The latest drawing shows the face of a:
Age: between 25 and 50 years old
Height: 160 centimetres (five-foot-three) tall
Weight: 45 kilograms (100 pounds)
Hair: dark brown, shoulder-length, and dyed reddish-blonde
Teeth: extensive dental work and partial dentures
Nails: manicured fingernails painted red
For those with strong stomaches, a post-mortem photograph of the woman is posted on the Ontario Provincial Police website (opp.ca) under unsolved criminal investigation branch (CIB) cases. ***WARNING, the content might be disturbing to some viewers)*** Link (select 1975)http://www.opp.ca/cibui/html/displaycase.php?id=105
Police know virtually nothing about her death, except that she was strangled. Why the killer chose the Nation River along Highway 417 as a dumping ground, the motive and just about every other aspect of the case are pure speculation.
There’s one bit of revealing evidence: a 24-inch piece of television coaxial cable was around her neck. It was manufactured by a Renfrew firm for only a short period in the early 1970s.
Almost two million feet of it was shipped to cablevision firms in Ottawa, Hull, Montreal and Brockville — nowhere else.
That suggests the unidentified woman was attacked in the Ottawa-Brockville-Montreal triangle.
The mystery began about 9:30 a.m. on May 3, 1975.
That was the day that Claude Legault, working the south section of his farm just north of Highway 17, spotted a decomposing corpse face down in the sluggish river, 40 minutes east of Ottawa.
Police retrieved the body and a collection of strange clues led detectives down dead-end paths for years.
Clad only in a long-sleeved, dark blue leotard top bunched up around her neck, the woman was bound hand and foot. Her hands were tied in front with a distinctive navy blue necktie with three small Canadian emblems, possibly flags. Her legs were bound at the ankles by two more ties.
Her head was hooded in an odd array of layered cloth: two pieces of bloodied, green textile, a disposable hand towel and a distinctive Irish linen tea towel.
Loosely wrapped around her neck was the television cable. In her left armpit was a small piece of a curtain rod runner with an attached plastic wheel.
On the bridge railing, police found drops of blood, but not enough to establish a blood type and a link to the victim.
The victim had high-quality upper and lower partial dentures, suggesting a middle-class background. There were 10 fillings in her teeth.
Her appendix had been removed. She had not borne a child. Her larynx was fractured in two places, but there were no other signs of injury. She had eaten a short time before her death and was bound before she was killed.
Because of decomposition, it was impossible to tell if she was sexually assaulted.
Her body is believed to have been in the water for as long as six months before it was discovered.
With the clues and autopsy, police pieced together a sketchy murder theory:
After eating a large meal, the woman, who seemed to take good care of her appearance, was attacked by a man inside a room where the cloths would have been close at hand.
During the attack, she or her assailant pulled down a curtain and, in the ensuing struggle, the chunk of curtain rod lodged in her armpit.
After being overpowered, she was tied up, killed and dumped off the bridge.
There’s no record of the woman’s fingerprints anywhere in the world.
Police combed through more than 700 missing person files — one led them on a fruitless hunt to Switzerland — and ruled out all of them.
Denturists and dental laboratories from Toronto to Halifax couldn’t identify the woman’s elaborate dentures, leading to speculation she might have been a foreigner, but checks outside the country also turned up nothing.
Police knocked on every door within a 25-kilometre radius of the bridge and came up with nothing.
Teams of officers searched dozens of Ottawa-area homes, hotels and motels where the TV cable might have been installed, but found no missing 24-inch strands or places where the cable had been mysteriously replaced. No damaged curtain rods were found in area motels.
The neckties that bound her hands and feet had been made in Montreal and sold in large quantities throughout Ontario and Quebec.
The distinctive linen tea towel had been imported from Ireland by a Toronto company and was sold in large numbers until 1972, making it untraceable, too.
On Jan. 16, 1987, after more than a decade inside Drawer No. 34 at the provincial morgue in Toronto, the woman was finally buried.
A $50,000 reward offered by police remains uncollected. Anyone with information is asked to call the OPP at 1-888-310-1122 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.
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