Terry Arnold

The window of the apartment Terry Arnold lived in at the time of the murder. He had a clear view from this window of the Ideal Dount Shop

This is outside of the Ideal Donut Shop. He ran in this direction toward the Norwood bridge where he then dropped the evidence into the river right after the murder

Terry Arnold

 

There are so many clues that indicate Terry Arnold got away with murder. It's a shame for the Stoppel family that they couldn't seek justice before it was too late when Arnold committed suicide in 2005. Arnold was found in his Victoria apartment deceased from a drug and alcohol overdose at the age of fourty-two. Next to his body was a three page suicide note with his fingerprints on it. 

 

Arnold was first interviewed by police shortly after the attack when he visited Barbara in the hospital. He told the Stoppel family that he was a truck driver and frequented the donut shop. The constable who interviewed him admits noticing that he resembled the composite drawing and that he seemed "somewhat strange". It's also known that Arnold lived directly across the street from the restaurant. At about the same time a friend of Arnold's called the police and said that he bore a striking similarity to the killer in the papers. He was then interviewed again in which he did confess to having a crush on Barbara. Despite all this the police did not pursue Arnold any further at this point. They even had his fingerprints on file and didn't bother to compare them to the ones found at the murder scene. Arnold also said later that he was housed with Thomas Sophonow in the Winnipeg Remand Centre while serving time for arson. He claimed that Sophonow confessed to killing Barbara and offered to testify against him.

 

More recently the police revealed that they had contact with Arnold a number of times during the investigation. On three separate occasions he had provided information about five different possible suspects. Was he diverting attention away from himself? 

 

In April 2005, a Winnipeg newpaper said evidence which may have been linked to Terry Arnold apparently vanished before it could be tested. Crucial evidence including: her socks, shoes and a discarded tissue. The report prepared about Arnold's suicide note outlined the allegated difficultes Sergeant Andrew Mikolajewski faced in trying to re-investigate the murder. This report had been kept secret by the Winnipeg Police Service since the day it was filed. Stoppel's brother Rick said he had obtainted the report from an anonymous source and released it to the media to show how police failed to properly investigate her murder. 

 

 

Sophonow was tried three times for the murder of Barbara Stoppel before being aquitted by the Manitoba Court of Appeal in 1985. 

 

In 1987 Arnold was the prime suspect in the unsolved murder of 17 year old Denise Lapierre. She disappeared in Calgary around 2 a.m. on June,22,1987. She had had a party at her home and decided to walk over to another party which was happening only a block away. About 22 hours later a long-distance operator called local police and said that a man contacted her saying there was a body dumped in an alley close by his home. 

 

The case went cold until 1997 when a special task force narrowed the list of suspects to just one. Retired Sargeant George Rocks was convinced that Arnold was the killer. Was it a coincidence that her body was found only a few steps away from where Terry Arnold was staying at the time? 

 

Despite all this evidence from the murder scene (including DNA) there was a judicial order in place preventing Calgary police from revealing the details of their investigation into Arnold. Need to also mention that his DNA was already in the database at this time. 

 

In 1999 Arnold was convicted of the first degree murder of 16 year old Christine Browne. He confessed to raping and killing her. He had clubbed her over the head with a rock on a remote hillside near Hedley, B.C., in 1991. Her skeletal remains weren't discovered until the fall of 1992 and her identity remained undetermined until January, 1994. 

 

He ended up serving only five years of a life sentence and then won a new trial on appeal after arguing that some documents had not been made available to him. The Crown revealed that it haden't disclosed the statements of two women who knew Arnold at the time of the Browne murder. Undercover officers created a sting operation in 1997 portraying themselves as gang leaders. They had convinced Arnold that as long as he came clean about his criminal past he could become part of their gang. Arnold's lawyer also claimed that the women later told police that the Terry believed someone would kill or set him up if he didn't do what he was told. 

 

The B.C. Crown's office decided to stay the charge against Arnold and he was freed in 2002.

 

He was found guilty in the rape of four Newfoundland girls; one only being 10 years old, convicted of sexual assualt in Chilliwack, B.C. in 1988 as well as a suspect in the disappearance of Roberta Ferguson whom went missing at Cultus Lake while she was camping.