posts of articles on Madison Scott from the the news media

18 Months Since Madison Scott’s Disappearance (from HQ Prince George)

Original article at HQ Prince George

Monday, December 3, 2012 – 4:52 PM
By Jeff Sargeant
Prince George, BC

It’s now been a year and six months since the disappearance of Madison Scott from a party at Hogsback Lake.

The 20-year old Vanderhoof woman has not been seen since May 28th, 2011, and there have been no solid leads on her whereabouts despite a massive campaign for tips.

RCMP Sergeant Rob Vermeulen says the case remains very much active.

“The investigation into the disappearance of Madison Scott remains ongoing. There’s been a lot of publicity on the case, which is great, including international publicity. We continue to follow up on any tips that do come in.”

Vermeulen says even though it’s been 18 months since Scott was last seen, every tip is incredibly important for investigators.

He says police should be made aware of anything remotely related to the case and urges the public to call Vanderhoof RCMP, your local detachment, or Crime Stoppers.

American TV turns up volume on “Tears” cases (from Prince George Citizen)

From the November 20th Prince George Citizen:

A story on the Highway of Tears by popular U.S. crime show 48 Hours has generated a few tips, says the leader of an RCMP task force investigating the cases of 18 missing and murdered women. The response has fallen well short of the reaction generated when RCMP announced in September that DNA evidence had linked an American man, Bobby Jack Fowler, to one murder. He is also believed to be behind two others committed in the 1970s, said Staff Sgt. Wayne Clary. However, Clary said he has not yet checked with a phone line set up in the United States for similar
tips since the episode was aired Saturday night. Fowler,  who died in 2006 in an Oregon prison, was prominently depicted in the show. “what I’m going to do is I’m going to let the dust settle a little bit and I’m going to call my Oregon counterpart and see if anything kind of shook out there,” Clary said Monday.

Although the Highway of Tears is generally regarded as the stretch of Highway 16, also known as the Yellowhead Highway, from Prince George to Prince Rupert, 720 kilometres to the west, Fowler’s alleged victims were found near Clearwater and Lac La Hache and in Kamloops.

Clary’s task force, Project E-Pana, is investigating 18 cases of women determined to have gone missing or murdered within a mile of Highways 16, 97 and 5, between Valemount and Merritt. In 2009 The Vancouver Sun expanded the criteria beyond the one mile limit to come up with 31 cases. In addition to the E-Pana investigations, the episode also looked at the May 2011 disappearance of Madison Scott from the Hogsback Lake campground, 25 kilometres southeast of Vanderhoof, and the four women for which Cody Alan Legebokoff is now facing murder charges. “There was a lot to chew off in hour,” Clary said. There is a lot more detail, from my perspective, that could have been put into it and particularly from our investigation, E-Pana, but then again I don’t produce these shows and I’m sure they have to pick and choose what goes in there. But what came out of it was that the police are actively investigating, that we care, and we still obviously want to solve not only the Fowler cases but anyone of them that we’re investigating.”

Clary also said the show did help highlight dangers women murder can face not just in B.C. but in North America and around the world, particularly if they’re hitchhiking.

One aspect of the show did not sit well with the Scott family namely a claim that Fribjon Bjornson, the victim of a murder in February in Fort St. James, was involved in Madison Scott’s disappearance. “We want to clarify that he was not responsible for her disappearance or involved in a relationship with Maddy when she went missing,” the family said in a posting on “There is no connection between the two cases.”

48 Hours also relied on two year-old statistics, when the city was ranked seventh for violent crime, to describe Prince George as “crime riddled.” The picture has since improved due mostly to a drastic drop in the murder rate, although the city was still ranked 14th out of 239 communities in 2011 according to Statistics Canada.

Clary, meanwhile, noted they neglected to air the phone number for the E-Pana tip line: 1-877-543-4822.

48 Hours hurts city’s reputation (from Prince George Citizen Newspaper)

From the Prince George Citizen newspaper editorial from Monday November 19th 2012.

 The crime-ridden city of Prince George.

That’s how the CBS newsmagazine show 48 Hours introduced its viewers to this city Saturday night, during its hour-long feature on the so-called Highway of Tears and the murder of area women over the last 40-plus year.

No context, no explanation, nothing. Just a label

That description also explains some of the sketchy reporting in the program. The program featured a summary of every-thing everyone following the case through coverage in this newspaper and other B.C. media already knew while ignoring some things that didn’t fit the narrative.

