All illustrations by Katarina Thorsen.  Mediums include china marker, acrylic, ink, embroidery on paper


PART 1A The Crime Sketchbook 

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Panel 1 (insert): Map of Vancouver, ca. 1930 (public domain)

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The A•B•C’s of TRAFFIC SAFETY booklet cover (ca 1950), Illustrated by Phyllis Jane by Public Relations Services Limited, Toronto, Ontario.  “In the interests of accident prevention these booklets are made available to grade students by B.C. Electric.”  I purchased it at Fort Langley Antique Museum. To read more about the booklet, visit LINK.

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Panel 2: BCE bus with school children, 1948 (public domain)

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Panel 2 (insert): “The Pavilion and lily pond, Stanley Park,” postcard 191-? (public domain)

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Photo taken at alleged crime scene in Stanley Park, November 6, 2013

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Vancouver Sun January 15, 1953 (retrieved from microfiche, Vancouver Public Library in 2003)

PART 1B The Headlines, 1953

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Photo of dead bird found outside the Lions Gate Hospital cafeteria, 2011. © Katarina Thorsen 2017

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Model: Jocelyn Louise.  Photographer: Rick Legal

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Forest floor, Stanley Park, January 20, 2017 © Katarina Thorsen 2017

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[Mulligan report] as retrieved on August 27, 2003, from City of Vancouver Archives, Vancouver, BC, Canada. The City of Vancouver Archives, a division of the City Clerk’s Department, is responsible for acquiring, organizing and preserving Vancouver’s historical records and making them available to the public.

• Walter H. Mulligan, Chief of Vancouver City Police, appointed January 27, 1947. “Mulligan set a record at the time for longevity as chief, and might have carried on for a lot more years. But he was caught with his hand in the till.” Retrieved October 2, 2006 from

PART 2A Why Me? 

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Photo of my mother reading comics, ca 1957, Sweden (age 21)

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Photo of my father in Paris, ca 1954 (age 24).  Read more about my father and I at: Drawn Together.

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Screen captures from video footage by Fredrik Thorsen following  Babes in the Wood Task Force (Sgt. Brian Honeybourn, Dr. David Sweet, George Garrett, Katarina Thorsen) as they go through physical evidence at the Vancouver Police Museum.

Panel insert: Katarina Thorsen speaking at Community Forum, Abbotsford Public Library, March 23, 2004 (seated left to right: George Garrett, Sgt. Brian Honeybourn)

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Roessle, Jason (November 6, 2003) Were Mission brothers ‘Babes in the Woods’? The Abbotsford News and The Mission City Record

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Community Forum Poster, Abbotsford Public Library, March 2004

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Panel 1: Chickadee Trail, Stanley Park

Panel 2: Memorial rock laid by my family at the scene, February 2004

PART 2B A Child is Born

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Vintage St. Patrick’s Day card (public domain)

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Map of the provinces of Ireland (public domain)

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Rock of Cashel (public domain).  The Rock of Cashel (Irish: Carraig Phádraig), also known as Cashel of the Kings and St. Patrick’s Rock, is a historic site located at Cashel, County Tipperary, Ireland.

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Siegemund, Justine (1690), The Court Midwife

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The name O’Dwyer stems from the Irish language name O’Duibhir (pronounced O Dweer) meaning “descendant of Duibhir,” believed to be a 10th century clan ancestor. The meaning of this ancestor’s name is suggested as black and dun-coloured[1], probably referring to a mixture of hair colouring on the head and face as a personal characteristic. “Outside of Ireland, the “Dwyer” form of the name, without the “O” prefix, is more widely used, but both share the same clan roots. The dropping of the prefix dates back to the mid-seventeenth century, and was brought about by the policy of the English government to suppress the ancient Irish Celtic culture and clan system.“ [2]

In 2001 the Genetics Department of Trinity College got involved in a project titled Irish Origins: the genetic History and Geography of Ireland by using DNA markers. Through the project they hope to discover new views on the different ancestral influences, which shaped Ireland. The O’Dwyer clan ( is currently running an O’Dwyer DNA Campaign. The tests could be used to establish if variations of the O’Dwyer name such as Dwyre, Dwier, Dwyar, O Duvire, O Duire, Dwire etc and even the Divers and McDyers can be traced genetically to the same source.[3]

The O’Dwyers are strongly associated with south Leinster (the most easterly of Ireland’s four provinces), but the O’Dwyers were mainly an important sept (a division of a family, especially a division of a clan) in County Tipperary in the province of Munster. Their lands were in Kilnamanagh, the area between the town of Thurles and the County of Limerick.[4]

[1] Dun is a brownish-gray color, sometimes seen in the hair coats of horses, characterized by a body color ranging from sandy yellow to reddish-brown. Retrieved November 9, 2006 from

[2] Retrieved November 9, 2006 from

[3] For more information, see

[4] “The name still survives as a modern civil barony, and extends over perhaps 100 sq. miles in the mountains between Limerick, Tipperary, Cashel and Thurles. The crumbling ruins of nine of the O’Dwyer castles can still be seen on the Kilnamanagh landscape even today.” Retrieved November 9, 2006 from

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Molly’s father, Michael Joseph O’Dwyer, was born on November 19, 1891 in Tipperary, Ireland. His birthplace was listed as Kilsbrore (sic) on passenger list acquired from the Pier 21 Society. His parents were William O’Dwyer and Nora Purrcell (sic). The Purcell family name, as the O’Dwyer name, stems from the County of Tipperary. Purcell also stems from the Counties of Kilkenny and Limerick.[1]

[1] Kane Strategic Marketing (1993) Kane Ancestral Map Ireland Harbor Springs, Michigan: Kane Strategic Marketing Inc.

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Molly’s mother, Norah O’Dwyer, was born Hanora (also found spelled Norah or Nora) Morris (or Morriss). Her birth date was February 19, 1900 and the passenger list indicates she was born in Ballagh, Ireland- likely the Ballagh in the county of Donegal and the northern province of Ulster[1]. On her death certificate, it says her parents were “not known.” The name, Morris, means “dark, swarthy” and is possibly a modern form of the ancient Irish name “O’Muirgheasa”. The Morris ancestors stem from Galway, Tipperary and Waterford counties.[2]

The Morris family motto[3]: “A gair duw yn ucha” (“The word of God above all” or “And the Word of God Highest”).

[1] The term “Black Irish” is a derogatory term has multiple meanings- one used by the Catholic Irish to describe the Protestants of Ireland who have historically supported the British Rule of Ulster… The Myth of the Black Irish- Spanish syntagonism and prethetical salvation, T. P. Kunesh

[2] Kane Strategic Marketing (1993) Kane Ancestral Map Ireland Harbor Springs, Michigan: Kane Strategic Marketing Inc.

[3] Retrieved November 9, 2006 from

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Molly’s oldest brother, William O’Dwyer, named after his grandfather, was born in 1920- the date is not known. His birthplace is listed as Tipperary on passenger list. Molly’s mother would have birthed William when she was around 19 or 20. Molly’s father would have been 28 or 29 when William was born. Molly’s parents were married, but the date of their wedding is unknown at this point.

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Molly’s next oldest brother, Michael Joseph O’Dwyer, his father’s namesake, arrived on May 2, 1922.   His birthplace is listed (in handwriting) as Costel (sic) on the passenger list. I could not find a town matching that spelling on any Ireland map and I speculate that “Costel” meant to read “Cashel.”[1]

[1] Cashel saw the first stirrings of the Confederate War in Munster when, in 1642, Philip O’Dwyer of Kilnamanagh seized the town. Retrieved November 11, 2006 from

