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Highway of tears break?


RUPERTKBD

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Unfortunately, I'm on my work computer with IE, so I can't post a link or anything. If someone can do so, just google Bobby Jack Fowler and post the results.

Fowler has been linked to a homicide near Lac la Hache in 1974 and it has been confirmed that he spent time in BC over the years.

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Bobby Jack Fowler linked to one ‘Highway of Tears’ death and suspected in two others

By Douglas Quan September 25, 2012

DNA analysis has recently linked Bobby Jack Fowler to the 1974 murder of 16-year-old Colleen MacMillen in Northern British Columbia. Fowler died in a U.S. prison in 2006.

VANCOUVER—Described by authorities as “extremely violent” and “nasty,” Bobby Jack Fowler was convicted in Oregon in the 1990s of the kidnap, assault and attempted rape of a woman who hurled her naked body out of a second-storey motel window because she thought he was going to kill her.

Now, the transient construction worker, who died in prison in 2006, has been linked by DNA to the 1974 murder in northern British Columbia of 16-year-old Colleen MacMillen, one of 18 young women who vanished or were murdered while hitchhiking along the so-called “Highway of Tears” from 1969 to 2006, RCMP officials announced Tuesday. Fowler is also considered a suspect in the deaths of two other young B.C. women, though police do not have DNA matches in those cases.

Authorities in Oregon have also pegged Fowler as a suspect in the 1995 homicide of two 16-year-old girls in that state.

“He had a propensity to pick up female hitchhikers. He was extremely violent. He was also very charming and disarming sometimes. People tell us his personality could change on a moment’s notice,” RCMP Insp. Gary Shinkaruk told a news conference on Tuesday.

“He was of the belief that a lot of the women he came into contact with – specifically women that hitchhike and women that went to taverns and beer parlours and drank – that they had a desire to be sexually assaulted.”

RCMP officials said they got their break when they submitted evidence from MacMillen’s case for DNA analysis. At first they got no matches, but when they resubmitted samples earlier this year to INTERPOL, which has access to foreign databases, they got word that there had been a match in Oregon.

Officials said they are certain Fowler is responsible for the death of MacMillen, who left her Lac La Hache home on Aug. 9, 1974 and planned to hitchhike to a friend’s house when she disappeared. Her body was later found off a logging road 46 kilometres away.

While Fowler has been cleared as a suspect in eight of the Highway of Tears cases, he is considered a “person of interest” in the remaining nine, particularly in the cases of 19-year-old Gale Weys, who was last seen hitchhiking near Clearwater in October 1973, and 19-year-old Pamela Darlington, whose body was found in Pioneer Park in November 1973.

“We believe there are people out there who employed Fowler, worked with him, socialized with him or even waited on him while he was in British Columbia. We are asking you to think back to the 70s, 80s and 90s – and your own memories of that time period, then have a look at his photos, and please call us with any information you may have about him,” Shinkaruk said.

Fowler is known to have worked in the Prince George area in 1974 for a roofing company, police said. He frequently travelled from state to state and across the border doing labour work and other odd jobs, living out of motels and driving beat-up cars until they quit.

He also racked up a long criminal record with convictions in several U.S. states for attempted murder, assault with a dangerous weapon, sexual assault, arson, kidnapping, attempting sexual assault and firearm offenses, police said.

His most recent conviction, in 1996, was related to the vicious attack of a 35-year-old woman he had met at a bar in Oregon.

According to court records obtained by Postmedia News, Fowler approached the woman while she played on a poker machine and convinced her to join him for dinner and a trip to the casino in Lincoln City.

They stopped at a motel where Fowler was staying so she could take a shower. At one point, Fowler told the woman that he believed women liked to be spanked and raped, according to the records. When she disagreed, he became agitated.

“I could tell he was pissed off that I wasn’t buying his ideas on women and what they wanted,” the woman testified in court.

Fowler punched the woman several times in the face and screamed that he would break her jaw if she kept yelling.

“I remember being dizzy. And I remember — I remember him hitting me. And I don’t know. It was like all of a sudden I had no clothes on.

“I will never forget in my whole life the look in this man’s eyes. And he said to me, ‘I think I’ll put you in the ocean. Yeah, I’ll put – I’m – I’m going to put you in the ocean.”

Fowler grabbed a rope and put it around her neck and repeatedly punched her in the back of the neck. She tried to escape out the door but he managed to pull her back with the rope.

Finally, she bit him and she leapt out an open window with the rope tied around an ankle. A man below broke her fall.

