How DNA technology led to murder charges — nearly 40 years later - The Fifth Estate

How DNA technology led to murder charges — nearly 40 years later - The Fifth Estate

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[Mark] On this edition of the Fifth Estate... Two women. Two lives cut short. And the decades long hunt to bring their killer to justice.

I think to not have answers for such a long time, is devastating for a family. We have both leads and suspects in mind. But we can't establish anyone directly responsible at this stage of the investigation. Psychologically, I guess it's-- there's always a void.

There's always the questions of, why did this happen? And I think that never, ever goes away. [Mark] We'll take you inside the investigation, as police try to crack a cold case. We believe by using the genealogical process, that these are the great grandparents of the person that murdered both Susan Tice and Erin Gilmour.

[Mark] And the news two families have waited on for what seemed like a lifetime, the arrest of a suspect. It finally puts a name and face to someone who, for all of us, has been a ghost. I'm Mark Kelley, outside the headquarters of the Toronto police. Tonight, an investigation the Fifth Estate has been following for years. This is a story of a family seeking justice, police seeking a suspect, and a tiny strand of DNA that unlocked a mystery, tracking down a cold case ghost. This is the Fifth Estate.

[Sombre music playing] [Mark] This is a moment nearly 40 years in the making. [♪♪♪] Good morning everyone and thank you for joining us. Today we are here to announce that the Toronto police services arrested an individual for the 1983 murders of Erin Gilmour and Susan Tice. Last Thursday, November 24th, this individual was arrested and taken into custody in Moosonee, Ontario, and brought back to Toronto on Friday, November 25th. Joseph George Sutherland, 61 years of age, of Moosonee, has been charged under the 1983 criminal code, with two counts of first degree murder for the deaths of Erin Gilmour and Susan Tice. [Mark] Detective sergeant Steve Smith believes he finally found the missing piece to crack the case.

Going through this case, I'll tell you that the only way that this was solved, was the advances in science. We were able to use investigative genetic genealogy to narrow down a suspect family and from there we were able to narrow down a suspect who is obviously under arrest today. [Mark] Those advances in science could not come soon enough for Erin Gilmour's brothers, and sadly, too late for their mother. Good morning, the last few days have brought around a full spectrum of emotions as you can imagine.

And this is a day that I, and we, have been waiting almost an entire lifetime for. In a sense, there's a real relief that someone's been arrested, yet it also brings back so many memories of Erin, and her brutal, senseless murder. Our mom, Anna, passed away two years ago, and she would have been so relieved that there had been an arrest. And so happy that someone will finally face justice after being anonymous for 39 years.

[Mark] Sutherland has no criminal record. But armed with the suspect's DNA, police are convinced he's their man. He was not in our boxes as they say. He was not a suspect, or a person of interest in this case.

If we hadn't utilized this technology, we never would have came to his name. Detective Smith, what was his reaction, when police showed up at his door? I think when you commit these crimes, you're just waiting for that knock to come at the door. If I could to sense it, it would probably be one of relief that it is finally over. [Suspenseful music playing] [Mark] So why did it take so long to make an arrest in this case? As you'll see, Toronto police were looking for a suspect for years, until science stepped in. We have over 700 unsolved files, and I started to dig into some of the files that we had, that we knew that we had what we believed to be offender DNA, one of which was the Erin Gilmour file. I'm very interested to see this film, it's the first time I've seen the actual footage of Erin's murder.

[Reporter] The body of Toronto native Erin Gilmour was transferred by police to the city morgue this morning. The blond part-time model was found by a friend about 9:30 last night, tied up in her bed and stabbed in the back. She was found in her second floor apartment on Hazelton Avenue, located just above a trendy clothing store where she worked as a clerk. Friends visited the home all day to console family members and they described Erin as a gorgeous socialite who dressed stylishly and often traveled abroad. Today, family members were too overcome with grief to talk with the media. Erin was stabbed multiple times throughout her torso and her neck.