“Built in the mid -18th century, [the Dundrum House in Cashel, Tipperary] was the centre of a fine estate once owned by the famous Irish family the O’Dwyer of Kilnamanagh. The O’Dwyer were dispossessed of their lands during the Cromwellian Confiscation of Ireland in the 17th century. Philip O’Dwyer, was the proprietor of the estate at Dundrum, and little is known about him except that he captured Cashel, along with his followers on December 31st, 1641, and during this siege some 20 of the 300 English there were murdered, in retaliation for the indiscriminate murder of their relatives by some of the Cashel English, a few weeks before. The attack on Cashel opened the campaign into Munster, and as a result Philip O’Dwyer had to pay dearly for his action. His action then and later, was made the ground for him and his cousin Anthony, being excepted from pardon for life and estate, in the Commonwealth Act of 1652 for the hanging at Clonmel in November 1652, of his brother Colonel Donogh O’Dwyer, and for the confiscation of the 60,000 statute acres owned by the Kilnamanagh clansmen. Philip and Anthony probably cheated the gallows by dying before the Cromwellian Conquest. Philip was the last of the line extending back for 10 centuries of Chiefs and Barons of Kilnamanagh, and so in less than a decade the O’Dwyer had met their fate. Cromwell’s Conquest had been complete and the cruel process of confiscation and transplantation was yet to come.” Retrieved November 11, 2006 from

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Molly (born Mary) Teresa (also spelled Theresa) O’Dwyer, was the third child and only girl. She was born on April 25, 1924 and as her brother, Michael, was born in “Costel.”

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Insert panel: vintage Canadian stamp, March 1929

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Brandels, M. (1929) Shaun O’Day of Ireland, Grossett & Dunlap Publishers: New York, New York (public domain)

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Black shoe with big gold pattern on front, containing shamrock and forget-me-not (public domain)

PART 3A The DNA, 1998

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“DNA is God’s signature… never a forgery, and his checks don’t bounce.” Eddy Joe Lloyd, exonoree, After Innocence (2005). 

DROSOPHILA (fruit fly) drawing. Some of my fondest memories at UBC in Biological Sciences (1980-1984) was mapping a fruit fly’s genome. I recall the beautiful starfish-like chromosome.

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Rosalind Franklin.  Image sources:

There is probably no other woman scientist with as much controversy surrounding her life and work as Rosalind Franklin.  Franklin was responsible for much of the research and discovery work that led to the understanding of the structure of deoxyribonucleic acid, DNA.  The story of DNA is a tale of competition and intrigue, told one way in James Watson’s book The Double Helix, and quite another in Anne Sayre’s study, Rosalind Franklin and DNA.  James Watson, Francis Crick, and Maurice Wilkins received a Nobel Prize for the double-helix model of DNA in 1962, four years after Franklin’s death at age 37 from ovarian cancer. – source

Recommended viewing:

Watson, Crick and Wilkins might never have reached their conclusions (or, at least, reached the conclusions as early as they did) without a massive contribution from a crystallographer and molecular biologist named Rosalind Franklin – a contribution that went publicly uncredited and undocumented.  Franklin made the fateful decision to share one of her pivotal X-ray photographs of an inner molecular structure to the deputy director of her lab, Wilkins – who then, without Franklin’s knowledge, casually revealed the image (known as ‘Photograph 51’) to Watson and Crick. – source

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Snag overlooking the crime scene at Chickadee and Eagle trail intersection

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Insert panel: Teeth, Andrews, Jane (1885) Child’s Health Primer – For Primary Classes (public domain)

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1940’s rabbit fur coat found on ETSY in 2012. Photo by Nancy Kirkpatrick, 2012

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Photo of my mother (on the left) with her best friends in Sweden in the 1970’s

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Disney’s Daisy’s Dilemma, 1947

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My mother (with balloon) with her lab mates in the 50’s, Sweden

PART 3B Norah

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Panel 1: Vintage map of the County of Donegal (public domain)

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Panel 1: Marriage records, Ballagh.  Retrieved from Catholic Registers, February 18, 2017 (public domain)

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Death Certificate of Molly Teresa O’Dwyer, Retrieved from BC Archives, Royal BC Museum, Victoria BC, May 12, 2005

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Miserere (full title: Miserere mei, Deus, Latin for “Have mercy on me, O God”) is a setting of Psalm 51 (50) by Italian composer Gregorio Allegri. It was composed during the reign of Pope Urban VIII, probably during the 1630s, for use in the Sistine Chapel during matins, as part of the exclusive Tenebrae service on Holy Wednesday and Good Friday of Holy Week. – source

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Panel 2: O’Brien, Rev. John A. (1934), Legitimate Birth Control- According to Nature’s Law, in Harmony with Catholic Morality, Our Sunday Visitor Press: Huntington, Indiana

