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Listing Of Unsolved Murders & Missing People In Canada => Ontario Unsolved Murders & Missing People => London => Topic started by: Angela Ellis on August 28, 2007, 09:19:29 AM

Title: Margaret Sheeler - London, ON - Murdered - 1963
Post by: Angela Ellis on August 28, 2007, 09:19:29 AM
* 1963 ? Margaret Sheeler, 20, left her London home in December 1963. Her
partially clothed body was found nearly a month later in a field beside Kipps
Lane. Killed by head injuries, she showed signs of being sexually assaulted.
Title: Re: Margaret Sheeler - London, ON - Murdered - 1963
Post by: goNgo on November 19, 2010, 08:38:12 PM
From LFP article clippings at the London Public Library:

Last seen:  Dec 27/63

Margaret allegedly left her home at 21 Bridle Path, at 8:00 p.m. in a severe snowstorm. She had an argument with her husband and walked out, fully clothed (with coat and boots). Her husband reported her missing the next day.

Background:  Margaret (nee Butterman) was 5 1/2 months pregnant and had gotten married 2 months earlier.  Her former boyfriend was believed to be in the London area at the time of her disappearance (then went to Vancouver).

Found:  Jan 24/64, approximately one month later.
Margaret was found 2 blocks from home, 50 feet off Kipps Lane in a field.  Police believed that she likely died elsewhere and was dumped in the field.  She was partially clothed.  Most of her clothes were found scattered in a 30 foot area around her body.

Cause of death:  Head injuries.  While the crime was classified as a sexual crime, the coroner found no evidence that she had been sexually assaulted.



Title: Re: Margaret Sheeler - London, ON - Murdered - 1963
Post by: Woodland on November 19, 2010, 09:19:59 PM
Very sad.

The ad placed by the neice in 2008 says she left the house 24 December, yet the LFP article says 27 December and her husband reported her missing 28 December.  Wonder which one it was?

Margaret left the house in a snowstorm over beer bottles when she is in 'nesting mode' at five months pregnant?  Wonder if hubby had doubts about who the father was, or if he had second thoughts about becoming a father.

That child would have turned 46 this year.
Title: Re: Margaret Sheeler - London, ON - Murdered - 1963
Post by: goNgo on November 19, 2010, 09:43:33 PM
I'm having difficulty thinking of any scenario as likely as the hubby killing her.  How many times have we heard the "we had a fight and she took off" explanation from a spouse when a woman goes missing.  We all know how that usually turns out.  Last to see her.  She turns up dead.

From the sounds of it there was a major snowstorm underway. Who is going to wander away into that?  If I recall (and I don't know where I read it) Margaret's coat was not found.  Why would her other clothes be found, but not that? 

If the weather was that bad, what are the chances that a predator would happen by right at the time she walked outside?  She couldn't have gone too far...her body was found very close to home.

The ex-boyfriend sounds like a convenient 'explanation'. Again, what are the chances that he would be right there as she stormed out?

Maybe hubby wasn't looking forward to be a dad.  Or, he just had a temper.  Or, he was jealous because he heard a rumour that a previous love interest was in town.
Title: Re: Margaret Sheeler - London, ON - Murdered - 1963
Post by: chickapey on May 22, 2013, 05:30:06 AM
http://www.lfpress.com/2013/05/21/london-police-publish-list-of-10-unsolved-murders (http://www.lfpress.com/2013/05/21/london-police-publish-list-of-10-unsolved-murders)
Title: Re: Margaret Sheeler - London, ON - Murdered - 1963
Post by: Have faith on May 22, 2013, 09:54:52 AM
Thanks Chick.  Here are Margaret's case details finally posted on the London Police website. 

http://police.city.london.on.ca/d.aspx?s=/Newsroom/Unsolved_Crimes/Murder_Margaret_Sheeler.htm (http://police.city.london.on.ca/d.aspx?s=/Newsroom/Unsolved_Crimes/Murder_Margaret_Sheeler.htm)

Modified to copy the London Police online file, in case they delete it, as they did with Frankie Jensen's.

Details of the Investigation

On November 15, 1963, Margaret Jean Butterman was married to Philip Sheeler in Wallaceberg, Ontario. The couple relocated to London, Ontario, where Philip had been transferred for work at a grocery warehouse. Margaret and Philip moved into 21 Bridle Path Lane, London.

On December 27, 1963, Margaret and Philip were in their residence, where they had an argument over returning beer bottles. After the argument, Margaret went outside for a walk. The weather was cold and it was snowing heavily that evening. When she had failed to return by December 28, 1963, at 11:40 pm, Philip Sheeler attended the London Police Department to report his wife missing.

On the evening of January 23, 1964, London Police were called to an open field adjacent to Kipps Lane in the City of London. Two boys had located the body of Margaret Sheeler. Her clothing had been removed and was strewn about the field around her. A post-mortem was conducted and it was determined she had suffered a skull fracture. Margaret was 5 ½ months pregnant at the time of her death.

