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Cindy James

A woman is found murdered after reporting more than 100 incidents of harassment and violence, but police think she staged the attacks herself.


Cindy James


She got threatening calls and notes

CASE DETAILS


Cindy was attacked outside her home

On June 8, 1989, the quiet Vancouver, British Columbia, suburb of Richmond was shocked when a body was found lying in the yard of an abandoned house. The victim was a 44-year old nurse named Cindy James. She had been drugged and strangled. Her hands and feet had been tied behind her back. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police believed that Cindy’s death was either an accident or suicide. 

In the seven years before she died, Cindy reported nearly 100 incidents of harassment.  Five were violent physical attacks. Over time, the police began to doubt her stories. But Cindy’s parents never doubted that their daughter was murdered. Cindy’s father, Otto Hack:

“The police did not investigate the possibility of homicide, of somebody murdering her, but zeroed in on trying to prove that she committed suicide.”


Was it suicide or murder?

It all began with mysterious phone calls four months after Cindy James separated from her husband. Tillie Hack, Cindy’s mother, said Cindy told her she didn’t recognize the voice:

“She said it was just a voice. Sometimes it would change, the sound, and sometimes it was just whispering. Sometimes it was just nothing, just silence.”

Otto Hack, Cindy’s father, felt her daughter wasn’t telling everything she knew: 

“Of course, I think that we should add a qualifier there that she was very, very reluctant to talk about this right to the end, and our feeling was that she was withholding something extremely vital.”

Cindy reported the threatening calls to Vancouver police, who began investigating. Over the next three months, she said that the harassment got worse. At night, she heard prowlers. Her porch lights were smashed and phone lines severed. According to Cindy’s friend, Agnes Woodcock, Cindy said bizarre notes began to appear on her doorstep: 

“She told me many times that he wanted to scare her to death.  She said, ‘He doesn’t want to kill me, he wants to scare me to death.’” 

One night, Agnes dropped by Cindy’s house for a visit:

“I went up and knocked on the door, there was no answer.  I assumed she was having her bath. She did every night. And I thought I heard something. I wasn’t sure what it was.

When Agnes investigated, she came across Cindy outside:

“I found her crouched down with a nylon tied tightly around her neck. Cindy said she’d gone out to the garage to get a box and someone grabbed her from behind. All she saw were white sneakers.

Cindy moved to a new house, painted her car, and changed her last name. She also hired a private investigator, Ozzie Kaban. The police continued their investigation and questioned Cindy several times. According to Ozzie Kaban:

“She wouldn’t tell them the entire story. She would be evasive, she would withhold information, and she simply would not act as a normal victim would act. And I can see where a police officer would have a tremendous amount of problem believing her story.”

Cindy’s mother thinks she knows the reason for her daughter’s reluctance:

“Cindy told me that after she was attacked, the knife was held at her throat and she was told that if you talk, your sister will be next, and then your mother. So just keep quiet, don’t tell anything.”

One night, Ozzie Kaban heard strange sounds coming over a two-way radio he had given Cindy. He went straight to her house:

“I went around the house and the house was locked. I was able to look into the house through a window and I found Cindy lying there. I took a look at her and I thought she was dead.”

Ozzie kicked in the door:

 “There was a note that was pinned with a paring knife through her hand. I went to the telephone and called 9-1-1 and within about two minutes she revived briefly, and then they took her to the hospital. She told me that she noticed a man coming through the gate.  The next thing that she remembers is being hit on the side of the head with a piece of wood or something of that nature. She then she remembered being held down on the floor, and she remembered a needle going into her arm.”

But to some, the incidents and her stories of harassment, seemed suspicious. Neal Hall covered the story for the Vancouver Sun:

“There was never a fingerprint from a suspect, there was no independent corroboration.  Cindy saw this person, or sometime she said there were two, sometimes three people. One and a half million dollars, it’s been estimated, the police spent investigating Cindy James’ complaints. More than a hundred incidents. And they could never find a suspect.”

Cindy said the threatening phone calls continued, but police said they were too short to trace. Neal Hall:

“They had 24-hour surveillance on her house for days on end, with up to fourteen officers. But never, when surveillance was on her house, never any, any event would happen. As soon as surveillance was taken off, of course then she’d get another incident that happened.”

Cindy’s mother doesn’t think that was odd:

“When the police were watching the house, we would say to them, ‘Well, you know, if it’s somebody doing that, then sure as heck he knows you’re there, and of course, nobody will do anything while you’re sitting there and watching.’”

