Author Topic: Alexandra Wiwcharuk - May 18, 1962 - Age 23 - Murdered - Saskatoon  (Read 239330 times)

Desespere

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Alexandra Wiwcharuk - May 18, 1962 - Age 23 - Murdered - Saskatoon - born in 1939 in the town of Endeavour, Saskatchewan 330 kilometers east of Saskatoon.  She was the youngest of ten children that included six brothers and three sisters in a traditional Ukrainian family. She was a nurse at the City Hospital in Saskatoon in September, 1961.  She shared a basement apartment in the city with three other nurses:  Alice Hall, Doreen Badduke, and Pauline Tyllis. Saskatoon, SK
On May 18, 1962, around 8:00 p.m., Alex Wiwcharuk told her roommates she was going for a walk.  She was seen at several locations:  Mead's drugstore, near her home, between 8:30 and 8:45 p.m. and later, by a group of boys fishing on the riverbank between 9:00 p.m. and 9:45 p.m.  But, Alex Wiwcharuk didn't show up for her shift at the hospital that night, nor did she come home.
Her body was not found until May 31, 1962.  Her skull had been fractured by a severe blow from a concrete block and her unconscious body buried before she died.  She was found six blocks from her home.  An autopsy determined that the cause of death was suffocation and that she had died before 10:00 p.m.  Thirteen days had passed between her disappearance and the discovery of her body when crucial evidence could have been gathered. The police checked the dna in mid 1990?s but did not match to anything. She was last seen on a Friday, the Victoria Day long weekend ? May 21, 1962 was Victoria Day Monday.
Full story at the link
http://www.cbc.ca/fifth/main_beautyqueen.html
« Last Edit: May 19, 2009, 01:27:18 PM by Desespere »

Chris

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Re: Alexandra Wiwcharuk - Saskatoon - Murdered - 1962
« Reply #1 on: October 06, 2007, 02:27:22 PM »
There are some much older cases that just are not publicized. I doubt anyone is going to put cases from the 20's or 30's or even the 1900's anywhere. I do know there are a few unsolved cases from way back when, from history books.

Chris

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Re: Alexandra Wiwcharuk - Saskatoon - Murdered - 1962
« Reply #2 on: October 06, 2007, 11:02:18 PM »
That's interesting. I guess because of how much it must have shocked the community then, and the fact the person who did this may still be alive is what keeps it ongoing. I sure hope they solve it.

Chris

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Re: Alexandra Wiwcharuk - Saskatoon - Murdered - 1962
« Reply #3 on: October 08, 2007, 12:42:49 AM »
Yes, that is right. Winnipeg has a few cases older then 1968. Winnipeg police is still the best site i have been on for city police at publishing cold cases. I wish all police did that.

Adrian

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Re: Alexandra Wiwcharuk - May 18, 1962 ? Age 23 ? Murdered ? Saskatoon
« Reply #4 on: April 07, 2008, 01:16:57 AM »
From the Journal::

 
Killer may yet be found in 46-year-old unsolved murder
New DNA techniques, book shed light on The Girl in Saskatoon's grisly death
 
Darren Bernhardt
Saskatoon StarPhoenix; Canwest News Service

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Alexandra Wiwcharuk was a carnival queen, a nurse, a woman serenaded by Johnny Cash, and the victim in Saskatoon's most notorious unsolved murder.

Wiwcharuk would have turned 69 this month. Instead, next month will mark 46 years since her partially nude body was found in a shallow riverbank grave. She had been raped, beaten and buried alive.

A boy scrounging around the scrub discovered her hand exposed above the earth. Her skull was broken in two places, her face bludgeoned beyond recognition, her windpipe clogged by sand and dirt.

The passage of time has done nothing to quell public interest in the mystery.

"It's become folklore," said Sgt. Phil Farion of the Saskatoon Police Service's historical case section.

Now the story is getting some new narrative thanks to Farion, award-winning author Sharon Butala -- and even, in a way, the victim herself.

