- Gory Details
How science solved the mystery of feet washing ashore in the Pacific Northwest
The unsettling discoveries along the Salish Sea prompted talk of serial killers, aliens, and psychics. The truth is even more unexpected.
This story is an excerpt from the book Gory Details: Adventures From the Dark Side of Science by Erika Engelhaupt.
On August 20, 2007, a 12-year-old girl spotted a lone blue-and-white running shoe—a men’s size 12—on a beach of British Columbia’s Jedediah Island. She looked inside, and found a sock. She looked inside the sock, and found a foot.
Six days later on nearby Gabriola Island, a Vancouver couple enjoying a seaside hike came across a black-and-white Reebok. Inside it was another decomposing foot. It, too, was a men’s size 12. The two feet clearly didn’t belong to the same person; not only were the shoes themselves different, but they both contained right feet.
Police were stunned. “Two being found in such a short period of time is quite suspicious,” Garry Cox of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police told the Vancouver Sun.