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Messages - wellwell

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I'm going to guess that the knot shown in the photo released by the RCMP is a kind of butterfly knot, aka the lineman's loop.

Please feel free to challenge this assumption.

I was watching the TV series Trapped, where police were trying to trace a figure eight knot to a killer. They learned that it was a common knot taught in scouting, but also that one of the people close to the victim was a mountain climber. I wondered if the writers had been reading Canadian news feeds.

In just over a year, Sonia's murder will slip into the category of "historical" -- 10 or more years old. I can't believe it has been almost nine years since her life was stolen away, and I think the chance of getting answers as an historical case is very low.

I think everyone here has been hoping Investigators would dig deeper. That's why we keep at this.

I really do believe that this investigation took a wrong turn at the beginning, perhaps because Clifford Olson was active at the time, although he had not yet been captured. I mentioned in the past how many people later became convinced he was responsible. Did this cause investigative tunnel vision? Olson used job ruses, and made use of rental cars, which would have all been late-model North American made cars in those days. Look at the composite sketch, even.

That person at the funeral home is very important. The person who saw him was not under hypnosis or any other influence. He saw what he saw. I have often wondered about the motivation for setting up that visitation. Who was it for? What was it for, and if it was a trap for the killer, why was it so poorly planned and executed?

I cannot get away from the murder of Denise Lapierre years later, just a short walk away, in the same area of the city as the funeral home. She was the niece of a Calgary police detective. Why her?

They are saying that there is potential dna evidence to be had. The podcast is good, lots of information.. Even an offhand reference to this thread. We have been sluffed off though, too many suspects, too many theories so all lumped together and discounted.

The original target the figure skater speaks out.. She has become what T. Arnold claimed would happen to her if he killed Kelly. She would never be able to forget him.. He loved that thought... 

“When I realized, like, this could have been me, that that was the big turning point of, ‘Wow, that could have been me,’” Stacey said.

The case has impacted every aspect of her life and will continue to until the killer is caught.

"Potential DNA" sounds a like a soft landing, another way of saying this case will not be solved now, based on the evidence.

This case was bungled in many ways at the beginning, IMO. Why wasn't a single police officer posted in the funeral home, for example? How hard would it have been to put an officer in a dark suit, looking like one of the funeral home staff? This was a high-profile unsolved murder of a minor.  Surely officers could have been doing surveillance of the various entrances/exits of the funeral home. Are we supposed to believe that this idea never occurred to anyone involved in the investigation? Bungled. Opportunity missed. The killer got away, which wasn't so hard, apparently. Heads should have rolled over that major gaffe.

Interesting little tid-bit...

WATCH: The RCMP is taking a fresh look at a Calgary-area cold case. On the 38th anniversary of Kelly Cook’s abduction and murder, police are using advancements in technology to try and move the case forward. Nancy Hixt reports.

Does this mean they have DNA evidence from the murder? That's what "advancements in technology" usually means. It can also be a roundabout way of saying the case can't be solved now.

I do hope that photos were taken of the rope used to bind Kelly Cook, and shared with investigators in other unsolved murder cases. With very little physical evidence from this case, what does exist becomes more important. Rope is not simply rope. Knots are not simply knots. It is good that investigators in the Victoria Crow Shoe case released the image of the rope and knots without letting too much time go by. Someone may recognize that rope and those knots. The knots appear to have some level of skill. Some knots are favored by individuals, and some individuals have unique methods of tying them. It can be a sort of signature if this technique and type of rope shows up again.

(Yes, I have spent too much time watching timber hitch knot-tying videos, because what else would one use in a campground near the mountains, as in Victoria's case?)

An unusual electrician's knot is what tied Jerome Brudos to some murders of young women in Oregon in the 1960s. He used the knot to tie victims to car parts when he disposed of their bodies in water. He was jailed in the late 1960s.

Sometimes the simple things are overlooked.

I hope someone can explain to me the decision-making process behind putting resources into investigating cold cases. For example, how was Thera Dieleman's case prioritized over other, more recent cold case murders? There are not unlimited resources, so what goes into one case takes away from others. It would be interesting to learn how and why this happens.

I've mentioned this before. The type of knotwork used can also reveal a lot. Expired kernmantle rope is often cut up into smaller pieces and used for practice knotting by those in certain occupations that require this skill. There are common knots, and other more specialized knots that are favored by people in boating, rock climbing or animal handling, for example. Combine that with the type of rope, and a better picture of the murderer may emerge. Ordinary hardware store rope and poorly-tied knots will paint a different picture.

If kernmantle rope was used in Kelly's murder, knowing that information could provide vital clues.

Tracers are placed in kernmantle rope used for industrial purposes. Such ropes are required by law to replaced after a certain period of time. These ropes can be tracked back to the manufacturer, and to the date they were made. This information is printed inside the outer layer.

