Mystery feet identified

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Vintage plastic foot charms, via The Girl Can't Help It

As regular BB readers know, Mark and I have been fascinated by the dozen or so mystery feet that have washed up on the shores of Canada's Pacific coast over the last few years. Another pair has been identified through DNA matching. Apparently, they belonged to a woman who committed suicide in 2004 by jumping off a bridge in New Westminster, British Columbia. From ABC News:

Canadian authorities have said that the eight feet in their province are most likely the result of suicide bridge-jumpers in the area’s many water-ways. After being submerged in water and strong currents, bodies begin to deteriorate, leading to the separation of foot from leg.

Police say the buoyant, lightweight sneakers found on most of the feet account for the recent trend: as the feet separate from the body, the sneakers carry them up to the surface, where they then wash ashore. Heavier sneakers and shoes sink to the bottom.

The BC Coroners Service has now positively identified six of the feet as belonging to four individuals.

"Feet That Washed Ashore in Northwest Identified"

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  1. At first I read that as “the dozen or so mystery feet …  belonged to a woman who committed suicide in 2004” 

  2. The part of me that had always visualized some Hollywood-esque style morbid crime ring scenario is now deeply disappointed. Thanks for dashing that. We still have alligators in the sewers right??? 

  3. Oh – I got a little caught up in this! Let me tell you a story:

    My dad died in 2010. One of the items we found cleaning out his house was an old joke foot – the kind that had a pant leg attached to it and you would hang it out of your car trunk. *Har har har* My Dad had his in an old Dutch shoe, the doll hair on the toes and the pant leg had come off long since. 

    I threw it in the back of the truck (new to me – and I didn’t have a lot of experience driving at this point.) and pretty much forgot about the fake foot as we drove back from Alberta to the the west coast. The foot stayed back there, wedged in between the pop-up panels of lock-box in the back, visible to pretty much everyone. 

    I thought nothing of this until one day,months later, I received a call from my step-brother – a lawyer  -saying the police had called him asking about the truck. I said I would call them in the morning – but wasn’t given the option; there was a knock on my apartment door at 2am.

    A quiet lady cop in uniform and a detective in street cloths had gained access to the building and wanted to see the truck. No you cannot come in. They told me my truck was involved in a hit and run. Well my friends, this frightened me since I pretty much had only driven motorbikes and  this was the one day I decided to leave the truck at the office. But they had to see it so off they went to my place of employment – leaving me to worry that I had possibly hit some one/thing with the truck and had not even noticed. That worried me a fair bit – that and the squad cars (plural) they left outside to watch us.

    Long story short, they lied. 

    They had had reports of a truck with a severed foot and spent a lot of police man-hours tracking me down across two provinces. And when they found my truck and found it was plastic – boy where they pissed! 

    They accused me of doing this intentionally. My wife just about lost it because they started getting all complainy about the man-hours I had wasted, threatening my with this charge and that.  Bla bla bla. 

    I think they were mad because they thought they had caught themselves a serial-killer and would all get promotions. 

    So in the end, I had a good laugh – was glad to see I was driving just fine and not hitting anything – without realizing it and my wife’s somewhat justified distrust of the police acan continue.

    Look at the havoc suicides can cause – don’t do that.

  4. “The BC Coroners Service has now positively identified six of the feet as belonging to four individuals.”

    So… Six Feet Over?

  5. I will pay to put signs up on bridges reminding jumpers to remove footwear, lest my dreams continue to be haunted by images of fish mouths nibbling on gray/black shins in the cold and dark of Pacific Northwestern waters.

  6. As much as I usually appreciate the irony — if I’m using that word properly — of BoingBoing and hate to be That Guy without a Sense of Humor, including the photo of the toy, novelty feet with this story is wrong. We’re talking about people who’ve committed suicide after all.

    1. I don’t want to be that totally callous guy, but If these people wished not to be the object of undue public attention, perhaps their choice of final destination ought to have been more cautiously chosen.

      1. I don’t want to be that totally callous guy, but If these people wished not to be the object of undue public attention, perhaps their choice of final destination ought to have been more cautiously chosen.

        Wash my foot up on shore once, shame on you; wash my foot up on shore twice, shame on me?

  7. Suicide! That’s so terrible and sad. There has to be a better, more humane way to get severed feet to wash up on the beach.

  8. I cannot believe that forensics team could actually make the correct pairs out of feet they found on a beach. Good work, guys! I can’t even do that with my socks, and they’re all in the same drawer.

  9. I would have been MUCH more interesting if it had read: “The BC Coroners Service has now positively identified four of the feet as belonging to six individuals.”

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