A Mission man serving time for rape is being investigated in the
murders and disappearances of seven women from Vancouver's Downtown
Eastside, The Vancouver Sun has learned.
The RCMP is investigating the man in the murders of four prostitutes in
1995, and in the disappearances of Dorothy Spence, Catherine Knight and
Catherine Gonzales, who are among the 31 women who have gone missing from
the Downtown Eastside since 1978.
A leading Mountie in the case is urging the RCMP to dedicate more
resources to the investigation immediately "to push this thing
The three women went missing the same year that the bodies of Tracy
Olajide, Tammy Lee Pipe and Victoria Younker were found dumped in forested
areas near Agassiz and Mission. The skeletal remains of Mary Lidguerre,
who also went missing in 1995, were found two years later on Mount Seymour
in North Vancouver.
Police say all of the murdered and missing women were involved in the
sex trade on Vancouver's Downtown Eastside.
RCMP Constable Paul McCarl, who has been involved in the case for four
years, would not name the man under investigation.
But The Vancouver Sun identified him in 1995 as Ronald Richard
McCauley, a roofer in Mission.
McCauley, 47, was arrested on a sexual assault charge in September
1995, shortly after the bodies of Olajide and Pipe were discovered. He has
been in jail ever since.
Although he has never been charged with any of the murders, he was
convicted of the rape in 1996 and recently declared a dangerous offender.
New Westminster lawyer Susan Ludford, who represented McCauley at his
dangerous offender hearing, said her client is appealing his conviction
and dangerous offender status, and "absolutely denies" any
involvement in the murders.
Ludford said McCauley has cooperated with investigators, even agreeing
to a recent interview in prison. He has also submitted DNA samples, she
"And that was voluntary, that wasn't by court order or anything
else. You know, the police have that, and why they're still pursuing him
is beyond me."
Police have long suspected that one person killed Pipe, Olajide,
Younker and Lidguerre, and was likely responsible for the disappearance of
But after recent meetings with Vancouver city police, Knight and
Gonzales were also identified as possible victims, McCarl said.
"It looks like we're now possibly seven," he said.
McCarl said police are also examining unsolved cases of women who went
missing in 1991 and 1992 when the person now under investigation received
a number of unescorted temporary absences from prison.
McCarl said he is asking the RCMP to dedicate more resources to the
"I've requested a meeting with all the investigators with
participation from the E Division criminal analytical section and unsolved
homicide to try and dedicate some resources for a couple of months to push
this thing through," he said.
"My feeling is that either we do it now, or the unsolved homicide
unit will end up doing it three or five years down the road and they'll be
doing the whole file."
McCarl said investigators have about 1,000 exhibits, and have
resubmitted 22 for DNA analysis. Police also hope to do a complicated
analysis of cellular-telephone records to see if they can track the
suspect's movements in 1995.
By tracking the telephone, McCarl said investigators hope to pinpoint
whether the person under investigation was in Vancouver when a number of
the women went missing.
According to parole board documents, McCauley once told a parole
hearing that had he not been arrested for two rapes and attempted murders
in the early 1980s he "would have become a serial killer such as
McCauley was given a 17-year sentence for the rapes and attempted
murders, which occurred in 1982. After serving two-thirds of his sentence,
he was given statutory release on Sept 14, 1994.
His release was suspended in September 1995 when he was being
investigated in the rape of a Vancouver prostitute. The woman was picked
up at the Astoria Hotel in Vancouver and taken to the Hemlock Valley,
where she was raped, beaten and dumped from a truck.
Serial Killer in
1995 Linked to 5 Women