and times that city people would come out and help the students out with the odd party etc.
As for the rope, and the seven coils; I had no idea, and really didnt pay attention to that. But I do find it interesting, to learn about the history anfd origins of the rope tying.
The school; Yes it closed down recently. It was private, and had to fund its own operations. If you are in Edmonton, you may remember the SJSA boys coming to your door a couplr times a year selling honey, that was one way of funraising. There was, for many years, a anomynous donation given every yera, that would match anything the school could raise.
I was contacted by the school for my opinion as to whether the school should keep to its now considered "old fashioned" way of operating. I must admit, there was a time as a student where I wished the worst of the school. But to this survey I did state that it should keep going the way it was, but this is only my opinion, I have no idea the outcome of other alumni's surveys.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: debbiec on November 29, 2010, 04:04:35 PM

It must have been extremely difficult to have been put in that position and especially because you were so young 14. I'm sorry that you had to go through that and glad that you came here to try and help. I am sure that all of us can relate to what it's like to have a long ago memory and sometimes stop and question if we are really remembering it all as clearly as we once did. Just lucky for most us it is not a memory like you have lived with in your life.

I hope that I have not come across as if I am questioning your involvement at all and would like to clarify that I am not. I'm just interested in all you have to say. Thanks for being here.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: 14 back then on November 29, 2010, 04:16:43 PM

It must have been extremely difficult to have been put in that position and especially because you were so young 14. I'm sorry that you had to go through that and glad that you came here to try and help. I am sure that all of us can relate to what it's like to have a long ago memory and sometimes stop and question if we are really remembering it all as clearly as we once did. Just lucky for most us it is not a memory like you have lived with in your life.

I hope that I have not come across as if I am questioning your involvement at all and would like to clarify that I am not. I'm just interested in all you have to say. Thanks for being here.
Thank you, and that is not how it is coming across.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: 14 back then on November 29, 2010, 04:26:57 PM
Quote
As for the garbage bags; yes I remember seeing them. Unopened, at least two. Your normal black garbage bags. Seems to my memory that at least one was tied to a part of the rope, and I think the other was a little didtance away.

Very interesting that you seem to remember that one of the garbage bags was tied to a part of the rope. I wonder why it would have been?
I am not sure, and I would only be guessing. But seems the killer may have been toying, or taunting. Other than my glove, you thin that everything there would have been placed there for a reason. Even this strange knot being the way it was.
But, if I were to say this is not fact, but a possible reasoning; the lighter could have been thrown down form a student. Remember, we were not allowed to smoke, but you did(including me:( ) when you thought that you could get away with it. The disipline was swats, maybe five or six, and at the time, the smoke seemd more important than the pain of the swat.
So, that being said, if yiou were out with your team, and you could hang back a bit, you would be able to down a few drags real quick if you were ballsy enough. Maybe that was the case, and the lighter was dead? Why not chuck it? Again, just putting a possibilty out there. Does anyone know if Melissa smoked? Maybe it could have been her lighter if she did.
But why would a guy in that situation throw stuff over with her body that could come back to catch him? I guess(and I have no knowledge about dna at all) at the time the science wasnt as advanced, thus giving the killer, and others at the time, the confidence to discard stuff without any fear of being caught?
But seems to me that they have now been able to dig back into eveidence of cases, and gather more advanced dna evidence. At least that is waht I thought. Is it now a possibility to gather dna from decades ago that they couldnt get then?
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: D1 on November 29, 2010, 04:38:01 PM
Yes, new dna testing may be possible. Now thatc you are getting into the details, I hope it doesn't bother you too much to recount, but it is very helpful.


This is awesome of you 14 bt. Innocent people act as you are, I believe everything you are saying. The details you are providing are very important in trying to figure out what went on here. It's quite a bizarre set of circumstance.

I do wonder about the original intentions vs accidental results theory that was first put forward early on. One of the things that stands out is what you said about the ice conditions. If someone had accidentally dropped her, they could not have made it out on the ice to retrieve her even if they wanted to. I wonder how the garbage bags may somehow play into that?

Quote
Back to the video; at one point you can see the rescue crew sliding on bellies to get the body to shore. Although it looks frozen, it wasn't. As I said earlier, we tried going out to Melissa, but ended up crawling as the slushy ice was so soft, eventually stopping due to safety. I am guessing that had to do with the currents of the river.

Were the bags concentrated right around her body? Any particular side? Do you recall any tracks down along the river before venturing out on the ice?
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: 14 back then on November 29, 2010, 05:04:42 PM
Yes, the bags were in her bodies vicinity. I dont remember, nor do I remember purposefully checking for any tracks out to the ice.
Gotta remember, this bridge was not far from the school, and with snow shoeing and dog sledding, there was alot of traffic around the bridge on a regular basis. One dog sled track came down from the school on what we called "garbage hill road", then went around the perimetre of the potato feild, along the river to where the bridge was, then back around to the GH road. Although we may have felt we had control of the dogs and sleds, it is quite likely that at any given time, the sleds/dogs/students could have tracked through the area, on or off coarse.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: 14 back then on November 29, 2010, 05:19:59 PM
And, I question whether or not my memory is serving me correctly, but the other under garment, tied to the rope does seem to be sticking out in my mind. I imagine this comes off as a bit wacky, but I am quite sure that I remember that there was an under garment attached to the rope, other than the ones she was wearing. Please help me out here if anyone has heard of additional evidence that included this item.
Here is my dilemna; I can fight, and even question my memory as much as I will. But in my mind there was another pair of stockings?(leggings, panty hose) not sure what the term is, tied to the rope. Maybe this have never been disclosed, and I hope to God that is not the case, as now I really look suspicious. But I cant change my memory.
Here is what I mena to the best of my recolection; Melissa was down on the ice, and from above I could see her, to be honest the color of her upper clothing(shirt) escapes me, but I believe I remember red. And a skirt, dark color, not properly covering, the way it should. Then I remember black panty hose on her, and then misplaced if there were shoes on her feet or not. But i do remember the rope; then to my memory, there was a lighter color pair of panty hose tied to the rope. And a garbage bag. I do not remeber the lighter, or much of anything else.
That is what I remember, some twenty four years later.
If I knew I could help solve this senseless murder, by reliving these memories through hyptnosis or the such, I will.

(if Melissa's family is monitoring this thread, my apologies if my above statements of my memories are bringing out the worst of your memories)
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: D1 on November 29, 2010, 05:45:19 PM
14 bt, its an old memory and a traumatic one. Thank you for even attempting it. You have given us a lot of details that we hadn't had before. I doubt Melissa's family stops here but if they did, I hope they would understand. Its no one's intention to say anything hurtful, but by the same token, if there were any chance this could be solved and the killer be caught, it's worth it. I'd say take a break and let things settle in your mind in whatever way they want. There is plenty to think about here now and of course one answer often just leads to another question.

Trust you will keep yourself well, hynossis may not be necessary, I'm sure they have pictures, it's just us that don't. Someday a submittal to the cold case squad may be the way to go. We will continue to mull over the detail.
thankyou
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: 14 back then on November 29, 2010, 05:53:07 PM
14 bt, its an old memory and a traumatic one. Thank you for even attempting it. You have given us a lot of details that we hadn't had before. I doubt Melissa's family stops here but if they did, I hope they would understand. Its no one's intention to say anything hurtful, but by the same token, if there were any chance this could be solved and the killer be caught, it's worth it. I'd say take a break and let things settle in your mind in whatever way they want. There is plenty to think about here now and of course one answer often just leads to another question.

Trust you will keep yourself well, hynossis may not be necessary, I'm sure they have pictures, it's just us that don't. Someday a submittal to the cold case squad may be the way to go. We will continue to mull over the detail.
thankyou

D1, (and others)
You are right, I guess the pics would say it all. I metioned the hyp, for the fact that now I am frustrated that i do not have the crisp memory and picture in my head. But, I am also glad that I dont. But on some level I wish I did in order to just list everything in detail, for one time, and write it down. Then turn it off, and never visualize her in that state ever again. Make sense? Now I am rambling like an idiot, but I would like to see this close, not for for me, but for Melissa and her family.
I am going to take a break! My sons have hockey soon, and I am walking away from the computer and this site for the evening. LOL
I will check back.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: D1 on November 29, 2010, 11:04:48 PM
This makes perfect sense 14 bt! Take a break for awhile, for what its worth, I am leaving a few thoughts with you to think about before your return. Take what you wish from it.
 
Quote
But on some level I wish I did in order to just list everything in detail, for one time, and write it down. Then turn it off, and never visualize her in that state ever again. Make sense?

What you describe is an actual therapy tecknique. There is a release to long held memories by way of writing them out. You seem to be up to the task and ready to put this all behind you if you could allow yourself. I'm no professional so add a little salt to this, but the basic premise is to relax into it as much as you can, see everything in near slow motion detail as if this will be your last visit to it. Put emotion aside as best you can, its a temporary thing you must do. It may take a few trial runs in a quiet spot without distraction.

When you are there the best you can, feel the scene, if more keeps coming as you replay the track in your own mind, fill in the grey areas more and more on each pass. The solid memories grow from the ends, a few seconds from before the moment of clarity gets added and a few seconds from after the moment gets filled in. It's near self hypnosis but not quite, its just whats there if you relax and let it out.

Then when you feel the closest to being there, write it out as if from a movie that plays in front of you. You will know when the time is right, even if it just comes from the frustration of not seeing anything more. You do this so you don't have to return to it again, don't turn away, just look no matter what one last time. Its up to you when its time to leave, you are the one who has to live with it. Leave nothing behind, the memory will not improve with time, but you will.
 
Once written out, its like removing that deep painful memory from within and bringing it out to the light. It belongs to everyone after that, you are free of having to ever go back. It's all here from a place within that wants it known.

But don't do it yet, I pose an excercise. I ask you to try a mini version of the above. One small segment in slow motion. At the exact moment when your glove was lost on that morning, there was a short lead up to it and a few moments after that I wish to enquire deeply of. You were goofing around, kids after all, you are up on the bridge, what happened in slow motion during that 20 seconds? Was your glove grabbed and thrown? was it chicken in the middle ? what was the game, the premise behind the goofing? did you yourself actually drop the glove off the side? Did you actually see, physically see the glove go over the side or were you just led to believe it did? Dispel any and all old illusions if any and let it play out in your mind as if it were 20 seconds frozen in time. Thaw it out, then write it down.

Once you are able to place yourself in that 20 seconds of time, you are ready for the rest. In your own time... see you when you make it back..
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: 14 back then on November 29, 2010, 11:14:22 PM
D1<
Yes I am taking a break. But sat down on the lazy boy tonight and had to get some work down on the laptop. I logged onto the forum about two ,inutes after your post.
Sounds like a good small step solution.
Tonight I am doing nothing but working, and maybe try to stay away from allof this.
I will still be around.
Thanks
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: 14 back then on December 03, 2010, 10:40:48 AM
Good morning,
Well, I would like to tell you that during my recent absence, I was able to relax and somwhat set myself in a state where I was able to clearly look back into the that day. Not the case. The other day I dropped my wife at the mall, kids were all at school etc, I put myself into a very relaxed state, in a very comfortable position, had a disc playing that to me is the most relaxing music. Maybe I was trying too hard, or maybe I was impatient, but i could not get myself to the point where I was totally comfortable and able to see things all over again.
That being said, I did find something out through my thoughts as i was sitting there. Now this is going to maybe come off as I am ticked off, or that i am offended, but i am only explaining what went through my mind. And, maybe I needed to jump this hurdle first, then after getting over it, I may be able to get my mind back where it needs to be.
As I sat there, I started to stray from my comfortable feeling, to an absolute outrage that at some point in the last few weeks, I was seen as possibly being involved with this horrific murder in some way or another. I do remember closing my eyes and drifting, but then I am guessing my mind was thinking ahead, as for the purpose of what I was doing. That is when I was thinking of the forum, and that is where I somehow changed focus from my goal, to a defense mode where I couldnt believe that I was remotely thought of as abeing involved, and that i was sickened by the fact that i could be seen as this type of character. A defense mode where I was stuck, trying to figure out what I had done to set myself up for this. A defense mode where i was amazed that people couldnt see that this had already played a huge part of distress in my life previous to this forum chat(no where near the magnitude of her familly, but distress enough) and i didnt need more, i came here to help.
I woke up, if that is the correct term, upset about this, and immediately read through the forum again, I guess to clarify to myself that this was no longer the case. When I posted the threads of I am not offended, I may have been just playing the tough guy, because I guess I really was.
Please do not think that I am on a rampage, pointing out how my fellow forum participants hung me out to dry. i am explaining what happened on my first attempt at finding clarity. i think it really gave me a chance to get over it. I am now over it, I am not holding hard feelings, as we have established that we are all here for one main reason, to help.
My sister in law lives out of country, and is back now for Christmas. She has spent over a decade defending her beliefs to me of the spirit, the soul, the "other" meanings of life. As we love to argue with eachother, and I admit to challenging her as we do have so much fun debating these topics, but she has worn off on me over the years. She believes in healing the mind, and that even if not intentional, a person will hold on to tragic memories, and sometimes these memories have to be cleansed per say. She agrees with her sister that i do have an overly protective side, of my family, and that it possibly has to do with my unfortunate Melissa finding, and the memories that go with it.
She is here for seven weeks, and has agreed to work with me, as she sees that this is now somthing I need to relieve myself of once and for all. When? i do not know, soon i am hoping.
She has methods similar to D1's suggestion, and she feels that we may have to take this in baby steps. But is determined to help me out, which is amazing as we have a love/hate relationship, but have always been there for eachother.
As a disclaimer, I wanted to relate to you my other day, not meaning to grind the fact that some may have seen me a different way, just explaining where I am.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: D1 on December 03, 2010, 01:04:33 PM
14 back then, your reaction is somewhat expected.  I posted a few things earlier on Melissa’s thread that I thought you would have returned to comment on.  When you didn’t, I escalated the line of thought up to the point where someone would be forced to contact you even if just to warn you of what was being said for your own safety. I didn’t know if you were ever going to return again willingly. I wasn't real popular with others over that, not just you.

Melissa’s case is as cold a case as you can get, barely a peep for decades. Then we just happen to have two witnesses who don’t even know each other drop in here.  It was as if divine providence had shone down on Melissa, like someone, some power had noticed and remembered her after all those years.

14 bt, I saw you as Melissa’s one and only last chance for the truth to ever be known, I wanted you to come back and tell us more. Whether you unknowingly harbour some important piece of information, maybe lost on you as a 14 year old, there is a new opportunity for adult eyes to see back in time. I apologize for doing things the way I did, I’m glad you have returned, I’ll leave it with you.

From a straight evidence point of view, I was curious as to whether everyone had those same gloves. There are numerous possibilities that spring to mind from that point, I dwelt on one. I would like to go through the process of elimination for the other possibilities but I won’t. At sometime, I would hope that you can see back to this exact few seconds  just to rule out any other possibilities that you may even be unaware of. 

Quote
Being the little trouble maker I was, as we were crossing the bridge in the morning, I was goofing around on the railing, and ended up losing one of my gloves over the side. As I said, it was dark, and there was no way i could see it after it fell.

All the best 14bt
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: 14 back then on December 03, 2010, 02:55:24 PM
As i said, I hope that my experience the other day does not come off like I am ticked off. I guess I was, but todays post is explaining the feelings.
Bean(my sister in law) and I have sat down today and evaluated the other days events.
The anger that I showed is what she sees as a small obstacle. We are going to do another attempt soon.
Cheers,
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: bestcho on December 04, 2010, 11:24:23 AM
Hey 14,
A suggestion. I don't know if you still live in the Edmonton area, but here's a suggestion, something I've had pretty good luck with in the past when trying to get witnesses to remember small details.

Drive out to the Genesse bridge with someone you are totally comfortable with. Go to the approx. site where you made the first sighting. Close your eyes and relax. Have whomever you are with, bring a pencil and paper to write down your thoughts. I can almost guarantee that something will come of it. It may be a new detail. Or it may just simply be some sort of closure, as it is obviously still troubling to you. Either way, you will find some amount of comfort. Then afterwards take the notes, fill in the blanks, and if you are more comfortable, share them. As I too, was on the ice, and was the person who recovered evidence and Melissa, perhaps you might jog something in my memory banks as well. Good luck.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: D1 on December 04, 2010, 12:56:50 PM
Great idea, you guys may come up with something yet! I must admit, I am very curious as to what was in those garbage bags, or their purpose??
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: A Pink Flower on December 04, 2010, 12:58:51 PM
Sorry I've been away for so long. I've been quite busy lately. Anyways, I'll try to answer a few of the questions (some may have already been answered) that have been posted since I left.

Melissa worked as a hairdresser in a beauty shop in West Edmonton Mall. On February 13/87 she was walking home from work to her apartment right across the street from the mall. To get to her apartment she had to walk down a path to get there. Now I am guessing that she was abducted along this path if it was someone she didn't know because it would be unlikely she was abducted at West Edmonton Mall or on 87th street. As mentioned in the CTV video, what would be more likely is that it was someone she knew who offered to walk her home or drive her to her to where she was going.

Answering another question, as far as we know Melissa had no connection to the St. Johns School. Also, Melissa was not a smoker (although she has smoked at parties and such) so she wouldn't have had a lighter with her.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: D1 on December 04, 2010, 01:16:28 PM
Great you returned too Pink flower, Melissa obviously left an impression on everyone along the way. Think anyone from the school would get a haircut there where she worked or was it more a ladies only thing?
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: A Pink Flower on December 04, 2010, 01:20:51 PM
It's possible that someone from the school got a haircut from her. I don't think that it was anyone from the school who murdered her. It just seems too far away from where she worked. She grew up, lived and worked in the same area of the city for her entire life so I doubt she would have any connection to the St. Johns school unless as you said, she gave someone from there a haircut.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: D1 on December 04, 2010, 01:33:11 PM
Did she ever mention someone hitting on her persistently or having to turn someone down, a particluary jealous one time date or anything along that line? I understand that there was no real definitive location identified for where she had been abducted?

And please continue to check back in, never know what may turn up yet!
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: A Pink Flower on December 04, 2010, 01:40:22 PM
I don't really know if she had any problems with anyone at the time. Yeah we don't know where exactly she was abducted. Right now I'm wondering what happened to the Crime Stoppers video that was made at the time. I wonder if it is still around.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: D1 on December 04, 2010, 01:45:10 PM
If there was an original one back then it is in a crimestopper archive somewhere. I don't think they ever destroy those (under normal conditions) there is just the cold case video link on the front page here.
http://edmonton.ctv.ca/servlet/an/local/CTVNews/20081022/edm_unsolvedmurders_feature_081022/20081022/?hub=EdmontonHome#TopVideoAn (http://edmonton.ctv.ca/servlet/an/local/CTVNews/20081022/edm_unsolvedmurders_feature_081022/20081022/?hub=EdmontonHome#TopVideoAn)
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: A Pink Flower on December 04, 2010, 01:47:36 PM
Yes I've seen the video. I remember when CTV came to interview our family for that video. I do wish there was more on the internet about the case. It would be interesting to look at. I know Melissa's mother has kept all the newspaper articles she came across back in 1987.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: D1 on December 04, 2010, 02:03:28 PM
Unfortunately, the older cold cases have very little on the internet unless someone gathers the information and posts it themselves.

I don't know whether you have kept in contact with Mel's mom, but if? or? who knows what else you may find!
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: A Pink Flower on December 04, 2010, 02:07:23 PM
Yes I'm quite close with Melissa's mother. She doesn't like to talk much about it. One of Melissa's sisters will still talk to me about Melissa.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: 14 back then on December 04, 2010, 05:54:38 PM
Hey 14,
A suggestion. I don't know if you still live in the Edmonton area, but here's a suggestion, something I've had pretty good luck with in the past when trying to get witnesses to remember small details.

Drive out to the Genesse bridge with someone you are totally comfortable with. Go to the approx. site where you made the first sighting. Close your eyes and relax. Have whomever you are with, bring a pencil and paper to write down your thoughts. I can almost guarantee that something will come of it. It may be a new detail. Or it may just simply be some sort of closure, as it is obviously still troubling to you. Either way, you will find some amount of comfort. Then afterwards take the notes, fill in the blanks, and if you are more comfortable, share them. As I too, was on the ice, and was the person who recovered evidence and Melissa, perhaps you might jog something in my memory banks as well. Good luck.
Hey Bestcho,
a very good suggestion as my sister in law, who i call Bean on this forum, has suggested the same thing. She feels that being there may trigger the memories that I cant seem to grasp.
I still live in Edmonton, and have never left. Any occasions that I went basck out to SJSA for, such as canoe trips, snow show trips as an alumni, I did not take the bridge. Sounds funny, but I went the long way around through Warburg and such. i guess I never really wanted to go back to the bridge.
Last summer, I had to supply a few machines on a land reclaimation job out by the school. There were four of our trucks, pulling trailers with Bobcats. There was no way around it, as I could not justify the travel costs to re route our fleet the long way around. I specifically decided to ride shotgun, as I usually am driving, and that was the first time in many years that I crossed the bridge. But, being in a crew cab, with three of my employees, there wasnt much going through my head as we crossed the bridge, I didnt want to be there, I know that.
Bean has suggested that if I have time this weekend, to try a comfortable session by myself again, and see if I can go further, by getting passed emotions that may be in the way.
If this again does not work for me, she has an agenda; next session will be her and I, and she will help me to relax, and hopefully be on the ready to discuss anything that I talk about. Then, the next step would be to go right out to the bridge, and try as you suggested, again with Bean on the ready to so called hold my hand`.
The interesting things that I have learnt so far working with Bean; there is three parts of the brain, and I forget all the technical names, two parts in which I must lets say, get through, in order to get to the third. The third being the area of the brain where we store , like a computer, evrything we have ver seen or held memories of. Now, in Bean`s opinion, I have stored emotions in these other parts of my brain that are in a sense blocking where I want to go. The emotions can be classified as anger, fear, hurt etc. And, as it may seem tough right now, she figures that the emotions should be not easily, but somewhat readily able for me to eliminate. Then on to the memories. I guess we will have to see. As I said, she is only in country for six more weeks, so time is not a huge amount.

To a PINK FLOWER, you are the only close person to Melissa that has been on this thread since me joining, as far as I know.  Please accept my apologies for any of my posts, or the replies to my posts, that may have made this already tragic situation more of a burden. i am only trying to help, and not bring back all the terrible feelings. There has always been a part of me that has thought of this, and there has always been a part of me that has wished that there would be closure to Melissa, her family and friends.

(I hope nobody finds me completely lazy as I do not spell check! Everytime I do, I seem to lose everything I have typed!)


Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: A Pink Flower on December 05, 2010, 05:11:53 PM


To a PINK FLOWER, you are the only close person to Melissa that has been on this thread since me joining, as far as I know.  Please accept my apologies for any of my posts, or the replies to my posts, that may have made this already tragic situation more of a burden. i am only trying to help, and not bring back all the terrible feelings. There has always been a part of me that has thought of this, and there has always been a part of me that has wished that there would be closure to Melissa, her family and friends.



14 back then, don't worry about upsetting me. If I didn't want to get upset I wouldn't have posted on this site. I came to this site mostly because I wanted to get some closure. I know it may never happen but I hope this case can come to a close.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: D1 on December 05, 2010, 06:46:50 PM
I find this quite inspiring that you have all somehow managed to find each other and come together after all these years. Mel's friend, an eye witness to early events, and a guy from the search, can't beat that. If there is any chance left for this to be solved I believe it is here and now through you all. In the end no matter what, I get the feeling Mel would wish everyone peace and comfort with the outcome. Let her lead you, it may be cathartic, but sounds like everyone is ready for whatever that may bring...

Some thing that sticks with me the last few days, Melissa lived right across from where she worked, walked back and forth on a daily basis, a regular recognizable routine.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: A Pink Flower on December 06, 2010, 05:29:24 PM
I find this quite inspiring that you have all somehow managed to find each other and come together after all these years. Mel's friend, an eye witness to early events, and a guy from the search, can't beat that. If there is any chance left for this to be solved I believe it is here and now through you all. In the end no matter what, I get the feeling Mel would wish everyone peace and comfort with the outcome. Let her lead you, it may be cathartic, but sounds like everyone is ready for whatever that may bring...

