Photo by Rick Legal


To Karin


Who is it that can tell me who I am? – William Shakespeare, King Lear, Act 1, Scene 4


Nobody creates a criminal profile on their own. – Brent Turvey

Gratitude to:

  • My father, Roar Thorsen (1930- 2012), who found a news article[1] in August of 2003 that led to all that followed. This passion project would not exist without him. I inherited my artist’s eye and tenacity from him.  He was my research assistant and best friend along with:
  • My mother, Karin Thorsen (1936- 2008), who accompanied me on excursions and tended the memorials we created at both the crime scene and at Mountain View Cemetery. Without her eagerness to listen to my endless ideas and her willingness to discuss all aspects of the crime, I would be lost indeed. I inherited my interest in criminal behavior and investigative hunger from her. This book is dedicated to her.
Karin and Roar Thorsen, 1957
  • The members of the Babes in the Woods Task Force whose expertise and discussions aided me greatly in the investigative phase: Sgt. Brian Honeybourn, Dr. David Sweet and George Garrett.  The doors that were opened for me made the work contained in the book richer, deeper, more complete.
  • Grant Rainsley, who openly shared his experience as a Vancouver Police Department Mounted Squad officer and who showed me the scene of the crime:



  • Brent Turvey and members of the Academy of Behavioral Profiling whose academic texts and online discussions guided me beyond words in this crime analysis. Their high standards for forensics and criminal profiling are the guiding light.
  • Curators, directors and staff at various archives and societies whose enthusiasm, time and expertise are essential to this work: Marie Fenwick and Jordana Feist at the Vancouver Police Centennial Museum, Carrie Ann Smith at the Pier 21 Society, Mac Culham at the BC Archives, Glen Hodges at Mountain View Cemetery, the Vancouver Public Library Special Collections, the Vancouver Public Library microfilm section, the City of Vancouver Archives, the Mission City Archives, the Mission City Record, the Toronto Children’s Aid Society, the Japanese Canadian National Museum, Edna Woloshyn at the Alberta Genealogical Society, George Lake at the Alberta Family Histories Society, Susan Stanton at the City of Edmonton Archives, Johnathan Davidson at the Provincial Archives of Alberta, Jim Bowman at Glenbow Archives, Helen Ritchie at Celtic CreationsStanley Park Ecological SocietyVancouver Historical SocietyVillage Antique Mall, Fort LangleyETSYHotel Sylvia.
  • Solvig Olsson, who opened her soul and shared her gift to channel the energy and memories at the crime scene.
  • Paul Young, for his wisdom, guidance and interest and for his insights into living as a young boy at the Old Hotel Vancouver in 1946.
  • Matthew Roy writer, who suggested the 5-Act Structure that led me to finally be able to wrestle the mountain of material. Eureka!  He is my comrade, my partner in crime, my teacher, my champion, my colleague.
  • Ken Boesem, artist, writer– my graphic novel/comic hero and shining example of commitment to the craft.
  • Bill Good, my old landlord, who when first showing us the 1929 apartment nestled by Stanley Park, turned to me and said,“You need to finish your book here.”  And I am here.
  • My son, Julian Bowers, for his photography and video captures.  For his intellect and insight. And for his companionship during the insular hours, indeed years, of research and work both at home and at the library.
  • My daughter, Anna Thorsen, for her encouragement and her role as my champion and producer. She will not let me think small.  She is my daughter and my mentor.
  • Joseph Killian, my soul-son and cheerleader.
  • Emily Cowan for empowering me to identify as an illustrator and working artist and for her teachings.
  • My big brother, Anders Thorsen, for his enthusiasm and unending support.
  • Charmaine Crooks, for her worldly wisdom and showing me how to navigate public forums.
  • My little brother, Fredrik Thorsen, who has taught me so much about the structure and power of story and theme. I am indebted to him for sharing his gift of film and for tenaciously capturing many important moments on tape to aid transcription. I protested at the time, but without the visual record, many moments would have been lost. And my sister-in-law, Cher Thorsen, for her support, sisterhood and enthusiasm. And my nephew Henrik and niece Vivienne who have allowed me to re-experience the joy of seeing the world through a child’s eye again.
Henrik and Tobey, Stanley Park, 2014
  • My pets throughout the process: Carbella (1991-2003), Riley (1998-2014), Violet (2003-2014), Tobey (2000- 2015), Asterix (1989- ).  The souls of the home as I work(ed).
  • Kickstarter backers including Dustin Christensen, Paul Marquis, Laura Mack, Joanna Harks, Rob Bucci, Nelda Hinds, Victor Mendoza, Brad Slater, Selina Crammond, Henry Denander, Nancy Mortifee, Joseph Killian, Rebecca Rawlinson, Nathan Parker, Sandra Garcia, Sairah Hearns, Ian Powell, Steve Podborski, Warren Te Brugge, Brad Lawrence, John Demuynck, Robert Nadeau, Lynn Gosnell, Maud Kerzendörfer, Cecile Cowley, Eric Damon Walters, Fred Thorsen, Cher Thorsen, Anders Thorsen, Anna Thorsen
