Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Foot Fetish in Vancouver

At this very moment, amid the plankton and flotsam, a tennis shoe floats in the ocean. And some bright morning, a little girl will run toward some beach near Vancouver, British Columbia and stop dead in her tracks. Even at her age, she’ll know. It’s another severed foot.

Is there a real-life Saw going on here? Can some maniac be chaining men and women in a dungeon near the ocean? In their desperation, are the victims chopping off their own feet in order to escape? Cops say no, but cops have been wrong before. After all, thousands of people go missing every year in British Columbia. And isn’t that where Robert Pickton spent twenty years murdering women? How many did he kill and feed to his hogs? Last I heard, it was sixty, give or take a couple. The cops had that case down pat, didn’t they?

Why aren’t the TV crime shows screaming about this case every day? I’m getting sick of hearing about the same missing white girls all the time. They come a dime a dozen. But sneaker-clad feet floating in on the tide? Now that’s an eye-popper. In fact, how often does this happen? I read where some expert said body parts wash up all over the place all the time. Maybe, but this is the first I’ve ever heard of it.

What are there? Six so far, plus one hoax?

Here are a few theories I’ve read about.

The infamous “airplane crash theory.” Every newspaper story about the severed feet mentions an airplane that crashed into the ocean not far from where the feet are washing up. Four people went down in that crash. One body was recovered and identified. But DNA from families of the crash victims doesn’t match DNA from the feet in the sneakers. So it’s obviously not them. You’d have thought reporters would have quit padding their stories with this theory long ago.

The “tsunami theory.” Let’s see, when did that happen? Four years ago. Where did it happen? In the Indian Ocean somewhere near Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India, and Thailand. According to my research, that’s about 7,000 miles away from Vancouver. And there are several continents between the two. Maybe there’s an unknown 7,000 mile current that skirts every land-mass in the world and brings only shoes and feet to Canada, but I don’t think so. Whatever goofy egghead came up with this one needs to take a serious geography course.

The old “bored and messing with cadavers theory.” Okay, there are lots of bored people running around. I’ll acknowledge that. But how many of them have access to human bodies? Fortunately, there aren’t a lot of Ed Geins in this world. Digging up the dead just ain’t a hobby that many people are going to take up. And even if they did, what are the odds that they’d have a foot fetish? Somebody must have been bored stiff to think of that one.

The “there’s no link between them theory.” Actually, there could be some truth to this one. DNA from one set of feet matched a man said to be depressed. The implication from cops is that he jumped in the ocean to commit suicide and somehow his feet ended up floating to Vancouver. That may well be. But it still begs a few questions. Why now? Why so many? How many others weren’t found and will never be found? Why this area and nowhere else? Where is the source of the feet? How did they become separated from their legs? Why just feet and not other parts of the body?

Now suddenly a hopper in a boot pops up on a shoreline just south of the Canadian border. So the FBI is getting involved. Let’s hope there’s not another Richard Jewel or Dr. Stephen Hatfill around for them to tunnel-focus on or they’ll be paying out millions more to a wrongly accused foot-snatcher.


tony said...

Can you believe it's at 11?

Robert A. Waters said...

Crazy. Where else in the world is this happening?