In their story, Highway 16 is the only roadway that defines the Highway of Tears so when the 48 Hours story got to the Bobby Jack Fowler “development, it glossed over the fact that the one confirmed Fowler victim and the two other women he may have killed in the same time I period, were killed on Highway 97 between here and Kamloops. To then ask viewers to talk to the reporter through social media and share details about the case when the program couldn’t even bother to line up the facts seems a little two-faced.

Not only has the link with Fribjon Bjornson and Madison Scott been completely discredited by investigators (so why bring it up on the show except to insinuate Vanderhoof residents think the cops are wrong about that with no evidence to back up that assertion?) 48 Hours neglected to mention last month’s development in the Bjornson case. A story making the rounds in Fort St. James is that Bjornson, with several thousand dollars of cash in his pocket after cashing a pay cheque, gave someone a ride to a house party on the Nak’azdli reserve, where he was attacked, killed and dismembered. His body parts were dumped into Stuart Lake, the story goes, but somebody left Bjorn’s head in the house, which police searched after finding Bjornson’s truck nearby. To be fair, the program did feature heartfelt interviews with the parents of Maddy Scott and the father of Loren Dawn Leslie, 15, one of the alleged victims of Cody Legebokoff. Except for the cheap shot about the link between Bjornson and Scott, RCMP investigators were portrayed as smart, diligent and passionate.

Through some break taking aerials shots and some clever camera work, the region looked gorgeous but also somewhat sinister, a land of endless opportunity for killers looking to seize vulnerable women and dump their bodies where they would be unlikely to ever be found. Any reporting on the Highway of Tears case is good reporting, in that it keeps the dangers of hitchhiking in Northern B.C. on the top of everyone’s mind. And the show’s emphasis on the Madison Scott case in the first third of the program might trigger someone’s memory, sparking a break in the case, but glossing over some of the complexities and uncertainties of the case isn’t exactly helpful.

While it’s not the job of 48 Hours (or Dateline-NBC, which has also had a producer sniffing ‘around for a feature story) to promote Prince George, summing up Prince George as crime ridden added nothing to the Highway of Tears story. IT was nothing more than a ridiculous, back handed slur, suggesting this is a dangerous part of the world to live and raise a family. If it takes that kind of nonsense to help find Madison Scott or solve the disappearances and murders of some of the other women, we’ll take the “crime-ridden” tag all day long. But it doesn’t mean we have to like it.

– Managing editor Neil Godbout, Prince George Citizen

CBS Documentary Brings Hope to Vanderhoof Family (from HQ Prince George)

November 18th, 2012 at 11:55 am from HQ Prince George – original article

The family of a missing Vanderhoof woman hopes a documentary aired last night on American network CBS will help bring answers to her dissapearance.  The investigative show ’48 Hours’ described the disappearance of Madison Scott in 2011.  The show also pointed to other disappearances of women around Northern BC.  Scott’s cousin Kane Kelly says his family participated in the documentary to continue awareness in their search for Madison.

‘From that show I would like to clarify that there is not connection between Maddy’s disappearance and the Highway of Tears,” says Kelly, “the story also pointed to Fribjon Bjornson as being in a relationship with Maddy and being involved in her disappearance. I also want to clarify that he was not responsible for her disappearance or involved with Maddy when she went missing.”

Bjornson was a 28 year old Vanderhoof man who died earlier this year.  Kelly says the ’48 Hours’ show reached a large audience and that someone has a key piece of evidence to solve her disappearance.  Scott has been missing since a party at Hogsback Lake on May 28th, 2011.

To watch the full documentary: 

“48 Hours” explores the mysteries and murders along the Highway of Tears (from CBS – Page 5)

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Just two months ago — 38 years after Colleen MacMillen disappeared — the Royal Canadian Mounted Police announced a stunning break:

“The break has to do with the 1974 disappearance and murder of 16-year-old Colleen MacMillen,” RCMP inspector Gary Shinkaruk told reporters.

Using new, enhanced DNA technology, the Highway of Tears task force matched male DNA recovered from Colleen’s clothing to Bobby Jack Fowler — a Texas native who worked as roofer in Prince George. Continue reading »

“48 Hours” explores the mysteries and murders along the Highway of Tears (from CBS – Page 4)

page 1, page 2, page 3, page 4, page 5

Cody Legebokoff was under arrest, but that did not solve the Maddy Scott disappearance. He’d been in custody months before Maddy had gone missing. And his arrest also brought little peace to the families of the women killed along the Highway of Tears — the cases that Sgt. Wayne Clary is determined to solve.

More than 750 boxes filled with thousands of documents — every report since the first murder in 1969 — are stored at RCMP headquarters. Continue reading »

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