Canadian Mounties solve 1974 murder of 16-year-old girl

Tue Sep 25, 2012 7:35pm EDT
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By Allison Martell

(Reuters) - Canadian police said on Tuesday that a convicted kidnapper and attempted rapist who died in prison is responsible for at least one killing in British Columbia, and U.S. authorities linked him to the slayings of four other teenage girls.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police said partly based on improved DNA testing, it is certain that Bobby Jack Fowler murdered 16-year-old Colleen MacMillen in 1974. Fowler died of lung cancer in an Oregon prison in 2006.

Separately, the Lincoln County, Oregon, district attorney's office linked Fowler to the killings of four teenage girls. It said he is a suspect in a 1995 double murder and a person of interest in a 1992 double murder.

At a press conference in Surrey, British Columbia, RCMP Inspector Gary Shinkaruk described Fowler as a violent drifter suspected of killing and terrorizing women for decades.

"He was extremely violent. He was also very charming and disarming at some times, but people tell us that his personality could change on a moment's notice," said Shinkaruk.

Shinkaruk asked the public to contact authorities with any information on Fowler, who worked in construction and took odd jobs, moving often and living in rentals or motels.

Fowler had a long criminal history and may be responsible for other killings in British Columbia. Police said possible victims include Gale Weys and Pamela Darlington, both 19, who disappeared separately in 1973.

Shinkaruk said investigators have interviewed several women who survived Fowler's assaults, and believe he intended to kill some of them.   Continued...