Fowler was sentenced to 16 years in prison. Adamant that he had been wrongfully convicted, he filed multiple appeals.

In 2004, while serving time at the Snake River Correctional Institution, Fowler filed a complaint with the U.S. District Court that his civil rights had been violated because “all elements of the kidnap charge was not proven beyond a reasonable doubt.” He named the state, the trial judge and his defence lawyer as defendants and sought $3 million in compensation.

Fowler died at Oregon State Penitentiary in May 2006 due to late-stage lung cancer. He was 66.

In a statement to reporters Tuesday, Colleen MacMillen’s brother, Shawn, said his family was “stunned” by the developments.

“It has been a long wait for answers, and although it is a somewhat unsatisfactory result because this individual won’t have to stand trial for what he did, we are comforted by the fact that he was in prison when he died and that he can’t ever hurt anyone else,” he said.

“Colleen was a lovely, sweet, innocent 16-year-old kid, and there are still not words in the world to express how terribly she was wronged. For those remaining families whose daughters and sisters were also victims, we hope this means they may yet have their own answers.”

Rob Bovett, the district attorney in Lincoln County, Oregon, said Tuesday by phone that his office now suspects Fowler’s involvement in the deaths of Jennifer Esson and Kara Leas, both 16, who were last seen in January 1995 walking in the middle of the night toward a highway. Their bodies were found the following month in a wooded area north of Newport, Oregon.

Fowler is also a person of interest in the deaths of Sheila Swanson, 19, and Melissa Sanders, 17, whose bodies were discovered in a wooded area near Eddyville, Oregon.

“That’s a fair characterization – he was a violent, nasty person,” Bovett said.

http://www.montrealg...8502/story.html

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An Oregon inmate who died in 2006 has been confirmed as the killer of a 16-year-old B.C. hitchhiker, and may be responsible for as many as nine other slayings and disappearances along B.C.’s so-called Highway of Tears.

Colleen MacMillen was last seen in August 1974 when she left her Lac La Hache home, south of Prince George, to hitchhike on Highway 97 to a friend’s house nearby. Her body was found off a logging road. Investigators have not revealed the teen's cause of death.

MacMillen's death is one of 18 cases involving women who were killed or disappeared along remote highways in northern and central B.C. between 1969 and 2005. A special RCMP task force has been reviewing the cases, witnesses and evidence including taking advantage of more sophisticated DNA technology.

On Tuesday, RCMP confirmed that DNA evidence has linked MacMillen’s death to Bobby Jack Fowler, a violent criminal who died in an Oregon jail of natural causes in May 2006 at the age of 66.

"We are comforted by the fact that he was in prison when he died and that he can’t ever hurt anyone else," said Shawn MacMillen, Colleen MacMillen's brother, in a short statement on Tuesday. "Colleen was a lovely, sweet, innocent 16-year-old kid, and there are still not words in the world to express how terribly she was wronged."

"For those remaining families whose daughters and sisters were also victims, we hope this means they may yet have their own answers."

At one time, Fowler worked for Happy’s Roofing in Prince George. Investigators are looking for people who may have worked or socialized with him in B.C. between the '70s and the '90s. They released photos and video of him through the years in the hope of jogging people’s memories.

Fowler is an “incredibly strong suspect” in the slayings of Pamela Darlington in 1973 and Gale Weys in 1974, but there have been no DNA matches, said RCMP Deputy Commissioner Craig Callens. The convict is also a person of interest in seven other remaining Highway of Tears cases, he said.

It’s also possible that Fowler committed other violent assaults that have not been reported to police, said RCMP.

An alcoholic and a speed and meth addict, Fowler had a violent personality that could change abruptly, including turning on the charm when necessary, revealed Callens.

Fowler believed that women who hitchhiked and frequented bars had a desire to be sexually assaulted, said Callens.

Fowler has no criminal history in Canada, but an extensive record in several U.S. states including convictions for attempted murder, assault with a dangerous weapon, sexual assault, arson and kidnapping.

RCMP don’t believe a single serial killer is responsible for all of the Highway of Tears cases. During a media briefing, Staff Sgt. Wayne Clary said investigators have three or four strong suspects after identifying 1,413 persons of interest, reported CBC News.

The Highway of Tears originally referred to cases along a 700-kilometre stretch of Highway 16 between Prince George and Prince Rupert, but the RCMP Project E-PANA probe also includes cases on Highways 5 and 97 in the B.C. Interior.

While the Project E-PANA is officially looking into 18 cases, other groups say as many as 43 women have been missing or killed along those highways.

http://www.huffingto..._n_1913693.html

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