Episode 151:

Live at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre in Vancouver

The Abbotsford Killer


The Salish Sea Human Foot Mystery


Episode 151: Live at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre in Vancouver

Karen and Georgia cover the Abbotsford Killer and the Salish Sea human foot mystery.

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The Abbotsford Killer

The Abbotsford Killer Notes:

Header Image Source: Photo by Adria Berrocal Forcada on Unsplash

"Terry Driver (born 1965), alias the Abbotsford killer, is a convicted Canadian murderer who attacked two teenage girls with a baseball bat, killed one, then taunted police in Abbotsford, British Columbia with letters and phone calls.

On October 13, 1995, 16-year-olds Misty Cockerill and Tanya Smith were walking to a party when Driver broke through a hedge nearby with a baseball bat and ordered the girls to go through the bush. After stumbling into a clearing, Driver told both girls to remove their clothes. While Smith complied, Cockerill attempted to fight back, grabbing the bat and hitting Driver across the back as he prepared to rape Smith. Driver eventually overpowered Cockerill and beat her into unconsciousness; she eventually came to in a parking lot and walked to the hospital, where she was immediately rushed into surgery for severe skull fractures and survived. Later that morning, Smith's badly beaten body was found in a river where she drowned, although she would have died of her beating in any event.

After the attack, Driver engaged in a course of bizarre behavior that eventually led to his capture. He made a series of telephone calls to police and emergency services in which he refused to give his name, but clearly identified himself as the killer, and threatened more crimes. Driver, whose father had been a police officer, had an obsession with scanners, and used one to monitor police responses to his telephone calls. He attended the funeral of Tanya Smith, and then later stole her tombstone, wrote a threatening message to Cockerill on it, and then put it on the hood of a car belonging to a radio station. He also threw a wrench with a note to police through a stranger's front window. The note mentioned three other similar assaults for which he sought credit. He had left a thumbprint on some tape around the package, and he had left DNA on the body. Police arranged for the broadcast of recordings of the telephone calls, and Driver's brother recognized his voice. His mother concurred in the identification. Police determined that Driver's thumbprint matched the one on the tape, and he was arrested in 1996.

After his arrest, Driver denied that he had beaten the two girls. He claimed he happened upon them after the crime, raped the unconscious Tanya, and threw her body in the river. He claimed he drove Misty to the hospital. At trial, he did not raise an insanity defense, but claimed he had Tourette's syndrome, obsessive compulsive disorder and attention deficit disorder, and urged these impairments be considered to explain his actions. He used this argument to explain that the confessions he gave were false and the product of his disorders. Because of the emotional response that was inevitable in a trial, Driver elected to be tried in front of a judge instead of a jury. The judge was unpersuaded by Driver's arguments and he was convicted in 1997 of the first-degree murder of Tanya Smith and the attempted murder of Misty Cockerill, declared a dangerous offender, and received a mandatory life sentence from Judge Wally Oppal. He appealed, but in 2001, lost. In a later trial, Driver was convicted of two of the assaults he mentioned in the letter that he threw through the window.

In 2006, Driver was transferred from protective custody at Kent Institution to the Pacific Institution/Regional Treatment Centre in Abbotsford for treatment. Corrections Canada came under criticism for this move..."

— Source: Terry Driver Wikipedia

The Salish Sea Human Foot Mystery

The Salish Sea Human Foot Mystery Notes:

Header Image Source: Photo by Jake weirick on Unsplash

"Since August 20, 2007, at least 20 detached human feet have been found on the coasts of the Salish Sea in British Columbia, Canada, and Washington, US. The first discovery, on August 20, 2007, was on Jedediah Island in British Columbia. Feet have been discovered on the coasts of islands in British Columbia, and in the US cities of Tacoma and Seattle.

A Canadian coroner's office said in December 2017 that they had ruled out foul play, and that the feet came from people killed either in accidents or by suicide, and the feet detached during the normal decomposition process. The feet were usually found in sneakers, which the coroner thought were responsible for both keeping the feet buoyant enough to eventually wash ashore, and gave them enough protection from decomposition to be found relatively intact. Prior to the recent seeming rash of feet washing ashore, there have been earlier instances going back more than a century, such as a leg in a boot that was found on a Vancouver beach in 1887. The most recent discovery was on January 1, 2019, when people on Jetty Island in Everett, Washington called police to report a boot with a human foot inside, which the coroner was able to match to Antonio Neill, missing since Dec. 12, 2016.

These foot discoveries are not the first ones on British Columbia's coast. One was found in Vancouver in 1887, leading to the place of discovery being called Leg-In-Boot Square. On July 30, 1914, The Vancouver Sun reported that recent arrivals from Kimsquit reported a human leg encased in a high boot was found on a beach near the mouth of the Salmon River (a previous name for the Dean River near Kimsquit, near the headwater of Dean Channel). It was thought the remains were from a man who had drowned on the river the previous summer.

As of May 2018, fifteen feet have been found in the Canadian province of British Columbia, and five in the US state of Washington: The 20 feet include two matched pairs. One of these pairs belonged to a woman who jumped from a bridge. Two other feet have been identified, one of a missing fisherman and the other of a depressed man who probably committed suicide. His identity was withheld on request of his family.

After the fifth foot was discovered the story had begun to receive increased international media attention. With major headlines from newspapers such as the Melbourne Herald Sun, The Guardian, and the Cape Times in South Africa, the story elicited much speculation about the cause of the mystery, originating from "morbid fascination" with this type of subject, as stated by one scientist who identifies remains of victims. On his late night talk show David Letterman questioned two of his audience members who were Canadian about the mystery.

Another apparently human foot, discovered on June 18, 2008, on Tyee Spit near Campbell River on Vancouver Island, was a hoax. The hoax was a "skeletonized animal paw" which was put in a sock and shoe and then stuffed with dried seaweed. Royal Canadian Mounted Police launched an investigation into the hoax and an arrest could be made due to charges of public mischief.

After the eleventh foot was found on August 31, 2011, several running shoes containing what police suspected was raw meat were found washed up on Oak Beach, British Columbia..."

— Source: Salish Sea Human Foot Discoveries Wikipedia