Author Topic: Septic TankSam - 1977 - Murdered - Tofield  (Read 15524 times)

Desespere

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Septic TankSam - 1977 - Murdered - Tofield
« on: September 22, 2007, 12:44:59 PM »
I've never heard of this case before

Sun, September 2, 2007
Alberta's unsolved murders
By GLENN KAUTH, SUN MEDIA

Every day, Sgt. Jim Warren walks past two cabinets containing files from one of Alberta?s oldest unsolved cases ? the death of an unidentified man known only as Septic Tank Sam.
?We see it and we think about it all the time,? Warren, an RCMP officer, said of the case that has mystified police for 30 years.

Even now, investigators still don?t know who the dead man is.

Whoever killed him left him inside a remote septic tank covered in limestone, which had already begun to decompose the remains when a couple stumbled across them while retrieving a pump back in the spring of 1977.

An investigation showed Sam died after his killer shot him and tortured him with a blowtorch, and his body was so badly mangled that it was a challenge just to determine whether it was of a man or a woman.

Years later, despite releasing a facial reconstruction and a computer-generated picture of the victim, police have had little progress in solving the murder. The RCMP still gets one or two inquiries a year, often from people who have heard about the case and are searching for a lost relative.

It then falls to police to compare DNA they have of Sam to samples from the worried family members.

?We run every one of those leads down,? said Warren, who added that identifying Sam is key to finding the killer.

The Septic Tank Sam murder isn?t the only case of unidentified remains in Alberta. In Ponoka, for example, investigators continue trying to find the parents of a baby found dead in a knapsack nearly eight years ago.

The Septic Tank Sam case is, however, one of the few homicides for which officials haven?t been able to identify the victim, said Dennis Caufield a senior investigator with the provincial medical examiner?s office.

?It?s kind of unusual. We went some years where we didn?t bury anybody as John or Jane Does,? he said.

Back in Tofield, residents of the town southeast of Edmonton still talk about the Septic Tank Sam case in coffee shops, and many have theories about what happened to him, said Warren, who believes Sam was a transient who may have gotten into trouble over drugs.

?Of course, it was the infancy of Edmonton?s drug world,? he said, adding there were many incidents in the 1970s of dead bodies from Edmonton and Calgary turning up in rural areas.

Ed Lammerts, the former RCMP sergeant in Tofield, also still thinks about the case. ?It will always be a challenge. I guess you have the hunter?s instinct and you want to put this puppy to bed and get closure,? he said.

At the time of the discovery, Lammerts was a corporal called to the property to investigate the case. While he?s now retired, he worries the case will become even harder to solve as time passes, especially since whoever killed Sam may also have died.

?I?m an optimist, but time is running out,? he said. ?It?d be nice to solve it, and if nothing else, somebody loves him. But who??

glenn.kauth@sunmedia.ca

Chris

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Re: Septic TankSam - 1977 - Murdered - Tofield
« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2007, 12:51:00 PM »
Odd case, I have never heard of this before.

I am surprised no one has been able to ID the person yet, I wonder if this was a hitchiker or something that got a ride from some twisted sicko?

Chris

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Re: Septic TankSam - 1977 - Murdered - Tofield
« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2008, 05:34:18 PM »
Weird. That is a small town. I think like 500 people.

Chris

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Re: Septic TankSam - 1977 - Murdered - Tofield
« Reply #3 on: August 27, 2008, 08:44:28 PM »
Quote
I don't know the effects of Lime over a body though

I do! I saw on a TV show once that a criminal in Toronto buried a body in Lime thinking it would make decomp happen faster, but in reality, it slows it down significantly.

D1

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Re: Septic TankSam - 1977 - Murdered - Tofield
« Reply #4 on: August 28, 2008, 12:31:24 PM »
Has anyone seen or have a copy of the info described above. Perhaps a link could be posted here?
quote-
 Years later, despite releasing a facial reconstruction and a computer-generated picture of the victim, police have had little progress in solving the murder. The RCMP still gets one or two inquiries a year, often from people who have heard about the case and are searching for a lost relative.

lostlinganer

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Re: Septic TankSam - 1977 - Murdered - Tofield
« Reply #5 on: September 08, 2008, 07:52:01 PM »
I find when I begin reading a new thread, I get a first impression right away and often it stays in place.  The impression I get here is that of organized crime.... High level gangsters are notorious for dumping bodies in their own construction sites.

I am pretty sure that by the time this murder happened, all areas (including rural) had laws for disposal beds and septic tanks.  property owners needed a license to install them and they had to be inspected before being covered over. (usually only a few companies in any rural area)

One can't help but wonder who had access to this at the time.. not much info. given in that respect.
« Last Edit: September 12, 2008, 10:04:37 AM by lostlinganer »

77NancyDrew

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Re: Septic TankSam - 1977 - Murdered - Tofield
« Reply #6 on: September 12, 2008, 09:51:08 AM »
This case has majorly  peeked my intrest since I came across it on the doenetwork, looking for someone elese.
Here is the doe networks listing of this case. http://doenetwork.org/cases/1046umab.html
Since then I have been going over the Doe Network listings for missing people in Canada during the time peroid.

lostlinganer

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Re: Septic TankSam - 1977 - Murdered - Tofield
« Reply #7 on: September 12, 2008, 10:58:37 PM »
I am pretty sure that by the time this murder happened, all areas (including rural) had laws for disposal beds and septic tanks.  property owners needed a permit to install them and they had to be inspected before being covered over. (usually only a few companies in any rural area)
I built a home in/78 in ruaral Cape Breton.... the property required perk tests etc. and the septic system was inspected several times during construction and before being covered in. 
However, septics systems and homes built prior to /75? or so seemed to be makeshift and not necessarily concrete -much less including disposal beds.
All rural areas in Canada must have records of septic systems permits as early as 1975.  ... and in addition to this, how many companies would be involved in this area of construction... not a lot in a rural area.  The police must have kept that investigation pretty tight for media to not take interest in those facts.  ..just a thought!

rainstorm

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Re: Septic TankSam - 1977 - Murdered - Tofield
« Reply #8 on: March 01, 2012, 10:21:16 PM »
I just saw this guy on doenetwork while looking for another guy, that i am looking to see if hes on this site somewhere. You would think someone out there would be missing him by now. It was 1977. 34 years ago.

jobo

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Re: Septic TankSam - 1977 - Murdered - Tofield
« Reply #9 on: May 11, 2013, 04:58:59 AM »
Thanks Researchguru....interesting story, but too bad this crime has never been solved.   Like they mentioned, many years have passed and witnesses, perps would be quite old now.
I see they also think this may be a Native man that is the Victim.


I am adding this comment because I just re-read one of the posts on this thread and it describes the unidentified male as being white.....I wonder which it is, Native or White.
« Last Edit: May 11, 2013, 04:59:01 PM by jobo »


Sap1

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Re: Septic TankSam - 1977 - Murdered - Tofield
« Reply #11 on: October 10, 2017, 12:12:06 AM »
http://edmontonjournal.com/news/local-news/could-new-national-dna-database-provide-a-break-in-one-of-albertas-most-gruesome-cold-cases

Septic Tank Sam lies in an unmarked grave in an Edmonton cemetery, his identity no less a mystery then when his tortured body was pulled from a rural septic tank on a spring day in 1977.

But 40 years after Sam met his grisly end, cold case investigators hope a new national DNA database will give fresh leads on who he was ? and who killed him.

Set to launch in 2018, the RCMP?s national children and missing persons unidentified remains database will allow investigators to compare DNA from unidentified human remains to DNA from living relatives who offer a sample in hopes of finding answers about a missing loved one. 

Staff Sgt. Jason Zazulak, with the Alberta RCMP?s historical homicide unit, said the chances the database will yield a break in the case are slim. But the prospect is still exciting.


?We knew about DNA technology from our friends in the lab,? he said. ?What (law enforcement) had to do was build the proper legal framework so those (samples) could be used and compared. It?s very exciting to be on the brink of that happening.?   

A brutal death

Septic Tank Sam?s remains were discovered on April 13, 1977, in a septic tank on an abandoned farm near the small town of Tofield, around 70 km east of Edmonton.

