British Columbia

'Highway of Tears' tips flow from U.S. TV show

An American TV show featuring killings and disappearances on B.C.'s 'Highway of Tears' is generating some new tips for the RCMP.

'48 Hours' broadcasts story on 18 slayings and disappearances

British Columbia's 'Highway of Tears' actually comprises three northern roadways - 16, 97 and 5. (Betsy Trumpener/CBC)

An American TV show featuring B.C.'s "Highway of Tears" is generating some new tips for the RCMP.

Since the 48 Hours program aired on Saturday, police have received about 30 new tips, said  Staff Sgt. Wayne Clary, who leads the task force investigating the 18 missing and slain women cases connected to the so-called Highway of Tears.

Clary said the response is less than the 350 tips they received after the RCMP linked one of the murders to deceased U.S. convict Bobby Jack Fowler earlier this fall. 

But Clary said he hopes the show will turn out new tips about Fowler south of the border.

"We know that [Fowler] was up in the Prince George area in 1974, but, you know, our investigation so far indicates that he spent most of the time in the States. I'm hoping they get some help in some of their unsolved files."

Clary said none of the tips yet have turned into significant leads about Fowler and his possible connection to other Highway of Tears cases.

The term at one time referred solely to slayings or disappearances on Highway 16 but has been expanded to include Highway 97 and Highway 5 in northern B.C.

He says on top of the tips the RCMP received directly, producers at 48 Hours also got about 10 tips.

Clary plans to contact his law enforcement counterparts in the U.S. to find out if they received any new information.

With files from the CBC's Marissa Harvey