Vincent Van Gogh
Another severed foot has been found washed ashore in the Lower Mainland. The foot is in a New Balance running shoe, and it matches a woman's foot that washed ashore on May 22nd. The feet started washing ashore in August 2007, and the first foot has been identified, but the man's name is being withheld at the request of his family. A second foot found on Gabriola Island in August 2007 still remains unidentified. Two more feet found on Valdez and Westham Islands in July 2008 belonged to the same man. And two feet found in Richmond in December 2008 belonged to the same woman. The amazing thing is, these feet were identified by searching the DNA database of missing persons.
According to the RCMP, "If you have a foot in a shoe laced up, it protects the integrity of the appendage."
Well, that's good to know...
The other night I watched an amazing program on CBC's "The Passionate Eye" about various theories of the severed feet, narrated by the American actor Peter Coyote. (If you want to watch the whole program, you can click on the link.)
Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction, and the story of these feet is more compelling than any CSI (Miami) (New York) TV show. On television, the case is solved before the final credits run, but in the case of these feet, identification is long and painstaking. But it will be solved. Who are these people? What are their severed feet doing washing ashore?
According to Mike foreman, a research scientist with the federal fisheries department, "The feet are the most recent addition to the collection of body parts carried ashore by the capricious currents of the Georgia Strait. It's not an uncommon occurrence for people to be lost at sea. It probably happens more often than we think," he said. "Body parts are often carried far from where they entered the water because the strait's currents vary depending on tides, winds and fresh water coming from the Fraser River, he said."
Ewwww... Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the water.