Calgary Herald

Family hopes for clues in Turner Valley cold case

- SHERRI ZICKEFOOSE SZICKEFOOS­E@CALGARYHER­ALD.COM TWITTER: @GIRLREPORT­ER

Fifteen years is a long time to keep a deadly secret.

But sooner or later, the truth will come out, say Mounties investigat­ing the still unsolved double murder of a Turner Valley woman and her young daughter.

Police are confident another person is holding the answer to who killed Jane Johnson and her eight-year-old daughter Cathryn in their Turner Valley home on Sept. 3, 1996.

In 2007, police first revealed their interest in someone who moved away to Parksville, B.C., 150 kilometres northwest of Victoria.

“Investigat­ors firmly believe that there are persons who know the final details which, if they came forward, would be enough to lay a charge and provide some closure to the family and friends of this 15-year-old crime,” said Sgt. Patrick Webb.

Informatio­n-wanted posters were plastered at liquor stores and around the B.C. area in hopes of raising some leads.

“We want them to realize this is not going to go away,” said Webb.

Firefighte­rs found Jane, 36, who was five months pregnant, and Cathryn dead in their green and white bungalow sitting near the Turner Valley Golf Club.

It was originally thought the mother and daughter had died from smoke inhalation, but an autopsy revealed Jane — a daughter of the Cartwright­s, a well-known Alberta ranching family — had been stabbed to death.

Police have never released how the little girl died, nor have they said how or where in the house the fire started.

Police say the home was deliberate­ly set on fire.

Robbery and sex have been ruled out as motives.

Johnson’s fiance, Henry Reichert, was also a person of interest during the investigat­ion. He has never been charged. Despite extensive media coverage in Alberta, thousands of manpower hours spent circulatin­g posters, checking some 500 tips and enlisting the help of criminal profiling experts in both Quantico, Va., and Ottawa, the case remains unsolved.

A $100,000 reward for informatio­n leading to the arrest and conviction of the killer sits untouched.

Cathryn’s father Sam Johnson, who is not a suspect, says his daughter would have no doubt carried on as a barrel racer.

“She’d have been 23. I know I’d be going to lots of rodeos,” he said.

“Nobody has forgotten it here. Lots of times, people come up to me and ask if anything is new.

“It reminds me that people are legitimate­ly interested in getting this solved.”

With the passing of another anniversar­y of the killings, Johnson says he’s holding out hope.

“I hope the next time we talk, it’s to celebrate. We’ll see.”

 ?? Calgary Herald Archive ?? RCMP sift through a Turner Valley house seeking clues to the murders of Jane Johnson and her daughter Cathryn on this date in 1996. Investigat­ors vow the 15-year-old case will eventually be solved.
Calgary Herald Archive RCMP sift through a Turner Valley house seeking clues to the murders of Jane Johnson and her daughter Cathryn on this date in 1996. Investigat­ors vow the 15-year-old case will eventually be solved.
 ??  ?? Henry Reichert
Henry Reichert

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada