Canaan Connexion
Ardeth Wood Updates ~

For more updates from the police click here.

Because of the close proximity of this crime to our area and because many local residents use
the Ottawa Rockliffe (Eastern) Parkway for recreational purposes, we believe it is important to offer continuing information and updates on this case. Anyone with information that may relate
to this investigation or other similar type event is asked to contact the:
Ottawa Police Service Major Crime Unit at:
(613) 236-1222 extension 3563 / 3564 or
or Crime Stoppers: (613) 233-8477 or 1-800-222-8477.

Ardeth Wood killer pleads "Guilty"
Preliminary trial for Ardeth Wood accused set for May
Man charged in the Murder of Ardeth Wood
Death of Ardeth Wood - Background
Police seek assistance, offer $50,000 reward, share further evidence
How the behaviour of Ardeth Wood's murderer could expose him
Police receive 70 tips after story - Oct.28, 2003
Ottawa Police - Initial request for assistance
Ardeth Wood killer pleads "Guilty" - Updates
(Orleans Online - Wednesday, January 9, 2008) Ardeth Wood accused pleads guilty to second degree murder - As several members of Ms. Wood’s family looked on, the accused, Christopher Myers, stood in the prisoner’s docket and answered “guilty” in a firm, clear voice as Judge Monique Metivier read out the charge of second degree murder. He then repeated the same word five more times on three unrelated charges of sexual assault and two for robbery which occured both before and after Ms. Wood was killed.(Story includes exclusive interview with Ardeth Wood's father and brother and links to impact statements.) For more information click here.
(Ottawa Citizen - Tuesday, January 8, 2008) Christopher Myers entered a guilty plea to second-degree murder in connection with the daylight slaying of Ms. Wood, 27, a university philosophy student. She was killed after meeting Mr. Myers on the Rockcliffe Parkway bike path on the morning of Aug. 6, 2003.
For more information click here.
(CBC Ottawa - Tuesday, January 7, 2008) A man has pleaded guilty to the second-degree murder of 27-year-old Ardeth Wood, who went missing while cycling on an Ottawa bike path in 2003 and whose body was found days later.

Lawyers for Chris Myers have reached an agreement with the Crown. Myers is shown here leaving an Ottawa courthouse in a police cruiser following his first court appearance after being charged in 2005 with the murder of Ardeth Wood.Lawyers for Chris Myers have reached an agreement with the Crown. Myers is shown here leaving an Ottawa courthouse in a police cruiser following his first court appearance after being charged in 2005 with the murder of Ardeth Wood.

Christopher Myers, 27, entered the plea in an Ottawa courtroom after his lawyers reached a deal with the Crown. For more, click here.
(National Post) An Ottawa man has admitted his guilt in the death of Ardeth Wood, a 27-year-old doctoral student whose murder shocked a city. For more, click here.
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Preliminary trial for Ardeth Wood accused set for May
Courtesy Fred Sherwin
The Eastender

The man accused of killing Ardeth Wood will get his first look at the evidence against him in May, that’s when prosecutors will begin laying out their case against Chris Myers during a preliminary hearing to determine whether or not there is enough evidence to proceed to trial.

Myers appeared in an Ottawa courtroom on Thursday by video link. His lawyer, Rod Carew, agreed to hold the preliminary hearing from May 1-5 and then from June 12-23. Myers was charged with first degree murder in connection with the Ardeth Wood case in October. Prior to that he was in custody in North Bay for five months facing a sexual assault charge for an incident that happened in May.

An investigator with the North Bay police department had requested a picture of Myers from the Ottawa Police Service when his named surfaced as a prime suspect in the sexual assault investigation. Myers was on the Ottawa system for a two previous drug busts. When the North Bay investigator saw the picture he noticed a resemblance between it and a composite sketch of the Ardeth Wood murder suspect which had been circulating since her murder in August 2003. The investigator tipped off the Ottawa police who intercepted him on his way back to Ottawa.

After he was detained in Ottawa overnight he was transferred back to North Bay where he was questioned by members of the Ardeth Wood investigation team on at least four occasions. When they finally had enough evidence to charge him with first degree murder, he was brought back to Ottawa in October and formally arraigned.

The lead prosecutor in the high profile case will be Ottawa’s top Crown Attorney Hillary McCormack who is perhaps best known for handling the case against the Ace Crew gang members accused of murdering Sylvain Leduc in 1998. The trial itself is not expected to begin until early 2007.
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Man charged in the Murder of Ardeth Wood (20/10/2005)
(Ottawa) - Ardeth WOOD was 27 years old when she went missing at approximately 12:30 pm on Wednesday August 6th, 2003. She had indicated to her parents that she was going cycling along the Aviation Parkway, and would be back in an hour or two. At the time she was a PHD student at the University of Waterloo and was home visiting her family.

