Video: 11th Human Foot Washes Up In British Columbia

photo credit: The Sydney Morning Herald

I’ve been covering these gruesome discoveries since Feb, 2008, (at one point I even started a new  category for it), and its happened again.

And there are still no answers to the mystery of the floating feet according to this CNN report:

The Sydney Morning Herald reports:

Eleven feet in sports shoes have been washed up on the west coast of North America in four years … is there a link?

Theories as to the cause of the mystery have ranged from dismemberments by serial killers or gangsters to casualties from plane or boating accidents.

Some have suggested the feet were from victims of the 2004 Asian tsunami, missing fishermen or people who drowned or committed suicide.

“We’re certainly at a loss as to the cause of this,” British Columbia coroner Stephen Fonseca told The Canadian Press about the latest foot, which washed up in Vancouver on Tuesday.

“There was no obvious trauma to the remains.

“We cannot completely exclude a murder; we don’t know why they died, but we have no evidence they were murdered,” he told Agence France-Presse.

The only obvious connection between the feet – five of which have been identified by police as belonging to missing people – was that they were found in running shoes.

Oceanographers also told the Toronto Star the bodies were likely to have all come from people living on the west coast of North America.

In 2008, after the fifth foot was found, US oceanographer Curtis Ebbesmeyer said the mystery was “something suitable for Sherlock Holmes”.

“Finding five feet in one localised area would be highly unusual anywhere in the world,” he told Bloomberg.

the discovery of this number of feet in four years was not coincidental.

People are wondering why this is only happening on the West Coast, and why aren’t other body parts of these people being found?

A police officer says it’s not unusual to find bodies in waterways…

“Body parts do eventually make their way to the surface. So why are we only getting feet? Why are they only in running shoes? I’m not sure I buy the theory that it’s because the shoe floats.”

A Wikipedia page with a timeline of the discoveries, here.
Previously:

The Mystery Of The floating Feet Continues

Another Possible Human Foot Has Washed Ashore In Canada

Could the Canada Bus Slayer And The Floating, Severed Feet Be Related?

Sixth Severed Foot Found On Washington Shore

One Of The Severed Feet Found On Canadian Shore Identified

A New Twist In The Severed Feet Case

Freaky: Fifth Severed Foot Washes Ashore On British Columbia Coast

Severed Feet Washing Up On B.C. Coast

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The Mystery Of The floating Feet Continues

Hey, remember those creepy reports of severed feet washing ashore the coast of British Columbia, starting in August 2007 and continuing through 2008? I hadn’t heard of any more cases, so I had assumed that the findings had ceased. I was wrong. There was one severed foot found in (Oct.) 2009, and  two more  this year, one in August, and the latest one on the 14th of December, bringing the total to ten.

Here’s a summary via Wikipedia, of the macabre discoveries, to date:

Date Place Notes Coordinates
August 20, 2007 Jedediah Island A known man’s right foot; size 12 white-and-blue-mesh running shoe 49°29′55″N 124°12′15″W / 49.49861°N 124.20417°W / 49.49861; -124.20417 (August 20, 2007)
August 26, 2007 Gabriola Island A man’s right foot; size 12 white Reebok 49°09′00″N 123°43′59″W / 49.15°N 123.733°W / 49.15; -123.733 (August 26, 2007)
February 8, 2008 Valdes Island A man’s right foot; size 11 Nike (same person as June 16 finding) 49°05′N 123°40′W / 49.083°N 123.667°W / 49.083; -123.667 (February 8, 2008)
May 22, 2008 Kirkland Island A known woman’s right foot; blue-and-white New Balance sneaker (same person as November 11 finding) 49°06′39″N 123°05′44″W / 49.110905°N 123.095627°W / 49.110905; -123.095627 (May 22, 2008)
June 16, 2008 Westham Island A man’s left foot (same person as February 8 finding) 49°05′N 123°09′W / 49.083°N 123.15°W / 49.083; -123.15 (June 16, 2008)
August 1, 2008 Near Pysht, Washington A right foot
November 11, 2008 Richmond A known woman’s left foot (same person as May 22 finding)
October 28, 2009 Richmond A man’s right foot
August 27, 2010 Whidbey Island A juvenile or female’s foot
December 5, 2010 Tacoma A foot of a juvenile or a small adult inside a boy’s size 6 Ozark Trail hiking boot

