Victoria News editor Pamela Roth’s book Deadmonton profiles solved and unsolved murder cases in Edmonton.

News editor pens true crime book about murder

Working as a crime reporter at the Edmonton Sun, Pamela Roth's desk was often littered with old articles.

Working as a crime reporter at the Edmonton Sun, Pamela Roth’s desk was often littered with old articles containing the highlighted names of homicide victims and their families.

At the time, Roth was researching more than a dozen lesser known unsolved murder cases in Edmonton, as part of a cold case series for the newspaper.

In both 2005 and 2011, the city was dubbed the murder capital of Canada, recording 39 and 48 homicides, respectively. This spurred a seven-part cold case series, which involved Roth tracking down former and current homicide detectives, as well as victims’ family members and asking them to relive the most tragic event in their lives.

Their stories were often sad, emotional and powerful, and would become the inspiration for Roth’s first book, Deadmonton.

“Some of them (the victim’s families) are still struggling to move on even after 10 or 20 years. I could feel their pain, I cried with them sometimes too,” said Roth, who left her job at the Sun in 2015 to become the editor of the Victoria News.

“You always think time heals and they’ll get over it, but they don’t . . . I just want people to get a different perspective on what it’s like for the victims’ families and what they have to go through once the stories disappear from the headlines.”

Deadmonton profiles more than two dozen unsolved murder cases in Edmonton, told from the perspective of victims’ families and looks at the detectives working to bring justice to the victims.

One chapter of the book details the case of 17-year-old Lisa Kopf, who moved to Edmonton from Victoria with her mother and sister after their father was killed by a drunk driver.

In August of 1998, Kopf went to a party with her sister in Edmonton, but only one of them came home.

Her body was found the next morning face-down in a slough on the outskirts of the city. She had been suffocated to death in the mud. Her killer is still at large.

According to Roth, it’s the cases of regular people who were killed by strangers  that are the most chilling.

“There’s a lot of gangsters that were killed or sex trade workers. They were living a high-risk lifestyle to begin with,” she said.

“Most of these people I focus on were just minding their own business, going to work, or going out with their friends and suddenly they run into the wrong person at the wrong time and they are killed. That’s the kind of stuff that’s really scary.”

Roth hopes her book, which also includes chapters about some of the city’s most notorious solved murders, missing people, and a profile on a police officer battling post-traumatic stress disorder, will thrust some of Edmonton’s more than 30 unsolved murder cases back into the spotlight to jog people’s memory that could potentially lead to a break in the cases.

“One key thing I found was that they (the families) don’t want their stories to be forgotten. They want them to stay in the news because a lot of the cases are stalled and one single tip to police could push the case forward again,” said Roth, adding her police sources have said many of the cases are close to being solved.

Deadmonton can be found at Munro’s in Victoria and online.

 

 

Just Posted

Hundreds rally in support of horse carriages outside Victoria City Hall

Crowd angry with Coun. Ben Isitt’s motion to ban local horse carriage industry

Rifflandia Festival cancelled for 2019

Early Bird tickets can be refunded at point of purchase, or held and redeemed for 2020

Five-month bridge closure poses early impacts on drivers during rush hour

Construction began Tuesday on the crossing commonly known as the Bay Street bridge

New virgin queen headlines ‘Bee Day’ at Saanich sanctuary

Taste bee spit and check out the hive at Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary this Sunday

Mom who lost son to brain tumour in March joins the 24th annual Brain Tumour Walk

The Brain Tumour Walk takes place at the University of Victoria on Sunday, May 26

VIDEO: Canadian, U.S. Coast guards run oil spill response drills

20 vessels were on the water to practice international response methods

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of May 21

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Were you satisfied with the Game of Thrones series finale?

Millions gathered in front of their televisions Sunday night to watch the… Continue reading

Raptors beat Bucks 105-99 to move within 1 game of NBA Finals

Leonard scores 35 as Toronto takes 3-2 series lead over Milwaukee

B.C. Supreme Court dismisses review around ferry workers’ right to strike

B.C. Ferry and Marine Workers’ Union collective agreement expires November 2020

Young Victoria distillery earns prestigious Scotch awards

Scottish influences range from techniques to ‘kilted tours’ at award-winning business

Municipalities protest after B.C. declares marijuana crops ‘farm use’

UBCM president seeks answers in letter to John Horgan government

CMHC defends mortgage stress test changes amid calls for loosening rules

Uninsured borrowers must now show they could service their mortgage if rates rose two per cent

Brewpub offers ‘boat valet’ for paddlers during Surfrider celebration tonight

Free ‘Surf Formal’ evening features a local art auction, door prizes, live music

Most Read