As in any investigation of this magnitude many areas of our Service came together to provide resources and expertise, from Patrol Division, Emergency Operations Division and Support Services. A massive ground search was conducted involving many of our members assisted by an overwhelming response from community volunteers, which served to put a face on the kind of community we live and work in.

Sadly, on Monday, August 11th, 2003, a specially trained OPP cadaver dog found the body of Ardeth Wood. We had all hoped for a better resolution.

Persistence has paid off. Today, the Major Crime investigators have charged Chris Myers, 25 years of age from Ottawa. He is charged with the murder of Ardeth Wood and four other counts of sexual assaults, which occurred between July 2003 and December 2004. Myers has been in custody in North Bay since May 14th, 2005 on a charge of sexual assault.

The Ottawa Police Service is grateful for the assistance provided by the RCMP, the Ontario Provincial Police, le Service de Police de Gatineau and the North Bay Police Service during this investigation.

The accused is now before the courts and any information of an evidentiary nature or other sensitive information will not be released to protect the integrity of the case.
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Death of Ardeth Wood - Background
On Wednesday August 6, 2003, 27 year old Ardeth Wood was visiting her family in Orleans, in the east end of Ottawa. She was on leave from her PhD studies at the University of Waterloo. Shortly after twelve noon, she informed her mother that she was going for a bike ride and would be back in a few hours. After failing to return, Ardeth was reported missing that evening by her parents.

The largest search operation ever undertaken by the Ottawa Police Service began. Witness information lead the Search Team to the area of Green's Creek near the mouth of the Ottawa River. This area of Green's Creek is located near a highly traveled bicycle/walking path which runs parallel to the Rockliffe/Aviation Parkway from downtown to Orleans.

On Sunday August 10, 2003, the bicycle used by Ardeth Wood was found submerged in Green's Creek. On Monday August 11 2003, the concealed body of Ardeth Wood was discovered near the shoreline just meters from where her bicycle was found. An autopsy revealed the cause of death to be drowning.

As the media reported the disappearance, members of the community contacted Police to report having seen a male on a bike attempting to lure females into the woods along the bike path between mid-June and the time of Ardeth's murder.

Based on witness accounts, the suspect is described as a white male, early 20's to mid 30's, approximately 5'11", lean but muscular build, well tanned, with sandy blonde to light brown short hair and a light goatee. He was wearing sunglasses. The suspect is believed to have at least one tattoo bearing resemblance to wings,on his upper left arm / shoulder area.

Composite drawings of the suspect and the tattoo have generated over 3,000 tips and 600 persons of interest. The investigative team is currently in the process of following up on the tips and other investigative leads.

If you have any information that may assist in identifying the killer of Ardeth Wood, please contact Ottawa Police Service through the Tip Line at 236-1222 ext 3563 or Crime Stoppers 1-800-222-8477 or email us at
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Police offer $50,000 reward to find Ardeth Wood killer

The Ottawa Police Services Board has approved a $50,000 reward in the slaying of 27-year-old
Ardeth Wood. Her nude body was found near the east end of the Aviation Parkway and Green's Creek in Ottawa East last summer. She disappeared days earlier while riding along a popular bike path. Here's the latest update:

(Ottawa-06/July/2004) - The Ottawa Police Service is continuing to seek the assistance of the public in identifying the person responsible for the death of Ardeth Wood on August 6th, 2003.

Between June and August 2003, this person was observed numerous times on the bike path along the Rockcliffe Parkway between the Rockcliffe Air Base and Orleans. He was riding a bike and approaching females attempting to lure them to more secluded areas. It is requested that any
unreported encounters that took place during the summer months of 2003 in the area of Green’s Creek be reported to the Police at this time. With the arrival of the warm weather, the public is reminded that this male is still at large and any sightings matching the suspect’s description or behaviours should be reported to the Police immediately.

The following is a description of the suspect at the time of last year’s incident:

  • White male
  • Early 20s to early 30s
  • 5’8” to 5’11”
  • Athletic and lean build
  • Tanned
  • Sandy blonde to light brown hair
  • Possible facial hair in the chin area

Police would like to stress the presence of a tattoo on the left arm / shoulder area of the suspect. It is important to note that, since the original release of the two composite drawings, the tattoo may have been altered and the male’s appearance may have been changed in order for the suspect to avoid detection.

