Volume 91, Issue 72

Thursday, February 5, 1998

Smarties


NEWS
 

Cold Squad cases re-investigated


©Tom Baumgartner/Gazette


PROJECT ANGEL LAUNCH. OPP inspectors field questions at OPP Western Region Headquarters yesterday.


By Gord Westmacott
Gazette Staff

The Ontario Provincial Police and London City Police announced the formation of Project Angel yesterday to review and re-investigate 20 unsolved murders from London and surrounding areas dating between 1956 and 1983.

The cases involve 16 female victims from the London or surrounding area ranging in age from five years to 61 years old. Police are able to confirm that seven of the victims were sexually assaulted and suspect four others may have been, explained OPP Det. Supt. Larry Edgar. He added three of the victims' bodies have never been recovered.

"We owe something to the next of kin and to the victims. I wouldn't be doing it if I didn't have hope it would be successful."

Ten investigators, five support officers and additional support staff are working on the project and hope to take advantage of advances in DNA technology and investigative techniques developed since the murders, Edgar explained.

Jim MacIntosh and Merv Johnson, two retired London police officers who worked on several of the 16 cases, have volunteered to provide information and resources to the team. Edgar added the cases are referred to as Cold Squad cases – meaning they have never been officially closed but have been inactive for some time.

Edgar said the team does not think all 20 cases are necessarily linked, but has reason to believe links between some cases will be discovered through the investigation. The team plans to interview witnesses and families of the victims and investigators are also working on a list of suspects, but no arrests or subpoenas have been made. "We are looking for connections between cases in Project Angel and other solved and unsolved cases."

The 1990 murder of Western student Linda Shaw has not been included in the project because it is currently undergoing its own investigation, Edgar explained.




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