London Police commenced an investigation into the murder of Margaret Sheeler. Multiple witnesses were interviewed, including her husband and an ex-boyfriend. All investigative leads were exhausted. No charges have been laid in the death of Margaret Sheeler.

Title: Re: Margaret Sheeler - London, ON - Murdered - 1963
Post by: debbiec on May 22, 2013, 10:05:53 AM
Margaret Sheeler is pictured below.

click to enlarge picture (it appears to be quite slow in loading)
Title: Re: Margaret Sheeler - London, ON - Murdered - 1963
Post by: jellybean on September 04, 2014, 10:05:23 PM
I'm having difficulty thinking of any scenario as likely as the hubby killing her.  How many times have we heard the "we had a fight and she took off" explanation from a spouse when a woman goes missing.  We all know how that usually turns out.  Last to see her.  She turns up dead.

From the sounds of it there was a major snowstorm underway. Who is going to wander away into that?  If I recall (and I don't know where I read it) Margaret's coat was not found.  Why would her other clothes be found, but not that? 

If the weather was that bad, what are the chances that a predator would happen by right at the time she walked outside?  She couldn't have gone too far...her body was found very close to home.

The ex-boyfriend sounds like a convenient 'explanation'. Again, what are the chances that he would be right there as she stormed out?

I agree with GonGo.  Who would leave in a snow storm? And fighting over beer bottles, tells me two things.
1 - Money was very tight.
2.  Booze was involved in the fight (potentially a heavy drinker in the family)

Spreading the clothes around and no sexual assault? Hubby planted them that way to try and make it look like a sexual assault and murder.   Hitting her over the head?  Very common - when in a rage (Perhaps, he felt that she was winning the argument)  Was this area a low income area at the time?

This is all conjecture of course. Hubby must have had something going for him that night, as the police cleared him of any responsibility in her death.  This cold case should be reviewed again by the police. Something is amiss - perhaps relatives might know or suspect something.  Especially if Margaret ever said anything to them about the condition of her marriage.
Oh,.. and  I wonder if hubby had a vehicle.

JB
Title: Re: Margaret Sheeler - London, ON - Murdered - 1963
Post by: Declan on September 05, 2014, 06:49:48 AM
Just to follow up on some thoughts from JellyBean.

Although the area of Kipp's Lane has likely changed a lot since when I lived in London - I do remember a bit about it from the sixties.  One of our teachers lived on Bridle Path and we had a couple class parties there (1970).  In Fact, looking at the map, I think that our class parties were held in the field just to the south of 21 Bridle Path.

That part of Kipps Lane, and Bridle Path in particular had well maintained townhouses - the type that seems popular with Sifton Properties.  Seemingly middle-income.  I would think most would be employed.  It was not "down and out" or particularly sketchy.  My Mom would not have a problem with us taking our bikes out to Kipps Lane back then.  It was as safe as anywhere else.  My sense of it was that it would have been a cool place to live...lots of people in their early to mid twenties with a job and enough money to try out some of what the sixties had to offer.  It would be the kind of place I might have moved to after getting my first job and/or rented the place with others if going to Fanshawe.

Of interest, the blocks of townhouses were nicely spaced apart with open fields (greenspaces with a few trees) separating them.  Also, many well-maintained pathways running back behind the townhouses.  These were not just worn paths in the grass, but rather nicely constructed concrete walkways.

Margaret's body was found in a wooded area that was only about 200 yards from where she lived.  From 21 Bridle Path, (on today's satellite pics...unsure if present back then), there is a clearly denoted walkway that connects 21 Bridle Path with Country Lane...and from there just a stone's throw to the field where her body was found.  The "field" appears wooded, and likely was wooded back then.  It is part of the Thames Flood Plain and a small stream winds back through the woods.    It would be the first, and most convenient place to take a body.  Perhaps Margaret's walk (sounds like she may have stormed out), might have taken her onto the little pathway heading west from Bridle Path to Country Lane.   If she was was overtaken, and hit on the head...then the killer would only have had to move her a very short distance (perhaps less than 25 yards) to place her in the field (it is unlikely in my opinion that her choice of walking locations would be in the wooded field during a snowstorm at night).  More likely she was heading towards Kipp's Lane or towards another townhouse to seek out a friend and refuge from the argument she was having.

So - is it possible she left 21 Bridle Path, headed west on the small pathway running behind an adjacent townhouse.  She was overtaken somewhere near Country Line - and then killed and dragged a short distance to the field where her body was later discovered?  (No car needed...and also...she would have covered only a very short distance (would have taken about 2 minutes max) before she was attacked...thus making one wonder about the odds of running into a stranger in such a short period of time). Bad luck, bad timing does happen...but???

