VANCOUVER EASTSIDE MISSING WOMEN
Police Hunt For Man Who Claims He's A Serial Killer
Suspect Allegedly Told Woman He Assaulted That He Killed Others
VANCOUVER, 11:49 a.m. PDT August 10, 2001 --Vancouver city police are hunting for a man who allegedly claimed responsibility for attacking and murdering women on the Downtown Eastside.
Police say the man made the comments to a 38-year-old woman whom he sexually assaulted in a car after following her from the Regent Hotel on East Hastings about 1 a.m. on Friday, August 3rd.
"During the attack, the man claimed responsibility for sexually assaulting and killing other women in the Downtown Eastside," media liaison Detective Scott Driemel said Thursday.
The woman managed to escape by jumping from the moving car.
She provided police with a detailed description of her assailant and investigators issued a public appeal Thursday for information about the suspect.
"Just by the sheer fact that this person has made allegations that he is responsible for assaulting and killing other women makes him a high-interest person to us," Driemel said.
"You never know, it could just be a bluff. It could be bravado. But nonetheless we certainly find this person as someone that we really want to go and talk to."
Driemel said the sex offence squad has been in touch with the joint team of Vancouver police and RCMP investigators currently reviewing the unsolved disappearances of 31 prostitutes from Vancouver's Downtown Eastside.
Driemel noted, however, that the victim of last week's sexual assault was not a prostitute.
He was unable to say why information on the case was released six days after the alleged attack or how many officers are investigating the file.
"It's one of those things where if we get a lot of tips, then of course we'll have to reassess deploying other additional people onto the case," Driemel said.
"If we don't get a single call on it, it may well sit with the one or two investigators. But if we wind up getting a dozen calls, well they might assign the entire squad to it tomorrow to start following up on it."
The suspect is described as a white male, 55 to 60 years old, 183 to 188 centimetres (six feet to six feet, two inches) tall with a scrawny build. He had short grey hair with a receding hair line, no facial hair, thin lips, discoloured brown teeth, blue or grey sunken eyes and a long, thin nose with a bulbous end. He spoke English without an accent and was wearing faded blue jeans and a faded blue jacket.
The suspect's vehicle is described as a four-door American-style car, possibly light blue in colour and possibly dating to the 1980s, with a cloth interior. The car was dirty and smelly inside and had garbage strewn about.
Police asked any women who have been approached or attacked by a man fitting the suspect's description to contact the sexual offences squad at 604-717-3349 extension 2399.
Char LaFontaine of Prostitution Alternatives Counselling and Education praised police for taking the case seriously, releasing the information to the public, and aggressively pursuing a possible link to the disappearance of women in the sex trade.
"It's just really nice for the police to be focusing or re-focusing again on the missing women," LaFontaine said. "I hope it's not because she was a non-working girl that they're paying attention."
Updated: August 21, 2016