Author Topic: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton  (Read 147217 times)

Chris

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Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
« Reply #30 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

14 back then

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Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
« Reply #31 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

SAP

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Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
« Reply #32 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.
« Last Edit: November 12, 2010, 09:37:21 AM by SAP »

14 back then

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Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
« Reply #33 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.

SAP

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Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
« Reply #34 on: November 01, 2010, 09:06:17 PM »
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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.

D1

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Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
« Reply #35 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?

14 back then

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Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
« Reply #36 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

D1

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Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
« Reply #37 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?
« Last Edit: November 03, 2010, 08:32:40 AM by D1 »

14 back then

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Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
« Reply #38 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.

D1

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Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
« Reply #39 on: November 03, 2010, 07:07:58 PM »
from whodunnit-

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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
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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?
« Last Edit: November 03, 2010, 11:31:25 PM by D1 »

D1

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Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
« Reply #40 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.
« Last Edit: November 04, 2010, 12:44:04 PM by D1 »

D1

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Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
« Reply #41 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?


D1

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Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
« Reply #42 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-

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

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

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

and more from whodunnit
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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
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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
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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-
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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

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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.

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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
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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?
« Last Edit: November 12, 2010, 12:25:04 AM by D1 »

D1

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Re: Melissa Jane Letain - February 13, 1987 - Age 24 - Murdered - Edmonton
« Reply #43 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.
« Last Edit: November 11, 2010, 10:20:29 PM by D1 »