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Author Topic: Barbara Stoppel - Unsolved Murder (Winnipeg 1980)  (Read 13141 times)

Chris

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Barbara Stoppel - Unsolved Murder (Winnipeg 1980)
« on: April 06, 2007, 12:29:47 AM »
The Barbara Stoppel Murder
At approximately 8:45 p.m., on December 23, 1981, 16-year old Barbara Gayle Stoppel was found strangled in the woman?s washroom of the donut shop where she worked as a waitress after school. Several witnesses, who observed a suspicious male leaving the women?s washroom and exit the store only seconds earlier, found her body. She was immediately rushed to the St. Boniface Hospital where she was put on life support, however due to a lack of oxygen it was determined that she had suffered massive brain damage and she died a few days later when her life support systems were disconnected.

The male seen leaving the donut shop was variously described as being a white male, 21-30 years old, brown hair, scruffy looking, scraggly sideburns, poor complexion with some noticeable acne pimples or pock marks on the left side of his face, brown mustache, tall, slim build, wearing prescription glasses, a dark brown or black cowboy hat, a  dark coloured waist length coat, blue jeans and round toed or cowboy boots. A composite drawing of the suspect was prepared by a police sketch artist and circulated to the media.

One of the witnesses who observed the suspect inside the donut shop followed him around behind the shopping centre and across the Norwood Bridge where there was a confrontation. Unfortunately, the suspect escaped, but not before he threw a box, some gloves and some extra twine used in the killing, over the railing. It is believed that the suspect may have lived in the area and sought revenge on Barbara for some perceived wrong.

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.

Based on the original belief that the source of the twine was along the west coast, the police identified Thomas Sophonow, a 28-year old Vancouver resident who frequently traveled to Winnipeg as a possible suspect. He was similar in appearance to the composite drawing and was in Winnipeg on the night of the murder. He was eventually charged with the crime, however in 1985 after three trials, the Manitoba Court of Appeal acquitted him of the murder. On June 8, 2000, Jack Ewatski, Chief of Police, exonerated Sophonow of any wrongdoing after an internal analysis of the case determined he was not responsible.

As a result of Chief Ewatski's exoneration, a Public Inquiry was called by the Minister of Justice to determine how the Justice system may have prosecuted an innocent man. The Inquiry, chaired by former Supreme Court Justice Peter Cory, released its findings earlier this year and made several recommendations on to improve police procedures.

The case currently remains unsolved and anyone with information as to the identity of the true suspect is requested to contact police.

If you have any information about this case, please contact Crime Stoppers at 786-TIPS (8477), or e-mail Sgt. Al Bradbury and Det. Jon Lutz of the Cold Case Homicide Unit.

The Commission of Inquiry Report into the Investigation and Prosecution of Thomas Sophonow is available online at the Manitoba Department of Justice.
   
 
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Chris

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AlbertaCowboy

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Re: Barbara Stoppel - Unsolved Murder (Winnipeg 1980)
« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2007, 03:20:16 PM »
Please see this topic in Alberta (Kelly Cook) for info on Barbara Stroppel

http://www.unsolvedcanada.ca/index.php/topic,53.0.html

I found this at a blog. Apparently Terry Arnold, 41 killed himself in 2005 and was an early suspect in Barbara Stroppel's murder. While this murder is still listed as unsolved on Winnipeg police website, it may be this guy was the killer. The link has numerous articles regarding Terry Arnold and his connection to Barbara Stroppel. This murder does not appear to have anything to do with any other murder.

http://www.injusticebusters.com/05/Arnold_Terry.shtml


I am quite familiar with this case, as I .lived in Winnipeg when the inquiry was being heald into the wronglful conviction of thomas Sophonow  Terry arnold definitely killed her.
« Last Edit: July 28, 2010, 02:05:28 PM by AlbertaCowboy »

Chris

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Re: Barbara Stoppel - Unsolved Murder (Winnipeg 1980)
« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2007, 11:47:27 PM »
Wasn't he suspected in other killings too? I cannot find any info on unsolved Calgary murders, but I am so sure this guy must have done more. What a coward.

kindheart

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Re: Barbara Stoppel - Unsolved Murder (Winnipeg 1980)
« Reply #4 on: January 13, 2008, 06:29:06 PM »
Man not allowed to read son's suicide note

Watchdog rules that releasing letter would invade privacy of son, an accused serial killer who died in Victoria in '05
 
Lindsay Kines, Times Colonist
Published: Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The father of a suspected serial killer has been denied a chance to see his son's suicide note.Afton Arnold, 71, said in a telephone interview from Ontario on Monday that he asked for a copy of the note after his son, Terry Samuel Arnold, 42, took his own life in Victoria in March 2005.At the time, Terry Arnold was the prime suspect in the 1981 unsolved murder of Winnipeg waitress Barbara Stoppel - a crime for which Thomas Sophonow was wrongly convicted and served time in prison.

Victoria police said Arnold left a note in which he denied killing anyone, but the note has never been released.

"In order for me to put it behind me, I've got to get it," Afton Arnold said. "I've got to get a copy." But, in a recent ruling, the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner for B.C. upheld the chief coroner's decision to deny the father's request on the grounds that releasing it would unreasonably invade the dead son's privacy. The suicide note sheds light on the son's state of mind before he died, and thus contains personal information about his medical or psychological condition, senior adjudicator Celia Francis wrote in an order posted last week on the privacy commissioner's website.

