The following appears courtesy of the 5/23/99 online edition of The Calgary Sun newspaper:
May 23, 1999
Who murdered these women?
In the '90s, five women, four of them hookers [I hate this word], went missing
By PETER SMITH -- Calgary Sun
In a prison cell today sits a killer police believe may hold the secret to a string of five unsolved murders of Calgary street women.
In a 19-month period in the early 1990s, all five women, including four prostitutes, disappeared and their bodies were later found dumped around the city outskirts.
Then suddenly the killings stopped -- and there have been no more prostitute murders in Calgary for the last six years. Police believe it's possible one of the potential suspects for the killings was jailed for another murder -- but he's not confessing to any more.
The five unsolved murders are of Jennifer Janz, who disappeared in July 1991; Jennifer Joyes, who disappeared a month later; Keely Pincott, who disappeared three months later; Tracey Maunder, who went missing in October 1992; and Rebecca Boutelier, who disappeared in February 1993.
The bodies of Janz, Joyes and Pincott were discovered in separate shallow graves west of the city, while the bodies of Maunder and Boutelier were found in fields east of the city. City homicide detectives and RCMP major crime investigators have been working jointly on the murders. Calgary RCMP Sgt. Perry Kuzma, of the major crimes unit, said the murders may have suddenly stopped because a suspect may have been jailed for murder. "A number of suspect names surfaced in a variety of these investigations," he said. "It's possible the person responsible is currently incarcerated for other crimes, specifically murder, and is serving a 20- to 25-year jail term," Kuzma said.
"That's very possible with some of the people who quickly come to mind who are of interest to us. "There are two, or possibly three people who come to my mind who, around that time period, the early-'90s, ended up getting charged and serving time," he said. Over the years, investigators have interviewed these potential suspects in jail about the unsolved homicides. "There is that possibility they might have gone down for one and we were trying to piece together if there could have been a second or third connection here," said Kuzma. He said in their interviews, investigators hoped prison programs undertaken by inmates might change their attitudes -- and make them tell what they know. "A lot of the time we are banking on the conscience of that suspect," he said. "We have interviewed these potential suspects who were jailed for other crimes ?We have gone back a number of times, using different investigators, to see if we can reconnect with these suspects. "Sometimes they may have gone through an adjustment program in prison where they feel if they were involved they would tell us about it. "We go in there sometimes with our fingers crossed." Three of the murdered women were dumped outside city limits in RCMP territory and two were dumped inside the city, so RCMP and city cops have worked as a joint task force on the investigations.
Staff Sgt. George Rocks, of the city homicide unit, said the prison interviews were part of the joint-force investigation.He added there were other explanations why the murders suddenly stopped. "If one person was responsible for all the murders -- and that has never been definitely established -- that person may have died, or moved on elsewhere, or found something else as a substitute for killing women," he said. Police have never revealed how all the victims were murdered, nor whether they were sexually assaulted. But Rocks said some of their causes of death differed. "This could still have been one person changing the way he was operating to throw the police off the scent, but that possibility is remote," he said.
Police have never ruled out the possibility of a serial killer, though they've never had evidence to confirm the murders were the work of one man. But if the five murders were done by five different men, and then suddenly stopped, that would require the coincidence of five men all separately being jailed at once, or all separately dying at once or all suddenly moving on at once. "I don't believe in coincidences," said Rocks. Late in 1993, three of these murders -- Janz, Joyes and Pincott -- were the subject of a massive "serial killer" psychological profiling brain-storming session in Edmonton. Top FBI psychological profilers -- experts who'd interviewed the worst serial killers in North America -- met with the Calgary task force officers and Canada's top criminal profilers to study these murders. They looked at the murders of 15 women in Alberta, and their conclusions as to whether the Calgary murders were the work of a serial killer have always remained secret.
Kuzma puts the ongoing investigations into perspective for the future. "We must keep an open mind on whether this involved a serial killer," he said. "In these unsolved cases, I'm of the mindset we had better take care in securing forensic evidence we have at each scene. "It might not take us anywhere now, but with the advances in technology, something may come up so that in future, the case may hinge on it."