Some thing that sticks with me the last few days, Melissa lived right across from where she worked, walked back and forth on a daily basis, a regular recognizable routine.


Who here are you talking about as Melissa's friend? I'm confused. I'm a member of Melissa's family.

Yes that is significant, she had a regular routine. Of course the walk from her work to apartment was quick (she just had to walk down the path shown in the CTV video) so if someone was watching her it wouldn't be difficult to find out where she lived.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: D1 on December 06, 2010, 05:58:18 PM
Sorry, I did mean you Pink Flower, as the friend who knew and could speak for Melissa.. I would be guessing to call you a cousin or? I don't believe you said and you don't have to.

All of those details like her route home, the date, and the location where she was found, will all have to be brought together to figure if this out. There is likely going to be some reluctance to discuss detail but I hope that everyone will be able to find some compromises to facilitate progress..
there's a way around everything..
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: Annastaisha on December 07, 2010, 08:56:34 AM
I think the Melissa had a stalker...
A Pink Flower - had she ever talked about a customer that came in all the time, flirted awkwardly with her, perhaps one she was uncomfortable around but didnt know why?
 I think that the date is significant too. Valentines Day is a day for lovers.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: 14 back then on December 07, 2010, 10:25:02 AM
As i said earlier, i as well do not think this had anything to do with the school, or any persons involved with the school. If melissa had the routine of the smae walk home from work, it seems that it would be most acceptable to think that she may have had a stalker. But there is also a point made that maybe she accepted a ride from someone she knew.
As far as the knot goes; regarding the school, yes we were taught knot tieing, for shelters, canoe rigging, useful knots for camping, and even the proper way to knot your snow shoes to your boots. but we were not ever taught anything about noose`s. Yes there may have been a book at the school that woukd have taught the noose, but it would have been the same book that held the knowledge of the other knots.
i see it strange that a person involved with the school would bring her so close to where they were.
Bestcho> i ask if you remember the same as i do. That the body of Melissa seemed to be strategically placed where the ice was more solid? As I explained erlier, from where we were, it was impossible to get to her, due to the fact that the ice was so soft, like slush. But it seemd to us that she was on a more solid area. I am wondering if the bridge support pillars created the current path to be different, making it less solid in surrounding areas, and the areas more solid where there were not pillars? Is this possible? I do not know the scientific aspects of water current related to ice forming, but am wondering if that may have been a reason that it was so soft where we were trying to crawl out. Which in turn makes me wonder if Melissa was purposely placed in an area where it would be more difficult to get to her? And Bestcho, if you could help me out a little more; due to how hard it was to access Melissa, was there not a helicopter used to help recover her body? This of coarse is not relevant to helping solve Melissa's murder, but it is one of the steps I am using to help my recall.  i am trying to fit little pieces of my memory together first, before i take the big plunge.
Also, if anybody can help me out here: was there not ever any mention of other evidence as I mentioned before? The other pair of panty hose(for lack of the correct name)? Why does this stick out in my mind so much, yet i do not see any mention of it elsewhere?
Cheers,
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: 14 back then on December 07, 2010, 10:02:20 PM
wow, that is seriously disturbing. So many, makes me sick.
I guess the question has been asked, and I guess i have not answered it. The best of my memory syas that I was just being an idiot with my glove, taking it off, and hitting it along the rail as we wnet along the bridge. It isnt the clearest memory, but that is what I seem to recall. You have to remember that it was my goal as a snot nosed punk, to push the limit all the time. Maybe i thought I was being smart, or cool, but I was probably just being as daring as possible with my fooling around with the glove. Story of my life though, push the envelope, and get stung. I wasnt at the school because I was an over acheiver, who was going places. I was at the school because I was kicked out of Edm public schools, and my dad still lived in Toronto, my mom couldnt handle me, at all. So, to the best of my memory, I was just being me, and goofing around foolishly, and ended up paying for it. Something that came back to me lately, was I ended up wearing a spare wool sock on my hand for part of the day, just to keep warm.
I hope that explains the glove foolery.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: bestcho on December 08, 2010, 12:46:26 AM
 cmon all, getting fairly close to WAY WRONG. So.............14...........no....no chopper was called in. Don't honestly know if one was available to RCMP then. Even if one was, no real need as everything was accesible from the bridge.  In answer to your question....no..it was very apparent thet melissa was not strategically placed. As mentioned before, it appeared as if the river was supporting open water at the location that she was dropped. That in fact was not the case. you would have to go back to my earliest posts to understand the location. As for things missing and/or not mentioned, please refer to my posts regarding info not released by the RCMP. With all due respect to all, I am not willing to offer that info either. I'm sorry, but I just can't.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: D1 on December 08, 2010, 12:53:42 AM
Fair enough (for now) .. Bestcho is obligated by past involvement, 14 is not bound by any such contract... Carry on the best you all can, we will all make of it what we will when all the available pieces are brought together.. It is an unusual set of circumstance and it may mean something and lead somewhere in the end. Hang in there..

Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: Carol-Lynn on December 08, 2010, 08:47:51 PM
It has been stated that Melissa was strangled but not hung. So why would the rope be at the seen ? Was it used more as a form of restrant.

Des has also said about the seven knots, this would have had to be planed out before Melissa was abducted.
Someone said something about a Bic lighter found on the ice, When a person Male smokes they carry them in there shirt pocket, Leaning over a bridge it would have fell out on to the ice below,
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: SAP on December 08, 2010, 10:09:04 PM
The Police would still have all that in their cold case files, would they not? Is it possible to get prints off a bic lighter? Seems to me, as long as a surface is not too shiney it can be accomplished. Did they take skin cell scrapings from the noose? There would have to be alot there I would think.
What if the perp hated women and had a fetish (I won't go into detail) but if he did, his skin cells would be on there as well. In that case, he would have had the noose already for some time for his depraved fetish. Can't figure on that though b/c info has not been given on exactly what police found on those items.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: bestcho on December 08, 2010, 11:26:58 PM
The trouble I've always had with this, is what was not there, as much as what was there. Did she carry a purse?. It wasn't there. What was she carrying? It wasn"t there. I'm assuming she wore underwear. Wasn't there. I assume she would wear more sensible boots, as it was winter and she had to walk home. Or did she often wear dress shoes at work, then walk home in them. My wife, always had a spare bag for her shoes. Not there. Also....Dressed somewhat provocatively. Did she work that way?. Or perhaps going to meet someone.  She was wearing fishnet stockings(torn). But other stuff there that didn't belong. That's all I can offer
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: D1 on December 09, 2010, 01:11:33 AM
There are a lot of pieces coming in, a valentines day on a full moon, pretty young hairdresser walking home from where she works at a busy nearby mall. No witnesses to anything. Sounds like the makings of a star crossed lover type thing, or an exciting new date ? but then more details .. a strange hangmans type knot, a strangulation but earlier and not by the rope. Seems all arranged and thought out, planned even..Then she is found laying on a frozen river below a bridge in a manner that may have been deliberate but could also have been part of an accidental slipup in some unknown plan. The details of the crime scene would likely be able to determine that.

The crime scene left even more unanswered questions than answers though. One point I think we are close to making is that whoever planned the crime down to the 7 knot noose, was likely to have pre planned where she was to be taken and left. This spot was no accident in my mind, is there some sort of connection to it and to the killer in some weird way? Apparently this was a late night party spot for the older students, and the annual snowshoe marathon was scheduled for the next day. Oh yaa, and knot tying was part of the curriculum. Don't anyone get excited, just getting a feel for putting all the pieces together in one spot. 

re: SAP
Quote
The Police would still have all that in their cold case files, would they not? Is it possible to get prints off a bic lighter? Seems to me, as long as a surface is not too shiney it can be accomplished. Did they take skin cell scrapings from the noose? There would have to be alot there I would think.

I would bet they have not done much in the way of DNA testing. Finger prints are sort of fragile especially in and on moist and damp conditions and objects.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: D1 on December 09, 2010, 02:20:56 PM
The missing items may just be incidental, she was abducted elsewhere and brought to this location. Boots can be lost dragging and moving a body. It had to be hasty getting her off the side of the bridge, likely from a vehicle, one trip over to the bridge side and its done, the rest of left over items disposed of in a place not so noticeable elsewhere?

There may be DNA that hasn't been worked with, going by the date of this crime.

The lighter is interesting, wonder how close to the body it was found?

If closer to the glove, questions go that way, if closer to shore? If just off the side of the bridge then a shirt/jacket pocket is quite a viable possibility.

14bt.. glad you answered as well as you could, thats all you can do. You will only recall what you can its better than nothing.

I remember slapping my mitts against railings and such at times as a youth. Thats a lot different than say getting caught with a cigarette and lighter in hand and having that snatched away by a teacher on the bridge that morning.. all we are getting at, no other possible involvement by any other party in any way shape or form?

next...
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: bestcho on December 10, 2010, 02:10:02 AM
In answer to your query(s). No liner in the stockings. Lighter located within a couple of feet, and under 8-12 inches of flowing water. No panties, and as I recall, a nylon or scarf at her shoulders. Not sure if a nylon, or a scarf. Beige in color
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: D1 on December 10, 2010, 02:40:40 AM
thanks Bestcho, lighter right by her body, the falling out of the pocket theory may be correct.

two more points, the full moon likely made it so you could see fairly well. The water below the bridge may have been visible from above or so the killer thought? He may have intended to drop Mel into open running water expecting her to be swept away not knowing thre was solid ice beneath??

The rope; if as suggested earlier was to be used for some other purpose like hanging her body from the railing or lowering her: the first picture in the link below shows the rope to only be maybe 12 feet long.
http://www.unsolvedcanada.ca/index.php/topic,2554.msg47277.html#msg47277 (http://www.unsolvedcanada.ca/index.php/topic,2554.msg47277.html#msg47277)

If Mel was to be lowered by the rope, she would only be able to be lowered as far as the catwalk below. Did the killer originally try to tie the rope to the railing and it slipped? Was he operating alone or could there have been two people involved, one above the bridge and one on the catwalk below? That would help with an abduction scenario close to the mall as well.

So I am assuming by all of this, that either way the killers intention was not for a body to remain visible above the ice to be found. The weak ice prevented any recovery efforts if one was attempted. Were the garbage bags just full of rocks like someone was dropping them fom the bridge around Mel trying to break the ice so she would go under?

Those activities would have to be initiated from above and would take time and increase the risk of being seen. Plus a gathering process of the objects or items from somewhere.

Another option if the bags were weighted and a rope tied to them, would be to use this as a throwing object to get a weight across the other side of her body in hopes of being able to pull her back in across the slippery ice? Or to retrieve some other object he didn't want found? The placement of the bags would tell more, the weight and contents even more. were the bags right up against the body like a rope had slipped off while pulling or?

It may be too much to expect more details to come but I am hoping that someones memory will jog on some point or some theory takes form from the detail..
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: jobo on December 10, 2010, 05:59:23 AM
I would guess that many of the young ladies that worked at the West Edmonton Mall, would dress kindof "provocatively" for working in the beauty salons, and boutiques.   Same with the pantyhose without panties....she might not have been wearing panties too.   Or the perp might have kept them.  No boots?  That wouldn't surprise me either, I believe Melissa did not have far to walk home.
I feel that she was stalked.   Perhaps a creep that took a shine to her, a customer, neighbour, or someone that hung around the mall.   I also think the perp is familiar with the area around the school.   
I hope the police compared notes to see if any ex-students/teachers lived anywhere near the West Edmonton Mall.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: D1 on December 10, 2010, 01:29:04 PM
I had an experience once with a similar situation, beer can left at crime scene, wet conditions, no viable prints could be lifted and no usable dna (or so I was told)

There is just one rope, pictures are all of the same one from different ends.
The earlier poster wondered if someone was attempting to hang Mel from the bridge. Otherwise the rope is a strange thing, it wasn't used to kill her, and would seem to serve no purpose in dropping her off the bridge. I believe it was found around her neck?

The bags I think could tell a story in themselves.. if we only knew.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: D1 on December 10, 2010, 02:50:53 PM
Knot tying link- see the hangmans knot - 7 loops
http://www.realknots.com/knots/noose.htm (http://www.realknots.com/knots/noose.htm)

Maybe our knot tier is book taught not work experienced?

Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: bestcho on December 10, 2010, 06:35:56 PM
bags were definitely not to be used as weights. We did move them, but did not open them. As I recall, it felt like clothes or fabric, as well as some hard contents. May have just been garbage too. I truly believe the killer thought he was dropping her into open, moving water, in the hope she would be swept away under the ice. I definitely don't think DNA is likely from the lighter. But it is HIGHLY likely that there was DNA on her person
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: D1 on December 10, 2010, 06:51:21 PM
Bestcho, do you think in the lighting condtions full moon etc, that the killer would have even BEEN AWARE that she was NOT swept way?
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: D1 on December 11, 2010, 01:12:28 PM
If so, then the killer disposed of those bags and the items left behind with Mel believing they would never be seen and maybe never found. The contents of the bags sound like they could have even been the missing articles described above.

That is a big difference from what would be left if the killer knew that Mel was not swept away by the current and that bags thrown over after would be found too.

Either way, it seems that Mel was meant to be swept away by the current, the rope and other items found aside from the bags weren't likely meant to be seen and are clues to what went on before Mel was brought to this location.

Carol Lynne mentioned a bunch of stuff in her last post that is quite interesting some has been answered some not yet explored.

Quote
jobo your right there is a chapel of sorts in the mall.But who ran it back then would be a good question.

As for the dress code at the mall,I think it being V day everyone would be dressed in there finest.

Bic lighter under frosen water I would think it would preserve the DNA for testing.So I think were safe to assume that the cops have DNA and,I hope working on finding a match very soon.

Back to the ropes, I think if the rope was found around/tied to her feet or waist then we could think she was lowered of the bridge to the ice water below.There has never been anything said about that, And 14BT I would think would remember something like that.

How much did she weigh ? For a person to lower someone by rope over a bridge would be a hard thing to do,Hmm Again I am going back to mountion climbing back backs.Rigging ?

2 ropes I think one with the hangmens knot and one with out ? But why when it was not used to kill her as the police said.
The garbage bags found at the seen. If we could find out what they contained it would help out.The only thought I have right now about them is they could have been used with the intent of a weight. Pulling the body down into the ice.

The rope is too short to lower a body to the ice, it may have been long enough to lower her to the catwalk below the bridge though. That opens other possibilities even that Mel was accidentally dropped because it was difficult lowering her.

The chapel at the mall is an interesting connection, did any one from there have any connection to the school out here? Melissa came under someones attention in what seems a targetted fashion. That attention would almost certainly have come from work and home both in close proximaty to each other and maybe to the killer as well.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: A Pink Flower on December 12, 2010, 01:19:04 PM
I was recently looking through some of her high school yearbooks and there is a comment in her grade 12 yearbook about her quitting smoking. So maybe she did smoke but it was well hidden from her family? I guess this rules out the lighter as being the murderer's although it could have DNA on it if he touched it. I have a link for google maps and the appartment she lived in at the time. It was actually a little ways away from the mall. It looks like there is a path behind some houses that she might have used to walk home. The appartments she was in was 11, 17744 Greentree Village Appartments on 81 ave. A question that I have is why would he choose the genesse bridge to drop off Melissa? He must have some sort of connection to the area (maybe not the school.) Maybe someone should have looked into the connections people from that area would have with Melissa or the salon at the mall.


http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=17744+greentree+villiage+edmonton+alberta&sll=35.317366,-95.625&sspn=76.889924,158.027344&ie=UTF8&hq=17744+greentree+villiage&hnear=Edmonton,+Division+No.+11,+Alberta,+Canada&ll=53.518829,-113.618073&spn=0.013702,0.038581&z=15 (http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=17744+greentree+villiage+edmonton+alberta&sll=35.317366,-95.625&sspn=76.889924,158.027344&ie=UTF8&hq=17744+greentree+villiage&hnear=Edmonton,+Division+No.+11,+Alberta,+Canada&ll=53.518829,-113.618073&spn=0.013702,0.038581&z=15)
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: D1 on December 12, 2010, 01:27:11 PM
Yes, the connections between locations are most important, this was just a starting point.

We will have to look over the map, that location is ground zero for how it all began and could even provide as much info as the bridge if really looked at. Comparisons between the two locations could prove key.


The garbage bags would tell such a story that I think the Police need to update the info they have released. What was in them, where did they come from? This much time later, still unsolved, its time..

If Melissa was meant to be swept away by the current and like wise with the bags, the contents were not likely meant to be found and therefore not likely to be staged props for disguising the crime scene.

A comment by 14 bt contributes even more need for the contents of the bags to be disclosed. "One of the bags may have been tied to the rope attached to Mel's body. IF SO

then-
Quote
Yes, the bags were in her bodies vicinity. I dont remember, nor do I remember purposefully checking for any tracks out to the ice.
Gotta remember, this bridge was not far from the school, and with snow shoeing and dog sledding, there was alot of traffic around the bridge on a regular basis. One dog sled track came down from the school on what we called "garbage hill road", then went around the perimetre of the potato feild, along the river to where the bridge was, then back around to the GH road. Although we may have felt we had control of the dogs and sleds, it is quite likely that at any given time, the sleds/dogs/students could have tracked through the area, on or off coarse.


Appears there was a garbage dump, a potential source for these bags right nearby. Were the garbage bags found on the ice from the school? Was Melissa brought down by dog sleigh with the trash and dumped off the bridge with a bag snagged by the rope or attached to the rope? What was the date of the bags contents?

etc... disclose the contents !! Only thing this does right now is to stop linkage to source..
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: solvy on December 12, 2010, 09:06:27 PM
D1  On checking out the net on the genesee bridge, I came across this site  http://www.edmontoncanoe.com/devoncanoeshuttle.html (http://www.edmontoncanoe.com/devoncanoeshuttle.html)   .  It appears many canoes have been up this river, not sure if this was so back in 1987 but could account for some of the extra garbage around.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: D1 on December 13, 2010, 02:24:41 AM
There was a lot more going on around there than it seemed there would at first. I don't know whats important to this case right now, there are a lot of little pieces that could lead alot of different ways. The combination of garbage bags and the rope is a strange one and leads to stange possibilities. What did they use to haul garbage down the hill? Did it get roped down? Were all these materials readily available right here at the school? 14 said it was the standard black garbage bag, (standard as in the type used at the school)? Did the dog sleigh team use this kind of yellow rope?

Seems they have dna but no matches.. the contents of the garbage bags would be a huge clue.

Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: D1 on December 13, 2010, 10:27:16 AM
Bestcho confirmed that the bags did not have rocks in them as well.

Quote
bags were definitely not to be used as weights. We did move them, but did not open them. As I recall, it felt like clothes or fabric, as well as some hard contents. May have just been garbage too. I truly believe the killer thought he was dropping her into open, moving water, in the hope she would be swept away under the ice. I definitely don't think DNA is likely from the lighter. But it is HIGHLY likely that there was DNA on her person

If garbage from the school??
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: 14 back then on December 13, 2010, 03:25:35 PM
Hello again, i guess if you live in Edm, you would know that I once again dissapeared due to the snow. I work steady til all snow is cleared. Its coming again tomorrow, so i thought I would chime in today.
As for the school employees etc living by the mall--all staff lived at the school, there was housing which was supplied to them. These teachers and school staff were given living accomadations as part of their salaries, which we were told were pretty small salaries at that. Also, if I may note, a majority of the staff were not from the Edm area, as many were alumni or family of alumni that carried through to be staff. They were family or alumni of any of the three schools, Ab, Manitoba, and Ontario. They were tied to our schedule; if we were at school, they were there. If we had holidays, they had holidays.
Garbage hill road was used, by truck, to transport some garbage down to a feild, which would be close to a km away from the bridge. There was an incinerator at the school for the garbage that would not decinigrate(wow, how do you spell that?).
Yellow rope may have been at the school, but not used for the dog sled harnesses. The harness was made of a special type of lead.
I believe that the hair salon was located near the esculators where there used to be theatres, now they are West 49, a skateboard shop that my sons drag me to all the time. But I think the salon was located around the corner, where there is still hair slaons today.
Her walk home I do not know, but from the news clip it looks like the walkways that go to the Thorncliff area. Across from the bus terminal on 87th ave. looks like that to me, because strangely enough, my commecial and city sidewalk crews remove the snow from there.
The boots is a good point. She didnt have boots on, and it was winter?
As far as i know the chapel at the mall was triple fives, and it was a mosque type for lackof better term. Not sure if it is still there or not. My mother married a Jewish man that worked at the mall, and went there everyday.
As for my memory, still working on it. But i have been so busy, I have had no time to concetrate on it.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: D1 on December 13, 2010, 05:42:29 PM
Good to see you checking in when you can 14bt. All those little details could prove most helpful at some point. Keeping with the spirit.. sorry I know it gets a litle much...

Were the garbage bags you saw on the ice, the same type used up at the school?

Would the dog sleigh have to go past the garbage dump to get to the bridge?

If therewas rope like that around the school can you think of anything it would be used for?

Where it was kept?

Any other way of getting to the bridge from the garbage dump?

Is there parking back up there by the dump?

Could someone get in and out of there at night? without being seen?

Any particularly well concealed spots?

Did any one particular person run the dog sleigh?

Think of any staff that even remotely resembled the suspects description?

Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: SAP on December 14, 2010, 12:06:29 AM
Hi 14bt...I have some questions on the following:

Quote
As for the school employees etc living by the mall--all staff lived at the school, there was housing which was supplied to them. These teachers and school staff were given living accomadations as part of their salaries, which we were told were pretty small salaries at that. Also, if I may note, a majority of the staff were not from the Edm area, as many were alumni or family of alumni that carried through to be staff. They were family or alumni of any of the three schools, Ab, Manitoba, and Ontario. They were tied to our schedule; if we were at school, they were there. If we had holidays, they had holidays.

I believe I recall reading that some teachers had problems in the eastern schools. Is there any chance those who ran into trouble at the other schools were transferred to the Alberta school. I will have to backtrack and do some reading on that.

eta:
From wiki
Quote
In 2000, former teacher Kenneth Mealey pled guilty to sexually assaulting 5 students in 1982 and 1983. A Canadian Broadcasting Corporation article on his sentencing said that "St. John's school administrators knew about the assault allegations but chose to fire Mealey instead of calling the authorities."

If they covered one case up, how many more did they, or transfer the teachers to others schools? On a forum I read that he plead guilty to 5 out of 16 charges.

If this is the same guy in this link, he sure didn't put much time in the slammer and he's working in Ab.
Was he ever a teacher at the sxhool at Stony?

http://www.linkedin.com/pub/ken-mealey/14/511/1b6 (http://www.linkedin.com/pub/ken-mealey/14/511/1b6)
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: D1 on December 14, 2010, 01:34:34 AM
And..then there's this little piece to plug in.
Quote
One of the things about Melissa's murder that bothers me the most is this that on her way from work, Melissa was carrying home some Valentine cards she received. Apparently the Valentine cards were destroyed by either the RCMP or the Police because they were deemed insignificant. Those Valentines could have have DNA on them or one of the cards could have been from the killer himself. Throughout the case the RCMP and Edmonton Police had been arguing about who should investigate the case because the body was found outside of Edmonton but the people involved were from Edmonton and that is most likely where she was kidnapped.

Years later questions arise as to whether the police investigation was "flawed" and maybe even why?
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: 14 back then on December 14, 2010, 10:27:25 AM
Good to see you checking in when you can 14bt. All those little details could prove most helpful at some point. Keeping with the spirit.. sorry I know it gets a litle much...

