Monday, August 10, 2009

Truckers Implicated in Missing and Murdered Women Cases

Thanks to MacDonald Stainsby for sharing this link from today's Province. Note that the headline in the Province says "Is a Trucker Responsible for Missing Women on Highway of Tears?" - but the story reports involvement of multiple long-haul truckers in cases already solved by the FBI. Truck-driver is as common an occupation for men as secretary is for women, so clearly most truckers are not murderers; however, trucking could offer advantages for predatory sex murderers including mobility and mobile privacy. Maquiladora factories on the Mexico-US border are also destinations for truckers - hundreds of women workers from such factories have been murdered as well.


Police investigating the disappearance of missing and murdered women across this country are being urged to take a long, hard look at the trucking industry, following an FBI investigation that has linked serial killings to long-haul truck drivers in the U.S.

It's a call that Angela Marie MacDougall is taking across Western Canada — and one that's being echoed by an international expert on serial killers.

MacDougall is the executive director of Battered Women's Support Services in British Columbia, and she has been touring the Prairie provinces for the last two weeks, speaking with women's support groups, sex-trade workers and relatives left shattered by the disappearance of their loved ones.

She's trying to form a coalition to bring forward a report this fall on the disappearance of women in Canada.

On her tour, MacDougall is taking with her a report released earlier this year by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, explaining the work done in the U.S. to link truck drivers to serial killings.

Analysts have compiled a list of more than 520 homicide victims who have been found along or near highways in more than 40 states, as well as a list of 200 potential suspects.

"The suspects are predominantly long-haul truck drivers," the FBI said this spring in its report publicizing the Highway Serial Killings initiative.

It said the victims, many of them drug addicts and prostitutes, are often picked up at truck stops, sexually assaulted, murdered, then dumped along a highway.

So far, 10 suspects believed to be responsible for 30 killings are in custody, the FBI said.

The FBI uses a massive database for violent crimes. A unit of 23 analysts goes through the system, looking for links among crimes that have been submitted by state investigators.

Last year, the FBI took the program online, making it available to law-enforcement agencies across the U.S. But participation is still voluntary, so much of the agency's work is convincing police forces across the country to use the program.

. . .
If long-haul truck drivers are behind any of the missing-women cases, it would instantly reframe the issue as a Canada-wide problem, rather than a province-by-province phenomenon.

"It's our intention to encourage law enforcement, and encourage the (trucking) industry to take some responsibility for ensuring women's safety," she said.

"We're also talking about women who got away from long-haul truck drivers," MacDougall said, adding she knows of eight B.C. women who she said have been attacked, but escaped.

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