Pearl Cherneske, left, and Lorain Phillips, sister and niece respectively of murder victim Alexandra Wiwcharuk, attend a candlelight vigil Friday near the CPR train bridge. Wiwcharuk was murdered in 1962 and the case is still unsolved. Photograph by: Greg Pender , The StarPhoenix By Lana Haight, The StarPhoenix
About 70 people held candles, sang songs and told stories about Alexandra Wiwcharuk, who went missing May 18, 1962. Her body was found in a shallow grave two weeks later near the CPR train bridge.
"It's 50 years. I just can't believe it," said Pearl Cherneske, one of Wiwcharuk's older sisters, who came from Edmonton for the weekend.
"I feel so great that people remember and they want the murder solved like we do. I'm sure Alex is looking over us even now."
Cherneske's four daughters have been investigating their aunt's death for years. They've bought billboards and put up posters, hoping someone would come forward with information that would lead to solving the crime...Continue reading...
The Girl in Saskatoon by Sharon ButalaCanadian history and interest has always been a subject of mine that I pay a lot of attention to, so when I saw this book, I found myself curious about just who "The Girl in Saskatoon" was. It was a topic that hit national airwaves when it happened, but it was several years ago, so I had no memory of ever hearing about it before. I am on the east coast, though, so I imagine if you were on the west it is still a topic that gets mentioned from time to time and people still remember what they were doing when they found out.
In 1961, a country singer named Johnny Cash chose a beautiful young woman named Alexandra Wiwcharuk to be his “Girl in Saskatoon” and sang to her in front of a hometown crowd. A few months later she would be found brutally murdered on the banks of the Saskatchewan River. As Sharon Butala notes, “An entire city came to a stop.” Her high school friend Alex had dreamed of becoming a glamorous stewardess; she had been crowned a beauty queen in local pageants; she was about to graduate as a nurse. Her brutal killing became a touchstone moment for Saskatoon residents: years later, people could still remember exactly what they were doing when they heard the news. Why was Alex’s murder so haunting? And why did Sharon Butala return some 40 years later to reconstruct Alex’s life and search for answers?...Read here...