Nyleen Kay Marshall (4) was having a picnic with her family in the Elkhorn Mountains, in Montana, when she disappeared. It was June 25th, 1983, and was last seen around 4 pm, while playing with some other kids. Right before she vanished, a man in a purple jogging suit was seen in the area, but it’s impossible to say if he’s connected to the disappearance.
Nyleen has never been found, but the story that followed her vanishing is a harrowing and surprising one. Three years after she went missing, a letter arrived from Wisconsin from a man who claimed that Nyleen was with him –he referred to her as Kay– and that she was loved and being taken care of. He said he had a good income and was homeschooling the girl. This person also shared details about the case that hadn’t been made public.
Also, investigators received several anonymous calls from a man claiming to be the one who had sent the letter, and they were traced to different public phones in Edgerton, Wisconsin. They claimed the content of the letter and the calls indicated possible sexual abuse against Nyleen, but they haven’t shared why. The person who contacted them has never been identified.
In 1990, Unsolved Mysteries did an episode about Nyleen’s case and someone called saying they believed one of their schoolmates was her. However, it turned out the girl was Monica Bonilla, another missing child that had been abducted by her father in 1982. She was reunited with her mother.
In another tragic twist, in 1995, Nyleen’s mother Nancy was raped and murdered in Mexico.
These sketches were drawn by Owen Burnham of a globster known as Gambo. The 15 year old measured the strange creature on
June 12, 1983, when he found it on a beach in Islamic Republic of The Gambia. It measured to be “15 - 16 feet long”. While some believed the creature to be a dolphin, it had two nostrils at the tip of its snout, which dolphins do not. The body was not DNA tested as Burnham claims he did not think to take samples until he realized he could not identify the creature in any books.
On February 5th, 2002, Robert ‘Willy’ Pickton, a pig farmer in the community of Port Coquitlam, 22 miles outside Vancouver, British Columbia, was arrested and formally charged with 11 counts of first degree murder. Several months later an additional four charges were added, bringing the total to 15. What the ensuing investigation revealed closely resembled scenes from the movie Hannibal. Pickton allegedly murdered his victims, dismembered them, and fed them to his pigs, which he frequently bought and sold at local auctions.
Known as somewhat of a loner, Pickton preyed on his victims in Vancouver’s Downtown East Side; an area known nationally as one of the seediest strips in the entire country. Frequented by heroin users, dealers and prostitutes it became an ideal trolling ground for Pickton. Over the course of nearly two decades, beginning in the early 1980′s, there had been a total of 61 women reported missing. Rebecca Guno, who was last seen on June 22nd, 1983, would become the first of many missing women. This case paralleled the Green River Murders in the Seattle, Washington, area, where nearly 50 prostitutes had vanished.
Pickton and his farm were apparently well known to those who frequented his streets. Robert and his brother David Francis frequently hosted parties at their registered Canadian social society called the ‘Piggy Palace Good Times Society.’ According to neighbours the parties went well into the evening and were often attended by prostitutes solicited from downtown Vancouver. However, many of the women avoided the farm not only because of the distance involved in getting back to the city but also because in 1997 ‘Willy’ was charged with attempted murder when one of his would-be victims escaped after receiving several stab wounds. Although it is unclear as to why, Pickton was never convicted of this charge.
Over the course of several years and more disappearances, a pattern began to emerge. However, it wasn’t until 1988, when a concerned social activist group demanded a formal investigation, that it was suggested that Vancouver might have a serial murderer on its hands. Whether this laxness on the part of the police is a reflection of an attitude viewing those who work the streets as being expendable, or indicative of he complexity of solving murder cases when there is little or relationship to the victims, is open to debate. What is clear is that there was a substantial amount of time where ‘Willy’ hunted without detection.
Due to a media ban by the court little is known about Robert Pickton or his farm activities. Ongoing evidence collection took place on the Pickton farm since the time of his arrest. Over 50 anthropologists and many police painstakingly searched the farm for remains of more victims. Unfortunately, efforts to connect Pickton were complicated by the nature of the crimes. According to experts, pigs will devour human remains in an attempt to get to the bone marrow. This insatiable appetite of pigs coupled with the nature of pig farming (ie., constant feeding, trading and slaughtering) slowed the investigation. Given the circumstances in which Pickton allegedly carried out his crimes we may never know how many actual victims he killed.