Were the garbage bags you saw on the ice, the same type used up at the school?
Balck garbage bags. Same as any other I guess. And the school did have black garbage bags.
Would the dog sleigh have to go past the garbage dump to get to the bridge?
You could ride the sled down the hill, then there were trails around the potato field, or you could go right across the field.
If therewas rope like that around the school can you think of anything it would be used for?
There may have been yellow nylon rope at the school, but we didnt use it for any of our sports/camping etc.
Where it was kept?
All supplies for camping, snow shoeing, dog sledding, canoeing etc were kept locked up in a building called the outdoor room. With young students and a budget, they kept everything locked up so it wouldnt grow legs and walk away.
Any other way of getting to the bridge from the garbage dump?
I wish I was more computer literate; as I would draw a map of sort to show what you ask. The school was located high on the river bank. There were trails down the bank from the school to the river. There was garbage hill road, that went down. Then there was a largwe potato field. Close to a km away from the start of the potato field was the road/bridge.
Is there parking back up there by the dump?
No parking. Just the field. There was a access road to under the bridge, from the highway. This access road was on the school side of the river, but downstream of the bridge and school. In other words, the access road was downstream of the bridge, which was downstream of the school.
Could someone get in and out of there at night? without being seen?
Not in a vehicle. Unless it was a suitable size 4x4 without any lights on.
Any particularly well concealed spots?
The potato field was wide open on the upstream sideof the bridge. There were some trees, but not great hiding spots, and defineatly not for a vehicle. I really dont think it would have been accessible for a vehicle, unless they were to come up the highway, through the school property, and then back dowm. Wouldnot have happened without being noticed.
Did any one particular person run the dog sleigh?
No. There were a number of sleds, and and a number of students involved. Just like canoeing, snow shoeing, there were dog sled races too. Two students to a sled, with a team of eight dogs, as many as ten sleds racing at a time.
Think of any staff that even remotely resembled the suspects description?
Not really at all. Not even close.

But this all being said; The access road I described earlier, was the same road that we went down from the bridge to get to the ice. As i said, it was on the opposite side of the bridgethan the school, same side of the river.
this is also the same road that people would come out and use to meet us at the bridge as mentioned of the parties. This road was open all the time, anyone fishing coauld use it to get under the bridge. If you were to drive down that road, you would be concealed from the school and traffic overhead.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: 14 back then on December 14, 2010, 10:30:26 AM
There goes my computer skills again!! I tried to answer your questions in the quote, in a differnet color, but it didnt work. Sorry, you are going to have read the answers in the quote. :-[
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: 14 back then on December 14, 2010, 10:34:21 AM
Hi 14bt...I have some questions on the following:

Quote
As for the school employees etc living by the mall--all staff lived at the school, there was housing which was supplied to them. These teachers and school staff were given living accomadations as part of their salaries, which we were told were pretty small salaries at that. Also, if I may note, a majority of the staff were not from the Edm area, as many were alumni or family of alumni that carried through to be staff. They were family or alumni of any of the three schools, Ab, Manitoba, and Ontario. They were tied to our schedule; if we were at school, they were there. If we had holidays, they had holidays.

I believe I recall reading that some teachers had problems in the eastern schools. Is there any chance those who ran into trouble at the other schools were transferred to the Alberta school. I will have to backtrack and do some reading on that.

eta:
From wiki
Quote
In 2000, former teacher Kenneth Mealey pled guilty to sexually assaulting 5 students in 1982 and 1983. A Canadian Broadcasting Corporation article on his sentencing said that "St. John's school administrators knew about the assault allegations but chose to fire Mealey instead of calling the authorities."

If they covered one case up, how many more did they, or transfer the teachers to others schools? On a forum I read that he plead guilty to 5 out of 16 charges.

If this is the same guy in this link, he sure didn't put much time in the slammer and he's working in Ab.
Was he ever a teacher at the sxhool at Stony?

http://www.linkedin.com/pub/ken-mealey/14/511/1b6 (http://www.linkedin.com/pub/ken-mealey/14/511/1b6)
SAP
I have never heard of this man, or his convictions. He didnt teach at our school. Ontario school closed first, as ther was a terrible accident on a canoe trip, where a number of teachers and students died. Then Manitoba, the original scool closed, then Alberta.
But I did not know anything of this man.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: D1 on December 14, 2010, 12:21:18 PM
Your doing good 14bt, we're getting the lay of the land a bit better all the time. Nots sure I got it exactly straight but would it be possible to go down that access road underneath the bridge and get up onto that catwalk without coming down to it from above? That would get around the risk of being spotted from above or from operating off the road while parked on the bridge. Was there a way up onto the catwalk?
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: 14 back then on December 14, 2010, 12:37:31 PM
Yes. If you drove down the road, under the bridge you could conceal your car, then walk up the sloped side of the bridge footings to the underbelly of the bridge, completely hidden.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: 14 back then on December 14, 2010, 12:38:51 PM
just a heads up; snow is coming, so I may not be around for a few days.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: D1 on December 14, 2010, 12:47:41 PM
If the garbage bag especially the one if tied to attached or to the rope, originated with the school garbage, how could you get from the dump to the underside of the bridge with a body and garbage? Could the dog sleigh, body hidden under garbage bags have accomplished that?
I know this is getting too far ahead and out there, just pointing out the value of knowing the origin of contents. You track that, you track the path of the killer.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: debbiec on December 14, 2010, 12:53:58 PM

14bt, I have posted a map of how to get to the school I believe you are talking about. Is this correct?
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: debbiec on December 14, 2010, 12:56:22 PM
If this is the correct school, then I think this is a picture of one of the dog sleds. I noticed that they use yellow nylon rope on the dog team.

Click to enlarge picture.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: D1 on December 14, 2010, 01:05:24 PM
Very interesting Deb, if that is the school... images of that sleigh bring up  possibilities in my mind..
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: debbiec on December 14, 2010, 01:16:16 PM

I'm not sure if that rope appears to be thicker than 1/4" or not, hard to tell. Many possibilities for sure.

Not sure if it is the school, but my guess is yes it is, because that is a boys school and in the right location as well. We'll need 14 to confirm.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: D1 on December 14, 2010, 01:45:27 PM
It appears to be a weave of several thinner nylon ropes of the same type. It would be strange thing to do, but it leads where it leads, have to follow.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: debbiec on December 14, 2010, 02:42:55 PM

I've posted a link to the site, for the school I believe 14bt is referring to. Very informative site with a lot of very good information.

http://sjsa.ab.ca/# (http://sjsa.ab.ca/#)
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: D1 on December 14, 2010, 08:03:40 PM
The knot tier again, yellow rope again, access to the bridge and garbage dump road, able to pack a body on sleigh, etc.. its worthy of consideration.
contents of bags again?

I like the valentines story for the media Des, love never forgets!
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: Concerned on December 14, 2010, 10:40:09 PM
Des, I can't speak on this case directly, but based on my experience with another case, reporters have discussed a few reasons why they do not place attention on the case. 1) They need a new newsworthy fresh angle...one asked me...well are you doing anything interesting like buying billboards, I can report that. 2) Another states that it is simply too depressing to keep the item in the news. That people tend to wane in their interest if there is not any resolve soon. 3) Some won't carry it as they only allot a certain timeframe to the issue, then move on. Only reporting major police findings or legal actions from that point on. 4) And, here is the interesting one....we don't want to negatively affect tourism or elections. 

On the other hand, my journalism friends tell me that it is not up to the public to bring good angles to the press. It is up to good reporters to find angles worthy of press ink.

Don't know if this provides any answers you were looking for.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: D1 on December 15, 2010, 03:32:43 AM
It does seem solvable, there are some likely leads already. The knot tier is interesting, he seems to have left a signature of sorts. By most all indication, neither Melissa nor that rope were ever meant to be found. She, by whatever, chance, fluke, or ? however, landed on ice that wasn't supposed to be there. Not only that, the surrounding ice was too thin to support anyone retrieving her. She got us this far to show us something! Just have to find it, you can almost smell the rope tier around, strange fellow..

Hope bestcho and 14bt come back and keep the details coming.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: D1 on December 15, 2010, 10:34:43 AM
re a few other points:
Carol Lynne
Quote
Slovy you posted a photo of the bridge.How high is it ? The drop from the bridge to the slushy water below. And the cat walk also seems quite a height.
Could a person and a dead weight of 150lbs be dropped such a distance with out breaking the water below ?

I have dropped objects from heights onto ice in the past and was surprised at how much the ice will hold up. Denser rocks will go through wher a more distributed weight will not. I don't know the particulars or really understand the dynamics of the ice at that exact spot, but.. we know she was dropped from above. It is a bit of a distance, how can you be sure you are lined up on the precise spot you want? Apparently there were only a few locations with what appeared to be open water. Maybe you would drop someother item off first to double check the alignment and trajectory of the fall? Something handy like a lighter?

Where did they keep the dogs?

They had a kennel somewhere on the property but how close to the school?

Was there a dog handler, a keeper or caretaker.

Who got supplies from town? Dod food and such?

I was a little surprised too at how much distance there was between the mall and Mel's apartmment. Hopefully someone will be able to work up a bit of a map of likely or even known walking routes.

And Des, I liked that talk you gave us. How to get media interest?... find a suspect, have em tested, have em arrested, maybe by Valentines day!
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: SAP on December 15, 2010, 07:04:07 PM
quote 14bt:
Quote
SAP
I have never heard of this man, or his convictions. He didnt teach at our school. Ontario school closed first, as ther was a terrible accident on a canoe trip, where a number of teachers and students died. Then Manitoba, the original scool closed, then Alberta.
But I did not know anything of this man.

Thank you. I've also come to wonder what kind of person would teach at a school where corporal punishment was the thing to do. Also the fact that teachers had seniors doling out punishment to younger ones. I just couldn't imagine myself working for anyone who expected me to hit/slap/belt any kid. There may have been some who quite liked giving that type of punishment and went a bit further.

I see although the dog harnesses were made of a type of lead?, that the dog harnesses were strung together with yellow nylon rope.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: debbiec on December 15, 2010, 07:10:35 PM

SAP, not sure if you've seen the picture on page 13 of this thread. A very good picture of the dog sled with the yellow nylon rope.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: Mom on December 15, 2010, 07:20:16 PM

Excuse me and my ignorance..... I haven't been following this very closely.
I saw the photo of the dogs with the yellow rope.
I bought some of that exact rope at Canadian Tire a few years ago to take my dog swimming (so she wouldn't swim away on me).
A friend recommended it because he uses it on his boat, he said it can get wet/dry/wet without losing its strength - which was exactly what I needed.

Any way.... just thought I'd chime in.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: SAP on December 15, 2010, 07:29:32 PM

SAP, not sure if you've seen the picture on page 13 of this thread. A very good picture of the dog sled with the yellow nylon rope.

Yes, thanks Debbie. I'm starting to lean towards someone going from corporal punishment, to further. Same type of rope as the noose.
Another question I'd have is whether 14bt ever saw anyone of the teachers abusing the dogs.

I don't think 14bt will have time for awhile to come back and comment. He has his work cut out for him with the tons of snow that dumped and still is.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: jobo on December 16, 2010, 02:02:53 PM
I use that kind of rope to tie my dogs up....it is cheaper than chains and is strong.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: SAP on December 16, 2010, 09:53:28 PM
Have you ever seen the yellow rope real close up linking dogs for sledding? Is there a 7 turn knot used to affix to the actual harness  the dog has around the body?
I've tried regular knotting of yellow nylon rope and it sure gave easily (in securing a tarp over a truck box.) Seems for securing dogs in line, the knot would have to be quite stable.

eta: take a close look at the dogs bindings on page 13 that Debbie supplied...the dogs at the very right end of the picture. Sure looks like several knots on the harness but it's a bit blurry when zoomed in.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: debbiec on December 16, 2010, 11:10:20 PM
Quote
This rope is quite stiff and slippery when new but does become supple with use. I will eventually fray and get dirty. It is also commonly used in camping and for tarp tying.


At one point I had written a post which I later deleted because it did not seem relevant at the time, more so now.

I have also used this type of rope for different things, one of them being camping. As Des mentioned, this rope will eventually fray. Also learned that because it is nylon it will melt, and in the past have melted the ends to prevent fraying. I have wondered if that may be what the lighter was used for. Just a thought.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: debbiec on December 16, 2010, 11:15:43 PM
With the amount of interest in the dog team and the yellow nylon rope, I have decided to re-post this picture to prevent us having to go back to look at it.

click to enlarge.

Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: jobo on December 17, 2010, 07:55:39 AM
When you buy this rope, it can be cut from a spool or you can buy it in a package; say 25 ft.  50 ft. packs.    When new, one or two knots won't hold up to a dog tugging it.    I usually tie at least 4,5 knots to make sure it won't come loose.   I have been known to burn the ends with a lighter to stop it from fraying.   
 Looks to me, from the picture, that the rope for the sled dogs is also knotted several times.   Actually, it looks like the ends were looped through each other and then several knots tied.   Extra strong.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: debbiec on December 17, 2010, 10:13:38 AM

At one point I had written a post which I later deleted because it did not seem relevant at the time, more so now.

I have also used this type of rope for different things, one of them being camping. As Des mentioned, this rope will eventually fray. Also learned that because it is nylon it will melt, and in the past have melted the ends to prevent fraying. I have wondered if that may be what the lighter was used for. Just a thought.

Interesting that jobo has now also mentioned burning the ends of that type of rope to keep it from fraying. I'm thinking that may be known by many and possibly a common practice. If someone was used to working with, or handling that type of rope, they would likely also be aware.

Quote
I have been known to burn the ends with a lighter to stop it from fraying.   

Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: SAP on December 17, 2010, 11:38:22 AM
Yes, Debbie, I too have burned the ends to keep them from fraying, and used a lighter for such. I don't recall if I had seen that done, or just experimented with it, but I do recall being happy it worked for me.

I did look up the use of rope for dogs harnesses and found that if nylon is used that a loop is made with a heavy duty needle back through the rope and it is done several times to make it sturdy. The finished product looked a bit like a noose at a distance, so that may be what I'm seeing in that picture. It doesn't zoom in far enough for me. (perhaps I need a magnifying glass.) 

eta: Using a magnifyer, it almost appears as though there is some threading, then a knot, and more threading. I failed to find the picture of the actual noose found by Melissa for comparison. So imo, the harness attachment doesn't resemble a noose according to what a noose should look like.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: D1 on December 19, 2010, 11:01:42 AM
re: from Des
Quote
How long was the length of rope again? 1/4" rope would not make a very hefty noose, quite slim actually, more like a lasso. Is it possible the noose was used to control Melissa?

I was a little reluctant to comment on this but it may be quite important. In the big picture of when and where all this may have happened, we heard there was an access spot under the bridge from where you could climb up the river bank on to the catwalk under the bridge. The rope could have had a role in something like that.

It still appears that the rope and Melissa were never supposed to be found. It is one of the biggest clues left behind.

If the same type of rope was being used for the dod sleigh riggings at the near by school, that is significant. The rope was likely purchased in bulk by the roll.

The knots used in the sleigh rigging require some degree of knowledge and training unusual to the general public. The knot found on the rope with Melissa required a similar degree of knowledge and training. The nearby school had a knot tying class, very unusual as part of a school curiculum.

Sleigh dogs are not really pets and are often treated quite differently than what we expect with our own. They are regarded as working dogs by many who do this sort of thing and require an alpha type personality to keep control over them. Cracking the whip so to speak when required. Many sleigh dogs have been abused by imoral handlers over the4 years, it was a form of acceptable animal abuse for some in the past. The designated  "dog handler" the "keeper tops the list of persons fitting the profile for us here.

If the garbage bags found with Melissa were from the school, I believe the focus has to go up there. You have a route that comes right past the dump from the school to the underside of the bridge. The same route was taken to the same place used as a late night party spot.

I wonder if the dog guy was maybe even a peeper, that maybe he had been caught spying on the older students while they were meeting their girlfiends under that bridge?

Was there a designated person who doled out the corporal punishment? Was there a security person who watched the school perimiters and monitored late night activities? If Mel's killer had some function or involvement with the school, past or present at the time, he may have stood out in other ways as well.

Not that 14bt necessarily knows the answers to all of the lastest quiries, but hopefully he will return with some more "insights".

this post has links to pictures of the rope-
http://www.unsolvedcanada.ca/index.php/topic,2554.msg47277.html#msg47277 (http://www.unsolvedcanada.ca/index.php/topic,2554.msg47277.html#msg47277)
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: Concerned on December 19, 2010, 03:25:16 PM
How new was that rope? Did anyone attempt to trace the sales data of nearby sellers of such rope for any new purchases at the time? Any DNA able to be obtained from a rope like that? Who was likely to have ropes like that at that time, and for what purposes? I just can't see a perp using a noose AND throwing someone over the side of the bridge onto the ice. Does this by any chance speak to an inexperienced perp, perhaps young, and a little nieve?
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: debbiec on December 20, 2010, 01:10:16 PM
There's some good information at these links on tying square knots.

http://www.ehow.com/how_7536_tie-square-knot-properly.html (http://www.ehow.com/how_7536_tie-square-knot-properly.html)

http://www.2020site.org/knots/squareknot.html (http://www.2020site.org/knots/squareknot.html)


Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: 14 back then on December 21, 2010, 05:55:41 PM
hello everybody. I just woke up from a six hour sleep, the most i ahve had in days. The snow has kept me away, and now I have a chance to get back here. I am still working tonight, so I will have to keep reading over everything the next couple of days.
Firstly, yes that is a correct map to the school.
Secondly, the picture that is posted is of the school dog team. You can tell by the signature parka that all wear. But, some descpreencies; this picture is not from the era we are investigating. The picture is more recent. I can tell this from a few differences; the sled is steel- our sleds were wood frame, with a plastic bottom for extra slide speed.  Our sleds were smalller, only room on board for one duffel bag with food and sleeping bags. As I said before, at the time we did not use yellow harness rope, we used a stretch fabric that is similar to parachute line. This pic does show yellow rope, but that is not what we used at the time.
I have to look at the pic, and I am not computer savy enough to have a few windows open at the same time, I will look and be back.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: 14 back then on December 21, 2010, 06:11:21 PM
Ok, looked again; not sure why there is a third person inviolved in this pic, but we only went out in pairs. He is also wearing snow shoes, and there is no way a person could keep up with the team in snow shoes. Maybe not relevant, but just pointing out differences. Also, you can see that the schooll has supplied the same parkas, shoes, toques, gloves etc for years, standard stuff that protects the students. I stilol have my parka!LOL. But, for an idea of the glove that was on the ice, look at the guys hand resting on the sled; the typical supplied wool liner, with a heavy leather over mitt. That is the same type.
As mentioned some of these points may not be relevant, but this is a more recent picture. Possibly a scholl ad, as there would not be an individual with snow shoes on.

To answer some questions posted;
The dogs were registered Alaskan Malamutes, and a couple different types of Huskies. i remember that the svhool had to be strict with inter mixing, as the dogs were registered. You copuld not have spontaneous litters. The kennels were right beside the school. Chainlink kennels that housed a male and female in each. There were close to sixty dogs when I was there. Like everything else in the school, the kennel operations were run by the students. Everyday you have work crew shifts, sometimes two or three times a day. Some students did laundry, others kitchen duty, cleaning of classrooms and school, farm duty, canteen, dog kennels etc. The school was based on disipline and responsibility, everybody worked, every day, a few hours a day, garde seven to twelve, just to keep the school up keep.
Supplies varied and deliveries were made. Some runs were made to town for other supplies- by teachers/staff. Sometimes kids had to go to town for medical ie- doctors visits etc.

I will try to find some old pics of our sleds and harnesses, but it has been so long since I have looked at them.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: Concerned on December 21, 2010, 06:42:11 PM
14bt, I'm curious, were you going to attach a pic (that you were describing)?
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: 14 back then on December 21, 2010, 07:34:52 PM
14bt, I'm curious, were you going to attach a pic (that you were describing)?
I w\aas referring to the posted picture.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: 14 back then on December 21, 2010, 08:56:05 PM
Here is a pic from the school website, that shows a sled in 1987. You can see the wood sled, and the differnet type of harnessing.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: 14 back then on December 21, 2010, 08:58:24 PM
Ok, did not work. Go to Saint john's School of Alberta. Main page, click on dog sledding memories. There is an image from 1987 that immediately comes up.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: SAP on December 21, 2010, 09:07:51 PM
http://sjsa.ab.ca/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/Dog-sledding002.jpg (http://sjsa.ab.ca/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/Dog-sledding002.jpg)
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: debbiec on December 21, 2010, 09:31:28 PM

I've posted a link to the site, for the school I believe 14bt is referring to. Very informative site with a lot of very good information.

http://sjsa.ab.ca/# (http://sjsa.ab.ca/#)

Is this the picture that you are referring to 14?i
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: 14 back then on December 21, 2010, 09:35:19 PM
Nope, not that one. There is another dated 1987 on the main page, under the title "Monday Memory- Christmas dog runs".
You will see the difference in the sleds construction, and design. Also the older style harnessing.
The wood sled to the steel sled. The old harness to the ones shown in the other pic.
i have tried, but cant seem to load the pic.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: 14 back then on December 21, 2010, 09:36:26 PM
Yes Debbie, that is the one.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: debbiec on December 21, 2010, 10:35:06 PM

Thanks 14. Unfortunately it is hard to see the details of the rope in that picture. I've even tried zooming in to 150% and still can't see much.

Do you know if there are any other pictures of that type of sled on that site?
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: bestcho on December 21, 2010, 10:38:05 PM
Interesting tidbit. I was of the impression that the school had been closed. But one of my drivers had a delivery there today.  HMMMMMMM
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: SAP on December 21, 2010, 10:58:18 PM

Thanks 14. Unfortunately it is hard to see the details of the rope in that picture. I've even tried zooming in to 150% and still can't see much.

Do you know if there are any other pictures of that type of sled on that site?

Debbie you might try zooming in as far as you can and then try a magnifying glass and it gives a more clear picture.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: debbiec on December 21, 2010, 11:03:05 PM
Thanks SAP. I've done that a few times before on other pictures. Will try it on this one now.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: SAP on December 21, 2010, 11:07:13 PM
Interesting tidbit. I was of the impression that the school had been closed. But one of my drivers had a delivery there today.  HMMMMMMM

According to Wiki:

Saint John's premises now house Mother Earth's Children's Charter School (MECCS), attended by some 145 First Nation, Metis, & Inuit (FNMI) students from the neighboring communities.[citation needed]

Also this time on Wiki, there was mention of several assault charges against teachers in the 1990's.


Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: debbiec on December 21, 2010, 11:17:41 PM
I found this picture of a sled on the school site. It was in a group of assorted pictures from 1972-1975. This shows a clearer picture of the sled/harness. Do you recall if the sleds still look like this in 1983?

click to enlarge.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: 14 back then on December 22, 2010, 12:45:27 AM
The best view of the pic is on the actual site.
The other pic posted from the 70's is hard for me to see clearly, but that is an expedition sled; bigger sled, more pack space, usually a larger team, used fro excursions of a long nature. Our sleds were meant for racing most of the time.
The school is being leased. It was originally planned that the property/buildings being leased for a temporary time, in the hopes that they may re open the school eventually.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: debbiec on December 22, 2010, 12:51:37 AM

Thanks for the reply 14. If you can tell me where on the site the best picture is, I will post it.