  • Patreon supporters including Terry Cowan, Emily Cowan, Jenny, Nancy Ragghianti
  • Anthony Siress, who has supported and guided me  especially in the mid-stages of this project when my personal life was in particular turmoil. I am indebted to his patronage, enthusiasm, wisdom, and fearlessness. His joie de vivre is an intoxicating elixir.
  • Pamela Post journalist, teacher, mentor, friend- who has taught me about the power of storytelling, the richness that every individual holds within. Her insights, guidance, food, gifts, time and her willingness to champion my work has made a profound impact on me.  I am forever indebted.
  • Eve Lazarus journalist and historian who shares my passion for history and for true crime.  Spending time with her, revelling in the primary sources and discussing at length all angles about the case were some of my favorite moments.  Her books have enriched my work deeply.
  • Patti Henderson soul-sister, storyteller, who has always believed in me. She has taught me the importance of living fully, creatively, the power of life stories, the beauty of geneaology, the importance of cave time and the importance of emerging from it from time to time.
  • Anne Banner, and her store Salmagundi West. She has been a great resource and has so generously shared her space, her stories, her artifacts, her ghosts. With her help, I have been able to stay immersed in the 1940’s.
  • Cat Webb (Hecate’s Daughter), psychopomp, for her guidance on navigating soul work.  For her humour, creativity, and you got this reassurance.
  • Peter Breeze,  whose profound teachings have allowed me to stand in my successful self despite my history of crippling anxiety and low self-esteem.  It is no longer act as if, it is: be it.
  • I would also like thank the following individuals who have been key to helping me with the project with all sorts of advice, coffee chats, distractions, discussions, enthusiasm, food, support, kleenex, photographs, feedback, their inspiring ways and their love: in particular my soul-sister and mentor Laura Mack who has supported me beyond description and has taught me to get out of my own way, Alison Donnelly, my dear colleague and dear friend who understands what living with anxiety and the artist’s soul is like and who champions and lifts me, Maud Kerzendörfer, my angel on earth who fiercely teaches me about and protects my right to put myself first, as well as Parmida Afsahi, Norman Berglund, Darcy Guenette, Owen McEwen, Ian Powell, Sara Place, Jessica Sloan, Cheryl Bain, Nancy Kirkpatrick, Miko Philip, Alicia Love, Maryellen GroundwaterJen MacdonaldIrma Anderson, Beverley Pomeroy, Michele Lilyanna, Brenda Morrison, Lindsey Hodgson, Rebecca Mears, Lucca Hallex, Jasper Lastoria, Hannah Ackeral, Loretta Cella, Maryellen Groundwater, Terry and Kevin Cowan (thank you Kevin for the double helix suggestion) and ALL my friends and students – you have taught me so much.
  • Jay Fisher stylist and life coach, who has, from the beginning, been the fire under my ass.  Do it.  Own it.  Jay was also integral in transforming my model from a modern, tattooed, edgy punk to 1940’s Molly.
  • Rick Legal photographer, whose incredible talent and sensitivity captured breathtaking moments, recreating Molly in a way I never thought possible.
Jocelyn Louise as Molly with Jay Fisher.  Photo by Rick Legal, 2012
  • Jocelyn Louise- oh, Jocelyn.  My muse.  My soul-daughter.  My friend.  She gave herself so willingly to act as an illustration reference, and in the process became the image of Molly herself.  Jocelyn is more than a muse.  More than a model.  She channelled and brought to life my main character in a way that impacted all the imagery in the book.  Her courage and generosity has been the greatest gift.  And finally,
  • Molly O’Dwyer– who chose me.


[1] Dark Shadows- COLD CASE: 1953 murder of two boys is the subject of book and renewed police investigation on its 50th anniversary. The Vancouver Sun August 11, 2003

© Katarina Thorsen 2019


Readers of this publication agree that Katarina Thorsen will not be held responsible or liable for damages that may be alleged or resulting directly or indirectly from the reading of this publication.

Molly- a true crime analysis is based on extensive research, interviews and published accounts. I use mainly primary and secondary sources in order to build the story. I have attempted to stick to the facts in the text and avoid assumptions, yet draw conclusions from the circumstantial evidence. Visual scenes have been created for the purposes of dramatization.  This is a work of creative non-fiction inspired by true facts, physical evidence and historical research. In the end, this is my artistic interpretation and nothing more than that.  – Katarina Thorsen