As a result of the public’s assistance, 3808 tips have been received to date. Those tips have generated 1628 persons of interest of which 1336 have been concluded. The Project Team continues to enter the tip information into both the Provincial Case Management System and ViCLAS (Violent Crime Linkage Analysis System) which nationally tracks violent offenders and their crimes. The Investigative Team has also had ongoing contact with Police agencies in Quebec
since August 2003.

At this time, the Ottawa Police Service is releasing additional information that may assist in identifying the male responsible. A pair of sunglasses, possibly worn by the suspect, were found at the scene of the incident. The public is encouraged to review the photographs of the
sunglasses and call Police with any relevant information.

During the afternoon of Friday, August 8th, 2003, two days following the murder of Ardeth Wood and three days prior to the discovery of her body, a telephone call was placed to the Ottawa Police. The Major Crime Unit is requesting that the individual who placed this telephone call contact us again as Police are unable to get in touch with him.

Finally, the Ottawa Police Service is offering a reward of $50,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for the death of Ardeth Wood. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Ottawa Police at the
contacts shown at the top of this page.
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How the behaviour of Ardeth Wood's murderer could expose him
Ian MacLeod
Ottawa Citizen

Monday, June 28, 2004
(The following article first appeared in the Citizen on Nov. 22, 2003.)

Like other sex killers, two basic instincts are now probably driving the man who murdered Ottawa's Ardeth Wood: not to be caught, and to sustain the excitement he may have achieved from killing.

He has likely fabricated an alibi and changed his appearance, or social habits, job or address. To prolong any thrill, power and control he felt during Ms. Wood's Aug. 6 slaying, he is probably devouring news reports about the investigation. He may have revisited the Rockcliffe Parkway crime scene or tried to inject himself into the police case.

What is crucial, say crime experts, is that he has changed at least one aspect of his life and behaviour in a significant and obvious way since the killing. People around him, they believe, have almost certainly noticed, but may not want to accept that there could be a connection.

"The killer can't carry on like nothing happened. We would expect that those near him would see some kind of change in his behaviour," says Staff Sgt. Randy Wisker of the Ottawa police major crime squad.

But if anyone has, they have not picked up the phone. Police call it the denial factor.

The same it-can't-be reaction led co-workers of sex killer Paul Bernardo to dismiss the uncanny similarity between a 1990 police composite sketch posted in their office of the Scarborough rapist -- Mr. Bernardo -- and the nice, young accountant trainee with whom they worked. As a joke, someone even scrawled "Paul" on the sketch.

Around the same time, Toronto police received a tip to check out Mr. Bernardo, who lived blocks from one of the sex assaults. Detectives called him, and he readily agreed to an interview.

"People kid me that I look like the sketch," he told a detective. "But it's not me."

Police questioned him, took a voluntary DNA sample and thanked him for stopping by. It took more than two years, and the murders of schoolgirls Kristen French and Leslie Mahaffy, for police to realize their mistake.

"The problem is, these people blend in, they look like anybody else. They don't have horns," says Steven Egger, an associate professor of criminology at the University of Houston and author of The Need to Kill: Inside the World of the Serial Killer (Financial Times Prentice Hall, 2003)

Like Mr. Bernardo, Ms. Wood's killer is now trying to look normal, though he is feeling anything but. He is, no doubt, looking over his shoulder. He is probably jumpy and edgy, and his personality may have become rigid.

In fact, what police call "post-offence behaviour" can be more revealing than a killer's actions before the crime.

In the weeks leading to Ms. Wood's murder, several women cycling along the Rockcliffe Parkway bike path were approached by a lean, muscular young man on bike who tried to engage them in conversation. Police believe it was classic sexual predator behaviour.

Ms. Wood, 27, disappeared Aug. 6 after leaving her parents' home in Orleans for a noon-hour bike ride along the parkway. The naked body of the University of Waterloo student was found six days later, concealed in an isolated area along the bank of Green's Creek, where she drowned. Her shorts and T-shirt have not been found.

The killer's known pre-offence behaviour -- daytime cycling along the path trying to chat up women -- may help police narrow the field of suspects. One police theory is that he may have been fired, laid off or downsized from his job, freeing him to roam the bike path during the day.

According to the other women he approached, he was especially predatory on Wednesdays, the same day of the week Ms. Wood was killed. But why Wednesday?

Police also do not know whether he intended to kill one of the women he met earlier but couldn't get her to leave the path, or whether some personal crisis -- marital, work, financial -- caused him to explode in a murderous rage on or about Aug. 6.