If you click on the picture I posted from the 70's, it actually enlarges quite a bit and can been seen plainly. Can see what you mean about the size. It does look like a bigger sled that can carry a lot of gear.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: 14 back then on December 22, 2010, 02:35:12 PM
Some have my posts have been deleted, probably to make things less disorganized. But if you could post that pic again Debbie,it would show the differences. The pic from the SJSA website that is dated 1987.
Thanks.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: Mom on December 22, 2010, 11:02:05 PM
(http://)@14BackThen..... do any of these photos jog your memory?
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: Mom on December 22, 2010, 11:03:37 PM
or, these ones...
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: Mom on December 22, 2010, 11:04:41 PM
... more
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: Mom on December 22, 2010, 11:06:31 PM
these photos are from an earlier time frame, but may still be relevant...
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: Mom on December 22, 2010, 11:07:41 PM
...and the last of them...
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: bestcho on December 23, 2010, 06:46:35 PM
Although I respect the fact that you have gone to a great deal of effort in acquiring the photos, Mom, I think you may be going off on a tangent. Two points of fact. 1. there were no sled tracks in the area to indicate involvement of that kind, and, 2. Dog sledders neither use a hangmans knot nor nylon rope. They use a combination of leather strapping and HEMP rope. Someone experienced in knot tying, would not use a hangmans knot either, as it is slow to tie, and the job would much more easily have been done using a slip knot or a figure eight. The killer, by using a hangmans knot is either making a point, or he has watched too many western movies. He is not an experienced knot person. As for the naval angle. I spent nine years in the navy, and never once saw a hangmans knot in use. That's the way I see it.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: jobo on December 23, 2010, 08:16:39 PM
I am thinking what if it was a guy that had a beef with the school...past or present, I don't know.   What if he planned to attack a woman and hang her from that bridge, as he knew that there was going to be a big outdoors event for the school.   So big that even families come the night before, to enjoy the day.  But he wanted to ruin it.
By doing that, he was making a point that he had a hate for someone of authority at the school, or the whole school itself. Or the whole idea of the school.   He knew that by doing this deed on that night, many, many people could possibly see this.  And horrified.
But it didn't turn out that way, as the rope and Melissa some how slipped. 
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: bestcho on December 23, 2010, 09:12:08 PM
The problem with that theory though Jobo, is that, had he been successful, no one would have found her. And the connection to the school would not have been made. There is a connection somewhere, just not sure it's the school
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: Mom on December 23, 2010, 09:25:51 PM
Quote
you have gone to a great deal of effort in acquiring the photos, Mom, I think you may be going off on a tangent.

I've got the whole world at my fingertips!  Not a problem, or a tangent.  The photos are beautiful and I was happy to share them.  Some of these photos were taken 3 weeks before Melissa was murdered.... my intent was to re-kindle 14BackThen's memory and/or in hopes of helping a psychic or remote seer "get the feel" for the area and the time frame.

I love their parkas and the dogs!
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: D1 on December 24, 2010, 12:12:36 PM
Great photos of the school and the area. Gives a better feel all the way around. The school may have been or may not have been the origin of the killer and or what precipitated the events.
re:
Quote
Two points of fact. 1. there were no sled tracks in the area to indicate involvement of that kind, and, 2. Dog sledders neither use a hangmans knot nor nylon rope. They use a combination of leather strapping and HEMP rope.

Good points Bestcho, but it has been noted by 14bt and is shown in several of the above photos that the yellow rope was used and was available on site for purposes other than the dog sleighs. The dog sleigh may well be a misnomer, but knot tying was part of the curriculum.

Jobo
Quote
He knew that by doing this deed on that night, many, many people could possibly see this.  And horrified.
But it didn't turn out that way, as the rope and Melissa some how slipped. 

bestcho
Quote
The problem with that theory though Jobo, is that, had he been successful, no one would have found her. And the connection to the school would not have been made.

This sort of gets to the crux of the matter, was there an accidental mishap that ended with Melissa being found on the ice in that spot, or did someone intend for her to drop through what appeared to be open water and disappear under the ice.

What clues do we have to make that determination? The rope is a major clue.
Bestcho
Quote
The killer, by using a hangmans knot is either making a point, or he has watched too many western movies. He is not an experienced knot person.

I get this too, it's almost a "show knot" a knot tied more for the visual effect than a purpose tied knot. As noted, it is believed that she was not killed with the device.

Which gets to jobo's thoughts, that maybe she was meant to be hung from the bridge and displayed but slipped off. Bestcho gives a very good explanation for why this would be very unlikely and I sort of agree with that in principle, but if she had not slipped off would there have been more to go along with the hanging scenario?

Those garbage bags played some sort of role that hasn't quite been determined yet either. There was a lighter. Was there any acccelerant on the items in the bags? Were they to be lit on fire and dropped off to advertize the display for instance? We don't know what else may have been in intended if Melissa had not accidentally slipped off if that was the case.

The contents of those bags would be so important to know..

I agree with some other thoughts on here, the knot would be too hard to tie on the spur of the moment, or in the cold, or on site at the bridge. You wouldn't be tieing and burning the rope ends out there on the bridge. So I believe the rope was pre- tied, pre-planned, or maybe even pre-used in an earlier event if she wasn't meant to be hung and displayed from the bridge.

The rope may be a left over indicating what may have happened earlier and may have been meant to disappear under the ice with Melissa.

The exact crime scene layout, the attachments to the rope, the bag contents, and all the other elements would need to be described as accurately as possible to get beyond just total speculation on this point.

Hopefully 14 bt and Bestcho will have some time to write up a little more on their recollections. I'm sure all this talk and these pictures are bringing back some dusty memories and maybe rekindling a few unspoken impressions from back then.


Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: bestcho on December 25, 2010, 10:40:10 AM
The other night after reading the posts here, I went to bed. After nearly falling asleep, I seem to recall some pieces of straw being on her jacket. Kind of an odd thing for a city girl to have on her coat . Just wondering if anyone knows if she was into horses. Or had a friend who had horses. Or someone she knew that had a barn, acreage, horses, etc.. Or perhaps she was taken to the bridge in the back of a pick-up. One owned by a farmer, horse lover, etc
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: Mom on December 25, 2010, 12:22:48 PM
There could possibly be straw used in the dog kennels and the truck they transport the dogs.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: debbiec on December 30, 2010, 03:51:50 PM

I've posted a link to the site, for the school I believe 14bt is referring to. Very informative site with a lot of very good information.

http://sjsa.ab.ca/# (http://sjsa.ab.ca/#)

All of the photos posted above are from the 'Saint John's School of Alberta' website. There are many more pictures on the site as well, including some fairly old ones.

I've quoted a post here which includes the link, just in case anyone is interested in looking at all the pictures. 
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: jobo on December 30, 2010, 06:41:09 PM
Or straw in the back of someone's pick-up truck...if he was a farmer.

I don't really think the perp was presently attending that school at the time of Melissa's murder, but I do think he had ties to the area.  Maybe, at one time did attend/teach there, maybe.
I do not think the perp would leave Melissa's body at that spot, if he lived close by.   He knows the area, but doesn't live there.  That's my take on this. 
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: debbiec on December 31, 2010, 12:59:26 AM
Des,
I thought there was a photo of the bridge and the location of the recover and now I can't seem to find it, perhaps I've missed it. Is it here and what page of this thread can I find it on? If it isn't here can anyone post a photo or a map coordinate. Also I recall some recovery photos, I must have just missed them.

I've just finished going over this thread from end to end and can't find the pictures you are referring to either. Although not sure I ever saw pictures of the recovery, I did remember seeing a very good  picture of the bridge. Carol-Lynn referred to it in the quote below, so I know I didn't imagine it!

Quote
Slovy you posted a photo of the bridge.How high is it ? The drop from the bridge to the slushy water below. And the cat walk also seems quite a height.

Very strange. I will try to find another pic to post.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: SAP on December 31, 2010, 01:34:31 AM
Perhaps Des remembers from the video?

http://edmonton.ctv.ca/servlet/an/local/CTVNews/20081022/edm_unsolvedmurders_feature_081022/20081022/?hub=EdmontonHome#TopVideoAn (http://edmonton.ctv.ca/servlet/an/local/CTVNews/20081022/edm_unsolvedmurders_feature_081022/20081022/?hub=EdmontonHome#TopVideoAn)

One thing that just hit me, according to the video, the journalist claims Police have alot of DNA and it's in their data bank,  that was collected from the crime scene. Yet never a match found  locally.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: Concerned on December 31, 2010, 10:00:14 AM
This is going to seem like a really silly question, but they did run the DNA through the old and through the new DNA system nationwide, correct?  I'm just shocked nowadays how many have DNA and start to reinvestigate a cold case, and still don't bother to make that step. From what we are told murderers, rapists, don't usually just act once then have a good life. You know what I mean?

One thing that just hit me, according to the video, the journalist claims Police have alot of DNA and it's in their data bank,  that was collected from the crime scene. Yet never a match found  locally.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: SAP on December 31, 2010, 12:58:43 PM
This is going to seem like a really silly question, but they did run the DNA through the old and through the new DNA system nationwide, correct?  I'm just shocked nowadays how many have DNA and start to reinvestigate a cold case, and still don't bother to make that step. From what we are told murderers, rapists, don't usually just act once then have a good life. You know what I mean?

One thing that just hit me, according to the video, the journalist claims Police have alot of DNA and it's in their data bank,  that was collected from the crime scene. Yet never a match found  locally.

According to the video the video was done 10 years after, so 1997. The Policeman being interviewed claimed it was in the system nationwide. Perhaps they need to have their minds jogged to renew the database? I don't know enough about that. Since Dave Ewasiuk talked to Police then, I wonder if he'd do another interview.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: SAP on December 31, 2010, 06:46:11 PM
By "locally" I had meant suspects in crimes in the Edmonton area but since the profile is nationwide could be Canada as well. The DNA must be from 1987 I would assume. 
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: SAP on January 01, 2011, 10:27:56 AM
They seem to do these kinds of things on anniversaries or if they have some tips. Perhaps he could persuade his wife...?
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: D1 on January 01, 2011, 12:02:11 PM
The anniversary angle is a good idea SAP. It really seems there is a chance this can still be solved.

If Melissa was really meant to disappear under the ice along with all those bags, there is quite likely evidence there that was never meant to be found either. The origin of those bags is quite likely known to the police.

I believe that there are ways to deal with the dna issues if that is what it comes down to.

Whether the jusridiction issue, rcmp/ vs/ edmonton city police had any bearing on the outcome hasn't really been explored, it has played a role in other similar circumstances.

I am a little confused yet over the exact layout of the crime scene. Was Melissa still dressed in the jacket or was it elsewhere bestcho?  The straw is a significant little detail and could be pointing at something?? Earlier the lack of sled tracks at the crime scene was pointed out but it was also noted how the snow shoe traffic etc had oblterated most of what was once there. The involvement of a pickup truck is a definite possibility and the easiest explanation for alot of what was found.

If bestcho and 14bt have any time to draw a rough sketch of the crime scene showing what items were found where in relation to each other, it may be helpful. Someone would be able to scan it in and upload it for you.

If you are still visiting here pinkflower, I know all this talk would be disturbing for you but there may be enough grounds to your cousin's murder to warrant requesting a cold case review.

The missing valentines, the lack of disclosure, or whereabouts, or records on the bag contents don't speak well of a competent honest attempt to solve the case at the time.

Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: bestcho on January 03, 2011, 11:38:34 PM

I think I may be able to explain. At the location, the bridge runs mostly east and west. The upstream side is to the south. The bridge is about 1000 feet across. She was located on the south side at nearly the middle point of the bridge. Yes, she was still wearing her jacket. Her head was to the south, with her feet towards the bridge. The garbage bags were within about 10-15 meters. She was nearly directly below the railing of the bridge. Perhaps a meter away from  the south of the railing. The nylon rope was attached with the loose end towards the east. I would guess that she was dropped feet first, and rolled backwards with her feet towards the bridge. Left leg straight out, and right leg at 90 degrees. on her back. The lighter on her right side. The loose end of the rope, also on the right.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: D1 on January 17, 2011, 07:35:40 AM
By all indication, someone meant for Melanie to disappear under the ice that night. I wonder if the person dropping her off the bridge could see that she hadn't gone under ? It was at night but it was a full moon I believe.

 I ask that in regard to the bags left behind, whether the killer thought Melanie had disappeared and the bags would likewise, or if the killer knew she hadn't gone under and the bags were meant to maybe cover her from view? Also goes to the contents of the bags, if the killer knew they would be found or not. One way he would not be so concerned with what he was leaving behind as the other.

Question for 14 bt, was straw used for any purposes anywhere on the school property? Was any particular person or vehicle involved in getting or transporting the straw bales?
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: D1 on February 09, 2011, 10:50:26 AM
I guess 14bt is too busy in the winter to add anything more. A few things in the news lately got me thinking of Melissa again.

#1
The recent slaughter of a whole team of sled dogs out in B.C. created much discussion, some of which shone a bad light on the practice. Not all and not the majority by far, but there has always been an element within that circle who used cruelty as a means of control.

Quote
Moriarty said from what she’s read so far in the report “many people will be shocked” not only about the culling but how sled dogs are treated in general.

“There is a problem with the sled dog industry in general. People see these 20 sled dogs, an idyllic setting with snow in the background and think how great. But what they don’t see is the 200 dogs tethered and sleeping out back, chained to a barrel.”

She said from reading the report, it appears the request was made to kill the dogs because of a downturn in the business after the Olympics on the compound of Outdoor Adventures.

“What do they do when they don’t have the money to feed them all? When the dogs aren’t needed. The order to simply put them down is not acceptable.”

She said the SPCA plans to uncover the mass grave to examine the dogs’ remains but can’t do that immediately because the ground is frozen under several feet of snow.

Moriarty said she’s “glad a light is finally being shed on this industry. I just shudder whenever I see the ads for sled dog tours because I know how the majority of dogs are living. There are a few good operations but on a smaller scale.”

Vancouver Humane Society spokesman Peter Fricker said this isn’t the first time sled dogs have been hurt or killed by sled dog companies in Canada. He said the SPCA in Tumbler Ridge seizeed 34 badly neglected sled dogs in 2009.



Read more: http://www.vancouversun.com/news/sled+dogs+slaughtered+Whistler+when+tourism+slumped+Report/4196610/story.html#ixzz1DToUoPci (http://www.vancouversun.com/news/sled+dogs+slaughtered+Whistler+when+tourism+slumped+Report/4196610/story.html#ixzz1DToUoPci)
   

#2
something 14bt had a vague memeory of, that one of the bags found at the crime scene was tied to a pair of panty hose. That gets me wondering again if the bags were meant to try to cover her body from sight or were part of some other purpose.

Solvy and Deb both posted links to school activities that took place on a regular basis and one that Solvy pointed out was the canoeing trips in same vicinity.

It was almost creepy to think about a killer canoeing down the same river where he had been dropping bodies, looking for garbage bags he had tied to them earlier to find and reminisce over his handiwork.

I really think it was a stroke of divine providence that Melissa even stayed above the ice and there is a story waiting there that has yet to be told.

Maybe it has nothing to do with the school but it is an unavoidable topic. Maybe the preacher or someone from the church in the mall where Mel worked was also or was visited by, the prison Chaplin from the prison near the school at the time? Any avid canoeist from that flock?

Hopefully 14bt will return someday with a little better summary of his recollections of the crime scene from that day. Doubtful anyone will be permitted to know the contents of those bags but after remaining unsolved for all this time, I feel its time to release more information. This single thing could be aiding Melissa's killer to remain hidden from view..
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: solvy on February 09, 2011, 02:52:34 PM
D1, that thought provoking mind of yours is working overtime again!   I really hadn't thought about your comment on the canoeing .  What better way for the perp to check the area out without being suspect.  take along a camera for lasting reminders even.

Yes I doubt we will ever hear about the bags either, unless someone comes here who may have caught a glimpse and would be willing to let us know.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: D1 on February 09, 2011, 05:38:00 PM
hey, you planted the seed Solvy, i just added a little water..
and ps.. I sometimes think you do that on purpose...

Got me wondering about any other bodies found downstream at any other time?
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: debbiec on February 09, 2011, 09:38:51 PM
Des, I haven't been able to find anything that says the panty hose were tied to the bag and to Melissa.

This statement from 14bt:
Quote
And, I question whether or not my memory is serving me correctly, but the other under garment, tied to the rope does seem to be sticking out in my mind. I imagine this comes off as a bit wacky, but I am quite sure that I remember that there was an under garment attached to the rope, other than the ones she was wearing. Please help me out here if anyone has heard of additional evidence that included this item.
Here is my dilemna; I can fight, and even question my memory as much as I will. But in my mind there was another pair of stockings?(leggings, panty hose) not sure what the term is, tied to the rope. Maybe this have never been disclosed, and I hope to God that is not the case, as now I really look suspicious. But I cant change my memory.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: D1 on February 09, 2011, 11:26:07 PM
It is a very strange set of circumstance found here and 14bt 's vague memory does make one wonder what was really going on. Bestcho said the bags themselves were light weight, not suitable to weigh a body down. What role anything light attached to the rope would play is a mystery. Maybe to snag on things and keep her close by? Or to act as a flag with which to locate her afterwards? 

The rope itself isn't even really understood, they say Melisa was not killed with the rope. This just seems to be calling out for someone to make sense of.

More questions keep arising dependant on the exact details of the evidence left behind

In the middle of winter on the frozen prairie with this the only piece of seemingly open water for miles around, one would have to assume that Melissa was deliberately dropped right there over that exact spot with the intent that she would disappear. Someone would have to have had intimate prior knowledge of that spot to have chosen it and driven out that far for that purpose. That someone must know this area well.

My mind goes to if one was driving with a body, one would have some sort of alibi prepared in his mind in case of maybe being pulled over even on a routine check or whatever in the middle of the night. A strange man in a strange vehicle in a strange area with no reason to be there draws suspicion on its own. Given what appears planning and purpose in the rest of the crime, I suspect the killer entertained that thought and suspect his alibi was valid and out in that general area. Maybe Mel was just hidden under those bags enroute to the disposal location. Who would be driving somewhere in something that all this would fit in with an excuse for being there? Someone who was legitimately supposed to be there? Someone who knew all that extra traffic was heading out to the school on that particular night?

The unusual knot, the pieces of straw, the bags, the other undergarment, the timing, all waiting to be put together somehow..

Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: scotsquine on July 03, 2011, 09:26:39 AM
Spending the weekend in the area and I heard some rumors.  They reckon it was a local guy who killed Melissa and he later committed suicide.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: D1 on July 03, 2011, 11:03:52 PM
I guess that would make sense in some ways. Just sucks though that if that was the case, it all ends with out anyone really knowing! These type of stories always make we wonder if someone's suicide was used as a convenient way to bring a case to close unofficially or otherwise, warranted or not.

Melissa is hard to forget, it was as if she somehow landed on the perfect spot on the ice where all of the evidence could be preserved and in a way that the killer couldn't get out there to retrieve it himself. It was like her last act to save the evidence for someone who would know what it meant and who it implicated.
Someone knows more than what has been said. Maybe the guy did kill himself because Melissa had preserved the evidence and they were closing in? After so long, that is the best outcome I could bring myself to accept but I am just a visitor. If it is so, I would hope the family could be informed and Melissa, rest in peace. 
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: Desespere on July 04, 2011, 04:57:55 PM
Maybe, if it is the case the killer committed suicide, police could easily close Melissa's unsolved murder case by testing everything they have for DNa and comparing it to the family of the suspect. Do police, according to the rumour mill, know who the locals think was guilty of this horrible murder?

It would be interesting to know if this suspect had any military training (the noose) interest in driving long distances, had a reason to be in the area or knew of the area, knew about river flows and currents, spent a lot of time in remote areas, went to West Edmonton Mall more than once (if not from Edmonton). Without naming names it would be very interesting to hear some details of the suspects life and character, whether he was just a scary guy or he had some siginificant ties and behaviours that would cause suspicion.

Suicide is committed by many very innocent people too. But innocent people in a lot of pain. Was the suspect 'strange' always or was he a very likeable guy who seemed to exhibit strange behaviours after Melissa's murder and that is why the locals suspect him? What was he like before Melissa's murder and what was he like after? Was he always depressed and suicidal, reckless and angry? I just wonder, I don't expect to know.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: SAP on July 15, 2011, 01:42:53 PM
It would be surprising if 14bt does come back considering he was hounded to "confess" at one point almost relentlessly. Perhaps he took his info to the Police rather than waste his time.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: D1 on July 15, 2011, 04:37:03 PM
I hope he did. I sure wouldn't condone that behaviour any longer; twas back when i was young and foolish and thought finding someones glove beside a body to be suspicious and warrant questioning. Killers have been known to makeup excuses and provide false alibis.

But it was all explained and there were no hard feelings, we moved along and 14bt has posted a lot more since. I don't know what else he could say, you only remember what you do. 

Quote
30Edmonton / Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
« on: November 26, 2010, 01:06:54 PM »
Well, I have typed respones to your questions twice, and both times the post did not show up. Not sure if my rocket stick internet is the problem, or I may just be messing up somehow. I hope this one goes through. i will answers your questions D1, but right now I must go back to work. My employees are wondering why I have been on the computer so long! Very unusual for me.
Hang tight, I will try to get back tonight.
BTW__D1---no hard feelings.
 
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: Desespere on July 15, 2011, 08:17:40 PM
I hope 14bt took his information to the police. I think 14bt is either one of the few, or the only person to post here who actually discovered the remains of a victim represented here. Melissa's case is quite obscure compared to some yet quite unique in so many ways. Lots of people who have posted in Melissa's thread have posted a lot of information here that has opened up a lot of questions.

Perhaps 14bt has decided there is nothing more to say and hounding for more won't help him remember anything new.

I do remember I saw a video of the young man who found Melissa as a teen and I felt he really wanted to see Melissa's case solved.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: jobo on July 16, 2011, 10:10:51 AM
I also saw that video, Des...and agree with you. 
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: bestcho on July 29, 2011, 12:54:53 AM
With respect.....I couldn't disagree more.
Quite honestly,... I don't know 14bt from adam.
Giving the benefit of the doubt, I will assume that he was the person who saw her from the bridge.
But from a few hundred feet away, .....he saw nothing.
If he knows more than he is saying, then shame on him.
If he doesn't,.....so be it.

But I was there....

So quit trying to be a gossip monger 14bt........or step up and do the right thing.

Des, ..  I understand that some want to help. ...But whacked out there fluffy opinions don't help. They just muddy the waters.
So 14bt.....I'm calling you out........wanna help?. Then do the right thing. Otherwise WTF?
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: D1 on July 29, 2011, 11:13:42 PM
I don't know what to think about all this anymore. Some felt I was being too pushy asking 14bt all those questions but I must admit that I had hoped for more than what came.

I still find it a little coincidental that the nearby school had knot tieing manuals on site and the same unusual sort of knot found tied to Melissa was in that manual. Not sure why 14bt came on to tell his story but he has not followed through with providing additional details as he indicated he would. Maybe he just doesn't recall anything else but he could just say so instead of disappearing.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: SAP on July 30, 2011, 08:36:17 AM
Apologies D1; I just felt that asking him outright might cause him to stop talking, jmho.

Looking at the video, there is something that always bothered me and that was the person being interviewed also said "I was 14 back then" ... that is the way 14bt also began and the person interviewed was not the same person, unless 14bt gave a different name. I don't know why it nags at me; but it just does.
I do feel the person (James W) was sincere on the video.

http://edmonton.ctv.ca/servlet/an/local/CTVNews/20081022/edm_unsolvedmurders_feature_081022/20081022/?hub=EdmontonHome#TopVideoAn
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: jobo on July 30, 2011, 09:05:15 AM
WHAT?   Are you people saying that 14bt is NOT the same guy as the man in the interview?    Oh, boy, I missed something here....no wonder I was starting to become confused, I thought it was the same guy.      When I told Des I agreed with her comment, I was referring to the guy in the interview on TV.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: SAP on July 30, 2011, 10:01:00 AM
14bt gave his full name in one of the first posts and as far as I understand, not the same person as on the video. That's why I am hmmmmm ing.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: scotsquine on July 30, 2011, 10:17:31 AM
There would have been a lot of 14 year old boys there that day.  It could have easily been another guy.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: D1 on July 30, 2011, 03:19:11 PM
re: SAP
Quote
Apologies D1; I just felt that asking him outright might cause him to stop talking, jmho.

No problem SAP, You may have been right. I just felt that an innocent party would simply state all the minute details if pressed but in the process may have offered up something more, maybe something of importance that he hadn't even realized back at the time. 14bt by his own admission is not the same person shown on the video.

There was a glove that was standard issue to that school found out on the ice at the same time near where Melissa's body was found and where it couldn't have been retrieved. Melissa was apparently supposed to have disappeared under the ice but didn't and because of that, the unusual knot tied around her neck became known. Manuals showing how to tie a knot like this were standard issue in the nearby school. Anyone wanting or needing an excuse or alibi had all night to dream one up. You would want that alibi in place early before daylight just in case someone else discovered the body in the meantime.