Then, Cindy was found dazed and semi-conscious lying in a ditch six miles from her home. She was wearing a man’s work boot and glove, and suffering from hypothermia.  Cuts and bruises covered her body. A black nylon stocking had been tied tightly around her neck. Cindy said she had no memory of what happened. Cindy started asking Agnes, and her husband, Tom, to spend the night. On one occasion, Agnes said, she woke them up:

“Cindy came running to the door and said, ‘Tom, I heard a noise downstairs’, and Tom said, ‘I heard it too, it was like a loud thump.” 

When they went downstairs, Agnes said they discovered that the basement was in flames:

“So I ran to the phone and the phone was dead. So Tom went outside and got the neighbor and asked if he would call the fire department. And when he went out, there was a man standing on the curb, and Tom asked him, and he ran away down the street.”

Once again, the police suspected that Cindy staged the incident. Reporter Neal Hall said that Cindy’s behavior that night was odd:

“There was no dust or fingerprints disturbed on the outside of the windowsill. But somebody set the fires from inside the home. And would’ve had to climb through that window. Now that should have been one sign. Also, she said she was out walking her dog late at night that night. Now, if somebody was being attacked, why would they go out alone walking their dog, three o’clock in the morning? Does that make sense?”

Finally, Cindy’s doctor committed her to a local psychiatric ward. He believed she was becoming suicidal. Cindy’s psychotherapist, Allan Connolly:

“I think one of the things she found most difficult was that people didn’t believe her. She was always doubted. She knew she was doubted and that was what slowly drove her crazy. The fact that she wasn’t believed.”

Ten weeks later, Cindy left the hospital. Cindy’s father said that she finally admitted to her family and friends that she knew more than she was saying:

“She told me for the first time she was convinced who the perpetrator was, and in her own words, if the police can’t solve this, I’ll solve it for them.”

On May 25, 1989, six years and seven months after the first threatening phone call, Cindy James disappeared. On the same day, her car was found in a neighborhood parking lot.  Inside were groceries and a wrapped gift. There was blood on the driver’s side door and items from Cindy’s wallet were under the car. Two weeks later, her body was found at the abandoned house. 

It looked like Cindy James had been brutally murdered. Her hands and feet were bound together behind her back. A black nylon stocking was tied tightly around her neck. Yet an autopsy revealed that Cindy died from an overdose of morphine and other drugs. Police concluded that Cindy had committed suicide. Her father didn’t believe it:

“There is no way that she could have been able, after ingesting that amount of drugs, to tie herself up. There was absolutely nothing at the crime scene to indicate that she had used any form of syringe, or she had used any drinking device, or anything of that nature.” 

Reporter Neal Hall:

“The morphine wouldn’t have taken affect for say, fifteen minutes to half an hour. The knot specialist who came in and re-created the same type of knots and the way she was tied up, it took him three minutes.”

In Vancouver, the coroner ruled that Cindy’s death was not suicide, an accident, or a murder. They determined that she died of an “unknown event.”

Cindy’s family, however, believes there’s someone in Vancouver who’s getting away with murder. 


Watch this case now on Amazon Prime in season three with Robert Stack and in season four with Dennis Farina. Also available on YouTube with Dennis Farina.

 

Comments

Anonymous's picture

I find it hard to believe she killed her self. She had no shoes on her feet. If she injected her self with morphne where is the need left and syringe??. Why was there blood on handle of her car door? Why didn't the police take samples of the blood on her car handle? There are too many questions in this case. Most people don't kill themselfs like this. I feel sad for her family and fight this ..

Britt's picture

There is no evidence she was injected with the morphine. It is believed she took the morphine in tablet form, which left her time to tie herself up- which, by the way, would have been easy to do, considering she could've slipped right out of the restraints. Also, the police did take samples of the blood on the door handle, and it was hers- so what does that prove anyway? She was known definitively to have made at least one of the harrassing phone calls to herself (the rest were too short to trace), she had set at least one of the fires (probably both), and not ONE fingerprint, foreign hair or drops of blood from anyone but Cindy was found ANYWHERE in her home, outside her home, near the death scene, in her car or on ANY of the hundreds of letters and piece of evidence she claimed was left by a stalker. Also, police watched the home for hours upon hours upon hours, with videotape, and nothing happened while they were there- ever. It would've been impossible for a stalker to know they were there for at least part of the time they watched her home. Cindy went out walking late at night often, and kept her blinds open as well so anyone and everyone could look into her home and see her and what she was doing at any time. Victims of stalking don't act the way she did. I know it's hard to believe someone could do all of this to themselves, but they can. It's been done before. Google Ruth Finley- her case is almost identical to Cindy's- and Ruth finally admitted it was her who did everything to herself. She got the mental help she needed, like Cindy should have.

