The death of Londoner Donna Awcock, a 17-year-old whose badly beaten body was found Oct. 13, 1983, near the Fanshawe Dam, remains one of the region’s most stubborn cold-case homicides.
The death of Londoner Donna Awcock, a 17-year-old whose badly beaten body was found Oct. 13, 1983, near the Fanshawe Dam, remains one of the region’s most stubborn cold-case homicides. Awcock’s sister, Tammy Dennett, who’s organized an anniversary memorial walk Friday, spoke to The Free Press about the case and her sister, last seen alive the night before when she was baby-sitting for a neighbour on Oakville Avenue and ran an errand to a variety store, never to return.
Q: What’s the most recent tip you’ve had from the police about Donna’s case?
I can’t mention any names, but a girl who firmly believes it was her uncle (who killed Donna) said she’s willing to give a DNA sample. I just got that (information) yesterday. I guess her uncle went to the variety store that exact same night. She said that was his hangout . . .
Q: Forty years is a long time to keep your sister in the public eye. What keeps you going?
To get people talking about it. Somebody knows something, and, hopefully, they tell the right person and it gets back to me, the police, Crimestoppers – whoever. Somebody has to be her voice – justice for her and closure for us.
Q: Different rewards have been offered over the years. Have they generated tips that the police have pursued?
There’s still a $50,000 reward outstanding for (information leading to the conviction of Awcock’s killer). A lot of the stuff they (the police) don’t tell me. There is not much I really hear because they don’t want to jeopardize the case, and neither do I.
Q: Are you still in touch with the woman whom Donna was babysitting for the night she was last seen alive?
(She) has already died, but she never ever said a word after Donna went missing . . .
Q: Your sister would be 57 years old now. What kind of woman do you think she would have become?
She would probably be a mom. She would probably be a grandma, possibly a great-grandma. There’s just so much we missed out on. Seventeen, she’ll forever be. It’s just heartbreaking to think about it. My dad didn’t get to walk her down the (wedding) aisle . . .
Q: How have you dealt with your sister’s unsolved murder for so many years?
It doesn’t leave your memory. It’s always in the back of your head. I don’t trust no one, unfortunately. October is very unsettling for us. You get those cold, windy birthdays, and it just brings back all those memories.