Just some thoughts.  One could imagine this, very clearly, as part of a TV script.  An argument happens -perhaps brought on by the usual pressures/expectations of Christmas & related money problems.   The focus on beer bottles is an odd one - and probably points to an argument about drinking.  Drinking may have been happening at the time.  Argument escalates - spouse leaves in a hurry (perhaps felt threatened).  She is running away (not "out for a walk" in the snowstorm).  She takes a pathway between townhouses - perhaps heading to a friend's place.  She makes it about 100 meters...is overtaken (by someone??) smashed on head (in fit of rage).  Body moved another 100 meters to the first good hiding spot.  It is snowing...so the killer hopes that fresh snow will cover his tracks.  M. is thus reported missing "the next day".

Note: the police felt that the murder did not happen at the location where he body was found (they do not expand on this...could this fit with the idea of the blow to head happening closer to her place of residence?)  ..and that her clothes were strewn about to make it appear as a sex killing.  The 'not finding a coat' is interesting.  Perhaps Margaret left without one....her objective simply being to reach a friend's townhouse which might have only been a minute's run away.  She may have left in a hurry - and did not have time to grab a coat.

Just some speculation.  However, a quick look at the map would suggest that M. was not abducted in a car, killed and left in a hiding place.  Everything happened, instead, in a very tight geographical zone with distances that would be covered in just a couple of minutes on foot.

Title: Re: Margaret Sheeler - London, ON - Murdered - 1963
Post by: jellybean on September 12, 2014, 04:39:12 PM
quote Declan: (and thank you for the added info)

quote
"Note: the police felt that the murder did not happen at the location where he body was found (they do not expand on this...could this fit with the idea of the blow to head happening closer to her place of residence?)  ..and that her clothes were strewn about to make it appear as a sex killing.  The 'not finding a coat' is interesting.  Perhaps Margaret left without one....her objective simply being to reach a friend's townhouse which might have only been a minute's run away.  She may have left in a hurry - and did not have time to grab a coat." unquote

So true, not having time to grab a coat.  We assume that she left her place of residence under her own steam!

I have the feeling that it happened in her home..... and the killer did not think about a winter coat. (Big oops there!)
Considered a few things, after the fact, but did not think about her winter coat!!

THIS COLD CASE IS SCREAMING TO BE SOLVED!

JB




Title: Re: Margaret Sheeler - London, ON - Murdered - 1963
Post by: Have faith on September 12, 2014, 08:41:34 PM
Thanks Declan for your input.  Good observations and helpful geographic points.

What bothers me about the missing coat, is that when Margaret's husband made his "missing person" report to LE, he stated that she left home wearing her coat and boots.  If he had staged the crime scene to make it look like a sudden, random sexual attack, before he reported her missing, he would have left her coat strewn at the scene with her other clothing. 

LE must have some forensic evidence to think that Margaret was killed elsewhere, and was then dumped in the field close to her home, which is very odd. Obviously no evidence of violence was found in her home, and I bet her husband passed a polygraph test. Although the husband would be the obvious suspect, it doesn't seem logical to me that he did it.  I am more interested in the ex-boyfriend.  JMO

From LFP article clippings at the London Public Library: (see reply#1, goNgo)

Last seen:  Dec 27/63

Margaret allegedly left her home at 21 Bridle Path, at 8:00 p.m. in a severe snowstorm. She had an argument with her husband and walked out, fully clothed (with coat and boots). Her husband reported her missing the next day.

Modified to add goNgo's info.

Title: Re: Margaret Sheeler - London, ON - Murdered - 1963
Post by: jellybean on September 13, 2014, 12:10:55 PM
Have Faith, where does it say that she left with her coat and boots?  I am confused - so please help me here (thanks) :-\

Fully clothed - can mean that she left the house to brave the elements, coat and boots - or it just can mean that she left the house dressed. ie: street clothes ( as she was found with her clothes strewn around.)
Quote:Posted by GonGo.

"Cause of death:  Head injuries.  While the crime was classified as a sexual crime, the coroner found no evidence that she had been sexually assaulted.



What on earth does that mean?
http://www.police.london.ca/d.aspx?s=/Newsroom/Unsolved_Crimes/Murder_Margaret_Sheeler.htm

MAJOR CRIME SECTION

Occurrence #: 63-6472
Date: December 28, 1963

Victim
Margaret Sheeler

Female, white, 20 years old, 5’0”, 126 lbs, brown hair

Details of the Investigation

On November 15, 1963, Margaret Jean Butterman was married to Philip Sheeler in Wallaceberg, Ontario. The couple relocated to London, Ontario, where Philip had been transferred for work at a grocery warehouse. Margaret and Philip moved into 21 Bridle Path Lane, London.

On December 27, 1963, Margaret and Philip were in their residence, where they had an argument over returning beer bottles. After the argument, Margaret went outside for a walk. The weather was cold and it was snowing heavily that evening. When she had failed to return by December 28, 1963, at 11:40 pm, Philip Sheeler attended the London Police Department to report his wife missing.

