Winnipeg’s unsolved mysteries
June 7, 2009 3 Comments
If you grew up in the ’80s or ’90s, there’s a good chance that you will remember “Unsolved Mysteries”.
During its long run (1987-97 on NBC, resurfacing later on CBS and various cable networks), host Robert Stack would narrate a re-enactment of various unsolved mysteries, based on requests from viewers and police departments. Some of these were from cold-case homicide files. Others involved individuals who seemed to vanish from the face of the earth, people with what appeared to be psychic abilities, or more touching stories about lost loves, or parents looking for the children they put up for adoption decades earlier.
However, you don’t have to look far to find unsolved mysteries. Winnipeg has its own cold case files, some of which can be read about online. These include:
- In the early morning hours of June 7, 1976, residents of an apartment block at 1080 Moncton Ave., not far from what is now Kildonan Crossing, were awaken by the sound of a woman screaming from the parking lot, followed by the sound of a car speeding away. When they investigated, they found 22-year-old Johanne Supleve suffering from stab wounds and a broken leg. Thirty-three years later, who killed her and why remains a mystery. The one clue police have: the killer might have been driving a blue, 1968-70 sloped-back car, possibly a Camaro.
- On the afternoon of Sept. 7, 1996, local computer programmer Norman Krolman was seen withdrawing money from an ATM. No one has seen him since. A search of his apartment showed nothing amiss, and there was nothing to suggest that he disappeared to start a new life somewhere else.
- On the afternoon of Oct. 28, 1983, the owner of a St. Vital daycare went to the apartment block at 21 Clayton Drive to check on the well-being of an employee, Margaret Greaves, who, uncharacteristically, had not shown up for work that day and had not called in sick. On arrival, she finds the young woman beaten and strangled to death. At the scene, police find signs that she was sleeping on her sofa when she was awoken by an intruder or someone banging on her door. When questioned, neighbours report having been woken up at about 4:30 a.m. that morning by a young man, possibly named Mark Smith, banging on their doors looking for a woman he just dropped off. Who was the young man? Who was the young woman he dropped off? And do they have any connection to the daycare worker found dead 12 hours later?
- On the evening of Aug. 28, 1992, 35-year-old Janice Howe left her parents’ Fort Garry home driving her father’s car, intending to return. That was the last anyone saw of her. However, ten and a half hours after she was last seen, the Ontario Provincial Police found the car abandoned on the side of the road, more than 200 kilometres east of Winnipeg. What happened in the hours, and the 550 kilometres driven in total, in between?
- On Nov. 15, 1979, real estate agent Irene Pearson went missing from a show home on Kinver Ave. in The Maples, leaving her purse and other personal belonging behind in the unlocked house. The next morning, a maintenance worker arrived at a vacant home nearby, at 114 Kinver, and found a gruesome murder scene in the basement. Who lured Pearson there — an intruder, or possibly someone she knew? The clues might be found in a series of indecent phone calls that the agent received — possibly from a man named “Carl” — in the preceding months, some of which were tape-recorded.
Each of these cases happened recently enough that there is a good chance that a perpetrator might still be alive.
However, all but one took place before the Internet came into common use. Perhaps someone out there in the community knows something they’ve kept secret all these years, but might feel safe enough disclosing from the anonymity of a computer at a public library or Internet cafe?
You can find these and other local “unsolved mysteries” at:
- Winnipeg unsolved homicides and missing persons (1931-1989) (unsolvedcanada.ca)
- Winnipeg unsolved homicides and missing persons (1990-present) (unsolvedcanada.ca)
- Winnipeg/Manitoba unsolved homicides and missing persons (unsolvedcanada.ca)
- Missing persons (Manitoba Association of Chiefs of Police)