Advancements in forensic science have provided clues to the identity of Wiwcharuk's killer, nearly a half-century after the fact.

Her body was exhumed in 2004 and samples taken from remaining tissue were sent to the RCMP crime lab in Regina.

A search for a different DNA profile on Wiwcharuk's body was unsuccessful then, but last year a high-tech lab in Thunder Bay found it.

Molecular World detected the genetic code by testing for strains exclusive to males.

"It's an ideal process if you're dealing with a sexual assault," said Farion.

Police are now in the process of matching the profile against 13 "persons of interest" identified over the years, said Farion.

"If we get a match, we've got our guy," he added. "It's stuff right out of a storybook." Butala, an author who grew up in Saskatoon and knew Wiwcharuk, has written The Girl in Saskatoon: A Meditation on Friendship, Memory and Murder.

To be launched Tuesday, the book examines the slaying in the context of its times.

"There's a hell of a lot of evil in this world, and it wins out much of the time," Butala said in a recent interview. "That's not what we're told by our teachers and parents and churches ... that sweetness and light will bring justice. It bloody well does not." A beauty queen in 1960, Wiwcharuk began working at a hospital in 1961.

That same year she was named The Girl In Saskatoon as part of a promotion for a concert by Johnny Cash, who had a song of the same name. At the concert, Cash brought Wiwcharuk onstage and sang to her before a packed house.

On May 18, 1962, around 8 p.m., the 23-year-old went for a walk to mail some letters. Around 9:30 p.m., a group of boys fishing at the weir saw her sitting on the riverbank. It's believed that no one, other than her killer, saw her after that.

Her body was found May 31.
? The Edmonton Journal 2008



Chris

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Re: Alexandra Wiwcharuk - May 18, 1962 ? Age 23 ? Murdered ? Saskatoon
« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2008, 12:45:51 AM »
Wow, that would be interesting if this case is solved. I wonder if the person is still alive?

Baba Donya

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"One soft spring evening in 1962 a young nurse named Alexandra Wiwcharuk was murdered and an entire city came to a stop: Alexandra's murder was all anyone could talk about."

With this promising sentence, the people who knew Alexandra were hoping that this book would give insight into the case itself. Instead, the book became a book about the author. The author spent the majority of the time comparing her life to Alexandra's life. Even down to the roots of their prairie life in Saskatchewan. Alexandra did NOT grow up in a shack in wilderness. She grew up on an established farm.

The author has written the book with inaccurate information, whether deliberate or not. The people who know Alexandra best, are deeply offended by this book.  Alexandra was a devote Ukrainian Orthodox Christian. She was the perfect daughter, sister, auntie, and friend. The author, did not know Alexandra personally, just in passing. That is all! She did not know the loving, popular, happy go lucky, determined young lady that Alexandra truly was. If the author was to make comparisons, she must compare with accurate information. The author appears to make assumptions, about Alexandra's relationships with her family, because much of the information about them is inaccurate. Therefore, reviolating Alexandra, again.

I didn't care for this book, as you can see. One thing it did do, though, was bring the murder back into the spotlight! Alexandra's remaining brothers and sisters want to know what happened to her, before they die. That was their baby sister, who had such a promising life ahead of her, and she was loved so deeply and dearly  by each and everyone of them.

SOMEONE OUT THERE KNOWS THE TRUTH! ALL THE FAMILY ASKS IS THAT THEY COME FORWARD....EVEN ANONYMOUSLY!
« Last Edit: June 16, 2008, 10:21:50 AM by Baba Donya »

capeheart

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Was this a highly populated area or were there any hotels around there or was it a place where someone would just happen to be in town for a period of time? This person probably has committed other crimes, because of the violent nature of it. I imagine they went through everything with a fine tooth comb. Of course, it could be someone who you would least expect. Like in B.C. a couple of years ago a man murdered a teenager and her friend got away. The town was in terror. I don't remember the actual names, but the things this man did was totally out of a horror movie. He ended up to be a married man and respected citizen with small children, no one could believe it. He could be the man next door, no one really knows. I do hope that with DNA and process of elimination that this animal after all these years is captured and convicted and spends the rest of his life behind bars. So sad to think of the life that was ahead of her and taken away so young.  ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ???