On the evening of January 23, 1964, London Police were called to an open field adjacent to Kipps Lane in the City of London. Two boys had located the body of Margaret Sheeler. Her clothing had been removed and was strewn about the field around her. A post-mortem was conducted and it was determined she had suffered a skull fracture. Margaret was 5 ½ months pregnant at the time of her death.

London Police commenced an investigation into the murder of Margaret Sheeler. Multiple witnesses were interviewed, including her husband and an ex-boyfriend. All investigative leads were exhausted. No charges have been laid in the death of Margaret Sheeler.

Suspect(s)
Unknown

How you can help

Contact the Detective Sergeant of the Major Crime Section at 519 661-5674 or e-mail MajorCrime@police.london.ca.
Crime Stoppers: Phone anonymously at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or Information can also be sent in on-line anonymously to www.londoncrimestoppers.com.



Title: Re: Margaret Sheeler - London, ON - Murdered - 1963
Post by: Have faith on September 13, 2014, 01:23:57 PM
From LFP article clippings at the London Public Library:

Last seen:  Dec 27/63

Margaret allegedly left her home at 21 Bridle Path, at 8:00 p.m. in a severe snowstorm. She had an argument with her husband and walked out, fully clothed (with coat and boots). Her husband reported her missing the next day.

Background:  Margaret (nee Butterman) was 5 1/2 months pregnant and had gotten married 2 months earlier.  Her former boyfriend was believed to be in the London area at the time of her disappearance (then went to Vancouver).

Found:  Jan 24/64, approximately one month later.
Margaret was found 2 blocks from home, 50 feet off Kipps Lane in a field.  Police believed that she likely died elsewhere and was dumped in the field.  She was partially clothed.  Most of her clothes were found scattered in a 30 foot area around her body.

Cause of death:  Head injuries.  While the crime was classified as a sexual crime, the coroner found no evidence that she had been sexually assaulted.


JB I got the coat info from the above LFP clipping that goNgo found at the London Public Library.  I assume that goNgo didn't want to infringe on any copyright rules, and so she typed it out verbatim.  I'll confirm this with goNgo.

Re your question:
""Cause of death:  Head injuries.  While the crime was classified as a sexual crime, the coroner found no evidence that she had been sexually assaulted."  "What on earth does that mean?"

I think that LE will suspect a sexual crime whenever the victim is found partially clothed or naked, in spite of a lack of physical evidence by the coroner.  The same is true if a body has decomposed to a point that it is impossible to prove a sexual component, and the coroner will note that there is no "evidence" of a sexual crime.  Some victims listed in Project Angel were classified as sex crimes, although the medical examination showed "no evidence" of a sex attack.


 

Title: Re: Margaret Sheeler - London, ON - Murdered - 1963
Post by: jellybean on September 13, 2014, 01:53:14 PM
Thanks Have faith for your response.  What struck me, about her picture, Margaret was so pretty - a face on her like a mannequin. Just mentioning that as an aside, as it doesn't really matter about pretty or otherwise, she did not deserve to be murdered. And an unborn child, is also in the mix......

Jb
Title: Re: Margaret Sheeler - London, ON - Murdered - 1963
Post by: Declan on September 14, 2014, 10:40:23 AM
As has been found for other cases, the little kernels of information that become available to us either through LFP clippings or police reports, are often inaccurate or misleading.  It is curious however, that the police provided the "small details" of a argument between a husband and wife that led to the wife storming out of the house for a "walk" on a cold and snow filled night.  Their mention of this, and the mention of an ex-boyfriend, and M's status as being pregnant are intriguing however.   Such domestic details have been left out of most other released police info on other unsolved cases.  The inclusion herein is therefore peculiar, and perhaps telling.  What was the argument really about?   Why do the police tell us about an ex-boyfriend?  Is it germane to the murder itself that Margaret was pregnant?  Perhaps it was part of the argument?  It is, as if, the police are providing some examples of motivation, rather than information that would be necessarily useful to prompt tips.   To include an assertion by M's husband that the argument was about returning beer bottle - and this alone would lead to M. leaving the house to brave a cold winter night on foot - seems almost a way of making a jest of the husband's story.

Title: Re: Margaret Sheeler - London, ON - Murdered - 1963
Post by: jellybean on September 14, 2014, 12:04:42 PM
As has been found for other cases, the little kernels of information that become available to us either through LFP clippings or police reports, are often inaccurate or misleading.  It is curious however, that the police provided the "small details" of a argument between a husband and wife that led to the wife storming out of the house for a "walk" on a cold and snow filled night.  Their mention of this, and the mention of an ex-boyfriend, and M's status as being pregnant are intriguing however.   Such domestic details have been left out of most other released police info on other unsolved cases.  The inclusion herein is therefore peculiar, and perhaps telling.  What was the argument really about?   Why do the police tell us about an ex-boyfriend?  Is it germane to the murder itself that Margaret was pregnant?  Perhaps it was part of the argument?  It is, as if, the police are providing some examples of motivation, rather than information that would be necessarily useful to prompt tips.   To include an assertion by M's husband that the argument was about returning beer bottle - and this alone would lead to M. leaving the house to brave a cold winter night on foot - seems almost a way of making a jest of the husband's story.



