Conventional wisdom suggests Murielle Guay was butchered by American serial killer William Dean Christensen. Then why is the Surete du Quebec investigating her death as a cold-case?
This much is known. On April 27, 1982, 27-year-old Sylvie Trudel was found decapitated and dismembered in the downtown Montreal apartment of “Richard Owen.” That same afternoon a pedestrian discovered the dismembered body of Murielle Guay in trash bags in a wooded area of Mille-Îles northwest of Montreal.
Both murders have long been attributed to American serial killer William Dean Christensen (AKA “Richard Bill Owen”). So why is the Surete du Quebec continuing to pursue Guay’s case as a unresolved murder? (click here to go to their website)
Tracing the origins of misinformation on the internet reveals the following:
the sectioned corpse of Murielle Guay, 26, was found wrapped in trash bags at Mille-Isles, 50 miles northwest of Montreal. Police were initially reluctant to connect the crimes, noting that Trudel’s killer displayed “a certain amount of expertise,” while victim Guay was “really butchered,” but their doubts were resolved by April 29, with murder warrants issued in the name of William Christenson.
On February 25, 2012 the website Coolopolis reported that:
“[Christensen] also murdered Murielle Guay, 26, of Laval, whose body was found dismembered in Mille Iles, northwest of Montreal, decapitated as well, but with less skill, leading authorities to initially believe that it was not the same killer.”
Finally, in his book, Cold North Killers, published March 3, 2013 Lee Mellor writes:
So when did conjecture become internet fact? Difficult to say. When questioned, my friend and colleague Kristian Gravenor – who runs Coolopolis – stated that he was simply reporting what had been reported.
Fact from Fiction
It’s hard not to hold Christensen as a viable suspect. He was released in error from Montreal’s Bordeaux prison just two weeks prior to the murders of Trudel and Guay. Bordeaux is within striking distance from the Bar América on St-Laurent Street in Montreal, where Guay was last seen on April 17, 1982 (contrary to internet reports, Guay was 19, not 24 or 26).
I cannot find any news item that definitely links Christensen to the murder of Guay. A 1984 La Presse article state he was “thought to be responsible” for Guay’s murder. In 1985 La Presse reported that Christensen was “suspected” of Guay’s murder. In 1989 Le Nouvelliste merely states he was being “investigated” in her murder.
The Washington Post reported in 1985 that Christensen was “charged in the mutilation deaths of two women in Canada.”, but apparently those charges – at least in the case of Guay – were dropped. Currently Christensen is serving time in the United States for a Pennsylvania murder.
So who killed Murielle Guay? It’s curious. From memory I recall one other case of dismemberment: the 1989 case of Valerie Dalpe.
It’s also curious – and frustrating – why the Quebec media doesn’t show a greater interest in these matters. The Surete du Quebec have posted new information on over 60 cases. I’m sure they would welcome the attention, investigation, publication and support of media partners.
Apparently the Surete du Quebec no longer consider William Dean Christensen as a suspect, and are looking for answers.