March 16, 1946
The torso of a man, later identified as John Dick (pictured), is found
The body was found by a group of five schoolchildren while they were hiking. They could not tell what the torso was at first but decided it was suspicious and elected to inform authorities of the discovery without investigating further. Police found the headless, limbless body clad in long underwear, and completely drained of blood. The head, arms, and legs were never recovered, though a shirt stained with blood and marred by two bullet holes was found nearby and helped to identify the victim. The trunk was identified within days as that of John Dick, who had last been seen on March 6.
Evelyn Dick, the estranged wife of the victim, was questioned and acted suspiciously enough to become a suspect. A search of the Dick home revealed a suitcase hidden in the attic which caught the attention of the investigators due to its unusual weight. The interior of the luggage had been filled with cement; in the cement was a handbag containing the body of an infant. “The body is still in a state of mummification,” Pathologist Dr. W. J. Deadman stated. “The chest is dried up and no soft parts remain. The remains of the body are brittle and came apart in handling.”
The baby, named Peter David White McLean, was born sometime before Evelyn married John. A “coarse hempen string” wrapped around Peter’s neck suggested how he had died. It was determined the baby had been dead for over a year, and had lived only a short time after birth.
Evelyn’s mother, named as Mrs. McLean in the newspapers, testified against her daughter in court, stating Evelyn mentioned “John is dead. Keep your mouth shut,” between the dates of John’s disappearance and the discovery of his body. Mrs. McLean also testified she had witnessed Evelyn discarding ashes soon after John’s disappearance. Police searched the dumped ashes and found bone fragments which could have been from John’s missing limbs, but it was never conclusively proven the fragments were human.
Evelyn implicated her lover, Bill Bohozuk, in court in the deaths of John and Peter, though his case was eventually dismissed and he was released. Evelyn was initially convicted of John’s murder and sentenced to hang, though her conviction was later overturned on an appeal. Instead, Evelyn was given a life sentence when she was convicted of manslaughter in Peter’s death. She was paroled in 1958 and immediately disappeared from the public eye.
Hustak, Alan. “Disappearing acts.” The Gazette [Montreal, Quebec]. June 20, 2005
Nash, Jay Robert. Crime Chronology: A Worldwide Record, 1900-1983. 1984
“I’m Innocent, Says Bohozuk.” The Windsor Daily Star. March 29, 1947
“‘John Is Dead’ Accused Told Her Mother.” The Journal [Ottawa, Ontario]. October 9, 1946
“Open Torso Murder Case In Hamilton.” The Windsor Daily Star. April 24, 1946
“Identify Torso Found Near Hamilton.” The Journal. March 19, 1946
“Decapitated Torso Found.” The Winnipeg Tribune. March 18, 1946