Declan = exactly what I was going to post~ You said it first ...lol.  It strikes me as being unusual, as you say, that le would give out all of the personal info.... Including what he did for a living....
There is a reason for it - le do not waste their time nor effort.

Perhaps the argument over beer bottles is true - and cops are amused by it. They may also be giving a clue as the state of the marriage.......including financial stress!
The announcement by police say that there are no suspects.   But they may have persons of interest...and perhaps that is what they are getting at!! Just might be that they need a few more clues to move the perp from a POI into a suspect.

JB
Title: Re: Margaret Sheeler - London, ON - Murdered - 1963
Post by: Declan on September 14, 2014, 05:08:16 PM
Hi JB and others.

Yes, the typical police info to the public would usually be limited to something like:
1. M. left the townhouse at such and such a time on such and such a night
2. She did not return
3. Police were notified (time and date) that she was missing
4. Her body was found (date and place)


For LE to tell the public that her husband and an ex-boyfriend were considered suspects, is odd...even if we are told that they were cleared.  Certainly sets the public up for all kinds of speculation, and it would forever taint the reputation of the two "cleared" individuals.   For other London unsolved cases there is no mention of suspects past or present, whether they were cleared or not cleared.   The addition of this detail, for Margaret's case therefore stands out like a sore thumb, and is probably meant as a directional arrow.  Revealing to the public that she was pregnant is also odd - unless mentioning this detail to the general public would somehow improve the quality of tips.  It is germane to her murder because .....why?
Mentioning an ex-boyfriend along with the "not necessary to mention" detail of her pregnancy must have been an intentional clue that LE has provided to the general public.   Would, for example, it be useful to tell the public that a victim had diabetes or some other issue, unless there was something helpful in knowing about this?
Title: Re: Margaret Sheeler - London, ON - Murdered - 1963
Post by: jellybean on September 14, 2014, 05:21:24 PM
London, Ontario has a very interesting past! Murders of young women, found with clothes scattered around them, which could lead one to think that perhaps a serial murder is at work here, in the case of Margaret's death.

Quite frankly, I cannot see a serial stalker out in the heavy snow looking for a victim, who just happens to have left her unit in a Huff! HE WOULD WANT TO BE IN  A WARM PLACE, would he not?

So to my mind, an opportunistic killer is out of the equation, for the very reason as I have stated above.



Title: Re: Margaret Sheeler - London, ON - Murdered - 1963
Post by: Have faith on September 14, 2014, 08:19:18 PM
Margaret was included in the Project Angel re-investigation (1997-2000).  If there was any collected and stored crime exhibits, they should have been sent for DNA analysis during this probe.

All POI's, suspects and witnesses should have been questioned again, which was 34 years later in Margaret's case.  It is interesting, that LE has included so much personal information on their official website.  For some reason they must feel that it is relevant 51 years later, and that it might lead to a long-awaited tip. 

Declan wonders why tell us she was pregnant?  Going one step farther--why tell us that she got pregnant BEFORE she recently married her husband?  And then throw in that the ex-boyfriend was included in the investigation.  I would have to think that this, and some of the other personal info, was carefully selected by LE.  jmo


Modified to add "ex" to boyfriend.  Must have been a Freudian slip.
   
Title: Re: Margaret Sheeler - London, ON - Murdered - 1963
Post by: Logical on September 14, 2014, 09:05:41 PM
I think simply because it was 1963. Police, privacy and media were not really what it is today back then, more about freedom of the press and sharing of all the leads and info they have so far. Not about prosecution, more about catching they guy.
Title: Re: Margaret Sheeler - London, ON - Murdered - 1963
Post by: Have faith on September 14, 2014, 09:47:15 PM
I think simply because it was 1963. Police, privacy and media were not really what it is today back then, more about freedom of the press and sharing of all the leads and info they have so far. Not about prosecution, more about catching they guy.


I agree that rules were more relaxed back then, and info was more freely given.  (the good ole days lol ). The info we are referring to here, is part of the London Police Service's new "unsolved murders" section that they added to their website in May, 2013, as per the link in reply#4.  Therefore this was written up by LE only 16 months ago.  It does contain much more personal data than the other cases that they added at the same time. 

 
Title: Re: Margaret Sheeler - London, ON - Murdered - 1963
Post by: Have faith on September 14, 2014, 10:03:57 PM
I thought I would copy part of that LFPress link before it disappears to their archives in the future.




http://www.lfpress.com/2013/05/21/london-police-publish-list-of-10-unsolved-murders (http://www.lfpress.com/2013/05/21/london-police-publish-list-of-10-unsolved-murders)

In an effort to reignite the flame on 10 London unsolved murder investigations — one dating back more than 60 years — London police have added an “unsolved murders” section to its website.

