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Post by kishgo on Mon Jun 18, 2012 9:38 pm

I remember this well for many reasons but in particular, because Marlene was murdered in the house that my grandparents rented to their sharegrower. I had been in the house many times as a child.
Fingers crossed for resolution.

WATERFORD - Police hope improved DNA testing will help them solve the murder of a Waterford woman who was shot in her country home 30 years ago.

A full generation has passed since Marlene Schnitzer returned from her night shift at an ice cream plant in Simcoe on June 19, 1982 and was gunned down for no apparent reason.

Her boyfriend and co-worker, Wade Brown of Vittoria, had followed the 27-year-old woman in his car, walked in on the scene, struggled with the murderer and was nearly killed himself. He was shot in the nose while another bullet grazed his skull. He survived and fled the scene covered in blood.

Two half brothers were arrested. There was a trial, but the charges were thrown out after Brown was unable to identify them as the attackers that night.

Three decades later, the murder remains a mystery. Schnitzer was young and beautiful, and police say there appears to be no motive for the killing.

“On the surface, looking at it, you wonder why she was murdered, brutally murdered,” said Det.-Insp. Dave Hillman of the OPP’s Criminal Investigations Branch, who recently had the file passed to him. “Who would do that? Why would they do that? There’s got to be a reason why they were in that house.”

Hillman has begun to review the evidence. He said he has “a lot of reading to do” but will pay special attention to exhibits — anything that may have been touched by the guilty person and could potentially provide a DNA sample.

The passage of time, Hillman noted, has hurt the chances of finding the killer due to the “faded memories” of everyone involved, but it has helped in another important way: improvements in technology that allow DNA to be lifted from smaller and smaller samples.

“What we couldn’t profile four years ago, we could profile today,” he said. “We have better and better testing all the time.

“I’ll be going through all the exhibits. Anything that can be tested forensically we will.”

Hillman is not grasping at straws. Last April, a man was convicted of murdering an elderly woman in her Petrolia home in 1983.

In that case, a spot of semen taken at the scene was re-tested and a DNA match was confirmed: it belonged to the teenager from three decades ago who had done chores for her.

Four years ago, OPP announced they were re-examining the Schnitzer case and pleaded for members of the public with information to come forward.

“I think they received some tips, but I don’t know if it moved along any further,” Hillman said. “We are pretty much in the same position we were in a few years back.”

Schnitzer’s father Ed Schnitzer, 86, said he hopes police “do make headway. I would like to see justice now . . . I never give up hope.”

His daughter’s murder, he said, is also a mystery to him and to this day he has “no idea why it happened.”

“It’s a difficult thing and you have to live with it,” he added.

Hillman said he is not giving up and wants to give Schnitzer’s brother and father closure.

“It would be nice for them to know who murdered their daughter and sister. Hopefully, Mr. Schnitzer will stay alive long enough and we will get a lucky break.”
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Post by observer on Mon Jun 18, 2012 10:49 pm

YES - I remember this; but not with any personal connections.

Still pretty horrible not knowing what happened - even in addition to the horror of the death - and the murder - itself!
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Post by growler on Tue Jun 19, 2012 9:32 am

boy oh boy,i've had to think hard just to recall it !
that would be so hard on her family and boyfriend !
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Post by Slowfood on Wed Jun 20, 2012 8:02 pm

There was some connection to Marlene and my first wife. I think her younger sister or brother were classmates to Marlene. My wife had met her.
Maybe DNA will be the key. It was quite a shock when Marlene was murdered.

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