Ottawa police link serial predator to 2008 slaying
Police alerted Ottawa sex workers Friday that a man might be preying on the city's prostitutes.
In the past 21 years, there have been six sex workers killed on Ottawa streets and police believe the same person killed more than one of them due to similarities in the pattern of violence.
"We've identified the pattern. More than one of the homicides implicates an individual," said Charles Bordeleau, Ottawa's deputy police chief.
Bordeleau would not identify any of the predator's victims, but CBC News confirmed police are examining a possible link to the slaying of Pamela Kosmack.
Kosmack, 39, who was not believed to be a sex worker, was found beaten to death in June 2008 on a bike path near Lincoln Fields transit station. Police recently said they would offer up to $50,000 for information that would help solve the three-year-old homicide of the woman who struggled with addictions.
There are no suspects in the investigation, police said, but recent physical assaults on prostitutes are included in the file.
"They don't trust police, they fear being criminalized," said Emily Simons, who is with the group POWER, Prostitutes of Ottawa/Gatineau Work, Educate and Resist.
Simons said advice such as working in well-lit areas, working in groups and taking more time to assess clients can make workers more vulnerable to arrest. That is why she wants prostitution sweeps to be postponed during the current investigation.
Bordeleau admitted that is a possibility.