We can't imagine what she was going through, and we think of 20 minutes of our life and what she went through, it must of seemed like a lifetime to her. My name is Andrew Doyle, I'm a detective constable with the Toronto Police Service. I work specifically in the cold case unit, of the homicide squad.

Yeah, she lived upstairs. So here's the entrance here, so you're talking, she would've left work, and she would've walked and went right upstairs here. We believe she finished her shift right around 9pm.

She went up to her apartment. Her boyfriend at the time, Mr. Munk, arrived around 9:20 p.m. so it's a very, very short window for this all to have occurred.

[Mark] Erin Gilmour's murder was random. Senseless. Brutal. She was 22 years old. The only daughter of a prominent Toronto family. An aspiring fashion designer.

A life of promise ended in an attack, that lasted only minutes. [Steve] It's a terrible situation, no forced entries. Probably no security systems either. No, absolutely.

Really, we focused on two separate theories. One was, that the offender was in the alley when Erin came out of her-- her employment, and when she opened her door, he pushed her and followed her in, up into her apartment. But with the door being left ajar, you would think if you preplanned this and you were going to abduct and sexually assault and murder a woman, you probably would've locked the door behind you. A theory that I lend myself to is that it was probably a break and enter at the time, and he, the offender was actually in her apartment looking for valuables, and she may have come in and surprised him.

I'm Sean McCowan, and I'm Erin Gilmour's brother. She was an incredible sister. I was 13 and she was 22 at the time, she was 9 years older. I and my brother were like the proverbial little brothers who got strapped along on her excursions, My name is Kaelin McCowan, and Erin Gilmour was my sister.

It's kinda hard to sum up how-- the presence of my sister. But she... she was just beautiful and kind and warm and... in her presence you just always felt special.

My name is Kristen Basso, and Erin Gilmour is my first cousin. And my Uncle David was Erin's father. Erin was the much-awaited child of Anna and David. She was such a little beauty.

My uncle had always wanted to be close to her, he just adored her. I mean, in his book he referred to her as the jewel in his crown. [Reporter] Erin's father is David Gilmour, a well known financier who owns this company just down the street from his daughter's apartment. Gilmour used to own the Clairtone Stereo Company with his partner, Peter Munk. The last time I saw Erin, was the day before she was murdered.

it was December the 19th, and my brother and I had gone to stay at her apartment for a sleepover. It was five days before Christmas, and so I-- we all woke up the next morning. Erin drove my brother Kaelin back to my mom's house. And I sort of went off actually to do some Christmas shopping. We said our goodbyes and that was the last time I saw her. I remember feeling worried for her, and scared and thinking that she should have some sort of protection 'cause she was living on her own.

[Tense music playing] The day that Erin was murdered was a horribly cold day. Nobody in their right minds, even though it was the last few days, shopping days before Christmas, would've been out on a day, that night, if they didn't have to be. I had spoken to Erin earlier that day, and she wasn't really feeling great. but she was at work doing what she had to do. Homicide detectives started a heavy round of questioning witnesses in the Hazelton Avenue area of Yorkville today.

They're part of a group of five investigation teams who have been ordered to find leads in the Gilmour death. My mom gently shook me and woke me up and mentioned-- and she was obviously very, very upset, she was emotional. And she said, "It's Erin."

And then she said that she had been killed. And, um, I remember screaming. [Emotional piano music plays] Yeah, I remember screaming and I remember I literally-- [Clears throat] Pardon me.

I literally rolled over and punched a hole in the wall. [Reporter] So far, police are confident. We have both leads and suspects in mind. But we can't establish anyone directly responsible at this stage of the investigation.

And we're hopeful and feel confident that we can solve this murder. The Gilmour case, unfortunately at the time, they didn't have the luxury of DNA evidence, that didn't-- we didn't really start to use DNA evidence until the early mid-90s, and as we progressed we were able to do more with less with DNA evidence. But they didn't have that luxury back then. [Bell tolling] The funeral was really kind of a blur. David just fell apart, and I remember seeing Guido rocking him in his arms and David saying, "I want to die, I just want to die."