Maybe the explanations that 14bt had brought spare socks along to wear instead of gloves that day after accidentally dropping his mitt off the side are valid but it was a suspiciously strange set of circumstances and timing which I believed warranted pushing things a bit further than usual. I am disappointed that more did not come of it and hope that we haven't been bluffed off course. Interested parties should save a copy of what was posted by 14bt on here about the school and such.
I do support bestcho in calling for more.
 
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: SAP on July 31, 2011, 01:57:05 PM
There would have been a lot of 14 year old boys there that day.  It could have easily been another guy.

Yes definitely but what struck me strange was that 2 different persons talking/writing personally about that day would say ... "I was 14 back then". I guess what I'm wondering about that phrase is why did the second person use that phrase here while posting (several years after the fact). It may be nothing more than my imagination.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: SAP on July 31, 2011, 02:15:15 PM
This was 14's first post:

Well, I am not sure where to start, as this has been an ongoing memory for so long, would you believe that it even haunted me for close to two years. i signed in to this site as "14 back then", and now i am 38 yrs old, life of coarse has gone on, but the thought has always been there. I f I could shed some light on this at all I will, as well as my memory allows.
My actual name is Craig, and i was 14 at the time. I was not the best behaved teen, but probably not the worst. My parents made the decision to send me to an all boys private school, known for its strict influence, and a reputation for cleaning up bad behavior. I was first enrolled in '86, and continued through 87. Among many activities that the school did, snow shoeing was a main winter sport. We would set out from the school (which I should mention is about a Km away from the Genesee bridge) at a crazy early time in the day, and venture on a all day excursion of snowshoeing. The day in question was a different day, as it was our main race, where the teams were set depending on grade, and all of our families came out for the big event. I was in grade 9, and our trek was a long one, some 25kms, which would take all day to do. I cant remember how many teams there were, but we had a team of five or six. As we were virtually kids, we were sent out with an alumni adult as our guide. It was extremely dark when we left, and our route passed over the bridge, we travelled on the same side both ways. Being the little trouble maker I was, as we were crossing the bridge in the morning, I was goofing around on the railing, and ended up losing one of my gloves over the side. As I said, it was dark, and there was no way i could see it after it fell. I spent the whole day without my glove, and really hated myself for my stupidity. Forward to after a very long day of snowshoeing, it was the later afternoon when we were racing back to the school, fighting for first place and making great time. When we got to the bridge, i wanted to see if my glove was visible from the deck. It was a high bridge, now maybe not as high as I thought, but it seemed like a hundred feet. When i looked over for my glove, there she was. A sight at first I thought was a prank, and not ever expecting to see such a sight. When I saw her, I was mid sentence rambling about my lost glove, and stopped as I looked. The rest of the team must have caught on somehow, as we were all glancing down at her from above. At this point, as expected, our adult leader, made the decision to send the team back up to the school to get help. he kept myself with him, and once the team left, we went down below the bridge. You have to remeber that we were in a mode of fright, and excitement; fright that we had just found a body, and excitement as to whether this girl may be alive and need help. We came off the bank of the river onto the ice, now down on opur hands and knees as we were fearful of ice break. Crawling out to Melissa, we could only go so far. As we went further out, the ice was getting less stable, and our safety was now a concern. I rember many things, but the details would be both hard for me to explain, but I fear also difficult for any family members/friends to read. If it is needed, I will answer questions at a later time. The time that it took for the school officials to come down, and for the first emergency response eludes me, as I know it seemed like an eternity. i remeber looking up to the bottom of the bridge, where there was a catwalk(I am guessing for the original construction and maintenance) and wondering to myself if Melissa had been discarded from that catwalk, and not the road surface of the bridge. The whole time thoiughts were streaming through our minds as to what happened, and how. Then, as expected, we were removed from the premises to go back to the school. After the snowshoe race, we were on a week long break, and went back to our perspective homes. I was a wreck, i was scared, and I was playing mind games like mad. i slept in my older sisters room, for that whole week, as it was the only way i felt better. My nightmares started, foolish thoughts of the killer, and how he knew who I was. The worst was the reoccurring dream of me looking up at the catwalk, and he was there, starring down at me with a grin, like he knew he would find me. As I said before, it did haunt me for a time, and eventually stopped. I remember the police contacting me on a number of occasions, to clarify my glove being on the ice, and to get my detailed testimony. But then nothing. For years I have watched for any stories, breaks or arrests in this case. Nothing. I only stumbled across this site a few days ago, and that is where I decided to log on.
The memories of my nightmares, or the actual finding, are nothing compared to the distraught the Letain family has endured. I have always wanted to say it to them, and now is my chance if they may be on this thread; my heart goes out to you for your loss, twenty some years later wouldnt make it any easier. I have children, and i would be devasted to have to endure what you have.

I only hope one day the culprit will be caught.

Craig

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

He didn't say he saw Melissa from a few hundred feet away, rather they were standing over the spot where the glove was dropped and the ice seemed a few hundred feet from the top of the bridge and at that point they didn't seem to know whether she was dead or alive.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: D1 on July 31, 2011, 02:44:47 PM
Correct on the hundred feet but still a fair distance, and... although the circumstance may seem suspicious as it definitely was back then, it has apparently been looked into several times.
from 14bt
Quote
I remember the police contacting me on a number of occasions, to clarify my glove being on the ice, and to get my detailed testimony. But then nothing.

A few points stick out to me too. One being that the entire school was paraded over the bridge that day, same side as Melissa, both ways/ right across where Melissa's killer would have been the night before thus obliterating any possible tracks.

Then the teacher/leader of the bunch sends everyone away except for himself and 14bt who go down to the side of the river and attempt to crawl out on thin ice on the pretext of trying to save Melissa. Very noble and quite possible but would also disguise or obliterate any tracks left there previously the night before by anyone who may have attempted to go out on the ice for some reason.

Don't get me wrong, I actually believe most of what 14bt says. I am just stating what would have been very suspicious circumstance back then and why it was maybe justifiable to be seeking explanations. I am still troubled by that teacher who dragged 14bt out on thin ice with him that day. Too bad they returned that glove, I'd be requesting it be checked for DNA and I'm not totally convinced it would have been 14bt's dna they would have found. jmo though..

Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: D1 on July 31, 2011, 03:18:37 PM
This seems to be a case that would benefit from modern day forensics. Even though most of the dna would have been submerged there is still a chance. Take the lighter. The lighters metal actuation wheel takes pressure to operate and rotates each time its used to where one edge is always up against the flint. Water may not have been able to wash that one spot clean. Then there are all those garbage bags contents unknown???
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: D1 on July 31, 2011, 04:02:41 PM
And the rope; an abrasive material tied by the hands of the killer and although it was submerged, the tighter folds of the rope under the knots may not have been cleaned off so well. In the police photos of the rope, the knots do not appear to have been undone at least at the time of the photo. Of course the sexual assault aspect could yield dna as well. jmo that there is more that can still be done. 14bt is not the end all or be all of this investigation.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: SAP on July 31, 2011, 05:00:00 PM
Correct on the hundred feet but still a fair distance, and... although the circumstance may seem suspicious as it definitely was back then, it has apparently been looked into several times.
from 14bt
Quote
I remember the police contacting me on a number of occasions, to clarify my glove being on the ice, and to get my detailed testimony. But then nothing.

A few points stick out to me too. One being that the entire school was paraded over the bridge that day, same side as Melissa, both ways/ right across where Melissa's killer would have been the night before thus obliterating any possible tracks.

Then the teacher/leader of the bunch sends everyone away except for himself and 14bt who go down to the side of the river and attempt to crawl out on thin ice on the pretext of trying to save Melissa. Very noble and quite possible but would also disguise or obliterate any tracks left there previously the night before by anyone who may have attempted to go out on the ice for some reason.

Don't get me wrong, I actually believe most of what 14bt says. I am just stating what would have been very suspicious circumstance back then and why it was maybe justifiable to be seeking explanations. I am still troubled by that teacher who dragged 14bt out on thin ice with him that day. Too bad they returned that glove, I'd be requesting it be checked for DNA and I'm not totally convinced it would have been 14bt's dna they would have found. jmo though..



People so often try to "help" without thinking they may be disturbing a crime scene and I wasn't thinking of the adult as a teacher (who should have known better), rather an adult who had been graduated from the school. he made the wrong decision yes, but from way up on the bridge how would they know if they could be useful or not? Perhaps the reason he kept 14bt with him was b/c he was a daring type of person and it was his glove that made him look over the bridge in the first place.
It's understandable the police would be questioning 14bt a lot considering the glove was his and found near Melissa. I've driven over Genesee bridge a lot in the past but I haven't actually stopped, ever, to peer down and take in the distance so I don't know anything about that. I doubt I could even do that now without feeling "scared". 
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: jobo on July 31, 2011, 06:53:43 PM
If I saw a woman laying on the ice and had a chance to perhaps save her, I wouldn't be thinking I might be contaminating a crime scene, much to the chagrin of the cops, I'm sure..lol      My first thought is always to help.
 If the police got paint chips from a vehicle, I would think it would be possible to know what kind of vehicle it was.   Or could they determine that back then?    That to me was a huge clue in being able to identify who did it.
Also, the bags must have produced more clues that we just don't know....info not released.   And, what about possible bits of straw on Melissa?      Seems like there was several clues, but what did the police do with them?

I just noticed that Feb 13/1987 was a Friday the 13th that year.   (I know that 'cause someone near and dear was born very close to that day).      Not sure if that means anything to the perp, or, more so, Valentine's Day the next day.  I hope the police DO have the Vanlentine's cards as possible evidence.

Regarding the noose....perhaps our perp sat (at home) and made it as he planned this murder.   The time consuming procedure may have been his way (his sick way) of building up to the actual crime.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: D1 on July 31, 2011, 09:57:50 PM
It quite likely happened as described but there was an unusual degree of coincidence involved that obviously raised eyebrows at the time. I can see why the Police kept questioning this.
14bt-
Quote
I remember the police contacting me on a number of occasions, to clarify my glove being on the ice, and to get my detailed testimony. But then nothing.

However, the forensic tests available today would not have even been considered back then. Perhaps it's time to look at those exhibits under a new light?
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: A Pink Flower on August 27, 2011, 11:05:05 PM
I haven't been back to this thread in a while. I'm suprised to see that it is still being continued. It's nice to know that people still think about Melissa.

Just to clarify a few things first: I am not Melissa's cousin (I don't know how that came up) but I am family. Also, I think it was Jobo that said something about the Valentines cards- from what I've heard they were thrown out by the police (refer to the post where I talked about this.) Also, yes it was Friday the 13th. Another interesting fact was that on the Friday when she disappeared it was also a full moon. Those facts probably don't have anything to do with the murder but I find it interesting that it was Friday the 13th (a full moon) that she was murdered and found on February 14th (Valentines day). Maybe that's just me being superstitious though.

I have thought of seeing if the case could be looked at again but it is already an open case so if any DNA evidence comes in from other cases then it will be tested to see if it matches Melissa's case. One of the reasons why our family hasn't done anything is we feel it is just best to move on. Sure it would be great to have the case solved but its not something we would look into ourselves.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: D1 on August 28, 2011, 01:07:45 AM
A Pink Flower- I don't believe this is completely accurate.
Quote
I have thought of seeing if the case could be looked at again but it is already an open case so if any DNA evidence comes in from other cases then it will be tested to see if it matches Melissa's case.

There are others on here who would know more about this but the dna testing procedures have changed since Melissa. There is a new type of dna sequencing for the profiles now that have to be entered into a new data base. Has the dna from Melissa's case even been entered?

I know this is your prerogative but if no family member checks just to make sure everything possible has been done for their loved ones before moving on, it won't be.

Quote
One of the reasons why our family hasn't done anything is we feel it is just best to move on. Sure it would be great to have the case solved but its not something we would look into ourselves.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: A Pink Flower on August 28, 2011, 04:14:55 PM
I don't know for sure if the DNA was entered, that is just what I was told by other family members. I understand that it would be a good idea to check if everything possible has been done but it is something that we will probably not do. If any new details in the case emerge then maybe we will find out. Even if we knew who the murderer was we still wouldn't be able to bring her back.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: SAP on August 28, 2011, 11:48:23 PM
Pink Flower, I'm sure it was a most difficult decision to make in letting it go. Life goes on and to constantly keep remembering something one cannot do anything about can eventually consume a person with a lot of negative feelings. I can understand and appreciate your feelings. You are correct, even if there was closure, would there really be closure if it doesn't bring this lovely young lady back?
My quest would be to put the maniac away for a very long time so he could not do this ever again to an innocent life. :'(
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: D1 on August 29, 2011, 12:07:00 AM
Tough call.. It is the family's prerogative to do as they wish. I had thought (or hoped) that this murder was entirely solvable. It just seemed that Melissa had defied so many odds in order to just be found under these near miraculous circumstances somehow managing to keep from slipping below the ice where she might never have been seen again.

 Whatever powers there be both held Melissa up on thin ice and kept her killer at bay by the same means. By such tenous and miraculous circumstance the evidence which could name Melissa's killer was preserved intact and unmolested. It was as if this were Melissa's last act to hold on in defiance to those who had done this to her by and for means and reasons that are known only to her and her God. We all know the strange circumstances, the full moon/ Friday the 13th/ St. Valentine’s Day/ the hangman's noose found hanging around her neck. There is so much more lurking just below the surface.

Additional Comment deleted:
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: bestcho on August 29, 2011, 01:23:50 PM
Hi APF,
If I may interject.
Here's my concern about , just letting go,
and with all sincerity I in no way mean to obligate you,


I have a serious problem in believing, that someone who would commit such a heinous crime, would do it as a "one off". I think that someone that sick and evil, will, and possibly, has already, done it again.[u] As someone so closely involved, I think it is my duty, to continue on.
Not for me, and not for her friends and family, but for Melissa. And certainly for any others that have or will fall victim to that animal. That's why, I for one, will never just let it go. Melissa, IMO, is at least owed that.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: Annastaisha on August 29, 2011, 01:39:13 PM
*applauds Bestcho*
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: D1 on August 29, 2011, 09:06:38 PM
Ditto that Bestcho !
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: jellybean on August 29, 2011, 09:22:54 PM
Some families make their own closure and make peace with the fact that their daughter/son s gone.  I am sure that the family expended much emotional energy over the years with her murder. For some families , they must come to peace with it, and carry on, which does not mean that the  hole left in their hearts will mend.  He/She will always be there.
But at some point, life must continue, and they will carry their lost loved one in their hearts long as they live.
Murder of a loved one, is such a deep personal loss, and the scars remain forever.
It is such a deeply personal thing, and I respect their decision.
JB
ps Even though I agree that this monster should be caught and put away, when it is your own family member, so much energy is spent over grief that there is no energy left, and they trust in the police, and after many let downs, with no where to turn, they , in their own personal way,  must let go of the circumstances surrounding their loved one's death. While the remembrance of their daughter/son continues, they close the book after so many years and attempt to lead a normal life. They deserve that much in my opinion.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: D1 on August 30, 2011, 07:14:34 PM
I agree with that for the most part too jb, but it has been a lot of years and whatever terms a family came to back then under very traumatic circumstance may not be totally warranted now. I'm sure they did all they could back then before giving up on justice, but things have changed. We have new tests procedures now that weren't available then. How traumatic would it be 30 years later or how much effort would it take to just make one phone call in order to make sure the DNA had been entered into the new data bank? No one is saying this has to be a full time all consuming effort on the part of the family as I'm sure it was in the early years. There is a fine line between maintaining some degree of involvement and crossing over to some degree of neglect. IMO Melissa deserves the call and the new testing procedures warrants it.

from jb-
Quote
While the remembrance of their daughter/son continues, they close the book after so many years and attempt to lead a normal life. They deserve that much in my opinion.

They do, and could go back to that after just making sure everything possible is being done now for Melissa in their absence, at least just make the one call. Otherwise how much peace does that provide knowing now that there is something you can do and don't?
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: SAP on August 31, 2011, 10:47:29 AM
I would have to agree with several people upthread.
Like Bestcho said, it's difficult thinking the perp was a one time offender. Something that bothers me for awhile and I thought of Melissa as soon as I saw this beautiful young girl's picture in the case in the following link:

http://www.unsolvedcanada.ca/index.php?topic=3824.0

Although the circumstances are different and Kerrie was younger, there is such a similarity of features, as well as the time frame, one year earlier. It was the features that gave me an unsettling feeling. Someone who lived in the Thompson area knew some people who possibly covered up for the perp who had connections to Sask, Alberta and B.C as a trucker. This case is now coming alive again.

See what you all think.
 
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: debbiec on August 31, 2011, 11:23:24 AM

I've posted the pictures of both Melissa (#1) and Kerrie (#2) so that we can take a look at them together.

I see what you mean SAP and also think there is a similarity of features.

Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: SAP on August 31, 2011, 11:30:00 AM
Thank you Debbie.
My thinking of the similar features is that sometimes someone jilted in love will go off the deep end and take his angers out on similar looking persons.
It may be a stretch, however the perp was a traveller in these western provinces.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: D1 on August 31, 2011, 05:59:22 PM
Interesting, there are similarities. Could just be coincidental but, there was a suspect named in Kerrie's murder and they have dna from Melissa's. Picture of that suspect could be of interest.
from Kerrie's brother's facebook comments.
http://www.unsolvedcanada.ca/index.php?topic=3824.0 (http://www.unsolvedcanada.ca/index.php?topic=3824.0)
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: jellybean on August 31, 2011, 06:34:14 PM
Apart from fresh young faces, I do not see similarities, and am wondering where are the connections?
Location?
Time period?
Type of killing? Melissa's was very unique. Speaking of rope, who was the young lady in Stanard AB, she was bound with rope and thrown into water!!
Any connections between the victims; Did they know the same people, or each other?

JB
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: D1 on August 31, 2011, 07:26:32 PM
Probably circumstantial at best if any but who knows until you look? The no stone unturned theory, process of elimination or whatever you want to call it is never ending. There's the beauty of DNA, a thousand man hours spared, months and years of wondering laid to rest with one dna test.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: SAP on August 31, 2011, 09:27:50 PM
Apart from fresh young faces, I do not see similarities, and am wondering where are the connections?
Location?
Time period?
Type of killing? Melissa's was very unique. Speaking of rope, who was the young lady in Stanard AB, she was bound with rope and thrown into water!!
Any connections between the victims; Did they know the same people, or each other?

JB

Time frame and location was already posted above. As far as location, if the perp is a trucker and travels several provinces, it's easy for him.
No similarities in MO.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: bestcho on September 01, 2011, 08:43:11 AM
Here's something that perhaps some have overlooked. Melissa went missing from either the mall parking lot or on the walkway across the street from the mall. There is absolutely nowhere for a trucker to park his rig in the area. Secondly, if he were to merely stop it on the side of the road, A: it would be very obvious, B: he would need to somehow get her to it. Not a feasible scenario. Rental cars would be easy to trace, so that doesn't fit either. More likely, is either she went with someone she knew, and/or it was simply a crime of convenience, wrong place, wrong time. I tend to lean towards, she went with someone she knew willingly. Either in the mall parking lot, or on the walkway between houses, it would be VERY difficult to kidnap an unwilling subject without someone seeing or hearing something.

Thoughts?
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: SAP on September 01, 2011, 09:11:47 AM
Makes sense. I hadn't accounted for a big rig; would be pretty hard to hide that.

Otherwise, the other two scenarios both could be plausible.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: D1 on September 01, 2011, 11:52:34 AM
We have dwelt on the location and circumstance where Melissa was found to a far greater degree than the location where she was last seen. I would agree with this.
bestcho
Quote
I tend to lean towards, she went with someone she knew willingly

From what I gather the area has changed a fair bit over the years but there were some pictures from back then. Google maps were a bit difficult to use to follow her usual route.

I wonder if the family also concluded back then that this was the work of someone closer to her? Someone who wanted to control her but was unable to?
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: Embers1275 on September 23, 2011, 12:12:28 PM
Hi - I'm new here, but I've read the entire thread with a mixture of emotions.  Sadness after reading the replay and rehash of Melissa's murder, which I completely understand is the point of this site, to happiness and relief that she isn't being forgotten and that there are people still passionate and interested in what happened to her. 

I was eleven when Melissa was murdered and I have never gotten over it.  I don't know who Pink Flower is, other than a family member, and I hope my post is appropriate and not hurtful.  I lived next door to Melissa and she was often my babysitter.  She was so much fun!!  I remember her laugh...you just had to laugh right along.  She was bubbly, feisty, kind, so so so full of life.  She taught me how to hang upside down from the clothesline bars in her backyard and flip to your feet, a huge accomplishment for a six year old.  She was never scared, never reluctant, never shy.  A challenge had no teeth against her ambition and determination. 

I remember her coming back from KDays one summer with a HUGE stuffed animal that she was showing off, bright eyes flashing, chewing bubblegum, so excited and happy and laughing, always, always laughing.  When I was in Grade 2 or 3, she used me as a model for a hairstyling competition where she styled my hair into a bun on my head, complete with felt eyes, nose, and mouth pasted to the front.  Melissa's influence in my life happened when I was so very young,  but these memories stand out in contrast like winter trees against a fiery sunset, their stark image burnt to the back of your mind.  Mostly I just remember a whirling, effervescent, blond, fiery, magnetic spirit that caught you in its path and made you want to go along with it.   And then all that passion, all that life and energy ... just gone.  Although it's unexplainable, no one tried to make sense of it with this 11 year old confused and terrified girl.  We were supposed to not bring it up ever and it was taboo to talk about. 

I wanted to post this to let people know what kind of an impact Melissa had on me in her short time here.  I still get nightmares about that horrible cold winter in 1987 when I realized that the world could also be a hard, inhumane, and senseless place.  But I needed to say this back then and never got the chance, even though, to be fair,  I don't think I would have been able to put it in words back then, spoken or otherwise.  This has haunted me over the decades and still does to this very day. 

I don't know why this happened or who would do such a thing.  Focusing on that only makes the memory of Melissa all about her cruel death and brings the sadness and fear back with it.  I don't pretend to have a deep bond or even a close relationship with her, but she did have a big effect on me as a very young child and even back then I could see how unique and special a spirit she was.  I know this doesn't contribute to the discussion or progression of the case in any way, but I hope it brings back a certain degree of humanity and shines a light on the personality and beauty inside and out that was Melissa.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: scotsquine on September 23, 2011, 12:35:33 PM
Embers1275 - Wow, what a wonderful post to Melissa.  I am so sorry that you had to go through such a horrible thing at such a young age.  You paint an amazing picture of her and that's how you should remember her.  By the way, you write beautifully.
Thank You
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: SAP on September 23, 2011, 12:47:39 PM
Wow Ember, I echo Scots comments. Thank you. Melissa's pictures showed a certain amount of what you wrote and you have put the finishing touches on. This will indeed remind us Melissa is a person and not a case. It's very sad you lost Melissa in such a horrific way.

You mentioned that back then it was forbidden to talk of what happened to Melissa ... was there any suspicion that you have heard of elders speaking of who could have done this?
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: jobo on September 23, 2011, 01:24:42 PM
Beautiful post Embers.   I think you have more of a bond with Melissa than you realize, as she was a wonderful presence in your life when you were young.  All positive.  You had had fun with her.  Then, just gone, like you say.  Then, at the age of 11 you had to realize what a cruel world it can be at times.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: Embers1275 on September 23, 2011, 02:34:37 PM
Just being able to write about it after all this time was very cathartic for me.  I know this was probably not the right forum for it, but there really is nowhere else I felt I could post this where it would carry the same weight or be understood, unless I had a private blog, which I don't.  It sounds selfish, but I didn't realize until I hit the "post" button what a huge weight had been lifted off me. 

