Dead inmate responsible for '73 murder
Sep 25, 2012 / 12:48 pm
RCMP have closed one of 18 active files of murdered or missing women in central and northern BC.
At a news conference Tuesday morning, (shown live on Castanet), RCMP Insp. Gary Shinkaruk identified Bobby Jack Fowler, a US resident as the person responsible for the 1974 murder of Colleen MacMillen.
MacMillan, 16 at the time, was hitchhiking from her family home in Lac la Hache to a friend's home.
She was found raped and murdered several miles south of where she was last seen.
Shinkaruk says Fowler is also a 'strong suspect' in the murders of Pamela Darlington and Gayle Weys who were both killed in 1973.
Advancements in forensic science led to Fowler being linked to the MacMillen murder.
Shinkaruk says DNA from the case was re-examined and sent through the Interpol database.
In May of this year police in Oregon notified RCMP of a DNA match to Fowler, who died from cancer in a US prison in 2006 at the age of 66.
Fowler was serving a 16-year-sentence for kidnapping, assault and attempted rape. He was convicted in 1996.
Police in Lincoln County, Oregon, believe Fowler was also responsible for a pair of double homicides in 1992 and 1995.
Fowler has a violent history and was known to pickup hitchhikers. He had a history of attempted murder, assault, sexual assault and arson.
Shinkaruk says Fowler was very transient and did spend some time living and working in Prince George in the early 1970's. He worked at one time for Happy's Roofing in Prince George in 1974, a company that no longer exists.
While RCMP have put together an extensive timeline of Fowler's movements over the last 40 years, Shinkaruk says the timeline has gaps.
Shinkaruk says anyone who may remember employing, working with, drinking with or associating with Fowler over the last 40 years is asked to call a dedicated tip line, 1-877-543-4822 or their local Crime Stoppers.
RCMP are also looking at Fowler in connection with other murder investigations in other provinces and territories.
Meantime, RCMP do not believe any one person is responsible for all 18 murders or disappearances.
Shinkaruk says Fowler has been eliminated in eight of the 18 files.
He also says evidence shows three of the murders were committed by three different individuals.
Shinkaruk says it does not appear these individuals committed other murders linked to the 'Highway of Tears.'
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