Sixty autumns have passed since Noreen Greenley went bowling on a Saturday night and then vanished.
The mysterious disappearance of the popular 13-year-old Bowmanville girl on September 14, 1963 is the oldest unsolved case in Durham Region.
On Thursday, Durham Regional Police investigators will hold a news conference in Bowmanville and promise an update on the Greenley case. This raises a number of questions.
First of all, while it’s the 60th anniversary of Noreen’s disappearance, it’s hard to imagine what the updates might look like. Most of the witnesses – and the likely perpetrator – are probably dead by now.
But there are new technologies, and maybe that’s where the answers lie.
A law enforcement source said this The Toronto Sun that Durham detectives examined revolutionary genetic genealogy to provide answers in the Greenley investigation.
“This could be the magic bullet,” said the source, who requested anonymity. “They have been working with genetic genealogy in this case and may finally have the answers they have been searching for over decades of research.”
Genetic genealogy compares DNA submitted to sites like Ancestry.com and 23andMe with DNA submitted by police officers to large labs. Even if the name of the murderer is not clearly known, investigators can still place it in his family.
The Toronto Police Cold Case Unit used it to solve the murder of Christine Jessop and the murders of Susan Tice and Erin Gilmour.
In the Tice and Gilmour cases, finding defendant Joseph George Sutherland, 61, of Moosonee, would have been like looking for a needle in a haystack. It probably would never have been solved,” a detective said Sun by the time.
A three-year grant from the Ministry of the Attorney General also helped. Each year, 15 cases from Toronto and 15 from the rest of the province are submitted for DNA technology testing.
The other possibility in Noreen’s investigation is a deathbed confession, or a witness who has come forward with information that he may not have been able to reveal for the last 60 years because he was too afraid to do so. Unfortunately, investigators have already gone down this route before.
After bowling that fateful evening, Noreen wanted to take the bus home at 11:30 p.m. But she never got on the bus.
A witness told police at the time that he saw a young girl get into a small blue car from which Noreen was believed to have disappeared at about the same time and location. The car may have been a 1957-59 Ford Prefect.
What happened on September 14, 1963 remains a mystery. However, it is almost certain that she was kidnapped by an apex predator. The disappearance devastated the happy Greenley family.
“My grandmother couldn’t handle it and started drinking,” Noreen’s niece Kelly Greenley said Sun in 2018 for its 55th anniversary. “It just tore everyone apart.”
But the family never gave up hope that Noreen would come home – or at least one day find the answers that had eluded them.
Maybe that day is just around the corner.
Too often we think of the past as a simpler, more civilized time without many of the horrors of modern life. Sometimes that’s true, sometimes not.
Four years after Noreen’s disappearance, ten-year-old Marianne Schuett, who lived in a hamlet on the outskirts of Burlington, also disappeared. That was April 27, 1967. She was never seen again.
Investigators believe she stopped in a European car – probably a Renault – to talk to a man and then left.
She was only 360 meters from home. She was never seen again either.
It seems that monsters are eternal.
https://torontosun.com/news/local-news/hunter-finally-answers-in-1963-disappearance-of-bowmanville-girl-13 HUNTER: Finally answers to 13-year-old Bowmanville girl’s disappearance in 1963?