Highway of Tears: Victim's family makes emotional plea for tips


KAMLOOPS — Sisters of a 19-year-old woman who was murdered in the early 1970s have made an emotional appeal to the public for information that could solve the crime.

A day after police said they believed Bobby Jack Fowler was a "strong suspect" in the death of 19-year-olds Gale Weys and Pamela Darlington, Weys' two younger sisters asked people to recall tips from four decades past.

Denice Weys and Dianne Weddell say they had given up hope the crime would ever be solved and that their "open wound" resolved.

Police on Tuesday announced they had linked Fowler, a dead Oregon convict, through DNA to the death of Colleen MacMillen, a 16-year-old murdered in 1974.

Fowler was also named as a suspect in the Weys and Darlington deaths on Tuesday and RCMP Staff Sgt. Wayne Clary says since then, investigators have already received 50 phone calls to a tip line, as well as numerous emails.

The deaths are part of an investigation known as E-Pana that has tried to determine whether one or more serial killers have been working B.C. highways, including Highway 16, known as the Highway of Tears.


Public statement from Gale Wey's sisters:

Hello, (I am) Denice Weys and (I am) Dianne Weddell and Gale was our older sister. We have a statement to read on behalf of our family.

Second in a family of 9, Gale was the quintessential older sister, always supportive and protective of her younger siblings. She was a tomboy, fiercely independent and enjoying all types of outdoor adventure and activities, dragging us, her siblings and friends along for the fun. Whether it was teaching us to ride a bike, how to swim, or organizing a hike and exploration of the surrounding hills it was an all for one and one for all attitude. With an infectious laugh and sharp sense of humour she was a natural leader and challenged others to go beyond the limits they had set themselves. She loved amusement park rides and at the local fair or the PNE always cajoled others onto the fastest, highest, scariest rides. Achieving high grades in school, she enjoyed learning and in turn tutoring her younger siblings including teaching them to read before even entering school. A childhood spent in first Brownies, Guides, then Rangers culminated in becoming a leader herself. As a teenager she earned her National Lifeguard Certificate and taught swimming lessons. As a volunteer she worked with and taught special needs children.

Within the Guiding organization Gale traveled a number of places, Expo 66, the Northwest Territories and Mexico City creating a desire to explore more of the world. It was during that trip to Mexico that Gale’s sensitive and compassionate nature became aware of the stark poverty and suffering that exists in the world and instilled a desire to somehow help alleviate it.

Having just moved away from home Gale was living and working in Clearwater exploring a newly independent stage of life as a young adult.

She was working two jobs to save money for a trip to Mexico but always knew that the role of motherhood; her strongest aspiration, was what the future held for her.

These dreams and many others yet to be created were never fulfilled as life was taken from her, and she from us, violently, painfully and abruptly.

As a family we truly never thought this open wound would be resolved in any way; we had given up hope. We are grateful for the ongoing work by the police over the years on Gale's behalf and this new development that offers some answers and relief. Unfortunately, as the police have stated this compelling evidence is not definitive proof. To that end we, Gale's family, are asking people to think back to that time in the early 70's.

If you have any memories of this man Fowler or recollections of these events please contact the police tip line or crime stoppers. Perhaps you found her clothing and didn't understand what you had found; perhaps you met or worked with this man. Perhaps he assaulted you in some way, made you feel uncomfortable or maybe he was involved in a bar fight. Anything could be hugely helpful, even if you are not 100% certain it's truly related, or you think it's just trivial. If fear has kept you silent, Fowler can no longer hurt you in any way, so please come forward. For our family and other families that are going through the loss of a loved one there is still that uncertainty of not knowing; questions and emotions left hanging. If you can help in any way please do so for Gale and all the other women.

This is all we wish to say at this time, we ask if you have further questions please direct them to the police and respect our family's privacy.




Missing Women Tip Line: 1-877-687-3377

Updated: August 21, 2016