Anonymous's picture

theories are just that...... The investigation was sloppy at best. By no means was there a mental health dr saying she had a mental illness. Such as to purposely sabotage herself and make up this kind of harassment. At one point at the very end she did end up in a mental hospital. Her Dr then didn't say she had mental health issue such as multiple personality disorder. He felt she had become suicidal. He also said that she was having issues due to the fact she felt no one belived her about being harassed. Up until that point in her mental health history did she ever attempt to kill herself. Before the attacks and harassment she had gotten a divorce and then she was fired at her job benhiem house. A place with children with issues. It was said she wasnt fit to be around children Due her mental health. However there was never exactly a document saying this and the dr reporting this never even evaluated her. It was speculation. Giving this information. One would put two and two together. That she was a nut job. However the police are the ones saying she was making up the harassment. There could have been more of an investigation if they tapped her phone lines or traced the calls. Its hard to pin point. up until the end they felt there was something she wasn't telling them. The police in my opinion spent way to much time trying to prove her wrong then exactly looking further into the issue. That being said let's look at the last days before she was found. She told her family that she know who was harrasing her and she was going to get to the bottom of it. So then the police found her car abondoned with presents in the back seat. Blood on the handle of the driver side door and the contents of her wallet found scatterd underneath the car.which by the way None of us have excess to the police or lab reports so we don't know if it was her blood. Two weeks later she was found dead with a nylon stocking tied around her neck; hands and feet tied behind her back and a mass amount of morphine found in her system. If you look at the way she was laying and the fact she had on no shoes. One would come to the conclusion this was a homicide not a suicide. However given her track record the police got sloppy over looked some major points and ruled this a suicide. If she did do this to her self then she would had to take the morphine by injection or injesting it. Given that knowledge how long would it take for it get into her blood stream?? If she did take morphine pills.where did she get them??? Did she take off her shoes and walk to that abondom lot and take the morphine and tie herself up? Where are her shoes? Why didnt anyone see something it was in a busy area? Look at what she is wearing.. Odd.. Look at the way she is laying... This doesn't add up. A knot tying expert said one could tie themselves up. He did in what less then 3 minutes yet he is an expert and he wasn't on morphine. How much morphine was found in her system? Where is optopisy report? and what did they find?? One doesn't kill themselves in this fashion and I found hard to believe. There are too many questions and holes. Something was diffently overlooked. This case is bafflingly...

Tina Land's picture

You said there should have been "more of an investigation". Almost 2 million was spent "investigating". How much more do you think should have been spent on one person?

Robbie's picture

Actually less than $1.5 MILLION was spent on this case..still a lot of money.Only The Gangster Bindi Johals trial was close at $1 Million..Anyways She walked her dog at 3:00 Am when the cops were at her house watching it..Also one thing I wud hv done was Watch her house in Undercover Vehicles and Dont tell her when they watched it some of the times..that wud hv made a difference..they wud hv caught her doing something if she was in fact doing some of the things which she was because the cops didn't BELIEVE her.

Robbie's picture

My friend worked on this case for about 6 Months.The Blood on the door handle was NOT tested..where did u hear that from.This is coming from a Cop..Not Tested..Maybe it was hers maybe it wasnt..She called herself because the cops didnt believe her,she did some of the Stuff to herself because the cops didn't BELIEVE her..

Katherin's picture

I remember Cindy James' murder well because I was living in the general area when this happened and became very interested in the case. Her marriage to a well known psychiatrist should have been more thoroughly investigated because he was a very controlling man who became vengeful after she left him. Cindy was afraid of her ex husband, who was a very clever and vindictive man, according to some reports. Cindy often pointed the finger directly at him saying, He wants to scare me to death. This was psychological terror as well a physical assaults on a defenseless woman by a crafty mind manipulator. Very, very sad life for Cindy after she walked out on her marriage and ending in this horrible murder which was misclassified as a suicide.

Dahlia's picture

I believe Cindy suffered from Munchhausen-by-proxy; a psychological illness in which one injures themselves to attract attention. Police constantly performed surveillance and tapped her phones to attempt catching the alleged harassers - nothing would happen. Whenever interviewed, she'd act deliberately evasive, lie, change stories or deny facts. Even the private investigator she hired couldn't find any suspicious behaviour and agrees she killed herself. The house arson was set from inside and there was never any signs of forced entry. Also - why was she walking her dogs at 3AM if she was so terrified?
Cindy committed suicide and, because she was willing to endanger those who loved her, animals and strangers, I have no sympathy for her at all. She staged her own "murder".

Joe's picture

FYI, it would be plain Munchausen syndrome that she would have suffered from. Munchausen-by-proxy is where someone harms someone else or fakes them being ill (usually their child) to attract attention and sympathy. Munchausen syndrome is when someone fakes their own sickness or other trauma to gain attention, as would be the case with Cindy.