Charlie McLeod, a farmer in the area, found a brown shoe attached to a leg sticking out of the muck while searching for a pump in the tank, a Journal article said. Officers arrived on scene and used ice cream pails to scoop the gooey liquid from the tank, uncovering remains that were so decomposed it took medical examiners months to determine whether they were looking at a man or a woman. Eventually, police gave him his alliterative nickname.

An autopsy later revealed horrific details of the man?s death. The victim had been beaten, tortured, burned, sexually mutilated and shot before being dumped head-first into the tank and covered with lime. Investigators initially believed he was around 28 years old and had been in the tank for as long as a year.

The case, which has generated thousands of tips but few breakthroughs, continues to captivate Albertans. This summer, a thread on the social media site Reddit spawned more than 150 comments and dozens of theories. Some suggested the victim could have been killed in retribution for a horrible crime, such as child molestation. Others said the killer must have been local to know the location of the abandoned tank.   


Cyril Chan with his clay reconstruction of Septic Tank Sam, an unidentified man who was slain near Tofield in 1977. Taken in 2000, Chan was with the medical examiner?s office at the time. GREG SOUTHAM / SEE BYLINE!
Previous advances in DNA tech haven?t yielded much

DNA samples weren?t taken from the remains until ?significantly down the road,? said Zazulak, after the advent of DNA fingerprinting.

?Fortunately, DNA is pretty robust ? if they?re taking it out of an ancient woolly mammoth, under certain conditions DNA is still there,? he said.

In 2014, the federal government passed legislation allowing RCMP to create a DNA-based missing persons index. The legislation was named Lindsey?s Law in honour of Lindsey Nicholls, a 14-year-old girl who disappeared in British Columbia in 1993. The database was supposed to launch this year, but was delayed.

Zazulak said when the database comes online, investigators will be able to solicit DNA from people who have lost a loved one and match it against unidentified human remains.

?What we?ll be able to do is check that against a database of people who were giving voluntary samples, knowing that they have a missing loved one or family member,? Zazulak said, adding the DNA can only be used to test against unidentified remains. ?The technicians and scientists involved with this can give you a probability that the people were related.?

Still, the likelihood a curious family member would offer up DNA after 40 years is low. And each advance in DNA technology has been met with similar hopes ? in 2001, the Edmonton Sun ran a story under the headline ?Police closing in on Septic Tank Sam?s ID.?   

Retired RCMP Sgt. Ed Lammerts, one of the first Mounties on the scene after the body was discovered, is doubtful Septic Tank Sam will ever be identified. 

Now 76, Lammerts said the force has probably spent $1 million on the case, including sending Sam?s dental records to dentists across Canada.

He said the last best hope Septic Tank Sam will be identified is a guilty conscience.

?Assuming the guilty people were in their early 20s, the only thing we can hope for is that just before they pass away they tell a priest or something,? he said. 

jwakefield@postmedia.com


lostlinganer

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Re: Septic TankSam - 1977 - Murdered - Tofield
« Reply #12 on: October 10, 2017, 11:12:37 AM »
Maybe a good idea to post the pic/s here because they usually disappear off the internet, in time.,  I also save them in my own files because this site seems to have lost the ability to open pics and files we posted years ago. 

http://canadianunsolvedcrimes.weebly.com/septic-tank-sam---alberta

http://canadianunsolvedcrimes.weebly.com/septic-tank-sam---alberta

lostlinganer

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Re: Septic TankSam - 1977 - Murdered - Tofield
« Reply #13 on: October 13, 2017, 11:13:50 AM »
I've been digging since a few days, into missing males from the time frame.  I found 4 or 5 (which I saved) from the US that are possibles (imo.) and I am still digging into the Canadian missing from that time frame.  I found the one below interesting because although he went missing in the early 70's, nobody reported him missing until 1980.  I figure if you could tilt this guy's head up, trim his hair, remove his moustache, there is quite a possibility - especially since the reconstructed "possible face" is not necessarily accurate, by nature.   

This young man would have been 27 when the body in the septic tank was found.  http://www.nampn.org/cases/carignan_guy.html
« Last Edit: October 17, 2017, 08:48:17 AM by lostlinganer »

lostlinganer

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Re: Septic TankSam - 1977 - Murdered - Tofield
« Reply #14 on: October 17, 2017, 08:47:49 AM »
comparison: