Oil Sands Truth: Shut Down the Tar Sands

Another sex trade murder in Edmonton

The housing crisis in Alberta, as it gets more and more desperate has as it's corollary more people-- in particular young, often racialized women-- working in the survival sex trade. This, like almost everything else in Alberta, comes from the extremity of the tar sands boom with no attention paid to human or environmental cost. The woman below is likely another victim of the tar sands.


Sex trade slay
Fri, February 22, 2008
RCMP need the publics help with the latest homicide

Word that a body found in a Strathcona County field was a prostitute is building frustration in the sex trade.

“They’re free game out here,” said sex trade worker Carol-Lynn Strachan.

Strathcona County RCMP confirmed Friday that a body found near a rural driveway Thursday morning was that of a 21-year-old woman who had some involvement in the sex trade industry. They said her death was a homicide.

The discovery occurred in the shadow of the trial of accused prostitute killer Thomas Svekla.

“Right after Svekla was picked up, we still had women being left in our fields,” said Strachan. “Do they have no other possible subjects? No other people of interest? They must. Why haven’t they been arrested? Why are the girls’ statements being ignored?”

A homeowner at Range Road 220 and Township Road 534 made the discovery while outside just before 11 a.m.

Mounties don’t believe the body had been there for very long because the nearby driveway is used regularly.

An autopsy was completed Friday morning and while RCMP have said it is a homicide, they are not releasing the cause of death.

The woman’s identity has also not been released.

Cpl. Darren Anderson of the Strathcona County RCMP said the woman was not registered with Project KARE, but she has been entered into police systems. He said she was involved in the sex trade but it is not known to what extent.

Project KARE is involved in the case.

The discovery is one of a series of bodies of sex-trade workers that have been found in the Edmonton area. Anderson said it is too early to say whether they’re related.

“If you’re involved in that high-risk lifestyle, there are any numbers of risks that somebody could face and to jump to the conclusion they are in any way related to any previous investigations under Project KARE is very premature.”

Former vice-cop JoAnn McCartney, who is now involved in court diversion programs for prostitutes, said the latest news may only cause more problems.

“It does sound ripples. It makes them scared and that means they want to get high because that’s the only way they know how to cope with anything.”

Using drugs to forget their fears only leads to more prostitution, said McCartney, adding that after previous body finds, there were actually more women on the streets trying to get more drugs to cope with their fears.

She said a lack of social programs means the women have nowhere else to turn.

McCartney also pointed out the killing may not have been by a john. In some cases, these killings may be by drug dealers that have been crossed, she said.

Strachan said programs targeting johns are backfiring and just making the sex trade more dangerous.

Towing johns’ cars or Report-a-John programs forces transactions to take place in dark alleys or behind bushes. That, she said, leaves the women more vulnerable as they have less time to assess if a date appears safe.

RCMP are asking for anyone who saw anything suspicious in the area between Wednesday night and Thursday morning to call police at 467-7741


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