[Reporter] It's been just over a year since Erin Gilmour was discovered murdered in her Hazelton Avenue apartment. Since her murder, homicide detectives have interviewed over 700 people and have amassed boxloads of notes and files on the case. But the Erin Gilmour murder remains unsolved. And here we are, 37 years later. And it's just always, psychologically, I guess it's-- there's always a void, there's always the questions of, why did this happen? [Mark] Not only why did this happen... but who did it? Someone got away with murder.

But the investigators had one key piece of evidence, the killer left DNA at the crime scene. But it would be another 17 years after Erin's murder before that DNA took the investigation in a new direction. Coming up... [Reporter] They found the body of a woman in her mid-thirties. Her body was discovered on the second floor of 341 Grace Street in a pool of blood.

[Mark] That crime scene DNA creates an unexpected connection to another unsolved murder in 1983. You know the individual who did this committed two violent murders within the span of three months, and someone out there knows something. [Suspenseful music plays] [Mark] After Erin Gilmour's murder in 1983, Toronto police threw all their resources at catching her killer. A staggering 700 people were interviewed. Suspects were eliminated one by one. But after more than a year the investigation hit a dead end.

[reporter] Sgt Rocco Cleveland knows the frustration of a case that won't come together. He was assigned to investigate Erin Gilmour's murder. A computer printout file more than four inches thick details the hundreds of pieces of evidence collected during the investigation. But a year after the murder, there is still no answer. It would be 17 long years before police got a break in the case.

It was the year 2000, and the crime scene DNA found at the Gilmour murder led police to make an astonishing connection to another unsolved murder from 1983. Shortly before noon, police were called to an apartment in the Bathurst St. and Bloor area. They found the body of a woman in her mid-thirties. Her body was discovered on the second floor of 341 Grace Street in a pool of blood, and homicide detectives say she was apparently stabbed to death. Police were called to the scene by the woman's brother, who became alarmed-- Susan Tice was, she was new to Toronto.

She was the mother of four, she was 45 years old, she was from Calgary. She hadn't been in Toronto very long, unfortunately, before things went tragically wrong for her. Uh, her kids, I believe, were away at school. She was stabbed several times in the chest. She was also stabbed in the back, and Mrs Tice was sexually assaulted. Because at the time, front door was locked and she was coming in and out from the rear.

So it might be an idea for us to travel around back-- There was probably, there's probably a laneway, so-- Yeah. All right. You wanna walk around back? Yeah, let's, let's try that. A next-door neighbour does recall hearing four screams at around 1:30 in the morning. So about 15 minutes later, that same neighbour I spoke of that heard the four screams, did hear somebody walking by.

So this door back here, the rear door to the home, was open at the time that her brother-in-law came to check on her. - Yeah. It was open, it was ajar, it says in the report. - Yeah. - So you wonder--

Looks like that was your access then. Yeah, I would suggest that would be the access at the point. The front door was locked when he came there.

He actually had to walk himself around just like we did here, and got access to the home through this way. And you just wonder, was she targeted or was he just out here, was it a crime of he saw a female by herself? Yeah. Until the DNA came through in 2000, we didn't have a link between the two cases, even though they were about four or five months apart, very similar MO, but there was nothing to say that these cases were linked until we were able to put the DNA from both crime scenes together and definitively say that it's the same offender. [Mark] Forensic scientists use DNA to identify suspects. It's like a genetic fingerprint. Everyone's profile is unique.

It's not foolproof, but it is a valuable tool used by police to convict or clear suspects. Toronto police entered the killers DNA into the RCMP's national data bank. It's a collection of nearly half a million profiles that can help investigators solve cold case crimes. But the bank has limitations. It only has DNA samples of convicted offenders, collected over the last 22 years.

