VPD get Calgary murder DNA

The Vancouver Sun, April 27, 2000

The samples from eight slayings will be studied for possible matches to a rape suspect described as a 'person of interest' in the disappearance of 27 prostitutes from the DOWNTOWN EASTSIDE.

By Petti Fong and Lori Culbert

DNA samples from eight unsolved homicides near Calgary are being sent to Vancouver police to look for possible matches with rape suspect Barry Niedermier, a man police say is a person of interest in the disappearance of 27 downtown prostitutes.

And homicide investigators in Edmonton and Calgary are reopening files in six unsolved prostitute murders to sift for any connections with Niedermier, who was arrested last week in Lethbridge, Alta.

A Vancouver police task force investigating the missing prostitutes homed in on Niedermier, a convicted pimp, and charged him in brutal sexual attacks against seven Downtown Eastside prostitutes.

Sheriffs were to take Niedermier on Wednesday from his home in Lethbridge to Vancouver to face 14 charges ranging from sexual assault to kidnapping.

DNA samples from eight homicides in the Calgary area between 1976 to 1992 will be sent to Vancouver to determine if they match samples already obtained by Vancouver police, said Webb.

It is not known whether Niedermier has given a DNA sample to police.

Calgary RCMP Corporal Patrick Webb said the bodies of the eight murdered women were found in rural areas from Cochrane to Lethbridge.

"These eight were similar enough to warrant further checking with the suspect."

Webb did not know whether all of the eight murdered women were sex-trade workers, but said some of them may have been.

Calgary police are also tracking Niedermier's history in the city in connection with the murders of three prostitutes from 1989 to 1991, said Staff Sergeant Harvey Cenaiko.

And Edmonton police will check whether Niedermier visited that city in 1996 and 1997, when two prostitutes were strangled to death.

"When a suspect like this comes to your attention, you obviously look at him," said Edmonton police spokesman Wes Bellmore.

Corporal Grant Learned, who speaks for the RCMP in B.C., also said it would be a standard routine for Mounties to compare notes on Niedermier and any unsolved sex crimes across the province.

Niedermier has been described as a sweet-talking man who loved to drive cars long distances.

"He is an articulate man, a good, fast-talking con man, and likes to constantly be driving cars," said Vancouver Police Constable Anne Drennan.

When he owned a smoke shop in Vancouver, Niedermier had several high-end cars.

Police believe Niedermier was in Vancouver from 1995 to 1997, when it appears he moved back to Lethbridge to live with his mother.

It is likely that he frequented Vancouver before 1995, which is why police are reviewing the files of 27 drug-addicted prostitutes missing from the Downtown Eastside since 1978.

"He's a man who tended to think nothing of travelling back and forth between Alberta and British Columbia," Drennan said.

He was in Vancouver in 1990, when he was sentenced to 14 months in prison for being a pimp to a 14-year-old girl.

In the mid-1990s, Niedermier owned Cardonic's Gift and Smoke Shop on Main Street. However, he was convicted of selling contraband cigarettes and was fined $50,000 after pleading guilty in 1996 to charges under the Excise and Tobacco Act.

The province and Vancouver police said Wednesday they are renewing for another year a $100,000 reward in the missing women's case.

Vancouver pimp eyed in disappearances



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

Updated: August 21, 2016