Children’s tartan jackets. 1940’s. Case evidence. #graphicnovel #Vancouver @Kickstarter @annatfabulous


He brushed the leaves aside and uncovered the most baffling double murder Vancouver has ever had.

– The Vancouver Province April 15, 1953

The case itself centres around two unknown children, two young brothers who deserve to be identified.

At the scene, August 27, 2011

The April 15, 1953 edition of The Vancouver Sun ran an article on the crime entitled ‘Babes in the Woods’ Slain by Mother- Police Reconstruct Deaths of Boy, Girl Found in Park.  As DNA results show the victims were indeed two boys, the “girl” in the article pertains to the larger skeleton and the “boy” pertains to the smaller skeleton.

“Reproduction of clothing probably worn by child murdered in Stanley Park.” Image appears in the Annual Report of the Police Department, City of Vancouver, British Columbia, for the year ending December 31st, 1953. W.H. Mulligan- Chief Constable. Retrieved August 27, 2003 from City Archives, Vancouver B.C.

The clothing [not including aviator helmets (I’ll discuss those next time)] was described as follows:

The [smaller skeleton’s] consisted of a red Fraser Tartan jacket of Canadian manufacture, cream or fawn corduroy trousers and scamper-type shoes with plantation rubber soles.  The [larger skeleton’s] clothing was deteriorated almost completely.  [His] underpants, however, were believed to be many sizes too large, the slack taken up with a safety pin which was found along with a piece of elastic. [His] shoes were identical but half inch longer than the [younger] boy’s and both bodies were encircled with black leather belts.  Peculiarities in the weave of the jacket worn by the [smaller child] by identified it ad the Red Fraser tartan.

In The Vancouver Sun January 14, 1984:

From bits of cloth found around the bodies, police re-created clothing likely worn by the victims. It was no easy task.  A small piece of soiled, rotted cloth was carefully washed and examined under microscope, revealing traces of red.  Rayon threads in the material had completely disintegrated, leaving four treads missing.

With help from the yard-goods manager of a Vancouver department store, the cloth was found to be of red Fraser tartan, a jacket of Canadian cloth.  The jacket’s waistband had three bands of elastic, while a manufacturer would have used on thick band instead of employing three separate stitching operations.

But the quality of the cloth was too cheap to have been used in a tailor-made jacket.  That meant it was likely produced at home out of an old piece of cloth, or an alteration to another jacket picked up second-hand or at a rummage sale…

Evidence Item 17: Small manila envelope with pencil notes: Paris Winley Mills Co. Ltd.; Paris Ontario; RP Roberts- 601 Bute St.; Mr. Hawe- textile sales 16-T’s- Artex Woolers, Kerr 28/3, 2134 W41; Canadian Construction Cloth; 18/36 Strawn to 1”; regent mills; black pattern- Deteriorated tartan cloth appears green/black/beige

Red Fraser Tartan, retrieved September 20, 2006 from

The following ad appeared in The Vancouver Sun, November 5, 1947 indicating a children’s plaid jacket:

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Beaver Lake, Stanley Park, BC. August 27, 2011

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