The Trail Went Cold – Episode 295 – Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women

May 26, 1986. Frobisher Bay, Northwest Territories. After returning home from a trip, the sister of 15-year old Mary Ann Birmingham enters their residence and discovers that Mary Ann has been stabbed to death. Months later, a local resident named Jopie Atsiqtaq pops up on the radar as a potential suspect after he is charged with the similar stabbing deaths of two other victims. Even though Atsiqtaq is initially charged with killing Mary Ann, he denies any involvement and since the evidence is deemed insufficient for him to stand trial, the crime is never solved. Mary Ann Birmingham’s murder is just the first case we’ll be covering on this week’s special episode of “The Trail Went Cold” about missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls from Northern Canada. In total, we’ll be exploring nine unsolved cold cases involving Indigenous female victims which took place in Nunavut and the Northwest Territories. The nine victims are 15-year old Mary Ann Birmingham, 38-year old Tabitha Kalluk, 46-year old Della “Jochebed” Ootoova, 18-year old Leona Brule, 15-year old Charlene Catholique, 24-year old Mary Rose Keadjuk, 17-year old Mariella Lennie, 39-year old Dorothy Abel and 22-year old Angela Meyer.

If you have information about the murder of Mary Ann Birmingham, please contact the Iqaluit detachment of the RCMP at (867) 979-0123. If you have information about any of the other featured cases from the Northwest Territories, please contact their RCMP’s Historical Case Unit at (867) 669-1111. If you have information about any of the featured cases from Nunavut, please contact the Canadian Crime Stoppers Association at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

The Trail Went Cold has made donations to the following organizations in support of Indigenous women’s and girls’ issues in Canada.

The Native Women’s Association of Canada:

Amnesty International’s No More Stolen Sisters program:

Additional Reading:

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“The Trail Went Cold” is now doing a weekly livestream show on Vokl every Thursday from 7:00-8:00 PM ET as part of their “True  Crime Thursday” line-up. For more information, please visit their website.

The Trail Went Cold is produced and edited by Magill Foote.

All music is composed by Vince Nitro.