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.
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 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?