The Caughlin family: enough!

Picture of Karen CaughlinThe Caughlin family: enough!

Enough energy has been put into asking, begging the OPP to re-evaluate the cold case of Karen Caughlin. Their hearts broken since Karen’s murder in 1974, the family has decided to stop talking to the media.

From the PetroliaTopic.com and sent to me by Kathy Caughlin: “Two years after calling for the external review, Caughlin says she and her sister can no longer fight the OPP. She declined a telephone interview, but in an e-mail she says they are being “tortured” by the OPP and won’t be talking about the case to the media anymore.

“I have no doubt in my heart that Karen’s killers will face what is coming to them, but it won’t be through the OPP.”

The lead investigator in the case, Det. Insp. Chris Avery, says Caughlin’s file is still active. He confirms in the last few weeks a second investigator out of the Lambton OPP detachment has been following up leads in the case.”

My heart goes out to this family who tirelessly tried to keep Karen’s case on the front page. They managed to stir the pot, get people to talk to police and engaged online with those interested in Karen’s case.

Kathy Caughlin, Karen’s older sister, in her own words:

Karen and I were only 14-months apart and we shared a bedroom for her entire life. Her picture does not do her justice for it doesn’t reveal the beautiful person she was on the inside. She was so kind, thoughtful, loved animals and had the gift of making everyone laugh. 

Karen had just entered her first year of high school and she wanted to make the world a better place by becoming a teacher because she believed children were our future. She was a Marching Angel (drum corp. band) with her sisters and loved going roller skating with her girlfriends. Her love of animals brought many strays to our family home.

Someone savagely took her life, when she was just 2 ½ months short of her fifteenth birthday and threw her in a ditch like a piece of garbage. They killed my sister; they killed my family, and went on with their own lives.

Our parents’ suffering ended in death for both passed away in recent years. The depth of suffering is impossible for anyone to imagine who has not experienced homicide. Something in you dies when your bear the unbearable. Unsolved homicide survivors never have peace and they live in endless grief and torment. 

Here’s what I think happened (if you are not familiar with the case, read up here and here):

Karen could not get into her friend’s house and she looked around. She did not want to go home. Maybe she saw someone else in the street; maybe she saw lights on and walked over.

Maybe someone she had previous arguments with saw her in the street late at night and invited her in. The old arguments erupted again. Karen got beaten until she was unconscious. While the rage subsided, the attacker found that Karen was unconscious, maybe even dying. Karen got placed in a car and driven to that part of the road where she was later found. Karen somehow got out of the car. She stayed on her legs just long enough to be hit by the car to make her beating death look like a hit-and-run. Then, Karen’s body was placed in the ditch.

This explains the paint chips on her clothes and her injuries. This explains why her coat and shoes were found elsewhere. They hold clues to where Karen was beaten and someone tried to clean them or brush them off.

This scenario also explains why her purse showed up later. It was either forgotten until found again at the place where Karen was beaten or, kept for a while as a souvenir but then the attacker changed his/her mind. It was then taken to approximately the same area where Karen was left and deposited where they were sure it would be found. I’d like to see that purse (if it still exists) tested for touch DNA!

This scenario explains in part the gap in the timeline as well.

There are approx 17 posts about Karen on my blog.

I cannot thank the Caughlin family enough for the information they provided, the memories they shared, and for keeping me in the loop.

I wish you well.

Comments

  1. Kathy Caughlin says:

    “Knowing what we know about the investigation then and now only contributes to the tortuous conditions we continue to live under.”

    When I first read these words from John Walsh (Adam’s Dad) they pierced my heart in a way only few would truly understand. I know this man knows and understands what I and my family continue to live with regarding Karen’s unsolved murder. The circumstances of the Walsh investigation and Karen’s investigation are identical because both investigations were riddled with grave mistakes and these mistakes overshadowed the JUSTICE process for 27-long tortorous years for the Walsh family and nearly 40-years for my family. It wasn’t until a new Chief was in power (Hollywood Florida Police Dept) and an independent review was ordered of the Walsh investigation. The family finally received answers. Sadly the man responsibly for this horrific crime died in prison 12-years prior.

    Chief Wagner’s wisdom, experience and compassion provided closure to the investigation and to Adam’s family after 27 painful dark years.

    No unsolved homicide victim should remain under law enforcements’ jurisdictional control and mistakes. It is a very sad thing when a victim of crime becomes the victim of a botched police investigation. Let no man deter you from the truth becomes meaningless….

    Deeply appreciate all who tried to bring Karen and my family justice. The decision to walk away from the OPP was not an easy one, in fact I struggle with it everyday. Some days the anger swallows me up!! I am seeking some much needed peace in my life and with God’s help it will come!

    Kathy Caughlin … Karen’s sister

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