To answer your question, SAP, about not being able to talk about this at the time it happened, the only vibe or instruction I got as to why was that it was just too upsetting and would not be appropriate to bring up.  Just the way my family dealt with issues like this, I imagine.  If we didn't talk about it, we didn't have to deal with any tough and probably inevitable, unanswerable questions.  We didn't talk much with Melissa's family, sadly, after this happened.  They retreated understandably from the world and we were all left to deal with it on our own.  Like I said, I can't really offer any clues or tips, hence this probably wasn't the right forum for this type of post, but I really felt a need to share these memories and provide something positive to the discussion. 
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: Annastaisha on September 23, 2011, 03:27:05 PM
Thank you for sharing Embers. Most of us dont know the victim/victims we are posting about and look at it from a 3rd party view to see the whole picture. It is always fantastic for me when people who knew the victim can share memories and let us see just what kind of person the world was robbed of. Quite often these victims get forgotten or referenced as just a number in a police data base and we should never forget that each and every one had a life, had family, friends and made an impact on others where ever they went.
Once again, thank you for sharing  :)
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: SAP on September 23, 2011, 05:03:53 PM
Just being able to write about it after all this time was very cathartic for me.  I know this was probably not the right forum for it, but there really is nowhere else I felt I could post this where it would carry the same weight or be understood, unless I had a private blog, which I don't.  It sounds selfish, but I didn't realize until I hit the "post" button what a huge weight had been lifted off me. 

To answer your question, SAP, about not being able to talk about this at the time it happened, the only vibe or instruction I got as to why was that it was just too upsetting and would not be appropriate to bring up.  Just the way my family dealt with issues like this, I imagine.  If we didn't talk about it, we didn't have to deal with any tough and probably inevitable, unanswerable questions.  We didn't talk much with Melissa's family, sadly, after this happened.  They retreated understandably from the world and we were all left to deal with it on our own.  Like I said, I can't really offer any clues or tips, hence this probably wasn't the right forum for this type of post, but I really felt a need to share these memories and provide something positive to the discussion. 

Regarding any clues, not a problem. We are happy you shared your experience and this is great to post here. Once again, thank you so much. I'm glad your writing was also helpful for you.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: debbiec on September 23, 2011, 10:37:39 PM
from Embers:
Quote
Just being able to write about it after all this time was very cathartic for me.  I know this was probably not the right forum for it, but there really is nowhere else I felt I could post this where it would carry the same weight or be understood, unless I had a private blog, which I don't.  It sounds selfish, but I didn't realize until I hit the "post" button what a huge weight had been lifted off me. 


Welcome Embers, 

This is the perfect place for you to write about Melissa. For myself, it doesn't get any better than when a family member, friend, or aquaintance of the victim, comes here to share with us. Here, we deal with the facts, and I always feel it's wonderful when someone paints a picture that allows us a glimpse of who the victim was in their life. What you wrote is beautiful. It is clear that Melissa has had a lasting impact on your life.

Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: D1 on September 23, 2011, 11:13:28 PM
We can tell that Mellisa was exactly the person you describe embers. There hasn't been any headway made on solving her murder in so long that hearing of her in life was beautiful but sad at the same time. Mellisa sticks in peoples hearts and minds. thanks...
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: bestcho on September 25, 2011, 10:19:43 AM
Embers,

If there was any doubt in your mind, as to whether this was the correct place to share your thoughts about Melissa, let me, and the others, put your doubts away.
All too often, we tend to depersonalize what ever our involvement might be regarding the unfortunates on the site. After time, we think of them as cases instead of people. People who had brothers, sisters, babysitters, neighbors and friends. As someone who was involved many years ago, and someone who thought this incident would be solved quickly, it is heart warming to know that there are still people out there who remember. That's why it's so important to keep a site like this one, because someone out there knows something,,,,,,anything. We likely won't directly solve any cases here, but if someone sees that there are people still looking and feeling the pain of lost souls, perhaps they might be motivated to speak up,.....just like you did. There are likely people around who have heard someone boast or brag or perhaps even feel remorse, and those people, perhaps innocently, have been carrying the burden around for so long. They need to get it off their chest too. And that could be the tipping point. We may never know about it, but we may have been the instrument to turn on someones sense of duty or even merely to turn on a light bulb in their head that says " oh I remember something odd that day".
Thanks for your input. I'm sure I'm not alone in requesting that you not be a stranger and we look forward to your thoughts in future.
Take care,
Thanks again
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: SAP on September 25, 2011, 11:04:59 AM
As usual, a great post Bestcho. :)

Embers your insights have been most valuable here. I join Bestcho, as I'm sure others will as well, in hoping you will remain posting with us.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: D1 on September 25, 2011, 11:54:27 AM
There are so many little details to put together and personal insights like this are most valuable. You get a sense of who Melissa was and maybe even some sense of what may have led up to her murder. The possibility of someone close to her being the killer would be troubling to family and they may have been looked at by law enforcement in the past. Perhaps that is a contributing factor to family not wanting to get involved again.

I find some of what Bestcho has said to be very interesting and wonder if there is a connection to be found there. Someone who would be familiar with both sides of the equation, Melissa herself and the location of abduction along with the bridge and the school?

Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: Embers1275 on September 25, 2011, 05:07:24 PM
Wow, thanks for all the support, everyone.  Bestcho, that was a beautiful post, thank you very much :)  I was reluctant to post at first, but I now feel I'm in the right place after reading your post.  I will continue to follow this thread, I think, as it seems to be the only connection to what happened so long ago that is also current and present and still active.  It also makes me feel better to know there are actually people out there who do care and want to see this resolved once and for all. 

The only thing that I ever remember overhearing back then was that it had to be someone that Melissa knew, because I'd hate to see a stranger try and overtake and subdue her.  She would have fought back until there was no fight left, and maybe that is what did happen, and her assailant was just too powerful in the end, but that would have attracted an enormous amount of attention and created such a commotion that surely there would be witnesses that would have heard or seen such a display, you would think.  We all believed she definitely would never have gone quietly with a stranger.  It was felt that it must have been a casual acquaintance, spurned lover, ex-boyfriend, etc., but as far as I know, all those avenues were explored at the time and didn't produce any fruitful leads. 

It's frustrating to not know all the details and possibilities that have already been explored and to be left with so many questions and scenarios.  I'm hoping this thread stays active and maybe like was said before, someone somewhere will do the right thing and either come forward with a true and reliable lead or unburden their conscience and bring about a long-awaited closure for everyone involved.  Probably so much wishful thinking after all this time, but as long as people are still talking about it and trying to see things from new angles, despite the limited amount of info that is available, there is still hope.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: SAP on September 26, 2011, 01:09:08 AM
At the time Melissa was a stylist, were men going to the salons for haircuts? I know they tended to go to Barber shops but somewhere along the way they started using beauty salons. The perp could have been a customer as well, however I would think the police checked that angle too.

Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: D1 on September 27, 2011, 09:16:49 AM
Thats true about men going to hair stylists starting sometime back then and I think it quite possible that the killer could have been a customer. However, no one seems to have seen anything other than one report of a woman struggling with a man outside of an apartment buliding. I'm not sure if this were even her building or not. Maybe she walked home the same way all the time? Maybe someone was stalking her without her even knowing? Whatever happened, this is the sole piece of information relating to the abduction site.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: SAP on September 27, 2011, 09:51:05 AM
It is human nature for people to stop and stare when some fight or struggle is going on. Even people in the apartments who could have seen/heard something, but in the dark could not make out features. I think Des mentioned a full moon that night though, and with snow, lighting would have been good. Someone out there saw something and knows something.
The perp would have been someone very agile and strong. I can't see Melissa meandering along slowly, especially not in the winter. She was energetic and would have been clipping along fast; also since she was going to meet her friends at a lounge after.
Perhaps Melissa reminded the perp of someone and he was stalking her, or just a stalker, or someone she was sort of familiar with. WEM gets a lot of traffic from out of the city as well as in city. People driving long distances usually spend a few nights in the suites there.
At the time of this happening, I was living up Highway 43. We had safety programns running in the school and police told us that children and women molesters were in abundance up that way. They said when the police were on the trails and watching, the perps moved down the line.

We are probably going around in circles but after a time people may have some different ideas.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: D1 on October 03, 2011, 11:43:37 PM
Perhaps we are going around in circles but things do get a little clearer with each little detail and hopefully someday it may lead to something.
re: embers
Quote
The only thing that I ever remember overhearing back then was that it had to be someone that Melissa knew, because I'd hate to see a stranger try and overtake and subdue her.  She would have fought back until there was no fight left, and maybe that is what did happen, and her assailant was just too powerful in the end, but that would have attracted an enormous amount of attention and created such a commotion that surely there would be witnesses that would have heard or seen such a display, you would think.  We all believed she definitely would never have gone quietly with a stranger.  It was felt that it must have been a casual acquaintance, spurned lover, ex-boyfriend, etc., but as far as I know, all those avenues were explored at the time and didn't produce any fruitful leads.

But that was then and we have DNA testing now. I don't believe anyone has checked to see whether the DNA from her murder has been entered into the DNA bank?

I understand the feeling that an ex or similar may have been the killer. Embers description above of how Mellisa would have fought coupled with the noose found around her neck just seems to have some corelation. The noose being a reaction of someone who wanted to posses and control her but couldn't? Maybe even a former student from the school nearby to where she was found? Just seems it was someone she knew. The real profilers and forensics units could probably make headway with this murder if they employed all of their new tools. How do you convince them to take another look?   
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: jellybean on October 04, 2011, 08:58:51 PM
Quote from earlier post
Items of Melissa's never recovered was a CN Trucking key chain (those clear rectangular acrylic keychains) with a single key, a woman's gold tone watch with a rectangular face, a blue leather or leather looking woman's wallet and a green clutch purse with a gold clasp.
Souvenirs for a serial killer? Obviously he had her in his vehicle and no doubt tormented her, humiliated her with the noose around her neck as well as raped her before he murdered her.
I think this was a sadistic killer. He may have moved on to other provinces and did similar killings.
I remember this crime as I lived in Edmonton when it happened, and it was a shock to the public. In fact it almost seemed surreal, such was the society that we lived in during that time period. We, the public, were confident that her murder would be solved, however, after a short period of time (if I recall) the press lost interest, and this murder faded into the background. This sadly happens all too often.

JB

Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: D1 on October 04, 2011, 10:33:21 PM
A fully functional national dna bank will be an eventuality someday. Meanwhile if all dna was submitted from all these supposedly unconnected murders, that could possibly just tell its own story. Mellisa could possibly help to identify someone else's killer and vise versa.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: jellybean on October 04, 2011, 11:35:42 PM
Fully functional national dna bank is desperately needed. The present government is only expanding on the national  sex offenders dna bank in particular,  pedophiles.  Not enough money in the kitty for missing persons, or unsolved crimes, suicides etc. so they claim. Groups are pushing for a missing persons dna bank so I have learned. It would save alot of detective work, and tears from  families.  At the moment some provinces are teaming up together in this regard - better co-operation, as they realize that people do move about. But we don't have anything cohesive at the moment.

JB
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: D1 on October 05, 2011, 10:02:19 AM
It's a work in progress, the money saving aspects can't be ignored, it will happen.
Maybe the lawmakers, budget controllers, just need a little push from the voting public? Every family of every murdered person in every case with dna evidence present should be requesting/demanding the dna profile be entered into a data bank for comparison.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: bestcho on October 08, 2011, 10:16:10 AM
So here's the problem with DNA testing as it stands right now. The technology and the will already exists. The problem is the law. Right now, a suspect is not required to give a DNA sample until After he/she is convicted of a sex related or violent crime.. So even if the police have an idea that a person is involved, they cannot take a sample while the person is in custody. If the POI is released , or acquitted, no DNA sample is taken. In order for a DNA bank to function properly, the law must be changed so that like finger printing, a DNA sample is taken, then entered into the DNA bank to see if anything pops up. Then it will be truly functional. So write your MP and demand the law to be changed
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: bestcho on October 08, 2011, 10:38:40 AM
To see how the data bank should work, check out the the recent case and charges against Laboucan. Convicted of killing Nina Courtepatte. DNA is entered into the bank (but only after the first conviction) , and up comes the profile from yet another murder.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: SAP on October 08, 2011, 11:15:55 AM
Thanks Bestcho. I didn't know that. Ok so on TV shows investigators will trick their suspects giving them a drink and saving the popcan (for dna testing) and if that were done by police in a real case, that dna could not be used? Would not be legally obtained?
I will be writing to my MP. So far all the rights and lee ways seem to be for the poi's and suspects; it's about time the victims get a one-up.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: bestcho on October 08, 2011, 11:38:38 AM
The same requirements for a search warrant and DNA apply. The crown can apply to the courts for a search warrant in order to obtain a DNA sample but they need substantial evidence in order for a judge to issue that warrant. If they already have that evidence, they probably have enough evidence for an arrest warrant. And so round N round it goes.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: SAP on October 08, 2011, 12:02:01 PM
Thank you. :)
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: D1 on October 08, 2011, 10:11:46 PM
The public is definitely going to have to start making their voices heard! There is so much untapped potential to solving many of these cases.
From bestcho
re:
Quote
To see how the data bank should work, check out the the recent case and charges against Laboucan. Convicted of killing Nina Courtepatte. DNA is entered into the bank (but only after the first conviction) , and up comes the profile from yet another murder.

All it may take is for the dna found with Mellisa to be entered into the data bank and her murder could possibly be solved just as in the above example. She could be the next "yet another murder." Maybe her killer is already in the data base, already convicted of another murder elsewhere? How do you know if she isn't entered? You may not even need to find a suspect or to obtain a warrant for a dna sample.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: Embers1275 on October 11, 2011, 06:52:25 PM
Hi again - I recently spoke to my parents about Melissa's murder to see if they had any recollections or information that they wouldn't have told me back then but were willing to talk about now.  I did find out some new information, to me at least, but I was reluctant to post it, because it's been over 20 years and their recollections might not be as sharp or as accurate as they were when everything first happened, so a little bit of a disclaimer is warranted, and I apologize for any errors or inaccuracies that might be proven out, but I wanted to post what they told me, because even supposedly minor details or occurrences might be helpful to trigger someone's memory. 

My parents remember talk of a suspect shortly after Melissa's murder who was convicted of murdering another woman and according to their recollections, Melissa's family was confident of a swift conviction.  I've searched the 'net for this case, but I can't find it anywhere, although I vaguely remember it happening.  Apparently the other murder victim was a nurse from Vegreville.  My parents don't remember her name, other than thinking it might be Lemisky or Lewisky.   This is the first I've heard of a suspect and I don't remember this being made public and I can't even verify any of this, but someone might remember something or be able to provide more details. 

My parents say that this suspect couldn't be charged in Melissa's death because of his rich father's connections and that money "got him off",  whatever that means.  Again, just hearsay and what I was told about 20-year-old memories and recollections, so not exactly concrete evidence.  Maybe it's a dead end and this guy was fully exonerated in Melissa's murder and that's why there was never a public revelation, but it was strongly suggested to me that it was believed this case was going to be quickly resolved but something went very wrong and the suspect couldn't be charged or held.  Shortly after that, our families stopped talking about this and almost everything else, sadly.  I don't know if this will help at all, but I wanted to get it out there, just in case.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: scotsquine on October 11, 2011, 07:12:32 PM
Hi Embers1275,  I posted on this site a while back about a rumour that they didn't arrest anyone for Melissa's murder because he killed himself.  Do your parents remember anything about that story?  It would make sense as to why no-one was arrested.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: Embers1275 on October 11, 2011, 08:45:58 PM
They didn't mention anything about that, but I can ask them ...
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: D1 on October 11, 2011, 09:46:34 PM
Excellent little batch of details embers. I understand your disclaimer but it sounds worth entertaining. It may just trigger some others memories and provide some new links. Would be interesting it there was a conviction in another murder.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: SAP on October 11, 2011, 11:44:47 PM
Embers, I do recall there was a pediatric nurse murdered around the time that Melissa was, whether before or after not sure. I posed that somewhere before but was told it couldn't have been. I've been scouring the Net but will have to go to a library and try and find the info. IIrc there were 3 murders within a year.
Earlier someone mentioned Brenda McClenagan but her murder was solved. She was a student at Grant M at the time. The names you gave don't sound familiar.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: Embers1275 on October 12, 2011, 12:16:54 AM
Yeah, I know I'm not giving much to go on, sorry!  Those are the names I got from my parents and they weren't even sure the names were right, just what they sounded like, I think.  They seemed certain about Vegreville and the fact she was a nurse though.  I really wish I had better information or that I could find something about this other case they are talking about.  So much time has passed by and it definitely would be easier to speculate if there were some concrete facts that could be researched and verified.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: SAP on October 12, 2011, 12:36:38 AM
Oh no, you gave a lot more info and various spellings can be tried that may sound similar. The nurse part I do remember. It's just at that time I was living and working distant from Edmonton and had a young family and I didn't always catch all the news. So my memory is rusty. :)
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: Chris on October 14, 2011, 11:14:55 PM
Great info! I'll see if I can find this Wegreville murder on google archives. If he is the guy who killed himself, it might explain the lack of publicity promoted about this case. Normally, police and media promote what appear to be random killings of young females. However, when they know who did it, and he is dead, then the story isn't worth pushing anymore.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: bestcho on October 19, 2011, 07:22:26 AM
The timeline of that guys death will be very important, simply because if the police considered him a suspect , they would not have included this case in their update in the news . (I think about 18 months ago). They would have merely let it go , I think
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: scotsquine on October 19, 2011, 04:40:28 PM
Embers1275 Could you ask your parents if the name Mitch ever was mentioned back then?  Thanks
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: Embers1275 on October 19, 2011, 05:23:15 PM
Sure.  No guarantees that they'll remember, but I'll definitely ask :)
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: Embers1275 on October 21, 2011, 11:53:23 AM
Hello - I asked my parents about the name Mitch and they vaguely remember hearing that name back then, but they couldn't place in what context or why it might have come up.   Both of them say they remember that name.

I asked them again for details about the other murder of the nurse to see if they could recall anything else, and my dad said he thought the victime's name was closer to Kaminsky instead of Laminsky, but again, he just can't remember exactly.  I also asked them why the family seemed so sure of an early conviction back then and they told me there were similarities in the crime scenes of both women, especially when it came to the type of noose.  I still can't find anything on a nurse from Vegreville being murdered either shortly before or after Melissa, but I do vaguely - very vaguely - remember this happening way back then.   Without details of that case, however, no genuine comparisons can be made.  Maybe the details of the noose wouldn't have been made public and would have been known only to police and the family?? 

If the suspect in the nurse's murder was convicted, which my parents say he was, then shouldn't there be a record somewhere???  I can't even find a reference to the murder.  So frustrating! 
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: D1 on October 21, 2011, 12:12:59 PM
Extremely significant details and sure seems to be enough to go on. No doubt frustrating but hang in there, other people are looking too.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: SAP on October 22, 2011, 09:34:41 AM
In the late 70's, possibly early 80's there was a Kaminski female about mid twenties who was murdered by her older friend's son whom she babysat when he was younger. She wasn't a nurse though and this happened in Edmonton. I've been scouring however since it has been so long and the other case was solved, perhaps the library in Edmonton may be the only place that info can be found.
Since the noose was used in both cases and it hasn't been said there's any other cases like that, to our knowledge anyway, perhaps the perp in Melissa's case  was the same person and since he committed suicide and being from a prominent family it was never publicized for that matter and Melissa's family understood that and found closure that way. Perhaps they were asked not to repeat any of it?   
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: jobo on October 22, 2011, 10:06:15 AM
The killer's Method of Operation in the murder of Melissa, was unusually demented, I think. I say that because of the noose. It sounds like you guys might be onto something with another other Murder Victim; possible/probable name: Kaminski.   I hope we can find more info.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: Embers1275 on October 23, 2011, 12:20:53 PM
Oh, wow, great information SAP!  My parents' memories might be foggy, but those details you dug up seem to match most of what they remember.  My parents could be mixed up on the nurse and Vegreville thing.  They say the woman was murdered in Edmonton but was originally from Vegreville and believed she was a nurse, but it's been soooo long that I can see them forgetting or unwittingly reinventing some memory loopholes.  The similarity of the nooses was something they DO remember for sure though, so this might actually be the case they are talking about and are just mixed up on some of the details of it. 

I also like the theory of the suspect being from a prominent family, because my parents both remember that vividly and say that was one of the reasons he couldn't be held or charged in Melissa's case.  Still questioning why CTV did that feature on Melissa's unsolved murder though if the case had already been "solved" by the alleged suspect committing suicide ...
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: SAP on October 23, 2011, 04:06:16 PM
If this is the same case as your parents remember, if I recall correctly, the murderer wasn't from a prominent family. I don't remember the gruesome details but the young lady's car was found abandoned first and it seems it took quite awhile to find her. He was a smooth talker and lied pretty good to police when he was questioned and he was cleared at that time but re-arrested later when police got more tips. It has been so long and my memories are hazy too. I can still see him being interviewed by media though and he seemed an average guy but we found out he was mentally twisted. I really cannot remember the details. I think I only remember her last name b/c I later met some families by the same name but no relation. She was very pretty.
Someone who posted here had said the murderer was from a prominent family ... could be two different cases. I sometimes get them mixed up too.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: D1 on October 28, 2011, 09:32:42 AM
The comments from long ago got me recalling-
Quote
I also like the theory of the suspect being from a prominent family, because my parents both remember that vividly and say that was one of the reasons he couldn't be held or charged in Melissa's case.

Earlier on some posters were describing the type of students who attended the private school beside where Melissa was found. Some were said to have been from upper class wealthier families. Perhaps the noose murderer had attended that same school at some time? I hope the other victim killed under similar circumstance is found, may tie in more than we know. 
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: SAP on October 28, 2011, 09:03:49 PM
When I get into Edmonton other than for work, I will go to a library and do some research as the Net will likely not hold that info from way back then. I have tried and there is nothing I can find on the Net. Hopefully next week.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: D1 on October 29, 2011, 01:04:11 AM
Its tough to find some of the older stuff on the net. Hopefully others in the area will find some time to look around the library etc too.
thnz SAP
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: A Pink Flower on October 31, 2011, 09:20:14 PM
It's been a while since I last checked this forum but I'm glad I did. First of all, that was a beautiful post, Embers.

I was recently looking through some of things that another family member has kept and I came across a magazine. The magazine is "Morning Glory," and was put out by the Edmonton Sun. The publication date of this issue is 2003. One of the articles in it is about Melissa. Although it is a short article, some of the things in it are quite interesting. Here are a few excerpts:

"A hangman's noose and a pair of pantyhose were found wrapped around her fully clothed body. She had not been sexually assaulted although police believe the man had planned to do so but may have been scared off. Letain went missing Feb. 13 as she walked on a path south of West Edmonton Mall after leaving her hairdressing job at Champs Elysee. It was a seven block walk home and she had left work just after 9pm. A witness had seen a man matching Letain's description struggling with a man on the path near 175 street and 87 ave."
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: A Pink Flower on October 31, 2011, 09:23:21 PM
I should also add that I recently found out that in 2005 one of Melissa's sisters went to the RCMP to figure out if there were any new details in the case and she was told that there have been a few new tips but they all led to dead ends. There is also a new investigator (as of 2001) on the case.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: SAP on November 01, 2011, 06:10:11 PM
Pink flower, you and Embers have been a wealth of information. If this perp was scared off, there has to be someone out there who holds some info. Someone had to have seen something and probably doesn't realize what he could have been about to witness but him or her being present where that was, was enough to scare the perp away.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: scotsquine on November 09, 2011, 11:34:54 PM
I have commented in last posts that it is rumour that her killer commited suicide and that is why there is no further information on this case.  I am going there this weekend and will see what I can find out.  I am a little wary as to how much to post because I do not want to upset the families involved.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: D1 on December 07, 2011, 02:21:04 AM
Still wondering, the Police say they have DNA. A suicided suspect or the son of a wealthy connected person? Suicide-did they take a sample? Wealthy son convicted of another crime- no dna required back then?