If he set out to kill, he is what police classify as an "organized" offender and is more likely to want to prolong the excitement achieved by acting out his violent sex fantasy.

If the attack was the result of a sudden rage by a "disorganized" offender, one who acted on the momentary opportunity presented by Ms. Wood, he is less likely to have been excited by the act and may, if fact, have been traumatized by it.

Regardless, his pre-offence behaviour is not unique. Post-offence behaviour, on the other hand, can be virtually exclusive to a specific criminal.

"It's really a psychological way of hiding in a closet. Nobody else has reason to do these things, so it can be very useful," says Ottawa's Ron MacKay, a retired RCMP pioneer in the use of criminal behavioural science.

The killer's actions in the days immediately after the crime are now more than three months old, but people close to him very likely remember something unusual around Aug. 6.

"They'll deny it to themselves and the whole world, but they're not going to forget it," says Mr. MacKay, who was Canada's first police psychological profiler trained by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation's legendary "mindhunters'" unit, immortalized by Hollywood in the movie Silence of the Lambs.

One standard post-offence behaviour is to leave town, at least for a time. The person will often manufacture a sudden reason -- "I can't take this job anymore, I'm going to Toronto" -- or capitalize on a circumstance -- "I'm going to visit my sick Aunt Martha in Saskatchewan."

"Those around them, quite often, will accept the flimsiest excuse, saying 'OK, that makes sense to me,' when, in fact, it really doesn't," says Mr. MacKay.

Some killers can't pick up and leave because of family, work or finances. They may book off sick from work for a few days. Others hide behind seemingly decent lives.

Robert Hansen was a well-known and respected baker and family man in Anchorage, Alaska. After a local prostitute went to police claiming Mr. Hansen had tried to rape and kill her, he was outraged and told police the woman was just trying to shake him down for money. Police believed him. Then other evidence surfaced. Mr. Hansen is now serving a 461-year prison term for murdering at least 17 women.

With Ms. Wood's killer, he may be drinking or using drugs more often than usual. Or he may have stopped, fearing he might say too much while under the influence.

He may have been unemployed for some time and has been telling people he was laid off or downsized to hide that he was actually fired. "We want people, especially employers, to think about anyone matching this guy's description who may have been fired or laid off in the early part of the summer," says Staff Sgt. Wisker.

The killer is believed to have a tattoo of bird, possibly a thunderbird, on his upper left arm. Given his muscular build, he probably works out, possibly in a gym, but may now wear long-sleeve shirts rather than T-shirts or muscle shirts.

If he is an organized killer, he could be obsessed with the police investigation as a way of sustaining the excitement of his crime. He may have had no prior interest in the news, but now is glued to the local six o'clock news and reads the papers everyday.

A landmark FBI study of 118 solved sex slayings found in almost half of the cases, the killers followed news accounts of the investigation, including saving newspaper clippings, and derived pleasure from the attention and from seeing how they had eluded police.

The same study found organized sex killers often tried to participate in the police investigation to demonstrate their power and control as well as to stay connected the murder, the source of their excitement. Ottawa police do not know if Ms. Wood's killer was one of the hundreds of volunteers who helped search for her body following her disappearance or whether he is one of the thousands of people who has given them tips.

Some murderers taunt police.

In 1995, Terry Driver, then a printer, married and with two children, raped and killed a 16-year-old girl and savagely beat another. The Abbotsford, B.C., resident then taunted police with phone calls claiming they would never catch him and that he would kill again. Abbotsford police broadcast Mr. Driver's brazen messages to the public and he was arrested after his family recognized his voice.

The FBI study also found organized sex killers returned to the scene of the crime 26 per cent of the time to relive the fantasy that drove them to kill.

"Or you may get the guy returning to the scene because, 'Oh my God, I forgot to do something, or I left something.' It may be unimportant to anybody else in the world but him," says Mr. MacKay. "But when you're really worried about getting arrested and going to jail for the rest of your life, little, tiny things become huge things."

In more than a quarter of the cases, the killers took a "souvenir" of the murder, usually something belonging to the victim. In the Wood case, her missing clothing could have blown into the creek during a thunderstorm that afternoon. Or her killer could have taken it as a trophy, tangible proof of his fantasy and skill, and which for him outweighs the risk of being caught with such incriminating evidence.

With more than three months now elapsed since Ms. Wood's slaying, one question is whether her attacker will strike again?

That depends on his initial motivation, says Mr. MacKay. "Did he enjoy it, or was he traumatized by it? Bernardo, he wanted to go out and kill again."

Detective Wisker believes the man will attempt to live out his sex fantasy again, though only the suspect knows if he will murder once more.

