230: The Chambermaid Murders – Belva Russell, Jane Woolley and Edith Authier

Episode 230: Over a period of 22 months, between January 1969 and January 1971, 3 women in Southwestern Ontario were brutally murdered in 3 different towns. These women’s names were Isobella “Belva” Russell, Edith Authier, and Jane Wooley.

Police solved the case of the third victim, Belva Russell, a matter of weeks after the crime. The perpetrator, Gerald Thomas Archer was convicted and imprisoned. There were obvious similarities between all three crimes. For several reasons the initial investigators on the cases missed them. Gerald Thomas Archer got his freedom in 1985, when he was 65. He was a drifter and passed away in 1995. Five years after Archer’s death, his family made police aware of new information. Through DNA, were police able to connect him to the murders of Edith Authier, and Jane Wooley. 

Gerald Thomas Archer, had been a serial killer and had walked free for the last ten years of his life.


Evidence Locker Podcast










The home of Hugh Smith in 1971. 53 Wellington Street, Chatham.

The downtown Chatham Hotel in 1935. Where Belva Russell worked in 1971.

The Rankin Hotel in 1965. Where Belva and Reginald first stopped for a drink on the fateful night.


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