Though some of the cases have gone cold over the decades, police believe there are people with information that can help solve all of them.

They hope the ease of Internet access will help bring those people forward.

“It may trigger someone to come forward with information that may assist with an investigation,” police spokesperson Const. Ken Steeves said.

“Circumstances change as times go on. Something that may have prevented someone from speaking to police in the past may no longer be an issue.

“We’ve got a few of them that we strongly believe there are people in the community that may have had information.”

Police say family members are still grieving the loss of victims in even the oldest investigations.

“We do it for them so we can provide some closure and answers,” said Det. Supt. Stephen Williams, head of London’s criminal investigation division.

“There are people with information who may be waiting and those are the people we are appealing to,” he said. “It could be a very small bit of information they don’t think is significant, but let us decide that.”
Title: Re: Margaret Sheeler - London, ON - Murdered - 1963
Post by: Declan on September 15, 2014, 05:29:44 AM
Thanks for posting this.  Useful to "capture" this information, because sometimes material on the web gets removed and can't be found again.  For example, at one point, years ago - there was a very unsettling web document that had been posted within a website for the London Knights.  I chanced upon it, and found that it contained very high quality pictures that had been used in the LFP articles.  The document in progress purported that new information would blow the four cases open (referring to four of the unsolved cases including JD, JE, and LW).  A few months later the website was no longer active, and I wish I had thought about capturing the information before it was lost.  Why it would be on the London Knights site was particularly odd, except for the connection between JE's case and the Treasure Island Shopping Plaza where the London Knights Ice House was located. 

As to the other point brought forward by HF - that is very interesting to compare the suggested time frame of the pregnancy vs. the months that had past since boyfriend was "ex". 
Title: Re: Margaret Sheeler - London, ON - Murdered - 1963
Post by: jellybean on September 15, 2014, 11:24:41 AM

Questions arise which should be answered first - as to the involvement of the ex boyfriend.  The ex could have been just that-  an EX. A forever good bye - mutual on both sides.

If the ex was still interested - this could open up many questions too.

Did Margaret go to a neighbours to use the phone to call her ex?
  Unless she called ex bf from her home to come and pick her up, this may have caused rage in hubby.

If she used a neighbours phone to call her Ex - then this would have  been reported to police during their customary rap on the doors. - and they would be included as witnesses.

It is interesting that the police talk about witnesses in their last report.    Now, of course the two boys who discovered her remains would be considered witnesses.

I wonder if Margaret and her husband had other people in her home - when this scene occurred?
(the police did not mention "party in the home" nor visitors) And since they gave out very pertinent info on the crime, one would think that they would have included that - if it were true.

Who were the witnesses? Obviously these witnesses did not see her murdered. What was hubbies alibi?
Was their a male buddy in the home when Margaret left?

Did Margaret take that walk, cool off and return home?

JB

PS What time of day did she walk out?  Does anyone know?
Title: Re: Margaret Sheeler - London, ON - Murdered - 1963
Post by: goNgo on October 09, 2014, 09:17:36 PM
Sorry for the late response.

Have Faith is correct, the original details I posted are from my summary transcribed notes, as I didn't want to infringe copyright laws. 

Having said that, my reference to the coat and boots would not have been made unless they were specifically mentioned. I definitely would have focused on the specific facts as reported. There was no conjecture on my part. I simply wanted to capture the basic "facts" so that they were available in a more public venue for future reference.  Of course "the facts" are as reported by the LFP, so I can't guarantee that they weren't subject to some interpretation by the reporter.

Excellent points have been raised by everyone. I don't have time to comment more right now, but I will later.
Title: Re: Margaret Sheeler - London, ON - Murdered - 1963
Post by: jellybean on October 10, 2014, 10:48:14 AM
Quote Declan "Just some speculation.  However, a quick look at the map would suggest that M. was not abducted in a car, killed and left in a hiding place.  Everything happened, instead, in a very tight geographical zone with distances that would be covered in just a couple of minutes on foot. unquote.

Beats me as to why the police could not put all of this together!!  I could easily get hung up on the "where is her coat?",
but if one looks at it with or without the coat, things are fairly clear..... unless there were witnesses in her townhouse who saw her leave.  .To my mind, that is the only way that hubby would not be a suspect. 

If I recall, several witness's were interviewed, and I wonder where these witnesses were at the time she disappeared?  So the two boys who discovered her would be considered two of the several witnesses.  Who were the rest and where were they situated at the time in order to witness anything?

Interesting to note that her hubby reported her missing the next day at 11:40 pm.  The police gave a precise time!
Hmm.  Most husbands would have reported her missing in early am hours, at the latest -  if wife leaves in snow storm at 8:00 pm,  (5 1/2 months pregnant), and had not returned. Most hubbies would have been pacing the floor and calling the police after a few hours.

Were searches ever done for her?  Did he participate?

