There are names that should be as recognizable in Canada as that of Jack the Ripper, and one of those is Helen Betty Osborne. For one thing, she belonged to this land, as opposed to that murderer, who was from a country some 6000 km away. Also, her story marked Canadian life and is only 45 years old as opposed to the Ripper’s 135 years. Furthermore, viciously killing at least five women should not be a claim to fame. Osborne, on the other hand, should be remembered. She was one of us, and she was stolen from us in what was one of Canada’s darkest hours. What happened to her marked Canadian history. The 19-year-old from Manitoba was abducted off the street by four men who forced her into a car on Nov. 13, 1971. Then she was sexually assaulted and stabbed with a screwdriver more than 50 times, before being left in the bush outside The Pas, Manitoba. Months later the RCMP concluded that four men, Dwayne Archie Johnston, James Robert Paul Houghton, Lee Scott Colgan and Norman Bernard Manger, were involved in Helen Betty Osborne’s death. Yet it was not until December 1987 that Dwayne Johnston was convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced to life imprisonment. He was released after serving 10 years of that sentence. James Houghton was acquitted. Lee Colgan received immunity from prosecution in return for testifying against Houghton and Johnston. He was never punished. Norman Manger was never charged.
 Manitoba Government, The Death of Helen Betty Osborne, The Aboriginal Justice Implementation Commission, viewed Sept. 26, 2016
© 2016 Alline Cormier