Provincial police are harnessing the power of social media to bolster efforts to solve the 1974 murder of a 25-year-old London mother of three.
Suzanne Miller was reported missing to London Police on Sept. 16, 1974, by her common-law husband. Her blue Datsun car was later found in the parking lot of Arygle Mall, and her body was discovered nearly a month later in a wooded lot near Thorndale on Oct. 12.
Suzanne Miller was reported missing on Sept. 16, 1974. Nearly a month later, her body was found in a wooded lot near Thorndale, Ont. Ontario Provincial Police
Suzanne Miller was reported missing on Sept. 16, 1974. Nearly a month later, her body was found in a wooded lot near Thorndale, Ont.
Ontario Provincial Police
Investigators say Miller died from blunt force trauma to her body, and that the homicide happened elsewhere. They still don’t know where.
“We’ve decided it’s time to try a new multimedia approach. In recent weeks, you may have noticed brightly coloured and strongly worded bus advertising bearing Suzanne Miller’s photo, imploring the public to ‘Find My Killer,’” explained Ken Leppert, a detective superintendent with OPP Criminal Investigation Services.
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“Today we’re leveraging our respective social media channels and audiences to generate more information, and conversation, about our unsolved investigation.”
Provincial police posted a video with case information and photos on their YouTube channel. They’ve also boosted the cash reward for information in the case to $50,000, and have wrapped a minivan with Miller’s photo and details of her death. All bear the same bold message: “Find My Killer.”
The van will be moved around strategically in the London-area, and is an “innovative approach” that has helped advance other cases, police said during Thursday’s media conference.
Leppert added that police are confident people who lived in the London-area when Miller was killed have information that can help resolve the case.
“We are now providing more opportunities for them to bring that important information forward.”
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While police wouldn’t say definitively whether they had suspects in the case, there was a man wanted for information in the case after he appeared at Miller’s funeral.
“A suspicious mourner shows up, and no one recognizes him,” explained Michael Arntfield, a Western criminology professor who published Murder City, a book about murders in London between 1959 and 1984.
“He signs the registry book, ‘a friend,’ makes a donation of flowers, and then he’s followed out of there because they wonder what his connection to the case might be and why he’s taking an interest in it,” Arntfield said.
“He sort of disappears in the street, and they release a composite drawing, hoping someone knows this guy by his real name and that he has information on the case and he’s never been found.”
Arntfield noted that Miller’s murder comes on the heels of multiple unsolved murders, where victims were abducted or killed in London and then transported to the territory of provincial police.
He also suspects something has changed in terms of the information police have on the case.
“It’s now worth their time to reinvigorate … this case, and come forward with a public plea.”
Provincial police are urging people with information about Miller’s death to contact their dedicated tip line at 1 844 677 5060, or [email protected]上海夜生活. To remain anonymous, people can contact Crime Stoppers.