Monday, 11 April 2011

Cold Case #2 - Who killed Cindy Halliday in 1992?

WHO: Cindy Halliday (17/f): a high school dropout who lived with her parents in Waverley, Ontario, but hung around with a "bad crowd". This lifelong hockey fan dreamed of being a social worker, and frequently hitchhiked along the roads between her home in Waverley and the closest big city of Barrie, leading some to form the impression that she was streetwise.

WHAT: Having disappeared while hitchhiking north from Barrie, Cindy's wallet was soon found by a man foraging for bottles. Her jacket was discovered neatly folded in a reforestation area the next month, followed by her skeletal remains and shoes a month later. As the vicinity had been thoroughly searched following the discovery of the jacket, it is believed Cindy's killer left the clothing first before depositing her body at a subsequent date. Though Cindy's skull was the only piece of the skeleton found in tact, an autopsy revealed that she had been stabbed to death (the amount of stab wounds have not been released to the public). A year long study by an entomologist concluded that her remains had only been where they were found for a period of about 30 days. Furthermore, tests on Cindy's brain matter reveal she may only have been dead for as long as a month. This meant she would have spent late-April/early-May in captivity.

WHERE: Cindy went missing somewhere between Midhurst and Waverley, along Highway 26. She had been to visit her boyfriend in a Barrie jail, and was last seen at a Hasty Market in Midhurst. The wallet was discovered by a man collecting bottles in a wooded area off Horseshoe Valley Road, west of Highway 400. This was close to the spot where her jacket and remains were later found.

WHEN: Cindy was spotted at the Hasty Market at around 5:30- 6:30 PM on April 19, 1992. She was officially reported missing two days later. On May 3, her wallet was discovered. Her jacket was located 13 days later on May 16, and her remains on June 16. Reports in available media sources contradict as to the precise dates and order in which her wallet, jacket and bones were found. As it is of no consequence to this profile, save to say that the killer delivered them back to the public at intervals, I will not dwell on the details.

HOW: The most likely scenario was that Cindy was picked up hitchhiking by a sadistic murderer, who managed to gain control over her. At this point, she would have been taken to an indoor location where she was held prisoner for a month. Her ordeal would undoubtedly have consisted of multiple rapes and sexual assaults, and probably some unknown degree of torture. As her remains were skeletal and scattered by animals when they were found, we can never truly know what indignities she suffered. Tragically, no DNA was recovered from any of the crime scenes.

WHY: Power and control. The perpetrator not only enjoyed exerting these over Cindy both while she was alive and upon her body after her death, but also toyed with the police by strategically placing items belonging to Cindy, including her remains, in the same area over a period of two months. The UNSUB is undoubtedly a sexual sadist, and given the amount of time he spent with the corpse, possibly a necrophiliac.

Forewarning: The Most Perplexing Profile Yet

Profiling the murderer of Cindy Halliday has been the most baffling experience I have had in amateur crimonology so far. Typically, men who keep their victims for long periods of time tend to kill them by strangulation, or torture them to death. There have also been examples of suffocation, drowning and bludgeoning. Yet this UNSUB did something unprecedented - he used knives! When we consider the types of killers that favour cutting weapons, we usually encounter more disorganized or mixed offenders who spend relatively little time with their victims - either attacking them on the streets in a stabbing frenzy, or breaking into their homes ala Tommy Lynn Sells, Richard Ramirez. I am unable to recall a single lust murderer who kept his victim as long as a month before stabbing her to death. Perhaps this is because the knife is a weapon of frenzy - the perfect instrument for an angry/excited sadist to unleash when his urges can no longer be restrained. These tensions explode in a sensuous cocktail of blood and mutilation. It is therefore hard for me to reconcile the use of a knife with the entomologist's evidence that Cindy was kept for a month. However, as this is the evidence I have to work with, I will accept it and do my best.
The Murderer of Cindy Halliday

Sex/Gender: The UNSUB is a male, and identifies as such.

Age: The UNSUB was between the ages of 25-40 in 1992 when Cindy was murdered. A younger offender is less likely to have had the income to both own a vehicle and an indoor area to keep Cindy captive and store her remains for such a lengthy period. This is further buttressed by the complexity of the crime, and the lack of evidence at the crime scenes. Here we have an elaborate 4-5 crime scene situation: 1) An unknown location where Cindy first came into contact with the UNSUB, 2) Another unknown location where she was kept captive, slain and probably stored for two months, 3) The scene where her wallet was found, 4) The scene where her jacket was found, 5) The scene where her remains were found. We do not typically see this kind of complexity in younger offenders as they lack the means, confidence and wisdom to exert such a degree of control.

Race/ethnicity: The UNSUB is Caucasian. There are no known cases of elaborate long term capture, torture and necrophilia within other racial/ethnic groups in North America. Cindy also disappeared and was found in a primarily white, rural area of Ontario.