Baba Donya

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The area in which she was buried alive, was on the upper part of a large riverbank, by a clump of trees. There were homes across the street from this riverbank. Someone heard something. Someone saw something. Someone was on the river, or across the river on the opposite bank.

The family put up a $10,000 reward at the time. In 1962, that was a lot of money...why did no one come forward??? Police affiliation or corruption, or cover up, whatever you want to call it...it happened. Saskatoon, had little mafias all over the city, at the time. There are always crooked police, in those circumstances. Missing evidence, early on in the investigation. Evidence sent to other cities, why? why? why? Records disappearing all over the place. Further hampering any honest police officers attempts to find Alexandra's killers. Many police officers were told to mind their own business, at the time.

Why was this investigation impeded in so many ways. Whether, it was inexperience or not, I cannot believe the photos I have seen of the head of the police department in Saskatoon smiling and/or laughing beside Alexandra's coffin. This was a shock to the City of Saskatoon, and devastated the innocence of this beautiful city, and he is happy??? "A picture can paint a 1000 words."

The murder of Alexandra Wiwcharuk has spurred many emotions since 1962. Everyone in Saskatoon, was effected by this murder, and everyone who knew Alexandra. Their lives would never be the same, and all of them have their gentle reminders of what had happened to such an innocent young woman. Their lifeline would forever be changed! Today, powerful emotions still arise from the "Death of a Beauty Queen - Alexandra Wiwcharuk."

Chris

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Quote
The author has written the book with inaccurate information, whether deliberate or not

That would not be the first time. It is too bad it happens. And yes it is good it brought up this case again.

That is odd how the police acted. It makes me think they heard rumors of who did it and maybe even had a suspect that was being protected.

Was there any theories? Have the police opened up the investigation again? also, do you know where in Saskatoon this happened? Next time I am up there, I'd like to check it out.

Is there a book, article or website in which has detailed information about this case that is acurate? Being new to Saskatchewan, I have taken a very keen interest in it's history and this case is obviously a big part of it.

Thanks.

Baba Donya

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Re: Alexandra Wiwcharuk - May 18, 1962 ? Age 23 ? Murdered ? Saskatoon
« Reply #10 on: June 17, 2008, 08:01:31 AM »
If you want to know more about what has been written about this murder...go to www.canada.com/, the most recent article dated Saturday, June 14, 2008. The Star Pheonix, Saskatoon's oldest paper, has alot of archival material.

The CBC, has now done several articles on television and radio, and you will find all that information, on the web, by searching "Death of a Beauty Queen, Alexandra Wiwcharuk" or Alexandra Wiwcharuk.

The spot where she was found, was on Spadina Crescent near the steel bridge. (Close to what Saskatoonians call the waterfall.)

There is no monument, but there is barely any changes to the spot itself. She is now buried not far from the spot itself, at Westlawn Cemetary.

Most of the info, you will find repeats itself....

I think it is important to make this nationwide or worldwide, because the people are out there who murdered her.




Baba Donya

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Re: Alexandra Wiwcharuk - May 18, 1962 ? Age 23 ? Murdered ? Saskatoon
« Reply #11 on: June 17, 2008, 08:13:38 AM »
The article written on "What's On Winnipeg" has the riverbank being on the North Saskatchewan River. (Not sure if this is what it says in the book, haven't opened it, since I finished reading it weeks ago.) Everyone knows Saskatoon has the South Saskatchewan River flowing through it. If it was the reporter Adelia Neufeld Wiens (freelance writer), she needs to get up on her geography. But....if it was Sharon B., she should know better!

