|Publication:||Name: The Forensic Examiner Publisher: American College of Forensic Examiners Audience: Professional Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Health; Law; Science and technology Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2011 American College of Forensic Examiners ISSN: 1084-5569|
|Issue:||Date: Winter, 2011 Source Volume: 20 Source Issue: 3|
|Topic:||Event Code: 980 Legal issues & crime Computer Subject: Company legal issue|
|Persons:||Named Person: McCormick, John, Sr.; Larsfolk, Eric|
|Geographic:||Geographic Scope: Ontario Geographic Code: 1CONT Ontario|
On August 24, 1981, 14-year old Eric Larsfolk went down the street
to play with his new friend, John McCormick Jr., 15 gears old. The
Larsfolk family had recently moved to Caledon, Ontario, and Eric and
John had not played together too much. John Jr.'s sister was out
babysitting and his mother was at work. The bogs were reported to be
hanging out around the McCormick yard, with John McCormick Sr. in the
house. As the story goes--the bogs simply vanished.
The area where the boys lived was rural and is known for its horse farms. The McCormick property, backed onto a gravel pit, and there are some reports that the kids used to go back there to hang out. John Jr. had been driving one of the "field cars" around the yard that night, and I have been told this made John Sr. furious. It is also reported that only a few short months before, John Sr. had beat John Jr. so badly he required a trip to the hospital and was possibly sent to stay with relatives while he recovered. The field car the boys were driving required someone to pop the hood and start it with a screwdriver. The field car was found that night on the dirt "road" that led to the gravel pit, with the hood lifted and the doors open, but the boys were nowhere to be found.
John St., by all accounts, was a mean drunk--something the Larsfolks were not aware of as they were pretty new to the area He also hung out with a pretty tough crowd, with one mall specifically coming to mind--George McCullough. George McCullough was later in the media spotlight after having tied his dog to the back of his truck and dragged it a few kilometers.
Apparently, police arrived on scene that night and they searched the land and searched the gravel pit. No trace of the bow was found except for the field car being abandoned and either foot prints or the boys' scent leading to the fence of the gravel pit. It has been noted that the McCormicks were. not very cooperative with the police. I have interviewed people about this case, who I felt Were credible, and they have provided me with information which contradicts statements that were made to the police immediately following the disappearance.
For example, Kim, the older sister of John Jr., had been babysitting that night. She states that when she came home she did not see the boys but was immediately concerned about her brother because she saw that he had a van parked on the driveway which was leaking oil, and this would have made their father furious. She states that she looked for the boys but could not find them, so she called her mother at work and asked her to come home. She also stated that they could not call the Larsfolks right away and ask if the boys were there because the Larsfolks did not have a phone.
Upon investigation, I have been told by Mr. Larsfolk that they did have a telephone, because after they had been alerted to the boys being missing, they raced over to the McCormick house and the McCormicks did not want to call the police. Lloyd Larsfolk said either him or his wife had to go back to their house to place the call.
Also, Kim states she did not see the boys when she got home. The man who drove her home, for whom she had been babysitting, reports that he saw two children in the driveway. He thought one might be a girl because of the long hair. Kim dismisses this, stating that lie was drunk. However, he was able to describe to me how he had to carefully turn his cat around in the driveway, making sure to pay attention to where the two children were standing. He is estranged from his wife, but I spoke with her also, and she claims that when they found out those boys were missing, her husband told her he had seen two children there when he dropped Kim off. Furthermore, John St. stated that he did not have any company over that evening. However, Mr. Larsfolk described for me, in great detail, being at the gravel pit that night, crouched down and looking around with a police officer, trying to see in the dark, and John Sr. said to him that thee kids probably hopped in the back of his friend's pickup truck. John Sr. explained to Lloyd Larsfolk that his friend had been back there at the gravel pit with his pickup truck that night. The friend was heading out west, and John St. thought perhaps the boys stowed away with him. Kim McCormick says that she has receipts to prove that her father had loaned his credit card to George McCullough that night so that he could fill up his truck with gas. This was not a common thing for him to do. Kim later told me McCullough did not have a truck.
This case should be considered an abduction. The boys had no money, no one to run to, and none of their belongings; including wallets or back packs, were missing. What I find most interesting about this case, is that because of the rural location, it is extremely unlikely that a stranger wandered back there and took the two boys. I believe that this case is one that involves the boys being injured by someone that they knew. There is only one person who we know to have been home with the boys--John Sr.--and he is known by many to be a mean drunk. He has since died of cirrhosis of the liver.
John St. and George McCullough were good friends, who were likely the only adults with access to the boys the night they went missing. There is a reason that I think this case can still be solved: There is an area on the outskirts of Caledon, Ontario called. Heckler Valley. It is mainly one road with a river/creek running. behind it, and nothing but wilderness on the other side of that creek. Down in Hockley Valley, along that one road was a shop that John Sr. used for an "auto body shop"; it was not a business but a hobby. Across the street was John Sr.'s brother's house. Down the road a bit more was the McCormick's cottage. And down the street just a bit more was George McCullough's house. As noted a small liver runs behind these properties and it is wilderness on the other side. With such a narrow pool of likely suspects in the abduction of these boys, and with such an obvious comfort zone (Hockley Valley) for these suspects to have at their disposal, I think it would be a very likely place to search for the bodies of these boys.
I have been to the area and have taken ground photos of all the necessary landmarks. I have Google Earth Images to provide an aerial view of the area. Previous searches have focused on the McCormick property from where the boys disappeared. I believe that with an adequate search of the areas behind the Hockley properties, the comfort zone, this case has a chance to be solved.
Aside from multiple photos and aerial images of the area (both Hockley Valley and the McCormick land and gravel pit), I also conducted interviews for this case. I'd be happy to share my information with anyone who might be able to help. While police have tried to keep the case alive, the small Ontario Provincial Police detachment just does not seem to have the manpower to do so.
JENNIFER PADDON studied psychology at Brock University, in Ontario, Canada, and is currently pursuing her degree in anthropology. She obtained her private investigator's license in 2009, and has focused on providing cold case analyses for families of victims. Jennifer is also a volunteer crisis counselor at the sexual assault centre. She enjoys spending time with her family, blogging, and hiking with her dogs.
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