Occupation/skills/intelligence/socialization: Of all the UNSUBs profiled on this blog, Cindy Halliday's murderer is by far the most intelligent, with an IQ of at least 115. This does not mean that his social intelligence is high. All that was necessary for the commission of this crime was the ability to put a female hitchhiker at ease long enough to trick her into his car. It is the series of methodical actions following the abduction that demonstrate the UNSUB's cunning: keeping Cindy captive for at least a month, the absence of DNA or other evidence at the crime scenes, and the mocking way he doled out her personal possessions and remains within the same area while avoiding being spotted by witnesses. It is nearly impossible to confidently predict his occupation, though I believe that as somebody obsessed with control he will be self employed or work in a job that gives him a great deal of autonomy or authority. This is in keeping with other lust killers who we see combine lengthy periods of torture with a necrophiliac's obsessive need to control a corpse (John Wayne Gacy, Robert Berdella, Fred West, Gary Heidnik - all owned their own businesses; Gerard Schaeffer was a cop). Sometimes this type of killer is a student (Ted Bundy, John Norman Collins), but somebody with this level of income would not be able to afford a large enough dwelling to keep a captive without drawing attention to himself. Both Bundy and Collins, for instance, killed their victims in their cars, outside or occasionally in abandoned buildings, keeping the remains in the last two and moving them around later. I can not say if the UNSUB is blue collar or white collar, as there is no evidence to point in either direction. However, I CAN guarantee that he is a compulsive driver, and probably had a great deal of mileage on his car at the time of the abduction. Socially, he will be competent enough to fit in rather easily, though will tend to have close workmates rather than friends. That said, he may at times seem eccentric, peculiar or exhibit signs of having a short temper, though those around him will just write this off as part of his nature and laugh about it. He will exude an air of superiority, and lie compulsively. I have strong gut feeling that the UNSUB might be involved in law enforcement or a similar authoritative position such as a security guard, mall cop, firefighter etc.

Appearance: The UNSUB exhibits a great deal of self discipline, in fact it permeates his entire being. This is to compensate for the powerlessness he felt in his formative years. Therefore we can expect him to be well groomed and with good hygiene - probably one of the reasons Cindy felt comfortable getting into his car in the first place. This neatness will extend to his vehicle and home. Though he may not be rich or cultured, he does the best with what he has, and will appear outwardly quite normal.

Residence: As he is a highly mobile killer, it could be anywhere in the areas north of Toronto, and south of Georgian Bay.

Relationships/family: The UNSUB may have had a girlfriend at the time of Cindy's murder, but will have lived alone. If an accomplice was involved, it would have been a woman with a psychological makeup reminiscent of Rose West, though we can probably discount the West marriage as a rare aberration in the field of sexual homicide. The UNSUB harbours a deep seated hatred and need to control women, stemming from a poor relationship with his mother during childhood. If we are to look into the histories of Collins, Gacy, Berdella and Heidnik, we find examples of abusive disciplinarian father figures. This may have been the case here, though the UNSUB's hatred was projected onto his mother because she did not intervene to prevent the beatings and ridicule, instead "standing by her man" at the expense of the child. Another possibility is that his mother simply neglected him or was emotionally cold. I do not think the UNSUB was actively physically or sexually abused by a maternal figure. Such abuse would have stemmed from his father, stepfather or mother's boyfriends. This childhood turmoil will have dogged the UNSUB throughout his life. If he was popular growing up and had girlfriends, he will have been rough and sexually aggressive with them. In the more likely event that he was a loner in elementary school and high school, he will have not had any relationships with the opposite sex until after graduation.

Criminal/Psychiatric History: I believe Cindy's killer is a serial murderer, and due to the level of organization shown, she was not his first victim. Though I approach this with some hesitance, I can see behavioural links to the unsolved Christine Jessop murder in 1984, the UNSUB's crimes becoming more refined with his maturity and awareness of DNA evidence. I am NOT saying this is a definite link, merely a possibility, based on criminal behaviour and geography. He will have had a religious upbringing, and will use alcohol as a facilitator for his crimes. As a highly intelligent offender, he may never have been caught for previous offences, but I believe his criminal history could include window peeping, break and enter, burglary, impersonating authority figures, exhibitionism, animal torture and child molestation/sexual assault. Unless involved in the military or police, there will be no record of his psychiatric history, however I will go out on a limb and diagnose him as a sexually sadistic psychopath, with obsessive compulsive tendencies. He will exhibit several bizarre and unusual fetishes, potentially necrophilia, coprophilia, pedophilia and cross dressing.



  1. Going with the assumption that Cindy was held captive for a time before she was murdered and discarded....I am wondering if Cindy finally got her chance to escape her kidnapper and he caught her and went into a fit of rage with a knife. Perhaps Cindy had co-operated all along until that fateful day. Co-operating didn't work as he was still abusing her and wasn't releasing her. If she was held all that time against her will, I would think that Cindy would be getting desperate to escape and he may have caught her in the act. It may be unusual for a perp of his type to end up stabbing his victim to death with a knife, but he may have freaked out when Cindy tried to run....and he had to stop her.
    This perp has never been caught, and there is other women missing....makes me wonder what he is up to now.

  2. My name is Theresa Blain. I met Cindy in 1989 & knew her right up until April of 1992. I was with Cindy the night she left to hitchhike down to Barrie.I would like to talk to you further about this profile & was wondering if you could email me please.

  3. Certainly Theresa. I will e-mail you now. If it takes some time to hear back from me during our conversation, it is because I am very busy with the book and other commitments. Please be patient. Thanks!