"For a person in the age group that we're looking at, 20s, early 30s, that's kind of the prime activity time and, if this person is a true sexual predator, whether there's any intention to kill again or not, that chances he doesn't start to get revved up again and want to do something else are quite low.

"What form that would take I don't know. Maybe he'll start peeping, maybe he'll go indoors, sex shops or pornography."

Before anything else happens, police hope someone close to this guy finally comes forward.

"That person is probably living in a little capsule of denial that, if they just stepped outside it for a minute, they'd realize that," says former Mountie MacKay.

"I've seen how, once a case is solved, then all of a sudden they say "How stupid could I be to have believed this? He conned me. How I could I ever believe that this could be true?' "

The suspect in the Ardeth Wood homicide is described as being in his 20s or early 30s, with a muscular, lean build and a tattoo of winged bird on his upper left arm. Around the time of the crime, he had short, sandy-coloured hair, wore black shorts, a grey shirt and regularly rode a bike along the Rockcliffe Parkway bike path.

Anyone with information is asked to call Ottawa police at 236-1222, ext. 3563 or 3564, or Crime Stoppers at 233-8477 or 1-800-222-8477.
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Ottawa Police receive 70 tips after story
Ian MacLeod - The Ottawa Citizen
Tuesday, October 28, 2003

Ottawa police received dozens of new tips last week about the unsolved killing of Ardeth Wood after a feature article about the case in Saturday's Citizen.

"It's really given us a spike in the tips folder," Staff Sgt. Randy Wisker, of the major crime squad, said yesterday.

Of the approximately 70 tips called in to police since Saturday, many came from people who had not contacted police previously with information about Ms. Wood's Aug. 6 slaying along the Aviation Parkway.

"The key thing -- and that's what we've been pushing for - - is that some people said they had thought about calling, but didn't," he said.

"It has caused people who have been reluctant, people who have been sitting on the fence or hoping somebody else will call, so that they don't have to, they're some of the ones that we're starting to get."

Before Saturday, three to four tips a day had been trickling in. Staff Sgt. Wisker would not divulge the contents of the new information, but said "there's some good ones. We're getting some that, by reading them, we're putting some closer to the front because (there's) some meat on it. And we're encouraging people to keep it coming."

The nude body of Ms. Wood, 27, was found on Aug. 12 near Green's Creek, off Aviation Parkway, six days after she disappeared while on an afternoon cycling outing. An autopsy found she had been drowned. Police believe her killer is a sexual predator who had been stalking women in the area since mid-June.

Based on descriptions from other women the man apparently approached, police are looking for a man in his 20s or early 30s, five- foot-11, with a muscular, lean build and short, sandy hair.

He had a tattoo, possibly a Phoenix or thunderbird, on his upper left arm or shoulder.

Police believe he regularly rode a bike along the path and tried to engage women in conversation. Anyone with information is asked to call Ottawa police at 236-1222, ext. 3563 or 3564, or Crime Stoppers at 233-8477 or 1-800-222-8477.
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Ottawa Police Service requests further assistance
from the public in the Ardeth Wood Murder

The Ottawa Police Service is seeking assistance in identifying and locating a suspect in the death of 27 year old Ardeth Wood, Wednesday August 6th 2003.

This person was observed on the bike path in the area of Green’s Creek operating a bicycle and approaching females on a number of occasions, attempting to lure them to more secluded areas of the bike path.

The following is a list of identifying factors pertaining to the suspect.

  • Male, White, early 20s to early 30s
  • Approximately 5’11’’
  • Muscular, athletic, lean, good physical shape and well toned build.
  • At the time of the incident he was well tanned, had white teeth, neat appearance.
  • Sandy blonde to light brown hair.
  • Possibly had a very light goatee.

Police believe that the person responsible may have deviated from his usual activities, recreational or exercise routines and would have appeared under more stress than normal following August 6th 2003.

He may have cancelled or failed to show for prior commitments and may have decided to change his physical appearance. He may also have experienced a job loss or been the subject of downsizing.

Employers are encouraged to review their files for recent lay offs or terminations where the individual matches some or all of these descriptors.

The suspect is believed to have at least one tattoo on his upper left arm/shoulder area. The attached is an artist’s rendering from witnesses accounts and it must be emphasized that this is not an exact replica’’. The tattoo is believed to be ‘’something similar in nature’’.

Police are still in the process of investigating several thousand tips. The Ottawa Police would like the public’s assistance in identifying anyone that fits the above description.


TIP LINES: (613) 236-1222 ext: 3563 and /or 3564

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