In the Tice and Gilmour cases, there was no match in the database. And investigators went back to the drawing board. If there's absolutely no scientific evidence, and we've exhausted all the leads in the case, we can take the people that were witnesses and go back and re-interview people, see if anybody's had a change of heart or if anyone knows something that maybe they didn't tell the original investigators. Barring that, maybe wait for someone to give a deathbed confession, something like that. [Mark] And for the family who'd waited two decades for answers, it was another dead end.

With Erin's case, nothing had happened for years. And I had sort of resolved myself that they may never find this person, and that I, you know, seeing a therapist and dealing with this, that I needed to kind of let it go. I needed to let go of her. I needed to let go of anger and hate, you know, towards the person that could've done this thing.

So I had kind of resolved that this might never be solved. I think what you first feel is, you're hoping that there's going to be a resolution. And I think that you sort of go through a loss like that and you expect or hope that there's going to be an answer and a prosecution and... I think that never, ever goes away, you know, and I don't know, you know, if and when this ever gets solved, it's an answer, but it's not closure, I think it left a really, really big hole in a lot of people's lives. Our family and friends and, you know, obviously everyone who loved her. [Mark] But Sean McCowan didn't stop pushing police to make sure his sister's cold case didn't become a forgotten case.

Susan Tice and Erin Gilmour did not know each other in life. Unfortunately, the two women are forever linked together in their deaths. The same man is responsible for both of these murders. [Mark] In 2016, Toronto police released this appeal to the public for help, convinced that somebody out there knew something.

If you want to remain anonymous, that is perfectly fine. We have his DNA. All we need from you is his name, nothing more. It is your duty to bring his name into this investigation so he can be held accountable. [Mark] It was a development south of the border that changed everything, giving police a new tool to crack cold cases. [reporter] Police in California say they've caught the man they believe was a serial rapist and a killer in the 1970s and 80s.

They've charged former police officer Joseph James DeAngelo with two murders. But if he is the so-called Golden State Killer, he's believed to have killed 12 people and raped dozens more. [Mark] In 2018, FBI investigators entered crime scene DNA into a public DNA family tree website, and in time, identified the killer.

Shortly after that, Detective Smith was contacted by a lab in the U.S. I'd started a LinkedIn account, and I was actually approached by a member of Othram who said, "I see you investigate cold cases. We are a laboratory in Texas that specializes in this sort of coding of DNA, and we create profiles and we'd be willing to work with you guys if you had any cases that you'd be interested in." So we started the dialogue there where I was saying, "Well, actually we do have a few cases, we're looking at their viability." [Mark] Coming up...the picture of a possible suspect

slowly emerges, one distant relative at a time. The process in this case is massive. We're into a small-town Canada scenario. [Mark] And police finally get the break they're looking for. We believe by using the genealogical process, that these are the great grandparents of the person that murdered both Susan Tice and Erin Gilmour.

[Mark] In 2019, the Toronto Police Cold Case Squad was focusing on a handful of unsolved cases. The murders of Erin Gilmour and Susan Tice, and another violent crime that took place here north of Toronto in 1984. 9-year-old Christine Jessop was murdered, her killer never found. Toronto police had crime scene DNA from that case and were working with a lab in the U.S., hoping genetic genealogy could crack the case. We originally shipped the DNA sample down to Othram Labs in December of 2019.

In February of 2020, we received notice that the coding was successful and that they were uploading it to GEDmatch for us. GEDmatch is-- I like to refer to it as a sort of clearing house for DNA matches, for people that are really into building their family trees. What GEDmatch has done is they will allow you to upload your genetic profile from any of the pay per use sources, free to their website, and it will give you matches from all the pay per use sources.

It gives you a much larger pool to build your family trees off of, to give you a lot more connections of who you'd be related to. I did get a "get the hell in here" kind of phone call. Like, let's-- and as soon as I got that phone call, that might've been the exact words, actually, to be honest.

I hung up, I knew there was something. I didn't know exactly what, I didn't know exactly what case, but I could tell by the tone of Steve's voice that something had come through. And then, you know, quickly got into his office.