I know this sounds petty, but this is how misinformation gets transferred, when different forms of media, etc. get the story wrong.

"Pickle Me This" at blogspot writes about the book, and gets the year wrong.

I am praying that with new sets of eyes, and dedicated people on the case, that we will have an answer soon.

Baba Donya

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Re: Alexandra Wiwcharuk - May 18, 1962 ? Age 23 ? Murdered ? Saskatoon
« Reply #12 on: June 18, 2008, 10:12:59 AM »
That could be a possibility. But the way she was murdered, in forensic phsychology, it looks like it was someone who knew her.

Maybe your vision or your feeling are meaning that this drifter riding the rails, may have seen what had happened. The railway bridge is too high up to jump off from, but he could have been on an open car going past the murder when it was taking place, or maybe he saw her being buried. As for the hitchhiker, that place is far from the major route that lead to go out or come into the city. It was the scenic drive of Saskatoon. But I would not rule any of them out. I do recall someone who was either on or near the railway bridge, but I think he now has been eliminated as a suspect. Not sure???

How accurate have been your hunches been in the past?

There are traintracks that do go past the graveyard, that Alexandra is buried in.

As for the weather, I do not know what it was like previously to that weekend, I do know that it was a nice summer day, with a nice evening. I do know that it had rained after that, washing away evidence.

Some people (Sharon B.) believe she was killed the night she was missing, and others do not.

Many believe the buriel spot was just the dump spot. Many believe there is more than one person involved. Many believe that this was personal.

Many of the witnesses who came forward, have mysteriously disappeared or died within three years of her death, even went into mental institutions. Some had to move out of the country, because they had been threatened.

Little Mafia did exist in Saskatoon. Maybe, maybe, maybe....there are alot of maybes. I have heard alot of scenarios over the years.

The family has been threatened, and told to get protection. In the 60's, I was playing at my bedroom window, when I was shot at. Then a little friend of mine who I used to play with on the riverbank was murdered. We had to move away. 

If it was a drifter, why would he come back?

capeheart

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Re: Alexandra Wiwcharuk - May 18, 1962 ? Age 23 ? Murdered ? Saskatoon
« Reply #13 on: June 18, 2008, 12:50:17 PM »
I can't even imagine anyone laughing or smiling at a wake or a funeral of a young murder victim. Her parents should have had an inquiry into what was going on there in the police department. There should have been a detailed investigation in the actions of these police officers. The fact that there was evidence missing and could not be found, it almost sounds like a policeman could have been involved or someone in a policeman's family. This certainly sounds suspicious. Maybe her family should have hired a private detective. It is so sad that this was never solved.  Maybe it could be brought to the attention of the program 48 Hours or A&E Cold Cases, they always want to do a show on crimes that are not solved. It might bring someone forward.  Yes, someone is holding a deep dark secret and it is time they gave it up.   How could the community ever forget this, one would never forget. :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'(

Adrian

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Re: Alexandra Wiwcharuk - May 18, 1962 ? Age 23 ? Murdered ? Saskatoon
« Reply #14 on: June 18, 2008, 01:11:42 PM »


Hi Baba:

Police are now in the process of matching the profile against 13 "persons of interest" identified over the years, said Farion.
******************************************************

If the police have this many suspects, then they are doing their best so far, but it happened so long ago, I bet a lot of information, has been lost or whatever. Maybe the cops handling the killing today are finding out some bad stuff that went on in an earlier investigation? ??? >:(

I also think it horrid, that you yourself was shot at, and her family threatened. There is more here than meets the eye. I am glad you are still trying to unravel all this, my goodness, it must be hard.I just finished reading this thread, so will try to find out more, if anything is still out there.

Please keep yourself safe, and thankyou for giving more info on this crime.

May the Creator, help bring this to an end. No One has the right to take a life, and this has many twists and turns. :'(  (((((((((hugs))))))))) to all friends and family.