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Panel 1: excerpt (page 8) from Joseph William O’Dwyer’s Essondale patient file, 93-5683-1198, #26, 170, retrieved by BC Archives manager, June 2004

Insert panel: Obituary for Michael Joseph O’Dwyer, The Vancouver Sun, June 18, 1943

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Panel 1: Obituary for Molly Teresa O’Dwyer, The Vancouver Sun, November 6, 1947

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West Lawn Building, Riverview Hospital

Riverview Hospital was a Canadian mental health facility located in Coquitlam, British Columbia. It operated under the governance of BC Mental Health & Addiction Services when it closed in July 2012  In December 2015, the provincial government announced plans to begin construction in 2017 to replace the obsolete buildings with new mental health facilities scheduled to open in about 2019.

At one time Riverview Hospital was known as Essondale Hospital, for Dr. Henry Esson Young (1862-1939) who played an important role in establishing the facility. The neighbourhood where the hospital is located also became known as the Essondale neighbourhood.

Photos by author, August 6, 2013.

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Panel 1: Death Certificate of Hanora (Nora) Mary O’Dwyer, Retrieved from BC Archives, Royal BC Museum, Victoria BC, May 12, 2005

Panel 2: Unknown Irish Family.  Retrieved from Irish Archaeology, February 18, 2017 (public domain)


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Postcard: Mission, BC, 1955, The T. Eaton Co. on Main St., Mission City, B.C. (public domain)

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Insert panel: excerpt from Roessle, J., Possible local link to Babes in the Woods murders, The Mission City Record, November 6, 2003

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Panel 1: stamp. Detail of Canada BC Shalalth 1953 CDS Cancel – Northern Construction Co. CC Cover to USA, retrieved February 22, 2017 from

Panel 2: letter. Scan of photocopy of original letter from Douglas A. January 29, 1953, sent to the Vancouver Police Department as shared by Sgt. Brian Honeybourn with the Babes in the Woods Task Force

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Large panel: Bridge River No. 1 Powerhouse on Seton Lake, 1950s, looking west (public domain)

Insert panel: Seton House at Shalalth, 1946 (public domain)

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Panel 2: author’s personal collection of vintage photographs

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Panel 1: 1950’s car, retrieved February 24, 2017 from (public domain)

Panel 2: Entrance to Stanley Park, 1940, City of Vancouver Archives 586-340 (public domain)

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Vintage colouring book, printed in Canada by Lowe (ca. 1950) purchased at Fort Langley Antique Mall

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Vintage colouring book, printed in Canada by Lowe (ca. 1950) purchased at Fort Langley Antique Mall

 Vintage crayons and cloth (author’s personal collection)

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Insert panel: 1940 Buick interior retrieved February 25, 2017, from

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British Columbia Provincial Police – BCPP highway patrol officer issuing a ticket. (public domain), retrieved February 22, 2017 from

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Large panel: Stave Falls power plant, Vancouver City Archives, CVA 99-132 (public domain)

Insert panel: Man fishing in river, Vancouver City Archives, CVA 260-1123.5 (public domain)

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Excerpts from Roessle, J., Possible local link to Babes in the Woods murders, The Mission City Record, November 6, 2003


All objects like vintage dolls and immigrant trunk, author’s private collection

All vintage photos, posters and brochures, public domain

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King, S. J. (2014) Cashel character Bill ‘Bob’ O’Dwyer recalled, Tipperary Star, October 21, 2014 LINK

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Third class images (public domain) 1920’s, retrieved March 3, 2017 from: 

Third class

Dining room


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Canadian Pacific Railway Locomotive No. 2638, ca 1920-1930, Calgary, Alberta.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3224553) retrieved March 2, 2017 from


All photos and screen captures © Katarina Thorsen 

All primary source maps, inserts, historical photos: public domain


Vintage objects from author’s personal collection

All vintage photos public domain

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“Westward Ho!” The Imperial Limited at full speed. Canadian Pacific Railway (public domain)

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Panel 1: Canadian Pacific Locomotive, 1930s. Heavy passenger and freight locomotive on the Canadian Pacific Railway (public domain)

Panel 2: F2 3001 Chinook the only named Jubilee (or any other modern CPR steam engine). Named for the train it hauled between Calgary and Edmonton. 1942 L.A. Stuckey/ Ken MacDonald Joseph Testagrose Collection. 