Her body was found a couple of blocks away according to the map put out by the police.
https://www.google.ca/search?q=margaret+sheeler&biw=1093&bih=445&tbm=isch&imgil=RLh3sEH5PcdONM%253A%253Bm7ypq0giMVNKZM%253Bhttp%25253A%25252F%25252Fwww.police.london.ca%25252Fd.aspx%25253Fs%2525253D%25252FNewsroom%25252FUnsolved_Crimes%25252FMurder_Margaret_Sheeler.htm&source=iu&pf=m&fir=RLh3sEH5PcdONM%253A%252Cm7ypq0giMVNKZM%252C_&usg=__-gq3AW5lokh7z232LyF-ioUzMzw%3D&ved=0CDoQyjc&ei=rxA4VLmbE4KEjAKg_4DgBg#facrc=_&imgdii=_&imgrc=RLh3sEH5PcdONM%253A%3Bm7ypq0giMVNKZM%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fwww.police.london.ca%252FNewsroom%252FUnsolved_Crimes%252FImages%252FMargaret_Sheeler_Map.jpg%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fwww.police.london.ca%252Fd.aspx%253Fs%253D%252FNewsroom%252FUnsolved_Crimes%252FMurder_Margaret_Sheeler.htm%3B1427%3B859

I did note that the boyfriend was in the area at the time, and later left for Vancouver.  The optics of this are not looking good for the boyfriend either!!

I am sure it was not a stranger.

JB
Title: Re: Margaret Sheeler - London, ON - Murdered - 1963
Post by: jellybean on October 10, 2014, 11:22:11 PM
Further to my above post, quote"where Philip had been transferred for work at a grocery warehouse. Margaret and Philip moved into 21 Bridle Path Lane, London.

Philip may have worked that day. Few people would have the full xmas off  Usually December  25 & 26 boxing day.
by the 1963 calendar, 25 (Wedn) 26 (Thursday) and he probably worked on the 27 (Friday).

quote:" On December 27, 1963, Margaret and Philip were in their residence, where they had an argument over returning beer bottles. After the argument, Margaret went outside for a walk. The weather was cold and it was snowing heavily that evening." unquote

The grocery business being what it is, he may also have had to be at work on the Saturday - the 28th. Perhaps he had hoped that when he returned from work (if he did work) that she would be there.


quote " When she had failed to return by December 28, 1963, at 11:40 pm, Philip Sheeler attended the London Police Department to report his wife missing." unquote

That might explain why he had taken so long to report her missing.

JB




Title: Re: Margaret Sheeler - London, ON - Murdered - 1963
Post by: chickapey on October 11, 2014, 07:39:20 AM
Interesting... strange... but she was buried in Wallaceburg under her maiden name. If she was married, why would this be? Women keeping their own names wasn't common until much later ...  any ideas?

Also if her husband worked at a warehouse, would it have been open on a weekend? It's not like it's an actual store but at any rate, not reporting a pregnant woman until the next day seems very off to me
Title: Re: Margaret Sheeler - London, ON - Murdered - 1963
Post by: jellybean on October 11, 2014, 12:40:20 PM
He is not a suspect. The cops say SUSPECTS: Unknown.  It may seem open and shut - but on second thoughts is it??

I was trying to figure out why he would have waited all of those hours to report her missing.  This was during the holiday season, and perhaps the cops on duty were thinned out, or busy with traffic accidents etc. etc.
A couple  went missing in my city a few years ago during the holiday season, and those who contacted police with their concerns were encouraged to call around and look for them on their own. Apart from hospitals, they were also encouraged to call airlines, buses etc.

So perhaps Phillip ran into the same situation. ? ? ?

Her last name was Sheeler, according to police.  Perhaps the death certificate etc. would be in her married name, and if the parents had to pay for her funeral and burial, then -- they may have insisted upon using Margaret's maiden name on her gravesite. (Sounds like they did not approve of her marriage to Phillip), Since they were only married for a couple of months,  Margaret would be better known by her maiden name. ? ? ? ?

jb

Title: Re: Margaret Sheeler - London, ON - Murdered - 1963
Post by: chickapey on October 12, 2014, 09:11:36 AM
Maybe the police and paper said it was Sheeler because people living together weren't as accepted until much much later?  If they were married her name on the death certificate would have to be in her legal name which would be Sheeler and wouldn't the stone have to reflect that or at least have Sheeler in brackets? I wonder. If they were married he would be next of kin automatically and have some kind of say in what the stone said and as a grieving husband... wouldn't he insist on that? It just seems really odd to me.

As for waiting, I wonder if he did call police before and was told to call back after 24 hours since she was an adult and the police only go by the call they actually go out on but still... factoring in the weather and her being pregnant, you'd think there would be more cause for alarm. If he didn't call before then it just really makes me wonder what he was up to
Title: Re: Margaret Sheeler - London, ON - Murdered - 1963
Post by: goNgo on October 14, 2014, 07:30:19 PM
Interesting... strange... but she was buried in Wallaceburg under her maiden name. If she was married, why would this be? Women keeping their own names wasn't common until much later ...  any ideas?

Also if her husband worked at a warehouse, would it have been open on a weekend? It's not like it's an actual store but at any rate, not reporting a pregnant woman until the next day seems very off to me


...and not reporting your pregnant wife missing until very late the next night seems even more off.

Margaret was pregnant, so they likely felt compelled to get married and they quickly moved to the big city, far from her family.  That must have been tough on both of them. It wouldn't be surprising if there were stresses on this young couple. Did Margaret have any friends in London?
Title: Re: Margaret Sheeler - London, ON - Murdered - 1963
Post by: jellybean on October 14, 2014, 09:03:21 PM
At first glance, it would appear that this one should be an open and shut case.  But it is not.... Police talk about several witnesses - so what did the witnesses see or hear or know for certain, that would clear Phil at that particular time??
The ex was also not a suspect or was cleared of being one.
So, if that is the case, who murdered her??
I wonder if Maggie and Phil had company that evening, when they had their tiff?  If so, that could insert another possible suspect into the equation.
JB
Title: Re: Margaret Sheeler - London, ON - Murdered - 1963
Post by: Besani on October 14, 2014, 09:34:25 PM
She was pregnant. Got into an argument with husband over beer bottles. Goes missing in a snowstorm. Isn't reported missing by her husband until almost midnight the next day. Body is found a month later in close walking distance to their home. Body is half naked with clothing found around her but there was no sexual assult. She was burried with her maiden name.

I'm not a detective, but it was obviously the husband. They got into a fight. She left. He followed. He hit her with something. Took her to the field. Removed some clothing to make it look like sexual assult. Went home. Cleaned up. Reported her missing the next day.

All the foot prints in the snow that night would have showed exactly where she went and what happened. Any blood in the snow was covered and would have melted away with the snow in warm weather/rain.

I think they should give the husband a lie detector test.
Title: Re: Margaret Sheeler - London, ON - Murdered - 1963
Post by: jellybean on October 14, 2014, 10:11:02 PM
It looks cut and dried to us, but why no arrests?  And why Suspects: Unknown?
 :o

The appeal by London Police Crime Section was posted on their website in 2008.

Yes Besani, a polygraph would certainly help, 

JB
Title: Re: Margaret Sheeler - London, ON - Murdered - 1963
Post by: debbiec on October 14, 2014, 10:20:42 PM
The husband has not been charged with anything, or named as a poi. I'm assuming this is your opinion and your post should reflect that.

Quote
I'm not a detective, but it was obviously the husband. They got into a fight. She left. He followed. He hit her with something. Took her to the field. Removed some clothing to make it look like sexual assult. Went home. Cleaned up. Reported her missing the next day.
Title: Re: Margaret Sheeler - London, ON - Murdered - 1963
Post by: chickapey on October 14, 2014, 10:31:05 PM
What was that neighbourhood like then? It sure has its reputation now but it was newer then so maybe nicer? I still wonder why she was buried under her maiden name and what became of him after?
Title: Re: Margaret Sheeler - London, ON - Murdered - 1963
Post by: Besani on October 14, 2014, 10:50:38 PM
I don't understand how he wasn't a person of interest, he admitted they had an argument, it was over alcohol bottles, he was the last one to see her alive, and he didn't report her missing until almost midnight the next day. Then they find her body walking distance away...

All I'm saying is that this case seems fishy, like the police didn't spend enough time on it.
Title: Re: Margaret Sheeler - London, ON - Murdered - 1963
Post by: debbiec on October 14, 2014, 11:24:39 PM
When making such a strong statement it is best to have proven facts to back it up with, or clarify by adding that it is your opinion only. :)
Title: Re: Margaret Sheeler - London, ON - Murdered - 1963
Post by: chickapey on October 15, 2014, 06:52:52 AM
I was also wondering about the field... it looks like there is an apartment building there now... looks like sometime in the 80s. If it was an open field at the time something like a body would have been discovered sooner, I'd think... most likely by children on Christmas break playing with their new Christmas toys. As well... if someone is missing wouldn't the first course of action be to comb the area? Someone would have walked that field looking for her. As soon as she was reported missing... did he inform her family? Wouldn't they have come down to see what was going on?  Also... if she was hit on the head, the question in my mind is... with what? A blunt object? A sharp object? Was there any DNA present?
Title: Re: Margaret Sheeler - London, ON - Murdered - 1963
Post by: Have faith on October 16, 2014, 03:07:26 PM
Quote jellybean:  " And why Suspects: Unknown?"

Hi jb--All of the unsolved murders listed on the London Police Service web site state "Suspect(s)" as "Unknown".  I'm sure that this does not mean that LE did not have any suspects, but rather they aren't going to name them publicly.  Most times, even the victim's loved ones aren't told who the suspect is, let alone the public. 

In Margaret's case, without the media releases from that time, it is impossible to tell who, if anyone, was named a POI or suspect, but it seems to be rarely done regardless.