It was October 3rd, 1984, when nine-year-old Christine Jessop went missing from her home in Queensville, Ontario. Tragically, on December 31, 1984, Christine was found in Sunderland, Ontario, in Durham region. She had been stabbed to death. On Friday, October 9, 2020, we positively confirmed the identification of the person responsible for the DNA sample found on Christine's underwear. Calvin Hoover of Toronto, Ontario was 28 years old in 1984.

He died in 2015. We've utilized a investigative technique that is fairly new in policing, certainly in Canada. It's been used-- This technique has been used in the United States for the last couple of years.

And it's genetic genealogy that we have actually used. By combing through numerous documents and in doing so, in essence builds out a family tree. I thank the members of the homicide cold case section for their determination in getting us to this point. Thank you.

Unbelievable. Unreal that we actually, you know, we did it. This worked. We got here. It was a very happy time for all of us.

We were, I mean, I was blown away, quite frankly. And it gives you the traction that you need, or that you want to, "Let's get going now. We've done this, let's keep this ball rolling. Let's gain some traction here, let's do this again. Let's do it again, and let's do it again."

So I received a call from Erin Gilmour's brother, who called me and just wanted to speak, and just wanted to see if there was any ability to use this technique to solve his sister's murder. [Mark] With the help of the U.S. lab, Toronto police started the time-consuming task of building a family tree for the killer in the Tice and Gilmour cases. But instead of a tree, investigators started with a forest.

Oh, let me just get my laptop fired up here. I just have to sign in. So they've-- they built our family tree down to a couple families.

[Mark] In a perfect world, the DNA can help provide police with one or two names as possible suspects. So I've been going through it, it's fairly complex. It started with 8,000.

So we've narrowed it down to basically two families, we're looking at maybe 26 children, and then their children's children. But there's, you know, there could be eight to ten kids within each family. But in the Tice and Gilmour cases, investigators only had profiles that matched 4th or 5th cousins. It would take more than a year to narrow down that list. We believe by using the genealogical process, that these are the great grandparents of the person that murdered both Susan Tice and Erin Gilmour.

[Mark] It was March 2021 when the Toronto police had an update for the Gilmour family. And I'm just going to loop in my brother Kaelin, who lives in New Zealand currently, so-- put him on the phone. [Kaelin] Hey. - Hi bro, how are you? [Kaelin] I'm good, you? So I'm just going to put you on speaker phone and we've got the detectives here, Steve and Andrew, and Krissi's here too, okay? [Kaelin] Okay, great. - Okay. [Kaelin] Yup. Okay, I just wanted to say Andrew's the lead investigator in the case, so I'm the major case manager, he's the lead investigator, so.

But we're here obviously to give you an update on Erin's case. We've been able to so far come to our most recent common ancestors, which is the great-grandparents of the offender, so we're that close. So the bottom line is you're trying to find relatives of this person, is this it? That's right, absolutely. And we're using those relatives to narrow down to who the person is.

I mean, obviously we can eliminate any females in the families, but again in these small towns, a lot of big families, right? [Kaelin] Sorry, it's Kaelin here from New Zealand just asking a question. I was wondering in terms of these great-grandparents that have been found, are these-- I'm just assuming this is geographically within Canada. Is there a specific region or province that you can disclose? Yeah, I don't want to get too much into it right now, but we're talking small town Canada.

Very small town Canada. And I know it's not perhaps the easiest question to answer or ask you to put a-- put a pin on a calendar date, but in terms of-- in terms of the progress so far and in terms of getting down to, as you mentioned, the great grandparents, what would you envision as a potential time frame in terms of getting to an end result? Well, put it this way, we've been working this since we got the code for this case, for about a year. So we've made huge progress. We're really starting to-- to zero in, so we're really starting to-- what would you say? Like, we're really digging in where we're focusing on certain families and we're really using our investigative techniques to include or exclude people.

