Man convicted in Sydney convenience store murder dies
Ernest Gordon Strowbridge was serving a life sentence for 'Big Ben's' murder
A man convicted in the murder of a convenience store clerk in Sydney more than 20 years ago has died in Edmonton.
The Correctional Service of Canada says Ernest Gordon Strowbridge, 37, died on Feb. 27 of natural causes in an Edmonton-area hospital.
Strowbridge was serving a life sentence for the killing of Marie Lorraine Dupe.
Dupe was working her first all-night shift at Big Ben's convenience store on March 22, 1992, during one of the worst snowstorms of the winter. Four hours into her shift, a customer found her lying in a pool of blood and gasping for breath. Dupe had been stabbed 40 times.
Her murder was not solved for almost 11 years. Police had few clues.
There were few witnesses and no footprints to follow because of the storm.
In 2001, though, investigators got a break. They had a DNA sample from a cigarette butt found at the murder scene.
When it was entered into a national DNA database, police found a match to Strowbridge, who was living in Ontario at the time.
Investigators mounted an elaborate sting operation, posing as members of a criminal underworld operation.
They invited Strowbridge to join them, and eventually elicited a confession to the murder.
Strowbridge was 17 years old at the time of the murder. He agreed to be tried in adult court to face a mandatory sentence of life in prison.