According to Wikipedia:

…finding feet and not the rest of the bodies has been deemed unusual. Finding two feet has been given a “million to one odds” and has thus been described as “an anomaly”.[3] The finding of the third foot made it the first time three such discoveries had been made so close to each other.[5] The fourth discovery caused speculation about human interference and, statistically, was called “curious”,

Police in Tacoma, Washington say the latest foot discovery could possibly belong to a child.

A  woman who has been following the case since the first severed foot was discovered,  is  preparing to publish a book titled, Someone Else’s Shoes with her own theory of where the feet are coming from.

What’s your theory?

Previously:

Another Possible Human Foot Has Washed Ashore In Canada

Could the Canada Bus Slayer And The Floating, Severed Feet Be Related?

Sixth Severed Foot Found On Washington Shore

One Of The Severed Feet Found On Canadian Shore Identified

A New Twist In The Severed Feet Case

Freaky: Fifth Severed Foot Washes Ashore On British Columbia Coast

Severed Feet Washing Up On B.C. Coast

Another Possible Human Foot Has Washed Ashore In Canada

According to the police, it’s too early to say if the running shoe found near Vancouver contains the remains of a seventh human foot to have washed ashore in that region in the past 15 months, or…something else. Tests are still being done:

The couple who found the left foot shoe in a tidal flat area along the Fraser River on Tuesday told local media it contained a sock and what appeared to be human remains, which have now been turned over a coroner for DNA testing.

Five disembodied human feet have mysteriously floated ashore in the Canada’s Georgia Strait since August 2007, and sixth foot was found three months ago in adjacent U.S. waters near Port Angeles, Washington.

There has also been at least one shoe found that later turned out to be a hoax.

“Obviously due to the fact that a hoax was perpetrated previously and then extensively reported on we want to proceed cautiously until we know exactly what we are dealing with,” said Constable Annie Linteau of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

Canadian and U.S. police have not been able to determine who any of the feet belonged to, but say there is no evidence they were victims of foul play. Two of the feet found in Canada belonged to the same unidentified person.

The left shoe found on Tuesday was made by New Balance, the same brand that contained a right foot that was found in the same area of Richmond, British Columbia in May, police said.

I found a handy-dandy interactive map via Mark Horner, Beyond 90 Seconds that provides:

  1. The locations of the six feet found prior to Tuesday’s discovery
  2. Photographs of 5 of the 6 shoes found prior to Tuesday
  3. Links to stories about the discovery of each foot

Here’s a news report out of BC on the gruesome discovery:

Here are some previous posts on these reports that I’ve been following since February:

Could the Canada Bus Slayer And The Floating, Severed Feet Be Related?

Sixth Severed Foot Found On Washington Shore

One Of The Severed Feet Found On Canadian Shore Identified

A New Twist In The Severed Feet Case

Freaky: Fifth Severed Foot Washes Ashore On British Columbia Coast

Severed Feet Washing Up On B.C. Coast

***

Hat tip: Crime Scene KC

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Could the Canada Bus Slayer And The Floating, Severed Feet Be Related?

I threw this theory out as an afterthought on my previous post about Vince Weiguang Li, the man who stabbed to death, and then decapitated 22-year-old Tim McClean on a greyhound bus. The thought occurred to me that the two cases might be connected.

It has already been speculated that the severed feet could be the work of a serial murderer:

According to police there were 2,371 people listed as missing in the (BC) province at the end of May, with gang-related crime, drugs and homelessness all contributing to the problem. The exploits of Vancouver area pig farmer and convicted murderer Robert Pickton loom large. Pickton was convicted last year of the murder of six women, and according to the prosecution at his trial confessed to the murder of 43 others.

The suggestion that there may be a criminal element connected with the appearance of so many feet is bolstered by the conclusion of Ebbesmeyer and other oceanographers that the feet have most probably been born down the Fraser River – which flows from the Rocky Mountains before reaching the Pacific Ocean at Vancouver - swelled by the spring snowmelt.