Well I think that-- I'll speak for-- not to speak for the family, but I think that we're obviously-- you know, obviously very, very happy that 38 years later we're sitting at this table and getting to this point. It's been a long time coming and I think that we also have been waiting for an update like this, and... I'll say this is the most optimistic I've been in 38 years of waiting. And that's crazy, that's like a-- that's fabulous-- from my-- from my sitting on this side of the table, it's, you know, it's actually like, super encouraging and confidence building and everything, so thank you very much, it's great. So, yeah...

Like you said, you were asking earlier about how long-- and it makes sense, how long does it take? It can take a month, it can take a year, it can take a day. It can take a week. Things change extremely quickly. [Mark] But as the families already knew, justice moves slowly and genetic genealogy, for all the hope it offers, can move even slower. That's where we left the story almost two years ago.

When we come back... Steve called and I sort of know what his phone comes up as, it's not his number, but I know what it comes up as, and I picked up the phone and he said "Sean?", I said, "Yup." He said, "It's me." I said, "Hi." And he goes, "We got him." [Mark] The families' patience is finally rewarded. Steve, did you ever doubt this day would come? I knew right from the get-go that we were on a good track on this. I knew this day would happen.

I just didn't know when. [Mark] It was the moment the Tice and Gilmour families spent decades waiting for. And yet when it happened this week, in a way, it still seemed so sudden. Joseph George Sutherland, 61 years of age, of Moosonee, has been charged under the 1983 Criminal Code with two counts of first-degree murder for the deaths of Erin Gilmour and Susan Tice. [Mark] Erin Gilmour's brother Sean had always said he just wanted police to come up with a name.

Now he had an arrest, giving him at long last a degree of comfort. This arrest finally brings an answer for all of us, almost 39 years of asking "Who?" It finally puts a name and a face to someone for all of us has been a ghost. [Mark] Police apprehended Sutherland after showing up at his home with what they say is the first time a DNA warrant has been used in a genetic genealogy case. Now that suspect has been in Ontario for 39 years since these murders, so obviously we are going to look into every possible connection to any possible case throughout Ontario to ensure that he isn't responsible for any other offences. Sutherland's lawyer obtained a publication ban which prevents police from releasing any details about him or any possible connection to the crimes. Here's what we were able to piece together.

[Mark] Sutherland was 21 years old when he moved to Toronto from northern Ontario. It was mere months before the murders. He moved to the town of Moosonee in the early 2000's. It's a remote community of 3,500 people just south of James Bay. There is no road in or out of the community.

Sutherland's social media profile says for the past 13 years he's worked as an I.T. manager at an Indigenous agency that provides child welfare services in the region. He's single, the father of three, and his Facebook page suggests he's a man who loves the outdoors and was fully embracing life in this quiet corner of the country. [Mark] While a trial is a long way off, and a conviction not guaranteed, the families are convinced the right man has been arrested. [Laughter] That felt good. All good.

We're going to have a nice lunch. Yeah, I don't blame you. But I would like to schedule drinks with you and Stacy Glotten and Andrew and the gang, -and whatever. -Yeah, absolutely.

Okay, sounds good. When you first got the news, how did you get the news and tell me about that? Steve called and I sort of know-- I sort of know what his phone comes up as, it's not his number but I know what it comes up as. and I picked up the phone and he said "Sean?", I said, "Yup." He said, "It's me." I said, "Hi." And he goes, "We got him." And...

And I think I literally burst into tears. It was hard to keep together and there was a lot of swearing and a lot of happy and a lot of tears and a lot of-- I could hardly breathe. And-- he and I were both-- it was a real moment for the two of us.

It was the best phone call I've ever had in my life. Tell me how you found out. Sean's been the point of contact with-- with Steve and I got a call from him "Call me ASAP." And yeah. We found out that they were making an arrest, and I was stunned.

I mean, we knew that there was action happening and leading into the narrowing down to exactly who this was. But, yeah, it was so surreal and so strange. It still is. How do you describe this day? How do you describe this moment? I think for me it's just so surreal you know, that it's come to this.