Bestcho's posts re: dna and the changes needed to get a sample are compelling.
link- Police say they have DNA.
http://edmonton.ctv.ca/servlet/an/local/CTVNews/20081022/edm_unsolvedmurders_feature_081022/20081022/?hub=EdmontonHome#TopVideoAn (http://edmonton.ctv.ca/servlet/an/local/CTVNews/20081022/edm_unsolvedmurders_feature_081022/20081022/?hub=EdmontonHome#TopVideoAn)
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: SAP on January 03, 2012, 07:16:50 PM
Madtrapper, that sounds like a logical  line of thought you have there. Also it seems no one knew there was a minimum security jail in that area for those years. Of course that is something police won't advertise so the general public won't be up in arms. Just like they have wanted us to believe another recent murder near Spruce Grove was targetted so the neighbors won't feel unsafe.
We aren't children, we need to know the truths.
Perhaps you can keep at the police and ask why they didn't take your thoughts seriously?? The only reason I can think of that they wouldn't bother to check out your theory is that they may know who the perp was but have not enough evidence for a slam dunk case. There also has been some talk about the killer being high profile or from a high profile family, so that's another bridge to cross.

Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: scotsquine on January 11, 2012, 11:50:35 AM
madtrapper, you said that you had come up with a name of a 'person of interest', do you know where this person is now?  Do you know if he is alive or dead?  I also heard a name a while ago, but don't recall exactly what it was.  I will find out and we can compare notes, see if it is the same person.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: scotsquine on January 12, 2012, 10:58:43 AM
OK not the same guy, I heard that he had since committed suicide.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: 14 back then on August 26, 2012, 12:20:15 PM
Well, I apologize for my absence and what may look as though I disappeared.
Life has its funny ways of throwing curve balls and I have been thrown a few over the past year.

Anyhow, please let me just add a few points with the hopes to clarify some issues and possibly help.

1. The dog kennels were outdoors. They had dog houses that were lines with straw.
2. Our "adult" supervisor to my snow shoe team was an alumni, not a teacher. He was a graduate of only a few years, still quite young. He travelled from Vancouver for this event.
3. He decided to send team up to school for help. Then we decided to try to crawl out, which is where we gave up attempt when ice was soft.
4. (bestscho) believe me, I was alot closer than a hundred yards away. If you remember the access road under the bridge, you would know where we ventured onto the ice. And knowing where she was, you would in turn know how close we would have been.
5. Not all teams from the school passes over the bridge; depending on which grade you were in, the race routes we're  different .
6. The school employee( not a teacher) whom looked after the dogs was; Blaine Thaughberger.
7. I had spare socks with me as we all did, you need to carry spares while you are out all day in the wet and cold.
8. James W is the young man in the video. I knew him. We were at the school together for two years. We are not one in the same.

I did not leave this forum for any other reason outside of my own life's curve balls.
I would like to help as much as my memory allows me.
I am now 4o and have a gorgeous daughter that I could never imagine how I would feel if this were to happen to her .

Bestcho- you will find that I am not a difficult person to deal with. Call me out all you like, because I am also a very straight forward person as well.
You were involved with the recovery etc. I am thinking that you would then also have sources and contacts that would verify any interviews with me.
Maybe check into it, message me if you would like my full name etc.
I can't find your oh so sly dare to me to speak up and stop gossiping dadadada.... But you need to know and realize , I am not playing, I for some unfortunate reason was there that day to find her. That event has turned out to be one of the worst in my life. Do not accuse me of gossiping. Go to your sources and verify.
You called me out, I am here.

My In laws live half an hour from the bridge, my cabin is at Jackfish, also close. Yet I never go there, but I think I may this afternoon and try a memory excerise my sister law taught me.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: SAP on August 26, 2012, 01:43:27 PM
Thank you for that explanation 14bt. Unfortunately we sometimes rush to judgement ... We need to remember we are not Judge and jury here.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: D1 on August 29, 2012, 10:21:40 PM
Hey you are back! Frustration sets in and it has been a very very long time for bestcho too. I don't think any one who has even just read here over the years has forgotten. I still think the odd thought at the odd time. Somewhere awhile back, I saw a row of what looked like garbage bags placed so something behind it would be hidden from view. Works well for that purpose on flat ground. I couldn't help but to think of all those bags left behind laying all around Melissa. Why? Bestcho said they were all quite light. What was in them? Where did they come from? What the purpose? Just seems there is a whole other story waiting to be told out there.

Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: James W on October 20, 2012, 09:18:14 PM
Hi Craig. Nice to know I am not the only one who remembers Melissa.
Ok so I am the guy in the news video from the school.
 I am going to say a few things about the school and I hope that hearing these things again from a second person will put to rest some of the misconceptions on here.
 The school was NOT a prison. End of story. There was NO prison nearby. Also end of story.
 No one at the school had anything to do with the murder. To leave the school and get to Edmonton to abduct and murder Melissa would mean leaving at a time that people would see you leave. Getting back late would also draw attention. ALSO anyone who was coming to the school for the race the next day would know that there would be a high traffic count that night and would not take a chance on dumping a body.
 If I remember correctly the night before was a fairly clear one, and it was warm for Feb as well.
 The bridge itself had a sidewalk on the sides of it with a railing between the walkway and the roadway.
 Taking a student out on the ice to see if they could help is not a suspicious act at all in these circumstances because at St Johns your taught to do the right thing. In this case trying to help. Plus it was the 1980s, dont try to put todays morals on yesterdays events.
 The glove was indeed school issue. We all had the same kind and our number was sewn on it to identify it in the laundry. Carrying extra socks was also normal because if you have ever had wet feet in winter you know that all you want is dry feet.
 That is it for now. It took me almost two hours to read this whole thread. Feel free to ask me any questions you want but lets focus on the facts here. A terrible thing happened to a beautiful young woman and only through the grace of God her body was found. Had we not found her that day I dont know if she WOULD have been found truth be told. As was stated earlyier, we left the school for about a week after and then when we came back we were gone again out in the bush on a dog run or a winter camping trip. To Melissa's family I again give you my condolences and I hope that one day this will be solved and you can have the peace you deserve.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: SAP on October 21, 2012, 12:08:33 AM
Thank you James for weighing in. I too think we went way off track here for some reason. I never heard anything untoward about the school and what happened there. My cousin's boy went there and that was mainly b/c his dad wanted him to get stronger as he was a mommy's boy and very tender. He grew there, into a well rounded man. 
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: SAP on December 10, 2012, 12:30:12 PM
Old pair of pantyhose not belonging to Melissa ... from another victim? I'm hoping they were preserved for testing.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

http://www.edmontonsun.com/2012/12/09/hairdressers-valentines-day-slaying-in-edmonton-remains-unsolved

Melissa Jane Letain unsolved February 1987 homicide. Letain was last seen leaving work at a popular West Edmonton Mall hair salon where she worked as a hair stylist on Feb. 13, 1987. She was carrying Valentine�s Day gifts for her boyfriend. It is believed someone abducted her from the walkway leading to her apartment, which was near WEM. Her body was found on Feb. 14, 1987 west of Edmonton under the Genesse Bridge on the ice of the North Saskatchewan River. She was spotted by a 14-year-old boy and his friends from the Saint John's School of Alberta. An autopsy revealed she died of asphyxiation, ligature strangulation. The killer used a hangman's noose made of 7 coils from looks like standard yellow nylon rope. Items of Melissa's never recovered was a CN Trucking key chain (a clear rectangular acrylic key chain) with a single key, a woman's gold tone watch with a rectangular face, a blue leather or leather looking woman's wallet and a green clutch purse with a gold clasp. Edmonton Sun/QMI Agency

Article

Cold cases

 
It was a cold winter night in 1987 when Melissa Jane Letain left work, carrying a rose, card and pennant in a plastic bag for a romantic evening with her boyfriend on Valentine’s Day.

She left work at Champs Elysee hair salon in West Edmonton Mall, walking home around 9 p.m., headed for the apartment she shared with her boyfriend at 17744 81 Ave.

The 24-year-old hair stylist took her normal route home along the cement walkway between houses in the area of 87 Avenue and 177 Street, unaware that a predator was stalking her movements.

Lurking in the shadows was a killer, who grabbed Letain and dragged her to a waiting vehicle, leaving the Valentine’s gifts scattered in the snow.

A woman walking in the same area later told police she became aware of the assault when she heard a groan or gurgling sound. She turned and saw a man clutching a woman and hushing her to be quiet before she was dragged away. It was the last time Letain would ever be seen alive.

Her co-workers knew something was wrong when the reliable Letain failed to show up for her 10 a.m. shift the next day. They called her boyfriend to see if they could find her, but he didn’t know where she was.

That same day, Letain’s body was found 75 km southwest of Edmonton under the Genesee Bridge on the ice of the North Saskatchewan River. She had been physically and sexually assaulted, then dumped over the bridge.

The killer used a yellow nylon rope with a hangman’s noose of seven coils to strangle his victim. A pair of old pantyhose that didn’t belong to Letain were found beside her body.

Craig Gordon was 14 years old when he attended the all boys private school near the Genesee bridge. The school hosted snow shoe races every year around Valentine’s Day. The races began early in the morning and crossed over the Genesee bridge.

On the morning of Feb. 14, 1987, Gordon set out with his team of six classmates for the 25 km trek that would take all day to complete. He lost one of his gloves when he was goofing around on the bridge railing, but he couldn’t see where it fell due to the morning darkness.

Later that day, Gordon and his group crossed back over the bridge on their way back to school. He looked over the railing to see if he could spot his glove. It was lying in the middle of the ice, along with the body of a young woman.

“From first glance you could tell that something was seriously wrong with the situation. The way she looked was disturbing,” said Gordon, noting there was a yellow rope and some other items in garbage bags that were strewn around the body. A pair of pantyhose was tied to the opposite end of the rope.

The rest of the team went back to the school, but Gordon, with the adult chaperone, headed down below the bridge to try and reach the lifeless woman. The pair attempted to crawl on the ice on their hands and knees, but the ice was too soft. There was no way to reach the body other than to call police. Gordon had no doubt the girl was already dead.

“It was sickly disturbing,” said Gordon, who spent the week with his family in Edmonton following the discovery of Letain. “I was a wreck. I slept with my sister the whole time when I was home. I had dreams and mind games just playing with my head that the guy saw us or the guy knew it was us that saw the body. I was fortunate to have a father who could sit down with me and say as much as it’s affecting you, imagine how it’s affecting the family of Melissa.”

A few Letain’s belongings were never recovered, including a CN trucking key chain with a single key, a woman’s watch, a blue leather or leather looking woman’s wallet and a green clutch purse with a gold clasp.

Her death sent a chill through the city that winter. In less than seven weeks between February and March, three local women disappeared or were found slain, including Letain. But police said none of the cases were connected.

Cpl. Rick Jané with the RCMP historical homicide unit is now the lead investigator on the case. He’s still waiting for the missing link that could lead police to Letain’s killer.

“Some unsolved are solved due to advances in forensic science and the RCMP continues to evaluate potential forensic testing as new technology emerges,” said Jané. “Unsolved homicides are often solved when a member of the public who has information about the murder makes the decision to come forward to police and provide that information.”

pamela.roth@sunmedia.ca

@SUNpamelaroth

(http://storage.canoe.ca/v1/dynamic_resize/sws_path/suns-prod-images/1297350140152_ORIGINAL.jpg?quality=80&size=650x)
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: Q on December 10, 2012, 04:54:59 PM
Garbage bags, yellow rope, pantyhose, and other items in the garbage bags strewn around the body...

Does the culprit really not know that the river freezes in the the winter?  If he was trying to get rid of evidence, why not just dump body then burn all other items like the rope, pantyhose and the items in the garbage bag?  That sounds like an awful lot of stuff to throw into the river if his intention was really to get rid of evidence.  What's his true intentions? 

One guy alone managed to drag Melissa into the car and drive away without drugging or knocking her out first?  Was there any signs of drugs intake or concussion when they found her?  If she was conscious and the culprit was driving I can definitely see her freaking out and punch and kick the culprit while he's driving correct?  If there's no sign of any of the above then I would venture to believe that there's at least 2 culprit.

Something I want to point out is that the hangman's noose has a variation used commonly in fishing as well and Genesee is a good area for fishing.  The culprit could potentially be an avid fisherman. 
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: debbiec on December 10, 2012, 05:14:52 PM
Quote
Something I want to point out is that the hangman's noose has a variation used commonly in fishing as well and Genesee is a good area for fishing.  The culprit could potentially be an avid fisherman. 


It would take reading through the entire thread to understand what's been discussed. I recall there was a lot posted in regard to the rope.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: SAP on December 10, 2012, 05:21:16 PM
One perp could have subdued Melissa long enough to put the noose on and tie the rope end to her bent leg, at the ankle. (with hands bound as well). They did get dna but have no match, suggesting the rapist/killer was from another area. The sob got away with it!
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: Ragtop on February 08, 2013, 08:33:56 PM
Where can one find the composite sketch that was published in the newspapers back then of a possible suspect.  This case disturbed me a great deal, as I was a single mother, working in the restaurant of a hotel on Stony Plain Road at that time, and my brother called me on the night of February 14, 1987 and asked me to have someone from the hotel to walk me to my car after my shift.  My child and I lived with that brother at Edmonton Beach, so it all hit close to home.  Also, at that time I knew someone who looked like the composite sketch, and I did call crime stoppers back then about it.  Guess it never went anywhere.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: kdngirl on July 23, 2013, 01:12:50 PM
I too am brand new to this.  I have never forgotten this murder although I couldn't remember a name, etc.  At the time of the murder I lived down the street from WE Mall.  My townhouse faced a little stripmall with an old empty Safeway in it.  Also, that mall had a bar located in it.  I could look out my front window and watch that bar.  Around that particular time, for a few days, I was getting very scared about being home alone to the point that my father and brother made sure that the doors etc were locked.  They thought I was kind of crazy but they wanted me to feel safe.  I was 27 at the time and walked everywhere as  I didn't own a car.   

I remember that night she was killed because I was going through some things and not feeling too sane.  I remember turning off all the lights and lying on the floor looking out the window at the parking lot and watching the comings and goings.  I remember this one particular vehicle parked in the lot with someone sitting in it.  It scared me and gave me the creeps.  I remember it was an old camaro although I believe it was a dark colour but it was at night and the parking lot was dark.  It has always bothered me that I never contacted police about it.  I guess I'm another one of those people that just never believed that what I could tell them would mean anything.  However, it has bothered me to this day.

My father worked nights at that time.  I remember he brought the paper in and showed me the story about the murder and that she disappeared so close to where we lived.  It kind of freaked him out that I had been talking about being scared when I never had before.  To this day we both believe that I was picking up on some weird vibe out there.  It sounds so crazy even today to talk about that weird scared feeling I felt for several days.  My hope is that now that I have put this out there I can release it.  It's one of those things that just stays with you.  I've carried that little bit of information with me all those years that I still feel means nothing but I never told anyone.  i can't say I knew anything more about the case until now after reading the threads.  It was the Thorncliffe mall - across from Thorncliffe school.  I never forgot and something every once and while comes up in my head about it and why didn't I tell the police about that. 
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: Alder on July 24, 2013, 12:08:05 AM
Welcome kdngirl !
Very interesting…  follow your intuition.  Something in you wants to tell this to the police, that’s what I see in what you wrote above.
The logical part of your mind tells you it’s meaningless…  but intuitively this event keeps surfacing in you…  so, once again trust your intuition and tell the police what you saw.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: Annastaisha on October 10, 2013, 11:27:32 AM
kdngirl - I hope that you did take the info to the police. It may be just the little tip off they need... perhaps they have a couple of good suspects but can't quite make the pieces match up...  In all press releases by the police - for any serious crime - they always say that no detail is too small. Melissa needs justice and her family needs answers. You may be able to tip the scales in that direction.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: RaeH on December 09, 2013, 06:01:35 AM
I'm glad to see that people are still talking about and interested in this case. It has been a few month since anyone has posted and I would really like to know if anyone has come up with any new information? Though this murder happened almost 5 years before I was born, after reading about it in the Edmonton sun in 2012 I have felt a very personal connection to the case. Another story relating to the facts of the murder of a young girl named punky is to be published tomorrow, and it reminded me of this case. I'm not sure how it hasn't crossed my mind for so long, as I was almost obsessed with it for weeks after first reading about it. I am going to try to do some digging of my own, But I would really like to know about this so called "person of interest" someone has suggested, as well as if there is any actual documentation relating Melissa's case to the case of the woman from Vegreville.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: discus on December 09, 2013, 09:47:58 AM
No link available, found through library search.
GREG OWENS Journal Crime Writer. Edmonton Journal [Edmonton, Alta] 10 Apr 1993: C2.

Letain's killer knows area, experts say: [Final Edition]


Author

GREG OWENS Journal Crime Writer


Melissa Letain's killer was probably a white male now in his late 20s or late 30s, says a psychological profile of the killer.

Letain, 24, was found Feb. 14, 1987, in the icy waters under the Genesee Bridge, about 70 km southwest of Edmonton.

She had been abducted while walking home from her job at West Edmonton Mall on the night of Feb. 13.

Letain was sexually assaulted and strangled with her own panty hose along with a rope that had been placed around her neck.

The profile, prepared by various police organizations when they met recently in Edmonton, says the killer probably isn't married.

He may have had one or more brief, superficial relationships with women.

The suspect likely resents direction of supervisors on the job or criticism by friends, family and neighbors

". . . this tendency may well have generated disputes resulting in an erratic employment record and/or family or neighborhood disputes."

The killer was familiar with West Edmonton Mall and the nearby area where Letain was abducted. He may still reside in or near the area.

Profilers believe releasing more than this amount of information may overwhelm anyone in the public who might be able to help.

Police are still checking several leads but are hoping for more.

"Investigators hope it will prompt somebody's memory or someone may recognize the traits of the suspect," said RCMP Const. Bill Farrell, a homicide investigator working on the case.

Credit: THE EDMONTON JOURNAL


Word count: 246
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: debbiec on December 09, 2013, 09:59:32 AM
Thanks discus. :)

I find it's helpful to see where an article originates from. Date it was written, source, etc.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: discus on December 09, 2013, 03:47:08 PM
The newspaper articles are from in the 1990's.

In the case of  Brenda McClenaghan, this man "Roy" who confessed to the crime, is this the same Roy Sobotiak from Susie's case? Most likely not I just thought it was strange no last name was used.
One letter went to Reg Tame of Brandon, who had been in town with his brother Roy, 35, to buy a car. Reg knew Roy had been convicted of a vicious rape in Brandon. When Reg asked Roy about Brenda, Roy confessed and the city police were called in.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: discus on December 09, 2013, 04:26:33 PM
THE SLAYING OF SUSIE: [FINAL Edition]
Author
DIANA COULTER Journal Staff Writer
Edmonton Journal

Publication date

Jul 13, 1991

On Feb. 8, 1987, Roy Sobotiak strangled Susie Kaminsky, a 34-year-old mother of two. He then butchered the body and threw the remains in two nearby garbage dumpsters. The murder haunted Sobotiak, who could not get Susie's face out of his mind. And it haunted the police, who were not going to relax until they had the case solved.

But in the Kaminsky case, Sobotiak, then a 23-year-old unemployed laborer, had the answers. That was what was keeping him up nights. He couldn't get Kaminsky's face out of his mind.
snip
The next person to run across Sobotiak was his mother. Donalda was just coming off her shift as a waitress at the Northgate Pub in the Rosslyn Motor Inn on 97 Street near 136 Avenue. She had a headache. As she was passing through the lobby at about 1 a.m., she spotted Roy waiting there.
"He seemed overly intoxicated and high and trying to act neither one," she later testified.
Hoping that a few beers would help her headache, Donalda invited Roy into the pub. She had two, and bought him two, but he didn't touch his.
"Shortly after we got in the pub, Susan came over to our table and introduced herself to Roy. He immediately recognized her and she immediately recognized him."
Five-feet-six-inches tall with long, blonde hair and a fringe of bangs over her brown eyes, Kaminsky was an attractive young woman. At age 34, she hadn't changed much since age 16 when she first started babysitting for the Sobotiak family.
Kaminsky was the mother of two children herself now, Lisa, 9, and Shane, 14. She had been divorced from their father for about eight years. Out for a relaxing night on the town and a fan of country music, she had brought her friend, Linda King, along to the pub.
Roy hadn't seen Kaminsky since he was a child.
Outgoing and friendly, Kaminsky was eager to catch up on old times. She offered to give Sobotiak and his mother a ride home.
King later recalled that Sobotiak gave her a "funny feeling" that night. The man appeared to be "on something" like drugs or alcohol, she testified.
"Roy seemed like he was not altogether there," King told a homicide detective.
The four piled into Kaminsky's 1977 green Mustang and set off at around 2 a.m. King was dropped off first. Then the others went on to Donalda Sobotiak's home near 152A Avenue and 59th Street.
snip

Jaime Cifuentes/ `The car gave police their first clue' (G)
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: jellybean on December 10, 2013, 08:08:48 AM
- ROY SOBOTIAK - KILLER OF SUSIE KAMINSKY

http://wp.wiccanweb.ca/2003/09/28/PostNuke-789/

Respected Alberta lawyer lied to clients about appeals

By Achriel, on September 28th, 2003


Man admits he told his jailed clients he was trying to free them, when he wasn’t; blames undiagnosed depression for actions

By Gordon Kent

EDMONTON — In an extraordinary case of legal neglect, top criminal lawyer Rick Stroppel left five clients languishing in prison for years thinking he’d filed appeals for them when he actually never did.

All were serving long sentences — four are convicted murderers, including Roy Sobotiak, found guilty of killing a babysitter Susan Kaminsky in a sensational 1991 trial.

Mr. Stroppel, one of Alberta’s most respected defence lawyers, admitted at a Law Society of Alberta discipline hearing last week that he let them all down.

He pleaded guilty to failing to serve his clients in a diligent and efficient manner, as well as lying to Mr. Sobotiak, the result of a long, undiagnosed depression that led him to quit work abruptly in June 2002.
.
 Uncategorized    Legal   
- See more at: http://wp.wiccanweb.ca/2003/09/28/PostNuke-789/#sthash.Jc0ZOkmk.dpuf

His conviction was appealed in 1994 (he was charged with 1st degree murder) and his appeal was denied
see documents at link.
http://caselaw.canada.globe24h.com/0/0/alberta/court-of-appeal/1994/05/31/r-v-sobotiak-1994-abca-177.shtml

Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: D1 on March 02, 2014, 03:59:53 PM
As time passes by the prospect for solving any cold case grows dimmer. The one glimmer of hope is that new technology may find a link. Recently we at last got confirmation that Melissa was entered into viclas and that her killers dna was being compared in some limited way at least. Im not sure if this was a manual one time thing or if her killers dna was entered into and remains in the system waiting for a match to show up automatically from within the rcmp violent offender database.  I do not know if that applies to the sex offender data base as well.

Quote
Her killer has been free for eight years, but two new technological breakthroughs have now been applied to the Letain case.

Letain's file was put into the RCMP's new national databank, VICLAS, the Violent Criminal Linkage Analysis System. Edmonton investigators filled out a questionnaire with 262 questions about the crime, everything from the height and weight of Letain to the behavior of the culprit at the crime scene.

When the case was analysed, the RCMP found two cases with similar modus operandi, says Cpl. Dean Ravelli, who handles the file.

Both cases were checked out, but one of the men was in jail at the time of the murder, and the other didn't seem a likely candidate. Nevertheless, a sample of his DNA, along with samples from 30 other suspects, is now being checked in Ottawa. The RCMP have a new, faster way of checking DNA which requires far less genetic material, Ravelli says.

The VICLAS system has only been up for a few months, but as its databanks grow, the world of the killer and rapist will get smaller and smaller.