"While I sympathize with the applicant's wish to understand why his son died and to put this sad event behind him," she says, "his motives, while undoubtedly sincere, do not in my view overcome" the requirement to protect the son's right to privacy - even in death.
Afton Arnold disagrees. "They're dead wrong," he said. "I don't believe they have any right to do that. I mean, I'm his father. How can they stop me from reading his last letter?" Afton Arnold said he continues to have "grave doubts" about his son's death, and wanted to compare the handwriting in the suicide note with other letters that Terry Arnold had written to him.

"Why are they hiding it?" he asked. "They say to protect. Protect who? I even told them that if there's anybody mentioned in there that's going to hurt anybody, to take that out of it and send it to me."He added: "The kid's dead. He killed himself. Maybe." Victoria police announced in March 2005 that officers had found Terry Arnold dead in his apartment. Police said Arnold had written a note in which he denied killing anyone and blamed media harassment for his suicide.

 
http://www.canada.com/victoriatimescolonist/news/story.html?id=a806e4fc-fb51-4aa4-94a2-e41596dd399e&k=71341

kindheart

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Re: Barbara Stoppel - Unsolved Murder (Winnipeg 1980)
« Reply #5 on: January 13, 2008, 06:30:45 PM »
« Last Edit: January 13, 2008, 06:33:47 PM by kindheart »

Chris

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Re: Barbara Stoppel - Unsolved Murder (Winnipeg 1980)
« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2008, 06:58:13 AM »
What do they have to hide? Why would they deny his fathers request?

This smells like a coverup and since it is in BC, the coverup captail of Canada, I am very very suspicious.

This note obviously contains some valuable information.

kindheart

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Re: Barbara Stoppel - Unsolved Murder (Winnipeg 1980)
« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2008, 10:36:56 AM »
Not sure, but it was the only place i could find a picture of Terry to compare with the composite above. Looks a lot like the poi but who knows ???

I listed the blog as my photo source but not sure on its validity ???

D1

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Re: Barbara Stoppel - Unsolved Murder (Winnipeg 1980)
« Reply #8 on: January 30, 2009, 03:11:14 PM »
Noticed there was a sketch of the suspect but no picture of Barb, one extraordinarily beautiful girl.

D1

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Re: Barbara Stoppel - Unsolved Murder (Winnipeg 1980)
« Reply #9 on: May 22, 2009, 08:55:50 PM »
From Kelly Cook unsolved?
http://www.unsolvedcanada.ca/index.php/topic,53.msg26377.html#msg26377

Quote
I recall seeing a photo of Barb Stoppel on the internet at one time wearing a figure skater outfit. That connection always struck me.

Anyone have a copy of that picture? A side by side of Barb in her skaters out fit and the skater targetted in Kelly's murder I think would be hard to ignore. Two consecutive murders, both figure skaters..
« Last Edit: May 23, 2009, 12:58:12 AM by D1 »

AlbertaCowboy

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Re: Barbara Stoppel - Unsolved Murder (Winnipeg 1980)
« Reply #10 on: July 28, 2010, 02:16:33 PM »
I found this on The Black Rod, one of Winnipeg's most popular blogs.

http://blackrod.blogspot.com/2010/03/re-opening-sophonow-inquiry.html

It casts doubt on Thomas Sophonow's innocence.   It's an interesting read, for sure.


Chris

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Re: Barbara Stoppel - Unsolved Murder (Winnipeg 1980)
« Reply #11 on: July 29, 2010, 11:10:10 PM »
No kidding!
I knew in my gut that stupid stopry the media kept repeating over and over and over that he was just some kind decent guy who was delivering toys to sick kids when the murder happened was a crock. This little f-er is guilty, i frinkin knew it.

I still think strongly that Truscott is guilty too. And that guy in Newfoundland who killed his wife, got convited and ten found an appeals judge to spring because 'she choked on cereal'.

All these f-ers get millions of dollars from tax payers because they beat the system.... then gamed the system.

It is time to what they do in Texas. Cap awards for these cases with the exception when a real innocent person was convicted AND the prosecution engaged in wrong doing.

Yeah some people might think 1 or all 3 of those guys are innocent. That is fine. But they do NOT deserve to be rewared so much.

CBC always seems to be behind these things. And they have a way of bullying government into handing over millions to the victims.

Why? Why do they skew public opinion so much and work sooo hard to leave out facts that show these people quilty?

I'm still pissed off right now... I saw that CBC report and they were claiming it was a 'fact' Sophonow was giving toys to kids. Bull shit. I'm so mad.
« Last Edit: July 29, 2010, 11:12:58 PM by Chris »

Chris

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Re: Barbara Stoppel - Unsolved Murder (Winnipeg 1980)
« Reply #12 on: July 29, 2010, 11:13:36 PM »
alberta cowboy... I am posting this blog in a new spot too OK.

AlbertaCowboy

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Re: Barbara Stoppel - Unsolved Murder (Winnipeg 1980)
« Reply #13 on: August 01, 2010, 09:03:45 AM »
alberta cowboy... I am posting this blog in a new spot too OK.

sounds good.  If you search "The Black Rod" blog, you will find at least one other interesting article about Sophonow.  He definitely was no saint, and I truly believe he could be capable of murder, due to his history of violence and threats against women.  As for Truscott, I have always believed he was innocent.  Not too sure about the newfie.  I will have to read into that story.

D1

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Re: Barbara Stoppel - Unsolved Murder (Winnipeg 1980)
« Reply #14 on: August 02, 2010, 10:00:49 AM »
Still doesn't mean Sophonow is guilty.. There has been so much obstruction and bs.. injected into this case in particular, that you have to question almost everything including the source and pretty well view the original statements and evidence yourself. The comments of Justice Cory at the close of the last trial don't seem to match what is being said by The Black Rod.. who is he anyway??

 

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