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

Second puppy killed by poisonous mushrooms in Victoria

Springer spaniel puppy died after consuming mushrooms in Fairfield neighbourhood

Western Speedway racing legend ‘The Flying Plumber’ turns 98

Dave Cooper recalls car crashes, his first win, and more

Esquimalt arson trial hears of feud with tenant before the fire

Wei Li charged with intentionally setting fire to a duplex he owned on Oct. 3, 2017

Driver charged in Central Saanich pedestrian’s death appears in court

Victim Kim Ward, 51, died on scene at the August 2018 crash

Nuisance tree will remain on perimeter of Fireman’s Park

Council re-affirm pledge to protecting healthy tree canopy

WATCH: Greater Victoria’s top stories of the day

A round-up of the day’s top stories

POLL: Do you think the day of the federal election should be a statutory holiday?

Increasing voter turnout has long been a goal of officials across the… Continue reading

Woman, 24, faces life-altering injuries after being dragged 4 blocks by vehicle in Vancouver

A gofundme account says the woman will have to undergo multiple complex surgeries

Fatal overdoses down by 33% in B.C., but carfentanil deaths continue to spike

Carfentanil, an illicit drug more powerful than fentanyl, causing more deaths than ever

Two RCMP vehicles vandalized in Duncan over long weekend

Local Mounties asking for help in finding culprits

A year after pot legalization in Canada, it’s a slow roll

It’s one year into Canada’s experiment in legal marijuana, and hundreds of legal pot shops have opened

ELECTION 2019: Climate strikes push environment to top of mind for federal leaders

Black Press Media presents a three-part series on three big election issues

Most Read