It's such a huge day for our family and a huge, kind of, relief to get some answers and know a name and see someone put to justice. For 39 years, this guy has been an absolute ghost to us. It wasn't just the senseless murder of Erin and Susan Tice, but now we finally got a who to sort of at least bring some relief to the unknown. It's a real moment of justice. Describe that, what's it like to have this "ghost" in your life? For me, it was always not knowing who and am I walking by this guy on the street potentially, right? And just having him living anonymously and not having any sense of connection or any knowledge of whatsoever, except for a strand of DNA, basically, is all that we really knew about. He was a ghost to me for sure, and it was always a question of...

You know, who are you, and are a further risk to anybody else? Or-- and where are you? [Mark] The investigators describe this moment as one of relief. Going from a DNA family tree of thousands to a lone suspect. What was the conversation? It was very-- He was very stoic and I think, and I could be wrong, but it seemed to me that perhaps a lot of these things that he may have been feeling or thinking, I think the pieces started falling into place, recognizing that for 39 years he's been-- it's been cold, that he's been a ghost, almost. I think that the gravity and the weight of this was sinking in on him. That's how it felt to me at the time, whether that was me projecting that on him or not, I don't know. But that's how it felt. I think-- I don't think he knew what to say.

And he didn't say much. Steve, did you ever doubt this day would come? No, I didn't. I knew right from the get-go that we were on a good track on this. It was just a matter of the diligence of the team. As I said, nobody got frustrated.

Everybody worked through it. We just kept working at it day by day by day. I knew this day was going to come. I just didn't know when.

'Cause I imagine it's sort of twofold. One, you've got families looking for answers, as the Gilmours and the Tice family were. On the other hand, you've got-- you've got criminals out there who think they got away with murder. Should they be looking over their shoulder? Yes, they should.

Absolutely. We-- This is a testament to it. This is 39 years. We're never going to stop. We're-- As the science increases, it gives us even more tools.

If you were concerned, you should be even more concerned now than you were prior. So yes, you should be looking over your shoulder because as far as we can help it, we are coming. And this just proves it. [Mark] For the Gilmour family, the brothers say there is no closure. Sean has been speaking publicly about the murder for years, to keep Erin's memory alive. He says he always will.

This journey you've been on, what's it been like for you to put yourself out there over and over again with no guarantee that someone would be arrested one day? What's been that like for you? You know, not easy. It's hard every time it happens. There are moments where the interviews are sometimes easier than others. You know, it's-- I guess it's a labour of love and I think it's something that I have been happy to do as hard as it is sometimes.

I find it definitely does put me back in it. And there's lots of people in my life who would attest to that. And sort of-- over the years there's been a lot of people who have said to me you know, maybe it's time to shut this down, and maybe it's time to move on, and it's been 40 years and maybe you should just let it go. To which you would say? No. No. You know--

She would have done it for me and I can't let this go. It needs to be present and it needs to be there and it needs to-- with my last breath, I'll be doing this. And it's sort of-- feels-- feels like a lot of it has come to pay off today.

It's-- you know, as the expression goes, a job well done. You know, it's nice. You did it for your sister. Thanks for doing it, bro. [ ♪♪♪ ] This is an excerpt from a book that Erin really is largely responsible for me wanting to write about my family.

"Three days after her death, I woke from a compellingly "realistic dream that ended with Erin treating me "to reassure her family "that she was in a happy, light-filled place. "Erin had told me about her plan "to write a book about the family. "In a way, the writing of this book "has become part of her legacy to me. "I'll always remember Erin on our beach.

"Her long blond hair swirled around her "as she pirouetted on the sand, "and her delicate hands and secret smile "were exactly those of Botticelli's "dreamy and beautiful 'Birth Of Venus'. She will forever be that timeless Venus in my heart." [ ♪♪♪ ]

2022-12-07 22:11

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