Author Topic: Thera Dieleman (80) | Murdered | Innerkip, ON | 1988  (Read 294 times)

George Fayne

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Thera Dieleman (80) | Murdered | Innerkip, ON | 1988
« on: August 28, 2018, 07:21:56 AM »
OPP to reveal new details about 1988 homicide
BY DALE CARRUTHERS
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: AUG 27, 2018

Thera Dieleman of Innerkip, was a murder victim who died in her home at the age of 80
A 30-year-old Southwestern Ontario murder is expected to take a new twist Tuesday, with investigators of an 80-year-old widow’s slaying saying they’ll reveal new suspect information.

Ontario Provincial Police have called a news conference to discuss the unsolved homicide of Thera Dieleman, whose strangled and beaten body was found near the front door of her Innerkip home, north of Woodstock in Oxford County, on Sept. 16, 1988.

Dieleman had lived in Indonesia, then a Dutch colony, and survived three years in an internment camp after the Japanese invaded the country during the Second World War.

The elderly woman likely resisted and injured her attacker before dying, police have said.

It’s the second time this summer police in the London region have gone public in a bid for help solving decades-old unsolved cases, a tactic one expert says can pay off, in part because so many years have gone by.

“Often, the passage of time allows people to become less reluctant to speak and all they need is a bit of a prompt or a nudge to come forward with what they know,” said Mike Arntfield, a former London police detective who’s now a Western University sociology professor and author of a best-selling book on cold-case killings.

The OPP held a news conference 10 years ago about the Dieleman case and said they’d recovered a man’s DNA from her body but needed someone to name the person responsible for her slaying.

The DNA didn’t match any of the persons of interest in the case, nor did police find the suspect among those in the national DNA databank, they said at the time.

No arrests were made, despite a $50,000 reward.

Last seen alive on Sept. 15, 1988, after being dropped off at her home following a day in Goderich, Dieleman didn’t answer the phone when friends tried calling her the next day. Witnesses reported seeing a red, flatbed truck in Dieleman’s driveway on the day her body was found.

Tuesday’s news conference is scheduled for 11 a.m. at the OPP’s regional headquarters in London.

The OPP also went public last month,  to try to solve another old case, the death of Suzanne Deborah Miller, 25, whose body was found in a wooded area near Thorndale, on Oct. 12, 1974.

Police posted a video describing Miller’s killing to the OPP’s YouTube channel and shared it across social media. Bus ads and a minivan outfitted with information about the case were used to prompt people with information to call police. A reward for information about the Miller case was increased to $50,000.

But Arntfield criticized the OPP for their track record of not releasing enough information to the public in the early stages of death investigations.

“Unfortunately, with this agency, the public is never kept in the loop during the initial, critical, first phase of the investigation. These pressers, 10, 20, 30 years later, are often the first piece of information that they’ve ever publicly confirmed,” he said.

“I guess we’ll wait and see what they have to say.”

dcarruthers@postmedia.com

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George Fayne

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Re: Thera Dieleman (80) | Murdered | Innerkip, ON | 1988
« Reply #1 on: August 28, 2018, 05:28:35 PM »
From Global News

Composite sketches of a killer are provincial police’s latest hope in solving the murder of an elderly Innerkip-area woman 30 years ago.

Thera Dieleman was found beaten and strangled in her Blandford-Blenheim Township home, the afternoon of Sept. 16, 1988. OPP say her last known contact was a phone call around 5 p.m. the evening before, just a few minutes after she’d been dropped off after a day of shopping in Goderich with friends.

During a media conference at West Region OPP headquarters, Det. Supt. Ken Leppert said the original investigation narrowed the timeline in which the elderly widow and Second World War internment camp survivor was killed.

“Rural mail delivery had already occurred at 10 a.m. that morning. This mail was found within Mrs. Dieleman’s residence, and had been opened,” he explained.
« Last Edit: August 29, 2018, 05:27:13 PM by George Fayne »