Thinking back to the rope used in Barbara Stoppel's murder, what if that rope matched the rope used in Kelly Cook's murder? Such a specific rope would provide valuable insight, possibly linking Kelly's murder to Barbara's.

Similarly, a kind of rope like shot line might indicate the occupation of the murderer, especially if found at the scene of multiple murderers. I think this is why the police have released this detail in Victoria Crow Shoe's case. They know what kind of work was being done in the area, and they know that many workers were there temporarily. A coworker might recognize a certain person who was staying in a campground nearby. A friend might know who went fishing that day. Victoria was found unclothed, so this increases the possibility of the rope being part of a rape kit.

Rapists carry rape kits. These include restraints. These kits are prepared in advance. The rope found at crimes with a sexual component is not likely random bits of twine found on scene, IMO.

These are some of the reasons the rope is so important, especially when few other pieces of evidence exist. Baling twine is quite different from kernmantle rope.

In answer to your question, I believe the forensic determination of "no rape" was based on the fact that Kelly Cook was fully clothed when her remains were found. This kind of assumption was made in those days. The lengthy period of submersion would have made that determination factually impossible. It is an assumption, and nothing more. The forensics were carried out in Calgary, I believe.

The rope used in the murder of Victoria Crow Shoe is a kind used for off-label purposes by a very specific kind of person with very specific interests. It is no mistake that this detailed information was released. Somebody knows.

Why, oh why, have we never heard details of the specific kind of rope used in Kelly Cook's murder? Kernmantle rope was first manufactured in 1953.

Today I stumbled upon this:

"The Black Rod for the Senate of Canada is well known in the Canadian public. The Legislatures of Saskatchewan, British Columbia, Alberta, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island have also incorporated Black Rods into their respective parliamentary systems."

i had been thinking of the Black Rod blog, which was insistent that Thomas Sophonow (not Terry Arnold) was responsible for the murder of Barbara Stoppel. The Black Rod blog notes their name deriving from British parliament.

This article mentions that DNA evidence from the Denise Lapierre murder in Calgary was sent to British experts (aka Scotland Yard) for analysis. Terry Arnold was the prime suspect in that 1987 murder. Calgary police had taken a DNA sample from Terry Arnold a couple of days before his (should I say alleged?) suicide.

"Two years ago, Calgary police disclosed that Mr. Arnold was a suspect in the 1987 murder of 17-year-old Denise Lapierre. Her body was found less than a block from Mr. Arnold's Calgary home and police are hoping sophisticated British DNA tests might help solve the case."

Anyways, FWIW, there are these British references connected to Terry Arnold.

FYI, construction workers who travel out of town for projects often stay in campgrounds.

Standard, Alberta has a municipal campground and multiple other campgrounds nearby. The weather in April 1981 was considerably warmer than in other years, as previously discussed in this thread. Older cars were much heavier than current models, and could tow a trailer. Trailers tended to be smaller.

The Oldman Reservoir has a campground on site.

The only infrastructure work mentioned in Strathmore town history for 1981 was the removal of the last CPR rail line.

Kelly Cook, Barbara Stoppel and Victoria Crow Shoe. All of these murders involved rope.

Barbara Stoppel's (December 1981) and Victoria Crow Shoe's (August 2015) murders involved a very specific kind of rope: kernmantle. We know that Kelly Cook was bound with rope, but we don't know if it was kernmantle rope.

(Barbara Stoppel: "Investigation determined that the braided green and yellow nylon twine used in the murder was unique and may have been used as shot line for pulling wires through conduits in underground hydro or telephone installations. It was originally believed that the twine came from a producer in Washington State and as such police centered their investigation on the west coast. However, a recent analysis of the twine confirmed that it contained a chemical tracer used by a former Portage la Prairie rope manufacturer named Berkley Twine." From:

Victoria Crow Shoe: '"The rope is of kernmantle construction and is white with two black tracers in the sheath weave," reads an RCMP release.' From:; photo included.)

We don't know from published facts if Kelly Cook was bound in a specific way, or if that way was similar to Victoria Crow Shoe. We do know that Kelly Cook (Chin Reservoir) and Victoria Crow Shoe (Oldman River Reservoir) were both dumped in southern Alberta reservoirs where fishing occurs.

Was the rope used in Kelly Cook's and Victoria Crow Shoe's murders a kind of shot line, used for pulling electrical wires? That is the specific type of rope used in Barbara Stoppel's murder, tracked by a chemical tracer to a Manitoba company. Wind turbines were being dismantled in the Pincher Creek area at the time of Victoria Crow Shoe's murder. What was the logo on Kelly Cook's killer's windbreaker? Was power transmission work being done in the Strathmore/Standard area in April 1981?

Kelly Cook's killer could still be alive, especially if he was on the young side of his estimated age.

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