“This is such a highly improbable situation it begs the question of foul play,” said Ebbesmeyer.

The police are refusing to speculate.

Li was armed with a knife, and a pair of scissors. He was cutting off body parts…It may well be that young Tim McClean was not his first victim.

Edmonton, where Li is from, is not terribly far from the Fraser River:

Click on image to enlarge.

UPDATE:

I’m not the only one thinking along these lines:

Sorry for such a morbid post.

UPDATE II:

A reporter from The Winnipeg Free Press interviewed Li’s apartment complex neighbors:

“It seemed like he was keeping real weird hours, sometimes I’d see or hear him coming and going in the middle of the night.”

Hmmmmm.

Sixth Severed Foot Found On Washington Shore

A right foot, like most of the others:

A shoe containing bones and flesh has been discovered on a remote Strait of Juan de Fuca beach about 40 miles west of Port Angeles, 14 miles from the Canadian shoreline.

The grisly discovery comes nearly a year after the first of five sneakers containing human feet were found washed ashore in British Columbia, triggering one of the most bizarre cases in provincial history.

The latest shoe, described as a hiking boot, does not match any of those discovered earlier in Canada. But, like four of the five others already found, it is a right foot.

A camper found the large black, high-top shoe in seaweed while walking along the shore near the mouth of Jim Creek on Friday and relayed the discovery to the Clallam County Sheriff’s Department at about 2:30 p.m. Saturday.

Previous posts here (scroll down).

Hat tip: Crime Scene KC

UPDATE:

Could the severed feet be related to the Canada Bus Slayer?

One Of The Severed Feet Found On Canadian Shore Identified

This was no boating accident.

One of the five feet that have mysteriously washed up on the shores of British Columbia over the past year has been linked to a depressed man who went missing a year ago, police said Saturday.

Police sergeant Pierre Lemaitre said DNA testing helped to identify the man. The man’s name is not being made public at the family’s request, said Lemaitre.

“We’re being very sensitive to the family’s demands,” he said, adding more information will be released on Monday. “They wanted the time to reach out to their immediate family and share the news among themselves.”

A team of investigators has been working on the bizarre case since the first foot washed up last August on Jedidiah Island in the Strait of Georgia.

Since last year, detached feet began appearing, floating within a few miles of each other along island shorelines in the Strait of Georgia near Vancouver. The bizarre findings baffled Canadian officials.

It had been theorized that the floating feet were remnants of decomposed bodies of people who were in boating accidents. Other theories are that they were from victims of the 2004 tsunami, victims of a serial killer who dumps his prey at sea, or cadaver parts that “bored or mischievous people” tampered with.

It looks like this one was either suicide, or serial killer.

Previously posts here,

UPDATE:

A sixth foot appears.

Hat tip: Crime Scene KC

A New Twist In The Severed Feet Case

Two of the five feet found belong to the same person:

One also recently appeared on a Swedish shore. No link has yet been made to the ones that have been found in British Columbia.

Theories on the origin of the floating feet range from remnants of decomposed bodies of people who’ve fallen off ships to parts of victims of the 2004 tsunami borne on Pacific currents to Canada’s coasts, a serial killer or killers who dump their prey at sea and bored or mischievous people with access to cadaver parts running an elaborate hoax.

Previous posts here and here.

Interesting discussion on the case found at this Police Forum.

UPDATE:

One of the feet identified.

UPDATE II:

A sixth severed foot appears on a Washington coast.

Hat tip: Crime Scene KC

Freaky: Fifth Severed Foot Washes Ashore On British Columbia Coast

Scroll down for updates

I first noticed this strange trend back in February, when three severed feet had been reported washed ashore in British Columbia. Now it’s up to five.:

A fifth human foot in a year has washed ashore off the coast of British Columbia, and this time it’s a left one.

Police said two people out for a walk spotted the left foot floating in water off Westham Island on Monday morning.