Insert: Train travel in Canada…

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Alberta Map 1929

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Preserved Northern Alberta Railway NAR baggage car.

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Land Settlement/Farming

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Photos of trees and forests by author

Screen captures by Fred Thorsen and Patti Henderson

Model: Jocelyn Louise; Stylist: Jay Fisher


Cecil, Barbara (2005) The Symbols Way- guidance for individuals and groups on the threshold of change, Ashland, Oregon (SPECIAL THANKS TO LAURA MACK)

Photos of vintage objects by Julian Bowers

Model: Jocelyn Louise; Stylist: Jay Fisher

Molly has chosen, for the process, the following objects:

The ABCs of Traffic Safety for Young Children, c. 1950. Illustrated by Phyllis Janes (purchased at the Antique Warehouse in Fort Langley, BC)

Box of crayons: Pentel Someil 7 colors

Bakelite coat button with tulip design, 1940’s. Identical to button found at crime scene. Purchased on ETSY, 2012, from Frances C. Belley, Quebec

Speaking of Love Booklet Wood, Leland Foster (1944), Speaking of Love, Commission on Marriage and the Home, Federal Council of Churches: New York, NY

Home Care of Tuberculosis- Hints for the Patient, Deming, Dorothy, RN (1943), Home Care of Tuberculosis- Hints for the Patient, National Tuberculosis Association

Shaun O’Day of Ireland children’s book, Brandels, Madeline (1929), Shaun O’Day of Ireland, A. Flanagan Company: USA

Bisque combination doll (early 20th century), bought at Salmagundi West, Vancouver BC

Talbot, Constance (1943), The Complete Book of Sewing, The Greystone Press: New York, NY

Yearbook, 1947 Totem, Annual Publication of the Students of the University of British Columbia

The objects represent major factors in Molly’s life, and she will lay them out portraying the current juncture in her life/death.


All historical photos– public domain

All vintage items in author’s personal collection, except for suitcase, which is located at Salmagundi West, Vancouver BC

Model: Jocelyn Louise

Stylist: Jay Fisher


My Molly muse Jocelyn Louise has an extraordinary gift to incarnate my character. And she fearlessly stepped into the forest. I cherish our crazy photography sessions these past few years and delighted to finally share them. I cannot imagine this project without her. Take time to check out her incredible portrayals this week in Part 7A- A Fur Coat, Molly- A True Crime Analysis (I love you, Jocelyn)


All photos by author

All historical photos, news articles– public domain

All vintage items in author’s personal collection

Model: Jocelyn Louise

Stylist: Jay Fisher


Fifty Favorite Rhymes of Mother Goose, A Whitman Giant Tell-A-Tale Book (1963) Whitman Publishing Division: Western Publishing Company Inc., Racine, Wisconsin (illustrated by Florence Sarah Winship)


Rousing Stories for Girls Blackie & Son Ltd (1930’s)

PART 9A Nature’s Law


O’Brien, John A. (1934) Legitimate Birth Control- According To Nature’s Law, In Harmony With Catholic Morality, Our Sunday Visitor: Huntington, Indiana

France, David (2004) Our Fathers- the Secret Life of the Catholic Church, Broadway Books: New York

Le Gall, Robert (2002) Symbols of Catholicism, Assouline: Paris, France

Warner, Marina (1976) Alone of All Her Sex- the Myth and the Cult of the Virgin Mary, Picador: England

Leach, Michael, Borchard, Therese J. (2000) I Like Being Catholic- Treasured Traditions, Rituals, And Stories, Doubleday: New York

Finnegan, Frances (2004) Do Penance or Perish- Magdalen Asylums in Ireland, Oxford University Press: New York

PART 9B Aftereffects


Ellroy, James (1996) My Dark Places, Vintage Books: New York

Blume, Sue (1998) Uncovering Incest and Its Aftereffects in Women, Random House: New York



























© 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