JENNIFER JANZ - Jennifer Janz's family were very hopeful in the spring of 1991 that Jennifer would win her battle to get away from her street life in Calgary. Not long before, she had gone to a bible school in Texas as her resolve to get away from a life of prostitution strengthened. So it was all the more devastating for her family -- after she disappeared July 12, 1991 -- when detectives called to say her body had been found in a shallow grave near Valley Ridge Rd. off Hwy. 1 on Aug. 13. Police established Jennifer, 16, had been killed by a heavy blow to the chest, and was buried in a shallow grave. Investigators have never revealed whether she was sexually assaulted.
JENNIFER JOYES - Jennifer Joyes impressed staff at her Calgary high school as a super girl with tremendous potential. But sadly, Jennifer, 17, became enthralled by the lure of life downtown and living on the streets. It led her into prostitution, but she was on the verge of getting away from the life by the early 1990s, said her dad, Rick Joyes. But before she could escape, on Aug. 30, 1991 she was reported missing and on Oct. 6, 1991, her body was discovered murdered and buried in a shallow grave near 77 St. and 13 Ave. S.W. -- just 2 km south of the shallow grave holding Jennifer Janz's body. RCMP investigators have never revealed how Joyes was murdered, nor whether she was sexually assaulted.
KEELY PINCOTT - Keely Pincott's friends knew she was excited about possibly getting into makeup work and modelling early in 1991. Pincott, 29, once a Calgary cocktail waitress, and a mom who adored her two children, never had a chance to pursue her new career.
After her mom had last contacted her in May 1991, she later reported her missing on Nov. 7, 1991. And on March 11, 1992, her skeletal remains were located in a wooded area 2 km northeast of Cochrane off Hwy. 1A. Like Janz and Joyes, Pincott had been buried in a shallow grave west of the city. RCMP investigators have never revealed how she died, or whether she was sexually assaulted.
TRACEY MAUNDER - Friends and family of Tracey Maunder, a mother of two boys, said she didn't like the life of a prostitute, and was trying to get out in early 1992. Friends said Tracey, 26, was hoping to get into the escort business, away from the dangers on the street. She had been working the streets trying to raise enough money to send her oldest son away to his grandmother while she had to go into hospital. But on Oct. 28, 1992, Tracey disappeared and, three days later, her body was discovered in a field off Garden Rd. S.E. Investigators said she had been stabbed to death, but didn't reveal whether she'd been sexually assaulted.
REBECCA BOUTELIER - Her mom, Sandy, prefers to remember Rebecca as a happy-go-lucky tomboy when she was growing up in Sydney, N.S. But sadly, she can't discount Rebecca's teenaged years when she slipped into a self-destructive spiral of drugs and prostitution. The nightmare worsened in February 1993, when Rebecca, 20 -- by then a mother of an infant son -- disappeared. And despite Sandy's fervent hopes, her worst fears were realized on March 11, 1993, when Rebecca's body was discovered in a field near McKnight Blvd. and 68 St. N.E. City police have never revealed how Rebecca was murdered nor whether she was sexually assaulted.
Are these related? From the same time period when these five women were murdered, city cops and the RCMP also have unsolved murder files on six other women.
* Annette Leger, 21, a Calgary prostitute, found murdered and dumped near Drumheller on June 4,1987.
* Elaine Krauscher, 26, a Calgary prostitute, murdered and dumped west of the city a month later.
* Sheila Ritchie, 20, a street person, found shot dead and dumped in a field southeast of Calgary May 17, 1988. A man was charged and found not guilty of her murder.
* Joanne Shaver, 17, a Calgary prostitute, found murdered and dumped on a southeast city street Jan. 10, 1990. A different man was charged with murder and acquitted.
* Shawna Vanderbasch, 20, a hairdresser, found murdered and dumped southwest of the city near Priddis. A third man was charged and found not guilty of her murder.
* Anita Gilavish, 38, a Calgary prostitute, found murdered in a beaver pond at the Inglewood Bird Sanctuary. No one has ever been charged with her murder.