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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Headline of the Day

posted by on June 18 at 14:50 PM

Sixth severed foot surfaces off Canadian coast

CNN has the best headline, but the Independent has the story:

In the latest grisly twist to a saga that has spawned dozens of conspiracy theories, two dog-walkers spotted the left foot, inside a shoe, floating in water off Westham island, near the mouth of the Fraser river, on Monday morning.

It was detached near the ankle, and had apparently been in the water for some time. Police are trying to determine whether it is linked to some near-identical discoveries which began when a size 12 right foot came ashore last August.

And my favorite detail:

The five feet are at the Centre for Forensic Research at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver. Local reports say that a forensic anthropologist at SFU, Mark Skinner, is boiling the flesh off them in an effort to extract DNA samples and study the bones to identify characteristics that could suggest the cause of death.

Boiling the flesh off of the feet (destroying the evidence?) to extract DNA samples from feet that’ve washed up on a rocky Canadian shore, found by two dog-walkers—are we suddenly in an Annie Proulx novel?

“I’m beginning to think it might be a boat or plane that went down, and then something shifted, through seismic activity or a boat, that is making it release all these body parts now,” Ms Anderson said. “The reason only feet have been found is because they are in running shoes and protected.”

Yes. Yes, we are.

RSS icon Comments


or maybe there's a maniac on the loose chopping the feet off people...

Posted by michael strangeways | June 18, 2008 3:07 PM

michael, the feet were not "chopped" off.

read some articles about the feet. apparently feet, arms, and heads tends to "come off" from dead bodies that are floating around.

Posted by stinkbug | June 18, 2008 3:20 PM

16 more feet and we'll have a soccer team!

Posted by Jubilation T. Cornball | June 18, 2008 3:22 PM

This and the murderous pig farmer kind of ruin BC for me.

Posted by It's Mark Mitchell | June 18, 2008 3:24 PM

The first four feet were funny.

Now it's just getting weird.

Posted by Original Andrew | June 18, 2008 3:25 PM

The feet come from dead bodies that are already in the water somewhere, who knows where but most likely some kind of disaster, plane crash, tsunami, flood etc. The feet of the dead naturally float because tennis shoes float. Because of the ocean currents they could have come from anywhere.

Posted by Gay Seattle | June 18, 2008 3:29 PM

someone start making a documentary STAT!

Posted by max solomon | June 18, 2008 3:32 PM

The feet are always wearing sneakers? UFO cult?

Posted by Mahtli69 | June 18, 2008 3:33 PM

why do they always wash up in the same area? this is some weird shit...

Posted by douglas | June 18, 2008 3:40 PM

I expect TOP SCIENTISTS are on the trail, tracking ocean currents, studying disasters, natural and man made, and one of these days they will deliver an answer that will satisfy all but the craziest of conspiracy theorists.

Posted by PopTart | June 18, 2008 3:54 PM

@10 - severed feet did 9/11!

Posted by skye | June 18, 2008 4:01 PM

I wonder if investigators have questioned anyone from the Soylent Green factory up in Prince Rupert.

Posted by Mahtli69 | June 18, 2008 4:04 PM

Something is indeed afoot.


Posted by seattle mike | June 18, 2008 4:11 PM

@13 ... you're such a heel.

Posted by superyeadon | June 18, 2008 4:14 PM

$$\tilde{p}(y|\vec\alpha) = \exp\left\{\sum_{i=1}^4\lambda_iy^i - \log \int\exp\left\{\sum_{i=1}^4\lambda_iy^i\right\}dy\right\}$$

Posted by the solution | June 18, 2008 4:21 PM

Something's not right about this.

Posted by Will in Seattle | June 18, 2008 4:21 PM

Please stop referring to them as feet.

Use meters instead.


Posted by Canadian Metric Council | June 18, 2008 4:25 PM

Boiling the bones isn't going to "destroy the evidence." It's how you can GET to the evidence. Dude, don't you watch CSI?

Posted by Jane | June 18, 2008 4:27 PM

What ever happened to CSI: Edmonton anyway?

Posted by Will in Seattle | June 18, 2008 4:33 PM

@19 - please don't confuse Vancouver with Edmonton, that's very offensive.

Seriously though, this is the talk of the province right now. Like #5 said, the first 4 were funny, now it's just getting creepy...

Posted by Mab | June 18, 2008 4:43 PM

(laughs at Vancouverite taking offense at people not knowing where Vancouver is, even while most people in the US think it's on Vancouver Island)

Oh, sorry. My bad, eh?

Say, you see that last episode of jPod on the CBC? Maybe it's his mom ... she seems to rack up the Dead Like Us count, eh?

Posted by Will in Seattle | June 18, 2008 5:14 PM

@8 the feet float because they're wearing sneakers. They aren't called Air Jordans for nothing.

Posted by left coast | June 18, 2008 5:30 PM

at the forensic anthropology lab at my university we weren't civilized enough to boil any remaining tissue off of the skeletal remains we rec'd. Instead, we had the "bug box." And, yes, it is exactly what it sounds like - a big glass box filled with bugs that like to eat tissue... we'd put the remains in the bug box and the very efficient bugs would get the job done quickly.

Posted by stacy | June 18, 2008 6:20 PM

The flesh has decomposed and is no longer useable for DNA analysis not to mention a biohazard. They have to go into the bone and dig out the DNA from there.

The bug box sounds better. Boiling rotten flesh must be an incredibly rancid smell.

Posted by robot2501 | June 18, 2008 9:06 PM

@6 If these currents have been continuous for 1000s of years, shouldn't we have found 100s of feet instead of just 6?

Posted by robot2501 | June 18, 2008 9:11 PM


In that case, wouldn't they be washing up everywhere, not just off the Vancouver coast?

Posted by keshmeshi | June 18, 2008 10:49 PM

Damned salmon!

Posted by conspiracy theory | June 19, 2008 2:22 AM

at least they're finding left feet now. If this was the sixth right foot, I would be more worried.

Posted by ams | June 19, 2008 3:50 AM

It's about B.C. Why do they keep showing up in B.C.? Even if currents are moving them, wouldn't they occasionally show up elsewhere? And they all have floaty shoes.
They just have too much consistency to be random. I say murder.

Posted by Vince | June 19, 2008 7:14 AM

I guess we've found the achilles heel of modern forensics.

Posted by CryinLion | June 19, 2008 11:46 AM
Posted by bobcat | June 19, 2008 2:14 PM

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