A marker for Molly

I do not take my work on Molly lightly.  I respect that her story is a tragic one.  I respect that Molly somehow chose me to tell her story.  Eve Lazarus refers to it as a tap on the shoulder– and Molly tapped me on the shoulder on Level 5 at the Vancouver Public Library in late 2003 as I was searching through microfiches.

I also do not take lightly the deeper bonds that formed between my parents and I as we researched and explored together.  Oh, that tap on the shoulder- what a gift!  It led to amazing adventures and brainstorm sessions between the three of us.  Delicious.

Mom and I would often spend time at Mountainview Cemetery with our dog, Tobey, visiting the unmarked grave of Molly and discussing, at length, the ins and outs of Molly’s timeline and its intersects with the Babes in the Wood cold case.  These were joyous times for us.

Even today, as I sit at my kitchen table surrounded by research, I take note of parental influence, reading through old newspaper clippings lovingly put together by my father.


I know mom and dad are still here, on my team in spirit, and that Molly always guides the work (#trust), work that continues to unfold much longer than I anticipated as the story is bigger and more profound by the day.

My mom and I certainly knew that this whole affair would not be complete until Molly’s grave site received a flat marker.  So today, as I review my to-list and notes, I decided to request a quote.

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• Grass marker for Molly O’Dwyer at Mountainview Cemetery, Vancouver BC


Molly Teresa

1924 – 1947

anam cara

I chose the gaelic words for soul-friend- anam cara [souls connect and bond across time and space, through life and beyond into death. source] as, to me, they truly reflect that tap on the shoulder.


UPDATE:  I received a lovely, thoughtful email and quote today from J.B. Newall regarding a 12″ x 20″ x 3″ granite memorial marker.

Some excerpts:

Thank you for contacting us with your inquiry.

12″ x 20″ x 3″ granite memorial marker, in your choice of
granite colour, with up to five lines of inscription…

Cemetery permit/setting fee…

… our designers take the time to create several artful, custom
layouts from which to choose.

Currently, completion time is approximately 4-6 weeks.  We work closely with
our suppliers to ensure the best quality, monument grade granite; all of our
work is guaranteed.

Thank you again for allowing us the honour to provide you with this

Warmest Regards,

T: 604.327.1312 | F: 604.327.1397


I’m hoping to be able to proceed in the Springtime.

The importance of historical context in an investigative story

“Emergence.” Molly, Act 1, Chapter 3: The Birth, 1924, Ireland.



What happens when a case is very old, when much of its physical evidence is deteriorated or destroyed, and its main players long deceased?  How do we investigate?

For me it is all about the historical context.

I interviewed Dr. David Sweet, forensic odontologist, on the importance of historical context in solving the 1953 Stanley Park cold case in 2004 (when I volunteered on the Babes in the Wood Task Force):

The experts [for example, forensic anthropologists and entomologists] that you mention would focus on human remains and I think we’ve pretty well exhausted all the different things related to the actual bones and the skeletons.  But there are many other forensic scientists that look at different kinds of physical evidence and I’m not sure that they’ve had an opportunity to look at these exhibits that remain.  My concern is that the public perception of forensic science today is that we can do a lot more that we actually can.  So when you consider the age of the exhibits, there probably isn’t much left.  Now, you should never say never, and I agree it would be beneficial [for a group of forensic scientists to have a look at the existing evidence].  But it’s really hard to predict what would come out of it.  I think really our attention should be focused on the historical aspects and trying to identify an individual or more than one individual who sort of fit the profile and the circumstances of the disappearance.  I think that is really where our hope lies now because the physical evidence deteriorates over a period of time and even with our modern technology we can’t bring it back. – Dr. David Sweet

When I work on Molly, I like to surround myself with objects and curios from the era (in my 1929 apartment close to the park).  This allows me to immerse myself in the time, in the circumstance of the case.  It is a means of stepping into the scene.  Working my way outward.  The objects are the context from which I draw clues.  As I put together the massive amounts of research into a cohesive presentation, these objects of the past keep me inspired, focused, on track.


Speaking of history, make sure to check out:

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And I am SO EXCITED for: