28 October 2009

R.C.M.P. stumped by severed feet in B.C.

I should think TYWKIWDBI must be the only blog with a category of posts devoted to severed feet. A couple readers kindly notified me tonight that yet another foot has washed ashore in British Columbia - the seventh one in the past two years.

If the sneaker above (Nike, size 8.5) looks familiar to you - especially if you know that it belongs to a loved one - then the RCMP want to talk to you, because when it was found on the shore there was a (human) foot inside it.

The CBC has also updated its interactive map, on which you can click to view the stories of the other severed feet and see photos of the shoes (the image above is a screencap; the map is here).

A couple of the previous cases have been solved:
A possible connection between the detached feet found in B.C. and the Orcas Island footless body came to him just recently when he was reading a newspaper about the case in his kitchen. “There was a report of shoes with no bodies. And I thought, gee, I have a body with no shoes. I wonder if they could be related,” Mr. Gaylord recounted.
So far there is "no proof of foul play" in the current (or previous) cases, because it appears that the feet have become "detached by a natural process" (death, decay, predation). But why these natural processes seem to be more active in British Columbia remains unexplained.

Hat tip to Andrew in Ottawa for the notification and the ?inadvertent suggestion re the title for the post.

Update: National Geographic Explorer will be airing "Mystery of the Disembodied Feet" on Halloween.

Update #2 November 5 - The RCMP are no longer "stumped." They have identified a deceased 25-yo man from the "lower Mainland" as the owner of the foot. More details and link in the Comments.

Update #3 - More identifications made on additional feet, via DNA testing. Nothing suspicious here folks; move right along...


  1. Thought you would be interested to know that they have identified the most recent foot:


    The BC Coroners Service has confirmed through DNA analysis that the remains of a right foot found Oct. 27 on a Richmond beach is that of a deceased Lower Mainland man.

    In January 2008, the 25-year-old man was reported missing to RCMP by his family. Based on the investigation into the circumstances of his disappearance and personal history, investigators do not believe foul play was involved.

    The man's identity is being withheld at the request of his family.

    It was the the seventh foot found along B.C.’s coast in two years.

    The RCMP, Delta Police Department and Coroners Service continue their investigations to determine the identities associated with other found feet, the Coroners service said Thursday in a press release. These include a female pair found in Richmond, which was matched in December 2008; a male pair found on Valdez Island and Westham Island, matched in July 2008; and a male right foot found on Gabriola

    Island in August 2007. In all cases, these remains appear to have naturally separated from the body.

  2. Thank you. I've inserted an addendum in the post.

  3. The BC Cornoer's service has identified one pair of the feet that have washed ashore over the years. The CBC BC article is at http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/story/2011/05/24/bc-washed-up-feet-identified.html?ref=rss

    Just wanted to let you know so you can update your "severed feet" category!

    Thanks for all of the interesting things you post!


  4. Thanks, Gwyneth Anne. I've added that link to the post.


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