Unsolved Mysteries of the World
The Highway Murders & Highway of Tears S01E23 Part Two
Welcome to the Highway Murders Part Two. On this episode we will go over historical developments in solving some of the cases, new investigations, suspects and theories. We will also cover government scandals, racism, and the most recent developments in missing persons, abductions and murders along the highways in Western Canada.
Since 1981 and with the help of an out of the box thinker, RCMP Sgt. Mike Eastman, police in several communities have gotten together to compare notes and to determine if they were looking for a single suspect, multiple suspects or a group of suspects all working together. With increased missing persons, abductions and murders throughout the years, the police developed Project E-PANA in 2005.
Project E-PANA focused specifically on the unsolved murders and disappearances of young women along Highway 16, the infamous highway known as The Highway of Tears.
E-PANA sought to discover if there was a single serial killer at work or a multitude of killers operating along the highway. The unit investigated nine cases in 2006, but by 2007 its caseload had doubled to eighteen.
The victims involved within the E-PANA investigation followed the criteria of being female, participating in a high risk lifestyle, known to hitchhike and were last seen or their bodies were discovered within a mile from Highway 16, Highway 97 and Highway 5.
In the 2009 E-PANA received over five million dollars in annual funding but has since dramatically declined due to budget cutbacks; receiving only $806,109 for the 2013/2014 year.
In 2013, Craig Callens, the RCMP Deputy Commissioner, warned that further budget reductions from the provincial government would greatly affect the Highway of Tears investigation.
A 2014 Freedom of Information request stated that the task force had dropped from seventy officers to twelve officers over the past few years and although it is technically still investigating it is unlikely that all the murders and disappearances will be solved.
E-Pana had success in solving a few of the cold cases.