Monday, June 25, 2012
Babes in the Woods
Tong had worked for the Parks Board for fifteen years and on this day, he and a gang of workers were busy clearing brush from the area near Beaver Lake in Stanley Park. The employees were working about 100 yards off the main park driveway and 500 yards from the causeway.
Found near the skeletons were a few items. A small, broken hatchet, a man's shoe, a lunch bucket, a child's belt, a woman's shoe, a child shoe. Not much that could lead to the identity of the skeletons.
The bones were taken to the city morgue where they were examined by the coroner's pathologist, Dr. T.R. Harmon, the coroner, Dr. John Whitbread, and detectives. Due to the discovery of a hole in the head of one of the victims, this is now a murder and the hatchet believed to be the murder weapon.
In 1997, Detective Brian Honeyborne decided to reopen the cold case. He took the bones from storage and took them to Dr. David Sweet at the Bureau of Forensic Dentistry at UBC. Dr. Sweet removed teeth from each skeleton and drilled them for DNA. Remarkably, he was able to gather DNA and test it. That's when the case of the Babes in the Woods was turned on its ear.
It was long thought that the remains were that of a boy and a girl but DNA proved that theory wrong. The skeletons were actually half brothers.
It is likely that the murderer, or most of those who were directly involved in this murder, are dead now. It is also more than likely that this case will probably never solved. Yet we can hope that one day a secret will be revealed and this cold case will be solved.
I found a great blog with some photos of the evidence and the original newspaper articles. If you are interested, visit The "Babes in the Woods" blog. There is also information all over the web. Just do a search for Babes in the Woods Vancouver.
Karen Magill, Vancouver, Babes in the Woods, Stanley Park, DNA, British Columbia