Jailed rapist a suspect-July 31, 1999

Jailed rapist a suspect in murders, disappearances

Police are investigating the Mission man's involvement in 7 of 31 missing-women cases.
Lindsay Kines Vancouver Sun

     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 through."
     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 said.
     "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 Spence.
     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 case.
     "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 Clifford Olson."
     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




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

Updated: August 21, 2016