As far as I know, only the new and recently convicted for violent crimes and sex offences are entered into the rcmp data base. There is no provision for retroactive testing. What happened in the past will stay in the past unless the offender reoffends.

from discus-
Quote
From what I have read they have a profile of the murderer, white male now would be in late 40's or 50's.  Tall, dark hair.
Forensic psychiatrists describe him as psychotic with a rope fetish


This is far different than someone familiar with ropes and knots just using one as a tool for a pupose. Use of the rope as seen here is part and parcel of this killers fantasy, an integral part of the crime. I wouldn't be surprised if this knot was one the few he knew. He may have been noticed by his fascination fixation on that knot at some earlier time before the crime. Afterwards, the urge / desire/ fetish doesn't diminish in this type individual as far as I know. There should have been some sort of followup crimes somewhere somehow.  imo

As far the location where Melissa was found, we have learned from behavioural profiling studies that killers do drop bodies in areas of familiarity even for SK,s  their first murders especially. The Police do say this killer had familiarity with the area. There was an unusual aspect to this location. Although the river was frozen over, there were small areas of open water, holes in the ice directly below the bridge around the pillers where water had to flow around. Thats where Melissa was found. Were those holes visible from the road just driving past or did you have to get out and look over the edge. A lighter was found under Melissa's body. I believe that was a test drop to make sure Melissa's body would drop right in that hole from where she was dropped. Horror of horrors to the killer, Melissa did not disappear out of sight below the ice as intended but remained visible laying above an invisible second deeper layer of ice that the water was flowing over. Whats the killer to do? Flee and hope for the best or?

There are numerous options one could think up but the evidence shows one more anomaly. An entire row of dark colored garbage bags full of lightweight material of some sort were laying on the ice around the body. Why? If the killer thought that Melissa's form laying there could be taken as just another garbage bag from a distance, he may have done that in panic to disguise the scene and buy time. If so, he wouldn't likely have had all those garbage bags with him and would have to obtain them somewhere. In panic mode, he would go to an area of most familiarity to obtain them. The Police have begun to be more open and give out more information at times. Unless they still want to claim they don't want to overwhelm the public, this is one thing that could trigger memories and generate more information. It should have been released at the time imo. Where did those garbage bags originate? Who knew of the location and who had access to it late at night?
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: D1 on March 03, 2014, 04:30:05 PM
At the time information was being released to the public, this strange statement was provided by Police.
Quote
Profilers believe releasing more than this amount of information may overwhelm anyone in the public who might be able to help

from the article above..

Quote
Melissa Letain's killer was probably a white male now in his late 20s or late 30s, says a psychological profile of the killer.

Letain, 24, was found Feb. 14, 1987, in the icy waters under the Genesee Bridge, about 70 km southwest of Edmonton.

She had been abducted while walking home from her job at West Edmonton Mall on the night of Feb. 13.

Letain was sexually assaulted and strangled with her own panty hose along with a rope that had been placed around her neck.

The profile, prepared by various police organizations when they met recently in Edmonton, says the killer probably isn't married.

He may have had one or more brief, superficial relationships with women.

The suspect likely resents direction of supervisors on the job or criticism by friends, family and neighbors

". . . this tendency may well have generated disputes resulting in an erratic employment record and/or family or neighborhood disputes."

The killer was familiar with West Edmonton Mall and the nearby area where Letain was abducted. He may still reside in or near the area.

Profilers believe releasing more than this amount of information may overwhelm anyone in the public who might be able to help.

Police are still checking several leads but are hoping for more.

"Investigators hope it will prompt somebody's memory or someone may recognize the traits of the suspect," said RCMP Const. Bill Farrell, a homicide investigator working on the case.


Overwhelm? What could that mean? Underwhelming has provided no answers whatsoever. The Police have more information than what has been released. Its being with held for reasons unknown. Time has demonstrated that this approach has not been succesful. Information on those black garbage bags is one of the things that is known to be with held.
Why? They originated somewhere and someone may have seen or know something... (if the location were known)

more could be done imo
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: RaeH on April 27, 2014, 07:10:47 AM
It has been so long since i read the original post on this and it seems there are so many tiny details to be looked at in order to find Melissa's murder.

First off, does anyone know who Melissa's boy friend at the time was, the one she was as they said "carrying Valentine's gifts for". I wonder if he would have any information on a person who could have possibly been bothering her at the time, or someone she recently came in contact with, even in a small way. The person who called the police(Who i was also wondering if anyone knew of) when they seen a man pulling her into a car, did it look like he was REALLY forcing her. I have always kinda had the idea that it wasn't a total random attack. That Melissa had been targeted. The police said there was no sign of a struggle right? Could it be because she knew the person, in some way, and maybe hesitant, still got in the car anyway willingly?

Also all her missing items. The watch, purse, wallet and key chain. Not sure why but the key chain really stuck out to me. Like something small that could be kept as a memento, and the watch. Was it valuable? The person may have pawned it some where, if it could be found and traced back. Which is highly unlikely after all this time. And the jacket that was used in the description. The half light half dark jacket, it seems distinct to me.

After reading some further posts I have come to the conclusion that this person was in fact in some sort of contact with, or had built some sort of relationship (even if only one sided) to Melissa.  The point made by the member "whodidit" of the time it would take to make a hang-mans noose made me almost sure it was planned in advance.

**edited to remove comments in regard another member
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: D1 on April 27, 2014, 01:50:49 PM
I think those are excellent observations RaeH. It is a bit of an educational process to learn what all the indicators "may" mean. Pfofiling has become a science with more information being made public all the time.

This phrase released by Police is very indicative of what you suggest, that the killer and Melisa were known to each other on some level..

Quote
The killer was familiar with West Edmonton Mall and the nearby area where Letain was abducted. He may still reside in or near the area.


I'd have to go back to verify but weren't the valentines gifts found laying at the site of abduction? Valentines day seems an especially sensitive time for jealous lovers. Oscar Pistorius for one in modern days. So questioning who Melissa had been seeing is not out of the question but I believe her current at the time was ruled out. There could be a deeply personal meaning to all of this.. Infidelity in the mind of the perp?

You can find a near verbatim replica of the above quote released by LE in the Sonia Veraschin murder investigation. More insights can be gleaned from that in not only was the killer familiar with the victims's home and work area but also the location where he chose to dispose of her body.

from Sonia Veraschin-
http://www.unsolvedcanada.ca/index.php?topic=6374.msg109329#msg109329 (http://www.unsolvedcanada.ca/index.php?topic=6374.msg109329#msg109329)
Quote
Police have said the person responsible for the crime likely knew Varaschin and the local area. But Bojic continues to be baffled by the case. Meanwhile, Varaschin's parents, although aware that police continue to work on their daughter's file, have been finding it hard to deal with the lack of public information, says Bojic.


Which leads to thoughts that the Melissa's killer should be known to the Police. (as should Sonia's)
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: bestcho on April 30, 2014, 08:01:17 AM
Just a thought. Over 25 years, my memory has somewhat faded in regards to the murder and the day we spent out on the ice. But I was reading through the latest posts when something caught my eye. It may be nothing or perhaps my memory has become foggy. The post above, mentions that she was strangled with her own pantyhose. That's interesting because on that day while removing her from the ice, I recall seeing , and making note of that, however, due to the water, ice, snow etc, I believe I made note of a scarf or kerchief and not of pantyhose. It was difficult to identify what exactly it was. Here's the thing. I also recall that she was wearing a type of fishnet pantyhose that were severely, torn. So if my memory serves me correctly, why would she have two pairs of pantyhose. Is that normal practice for women?. Or perhaps she had just purchased them at WEM. Or perhaps they were not even hers. It's odd how a memory works. I hope its accurate
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: SAP on May 05, 2014, 04:15:40 PM
I totally agree Rae H. It is an important part of the conversation on this case as it humanizes Melissa. I just hope the perpetrator would read it and feel enough remorse to repent and give Melissa some rest.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: RaeH on October 11, 2014, 04:27:00 PM
Just a thought. Over 25 years, my memory has somewhat faded in regards to the murder and the day we spent out on the ice. But I was reading through the latest posts when something caught my eye. It may be nothing or perhaps my memory has become foggy. The post above, mentions that she was strangled with her own pantyhose. That's interesting because on that day while removing her from the ice, I recall seeing , and making note of that, however, due to the water, ice, snow etc, I believe I made note of a scarf or kerchief and not of pantyhose. It was difficult to identify what exactly it was. Here's the thing. I also recall that she was wearing a type of fishnet pantyhose that were severely, torn. So if my memory serves me correctly, why would she have two pairs of pantyhose. Is that normal practice for women?. Or perhaps she had just purchased them at WEM. Or perhaps they were not even hers. It's odd how a memory works. I hope its accurate

No, it is not normal practice for women to wear two pairs of pantyhose. I feel like this may be an important detail to the case. Thinking back to the articles I have read, I believe they all say that it was her own pantyhose used. It may not be much but it is something. I feel like this case has gone unsolved too long, and most people have just forgotten about it. Melissa deserves justice.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: mewkdy on January 30, 2015, 10:11:51 PM
Back then, it would not have been unusual to be wearing two pairs of pantyhose in winter, in Alberta. I recall wearing fishnets with another skin toned pair underneath for warmth in the 80's.

Over the years I have thought of Melissa often, and wondered if her case had ever been solved. It was shocking to Edmontonians when two young women died violently within a couple of weeks. The other woman that comes to mind was Brenda McLennigan.
 
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: RaeH on December 22, 2015, 06:42:27 AM
Hi - I'm new here, but I've read the entire thread with a mixture of emotions.  Sadness after reading the replay and rehash of Melissa's murder, which I completely understand is the point of this site, to happiness and relief that she isn't being forgotten and that there are people still passionate and interested in what happened to her. 

I was eleven when Melissa was murdered and I have never gotten over it.  I don't know who Pink Flower is, other than a family member, and I hope my post is appropriate and not hurtful.  I lived next door to Melissa and she was often my babysitter.  She was so much fun!!  I remember her laugh...you just had to laugh right along.  She was bubbly, feisty, kind, so so so full of life.  She taught me how to hang upside down from the clothesline bars in her backyard and flip to your feet, a huge accomplishment for a six year old.  She was never scared, never reluctant, never shy.  A challenge had no teeth against her ambition and determination. 

I remember her coming back from KDays one summer with a HUGE stuffed animal that she was showing off, bright eyes flashing, chewing bubblegum, so excited and happy and laughing, always, always laughing.  When I was in Grade 2 or 3, she used me as a model for a hairstyling competition where she styled my hair into a bun on my head, complete with felt eyes, nose, and mouth pasted to the front.  Melissa's influence in my life happened when I was so very young,  but these memories stand out in contrast like winter trees against a fiery sunset, their stark image burnt to the back of your mind.  Mostly I just remember a whirling, effervescent, blond, fiery, magnetic spirit that caught you in its path and made you want to go along with it.   And then all that passion, all that life and energy ... just gone.  Although it's unexplainable, no one tried to make sense of it with this 11 year old confused and terrified girl.  We were supposed to not bring it up ever and it was taboo to talk about. 

I wanted to post this to let people know what kind of an impact Melissa had on me in her short time here.  I still get nightmares about that horrible cold winter in 1987 when I realized that the world could also be a hard, inhumane, and senseless place.  But I needed to say this back then and never got the chance, even though, to be fair,  I don't think I would have been able to put it in words back then, spoken or otherwise.  This has haunted me over the decades and still does to this very day. 

I don't know why this happened or who would do such a thing.  Focusing on that only makes the memory of Melissa all about her cruel death and brings the sadness and fear back with it.  I don't pretend to have a deep bond or even a close relationship with her, but she did have a big effect on me as a very young child and even back then I could see how unique and special a spirit she was.  I know this doesn't contribute to the discussion or progression of the case in any way, but I hope it brings back a certain degree of humanity and shines a light on the personality and beauty inside and out that was Melissa.


It pains me to see no one really comes around here much anymore. Though I never knew Melissa and she passed before I was even born. For some unknown reason I feel this deep connection to her. Like I need to known what kind of person could possibly do this to someone who seemed to be so amazing. I had to repost this because it brings a sort of beauty and light into the world that is left of Melissa. She was an amazing woman from what I take in. Makes me believe more and more this was done by someone absessed with her, when she was abducted there was no major signs of struggle from what I can remember reading about the case. If anyone out there is still searching. Still trying to bring peace for her pease contact me and know I am also here. Hoping to peice together what really happened that gruesome valentines night.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: bestcho on April 02, 2016, 11:23:58 PM
Another young lady murdered and located near Genesee. Coincidence?. Come on RC's. Too small and too remote. Compare notes
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: bestcho on April 02, 2016, 11:25:23 PM
And btw. NO. I won't forget
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: jobo on April 03, 2016, 05:42:04 AM
Oh, no.
Do you have the news article, bestcho?
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: bestcho on April 03, 2016, 01:48:32 PM
No. There was a news clip of a missing young lady who was just found. I think Thursday or Friday. I didn't see the whole thing, only heard she had been missing and I heard Genesee. Just kinda put two and two together
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: jellybean on April 03, 2016, 03:59:14 PM
Hi Bestcho, I think this is the one.  Never heard of this one, until you mentioned it.
This area is near St. Francis, AB. It is confusing - Is Genessee water plant in that area, or Edmonton area, do you know?
http://www.edmontonsun.com/2016/04/01/body-of-missing-alberta-woman-found-by-police-in-densely-wooded-area-southwest-of-edmonton

Body of missing Alberta woman found by police in densely wooded area southwest of Edmonton

BY TREVOR ROBB
FIRST POSTED: FRIDAY, APRIL 01, 2016 07:04 PM MDT | UPDATED: FRIDAY, APRIL 01, 2016 07:16 PM MDT

The body of a missing 23-year-old Alberta woman was discovered Friday afternoon in a rural area southwest of Edmonton.

Kelsey Nicole Kramer’s body was found n a densely wooded area near the Genesee Natural Area, north of St. Francis.

RCMP discovered Kramer’s vehicle, a green 2006 Ford Freestyle, at an undisclosed rural location near Breton. RCMP knew Kramer was driving in the Breton detachment’s area when she disappeared. Police did not provide details.

Kramer was first reported missing to Drayton Valley RCMP by her mother on March 22. She was last seen the night of Saturday, March 19, near Drumheller and was believed to be heading back to Drayton Valley.

An autopsy is scheduled for next week in Edmonton.

St. Francis is about 90 km southwest of Edmonton.

 



Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: D1 on April 03, 2016, 05:21:44 PM
Any coincidence is worth looking into, this one for the reasons stated and maybe more. I too think of Mellissa a times. The odd movie, Valentines day etc.. She sticks with you. I've always though more could have been and still could be done by Rcs. Those bags out on the ice for instance. Too coincidental, what was in them? Where did they originate? Why not say? Any new lead or new tip would seemingly have to come from new info.. Time to have another look and release a bit more?
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: bestcho on April 04, 2016, 10:26:45 AM
Not really sure how close to the Genesee bridge that was. Breton has to be 40-50 km away, I would guess. And I've never before, heard of the Genesee woodland preserve or forest.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: bestcho on April 04, 2016, 10:32:56 AM
Just googled St. Francis. 5 miles from Genesee
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: dalma on October 17, 2016, 01:28:27 PM
I'm very sad to hear that this has never been solved.

I lived in the same building that she did and in fact her and her boyfriend lived across the hall from me. I didn't know them well but I ran into them from time to time and helped them move in some furniture when the first arrived.

The night she was discovered I returned home from a late dinner with my girlfriend to find my building surrounded by police. As I approached the door to building I was told that the building was secured and I couldn't enter. Once I proved that I lived there I was told to head up to my suite and wait for the detective who would be interviewing me.

They shared very little information, in fact I didn't who was missing or what had happened until I watched the news afterwards.

As I recall they interviewed me for an hour or more and then followed up with my work and friends to verify my story.

It was quite a shock that someone so nice and so close to home could be murdered. I have never spoken with anyone in her family but if any of you still visit this my heart goes out to you.

Several years ago I was flying from Edmonton when I sat next to a man and after striking up a conversation I learned that he lived near the Genesee area. I asked if he recalled the case of Melissa and he did. He went on to share a theory that he and others that lived in area had about the killer. He went on to describe a man he grew up with in the area that was a real mean troublemaker (I don't recall if he ever mentioned a name). He stated that he believed this man to be responsible. I asked if he had ever reported to this to the police and he mentioned that this man was dead already.

I have no idea if he really knew anything but I sure hope that some day we learn who was responsible.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: madtrapper on April 01, 2017, 12:52:25 PM
I'm a private citizen who has spent a great deal of time investigating this case. It has been a roller coaster of theories and bunny trails for me over the last few years. Without going into a lot of details, through this process, it has become my personal view that this case is the work of a serial killer. The standard definition of serial killer is of someone who has killed two or more victims with a cooling off period in between. Clearly there isn't a second case that I'm aware of that's tied to Melissa's case. My belief that this is the work of a serial killer is very simple. This person has killed hundreds, if not thousands of times. In his mind, that is. Serial killing is born in fantasy and after many years, the person crosses the line from fantasy into actually killing someone. It's not the number of victims that matter. It's the mindset and motivation behind the killing that is the defining trait.
These killers are the most difficult to catch. The organized ones (which Melissa's was), plan very carefully in order not to get caught. One of the criteria they use is to make sure they don't victimize someone they know personally, this reduces the chances of the police finding a connection between the killer and the victim. I believe this is the primary reason police have never been able to solve this case. They are dealing with a complete stranger. However, whether the killer likes it or not, his actions and methodology tells a story, and gives us a glimpse into his mind and thought processes. That story is what keeps me working on this.
A number of years ago, there was some profiling work done on this case and the conclusion was that the guy had a rope fetish, couldn't keep a job and didn't like authority. In other words, a loser. I don't necessarily agree with this profile. In fact, it's pretty lame if you ask me. He doesn't have a rope fetish, he has a fetish for killing innocent people to meet his own depraved needs. This killer was organized, meticulous and planned well in advance. He's just as likely to be a family man with a wife, perhaps even kids,  gainfully employed or even a pillar of the community or in a position of authority. It could even be possible that the police spoke with him way back in the day but completely ruled him out because he simply didn't fit the preconceived mould of who they were looking for. History shows many such examples.
I would also like to add that I  firmly believe this was not his first rodeo, he's done it before. This was well planned and well executed although there were some miscalculations and some high risk behaviour but then again, nobody's perfect.

Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: Sap1 on April 01, 2017, 06:41:20 PM
Madtrapper, I believe you are spot on. You may just be the catalyst that eventually solves this case.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: madtrapper on April 01, 2017, 07:48:42 PM
Sap1, believe me, there have been many times when I've thrown my hands in the air and said to hell with it. But then, after a while, that little voice in my head comes back. The voice that won't let me quit.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: Sap1 on April 02, 2017, 01:54:04 PM
Back then, it would not have been unusual to be wearing two pairs of pantyhose in winter, in Alberta. I recall wearing fishnets with another skin toned pair underneath for warmth in the 80's.

Over the years I have thought of Melissa often, and wondered if her case had ever been solved. It was shocking to Edmontonians when two young women died violently within a couple of weeks. The other woman that comes to mind was Brenda McLennigan.

http://edmontonjournal.com/news/local-news/jan-12-1986-brenda-mcclenaghan-goes-missing

Not the same perp but it gives a good idea how widespread these scum operate.

Quote
On Oct. 10, 1986, Tame pleaded guilty to the sex slaying and was sentenced to life imprisonment, with no chance for parole for 25 years, until 2011.

Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: Sap1 on April 02, 2017, 02:01:13 PM
Sap1, believe me, there have been many times when I've thrown my hands in the air and said to hell with it. But then, after a while, that little voice in my head comes back. The voice that won't let me quit.

I know that feeling. I had been perusing unsolved and solved murders looking for similar MO's a lot in the past, across Canada and into USA. A person needs a break now and then to stay sane.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: madtrapper on April 02, 2017, 02:37:31 PM
I remember the Brenda Mclenaghan murder. It was in the papers lots and it was horrific. There's a case and point to my previous statement. Brenda's killer was married with family. These types can be charming and well behaved until the mask comes off. They're experts at hiding amongst us and that's what makes them so dangerous.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: Sap1 on April 03, 2017, 01:38:40 AM
No doubt there are many SK's traversing across Canada and back and forth into USA/Canada.

The man who killed Brenda had violence in his past but claimed to be a born again Christian and he unravelled in Edmonton when a job he wanted didn't turn out. Unless I am getting people mixed up, this is what I remember about him.
His prison time was up in 2011 and I wonder if he did get out of jail then.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: jellybean on April 03, 2017, 10:31:24 PM

Madtrapper =
As Sap1 says regarding SK, this reminds of Amber Tucarro http://www.unsolvedcanada.ca/index.php?topic=3799.msg120816#msg120816

who was last seen getting into a vehicle in a motel parking lot situated in  Nisku.  Police feel that an SK is at large in the area.
In my opinion, he might also be a person who lives out of Province, but business would bring him into that area/.  A cluster of female bodies were found from time to time in the Nisku/Leduc area.

To quote poster CCF
Quote
on Amber's case He could be frequenting the Nisku area if he flies in and out of the airport on a 2/2 or 3/1 work rotation wherever he works at-Fort Mac, NWT, Northern B.C.-anywhere north really.  This could be why there is such little information about the vehicle she got into, he could have picked her up on his way in to Nisku to fly out the next day to his job or he was on his way home to Saskatchewan and their paths just happened to cross.

Not saying it is the same guy.  This case was in 2010.

He is still at large.  All seems to be quiet with him, so he may have moved out when jobs slowed down in AB.
Here are his characteristics of Amber's SK according to the RCMP profile.

Quote
"We don't necessarily use the terminology 'serial killer' because it seems to be terminology that is sensationalized by the media, by movies," RCMP Const. Tamara Bellamy told a news conference. "We prefer just 'serial offender.'"

A profile prepared by the RCMP's Behavioural Sciences Branch suggests the killer:

Drives a reliable, high-mileage truck, van or sport utility vehicle, and is comfortable driving in rural areas.
Likes to hunt, fish, camp or participate in other outdoor activities.
Has a past or present connection to the area south of Edmonton, including Leduc, Camrose and New Sarepta.
May clean his vehicle at odd times of the day.

"The public should not be discouraged from calling if the person that they suspect does not possess all of these traits," said a police news release about the profile. "We still want your calls.

"The offender is someone's neighbour, friend, brother or son."

Police have also identified three separate killing grounds around the Edmonton area that are being used for the murders.

Scary, scary stuff!!





jb

Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: Red Viewfinder on December 05, 2017, 05:26:34 PM
I was over by West Edmonton Mall today for an appointment and Melissa came to mind. It struck me, that at the time of her abduction, the neighbourhood would have been relatively new. Now the area definitely shows signs of age and decay. So many years have passed.
I cannot believe that her killer has not been caught. My theory is that it was absolutely someone she knew. Someone that she willingly went with.
I wonder if her parents are still living?  That she must be devastating to live with for over 30 years. I still hope that there is justice one day for Melissa.
Title: Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
Post by: RaeH on June 08, 2018, 07:04:42 AM
Hi Bestcho, I think this is the one.  Never heard of this one, until you mentioned it.
This area is near St. Francis, AB. It is confusing - Is Genessee water plant in that area, or Edmonton area, do you know?
http://www.edmontonsun.com/2016/04/01/body-of-missing-alberta-woman-found-by-police-in-densely-wooded-area-southwest-of-edmonton

Body of missing Alberta woman found by police in densely wooded area southwest of Edmonton

BY TREVOR ROBB
FIRST POSTED: FRIDAY, APRIL 01, 2016 07:04 PM MDT | UPDATED: FRIDAY, APRIL 01, 2016 07:16 PM MDT

The body of a missing 23-year-old Alberta woman was discovered Friday afternoon in a rural area southwest of Edmonton.

Kelsey Nicole Kramer’s body was found n a densely wooded area near the Genesee Natural Area, north of St. Francis.

RCMP discovered Kramer’s vehicle, a green 2006 Ford Freestyle, at an undisclosed rural location near Breton. RCMP knew Kramer was driving in the Breton detachment’s area when she disappeared. Police did not provide details.

Kramer was first reported missing to Drayton Valley RCMP by her mother on March 22. She was last seen the night of Saturday, March 19, near Drumheller and was believed to be heading back to Drayton Valley.

An autopsy is scheduled for next week in Edmonton.

St. Francis is about 90 km southwest of Edmonton.

I looked into this and was unable to find a cause of death. If also strangegulation I think this cause may be related. Not much info on this one for being a year ago already.