The Current

Decades-old cold case investigated by David Ridgen finally closed

After more than a decade old, a cold case is finally closed. David Ridgen first brought us the story of the murder of Christine Harron back in 2012. Now the man accused of her death has been sentenced to life in prison. The Current brings you an update.
In 2012, David Ridgen completed a three-year investigation into the murder of Christine Harron - a cold case that now is finally closed. (David Ridgen/CBC)

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A harrowing, decades-old cold case finally concluded with a guilty plea. 

On Tuesday, Anthony Edward Ringel was sentenced to life in prison for the murder of Christine Harron.

It was May 18, 1993, when 15-year-old Christine Harron went missing from her neighbourhood in Hanover, Ont. She had stayed home in the morning, but headed to school around lunch after a truancy officer called. Her mother, who had been at home with Christine at the time, never saw her again. 
Christine Harron's body has never been found. (David Ridgen/CBC)

No trace of her has ever been found.

In August 2004, Anthony Ringel confessed to Christine's murder and police charged him with murder but in 2006, a judge dismissed charges due to key evidence that was deemed inadmissible.

Ringel remained free.

Back in 2011, award-winning filmmaker and host of CBC's popular true crime podcast Someone Knows Something, David Ridgen investigated this cold case.

Ridgen produced a documentary Confession to Murder where he talked to Anthony Ringel, the only time he ever spoke publicly about the case. At that time, Ringel told Ridgen he did not kill Christine Harron.

"It was weird," Ridgen said, describing the encounter to The Current's guest host Piya Chattopadhyay. 

"You're trying to weigh what they're saying. Are they really telling you what they think they're telling you? Are they lying?"

Mary Ann Russwurm stands outside the Hanover, Ont., house she shared with her daughter, Christine Harron, before the teenager disappeared in 1993. (David Ridgen/CBC)

After Ridgen's documentary aired on The Current in 2012, police launched a second investigation. This time they were able to elicit two confessions from Ringel, and he was re-arrested in 2013.

As part of the plea deal, the charge went from first degree murder to second degree murder. Ringel is eligible for parole in 12 years and gets credit for six years for time already served,.

Listen to an update and original documentary by David Ridgen at the top of this web post.

The Current's documentary editor is Joan Webber.