Delta Police Const. Sharlene Brooks said officials are working with the B.C. Coroner’s office to see if this foot is linked to any other partial remains recovered in the province.

Westham Island is at the mouth of the Fraser River, about 15 miles south of Vancouver.

“A passerby noticed a shoe floating in the water, pulled it in and notified police,” Brooks said. “We’re treating it as a criminal investigation.”

While the similarities to the other found feet is strong, she said there’s no indication this foot is related to the other cases.

“We’re certainly not discounting the possibility that this may be linked to the other recovered feet, but it’s just too premature and very speculative for us to even entertain that right now,” she said.

Where in the heck could these feet be coming from?

Curtis Ebbesmeyer, an oceanographer based in Seattle, Wash., said when a human body is submerged in the ocean, the main parts like arms, legs, hands, feet and the head are usually what come off the body.

He said his theory is that the feet came along as a result of an accident that might have happened up along the Fraser River, that washed down and spread out along the Straight of Georgia.

Ebbesmeyer said when the third foot was found the feet could have drifted from as far as 1,000 miles away. Ebbesmeyer said the feet could have been severed or detached from their bodies on their own.

I don’t know…Wouldn’t authorities know if a boating accident with casualties had happened on the river?

Gabriel Manor speculated back in Feb, that a serial killer might be on the loose. Whatever it is, it sure is creepy.

UPDATE:

One more:

The sixth foot turned up Wednesday — a right foot in a man’s size 10 black Adidas athletic shoe, police said. As in the previous cases, however, immediate answers as to the foot’s origin eluded detectives.

“We are exploring the possibility that it could be people who may have drowned,” said Annie Linteau, a spokeswoman for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. “It could be missing fishermen. It could be the remains of people who may have died in a plane crash.”

When asked about the suspicion of foul play, Linteau noted that the first four feet contained no tool marks and were therefore deemed not to have been severed.

It is too early to say how the foot found Wednesday was separated from a body, and Linteau did not address the question of how the fifth foot came to be detached.

“It is certainly a very unusual situation,” she said. “We have to explore all avenues and investigate all theories.”

UPDATE II:

Ace thinks he’s found a rational explanation for the “floating feet mystery”.

UPDATE III:

Turns out #6 was a hoax. What a sense of humor, somebody has:

The sixth foot found floating in B.C. waters was not human at all, but a hoax, the provincial coroners service confirmed today.

The foot found in a running shoe Wednesday near Campbell River was actually a skeletonized animal paw inserted into the shoe with a sock and packed with dried seaweed, a forensic pathologist concluded after an examination.

In a short news release Thursday, the B.C. Coroners Service called the hoax “reprehensible and very disrespectful” to the families of missing people.

“It fuels inappropriate speculation and creates undue anxiety for families and communities while wasting valuable investigative time and resources,” the coroners service stated in a brief news release Thursday.

UPDATE IV (July 10):

A new twist on the BC feet, and a foot shows up on a Swedish coast.

UPDATE V:

One of the feet identified.

UPDATE VI:

Number six.

Severed Feet Washing Up On B.C. Coast

Scroll down for UPDATES.

There have been three severed right feet, all wearing sneakers, that have washed ashore on British Columbia’s Gulf Islands in the past six months. The police are vexed:

The latest foot was found last Friday on Valdes Island, a small community between Vancouver Island and the mainland.

RCMP say they are not sure whether foul play is involved and are trying to match any missing person cases to the severed extremity.

Two other right feet, both in size 12 men’s sneakers, washed ashore on nearby Gabriola and Jedidiah islands last August. RCMP collected DNA from the remains but could not match them to anyone in police databases.

Jedidiah is a marine provincial park located in the Georgia Strait, accessible by boat only.

“It is unusual,” said RCMP spokeswoman Constable Annie Linteau. “We are in the preliminary stages of this particular investigation, and, of course, we will not enter into speculation.”

The latest foot is being examined by the B.C. Coroners Service for forensic testing.

MORE:

See June 18 UPDATE, here.

July 10 UPDATE here.

July 21 UPDATE here, a first foot is identified

August 4 UPDATE here.

Hat tip: Crime Scene KC

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