Robbie's picture

Actually NO the Private Investigator Did Not BELIEVE she killed herself.He BELIEVED she was Killed,murdered.Also No its Not Munchhausen..Thr was a couple of times Ozzy heard banging on her door at 2:00 Am while staying at her house..And he saw a man standing on her bk porch..so explain that??

Sascha's picture

Good thought, but it would be Manchhausen's if you are harming yourself. The by proxy is when you are injuring another for attention. Still a good thought, but I am leaning more towards perhaps a borderline personality disorder, and things went to far. But the ex husband too...very odd. Sad, bizzarre case all around.

Lily's picture

Borderline personality disorder is when the person suffering from it can cope with abandom. Like for example if you break up a relationship with a borderline person the will go to the extreme including suicide.
I think this is more psychosis.

Sandy's picture

Perhaps she is walking her dog at 3am because she was a nurse and a shift worker !

Lily's picture

I though Malchunse by proxy is when parents hurt their child to get attention.

Kevin's picture

Just a theory: the police mentioned that she cost them much money. As a result, any commissioner or higher up could have staged the murder just to stop her from causing any other financial wastes.

Robbie's picture

Ummm no way it was the cops.

Anonymous's picture

I find it hard to believe that most people think she killed herself most suicides don't kill themselves or take morphine and tie themselves up. The crime scene looks like a dump meaning someone dumped her there. Its a busy are too. Wouldn't someone notice something. Where's her shoes? If she walked to that spot her feet would have shown it. Where are the pills or the sygrine if she swolled or injected her self. If she took them before how long would it take to kick in before she tied herself up. Could she have taken in the spot and then tie herself up.. I have come back to the no shoes thing again. Why would she walk away from her car; with no shoes. Come man.....there is no indication that she walk in her bare feet. Why isn't her feet dirt. There bruises on her body. How does one tie there hands behind there back to their feet?? Look at the way she is laying. Look at her clothes. The position of her body. This is not a suicide its a homicide.. Despite the harassment letters or phone calls. She might have been crazy maybe she made it up. It is possible that the police are hiding something or covering something up? She is no longer here to defend herself. Maybe the police fabricated on such events. They found her car two weeks before finding her. Her parents said she thought there was something she wasnt telling them.. Up until her death she knew something. I know people who killed themselves. This is not a suicide. This a cold blooded murder. The person or person's got away with it. The police are not telling all they know. They have painted a picture of facts mixed up and turned around so it well be more believable that this women through had mental problems and was in fact causing her own harassment. Do I know all the facts know? Could she have had mental problems sure. Was someone harassing her maybe. Did she take morphine; walk barefoot to the scene ; tie herself up with her hands behind her back and to her feet high my unlikely. Could the police have
Do more maybe. I Refuse to believe she killed herself. Did someone get away with murder? Yes.....

Riss's picture

I bet the police did it. She was probably involved or knew something she shouldn't about an officer and she was killed to keep her mouth shut.

Sky's picture

She was drugged, strangled and tied up. How can that be suicide? Very stupid police work and cops.

Abby's picture

Because the morphine was taken in pill form, which would give her time to tie herself up which wouldn't be the hardest thing in the world.

Rudysshoes's picture

Dahlia, she didn't have Munchausen by Proxy. That is when you harm someone else for attention. You believe she had Munchausen Syndrome. Learn the difference!

Robbie's picture

YOU ARE RIGHT,THAT DAHLIA PERSON KNOWS ABSOLUTELY NOTHING ABOUT NOTHING.SHE SAID THE DUMBEST THING EVER WITHOUT KNOWING THE FACTS..SHE SAID OZZY DIDNT SEE ANYTHING WHEN HE ACTUALLY SEEN A COUPLE OF THINGS AND ONE OF THEM BEING A MAN,MAYBE TWO BANGING ON CINDYS DOOR AT 2AM..HE ALSO HEARS COUPLE OF THE PRANK THREAT CALLS.

Johnny's picture

I was a teenager when this Cindy James Unsolved Mysteries case aired. It's a strange case where there are elements of self-harm and murder. This criminal had to be a sadistic offender to torture Cindy like that. Must be a living hell. Probably a serial killer who has killed women before. Don't know if this case will ever be solved. If it was murder, the criminal got away with the crime. Could be the perpetrator was a police officer or knew about police procedure. Such as a wash out cop. The other theory it was some kind of male nurse or doctor who stalked her as she was a nurse. That would make sense with morphine and other drugs in her system. A real mystery!

yeeee's picture

If she was under 24 hour surveillance how did no one ever catch her faking these acts? No one saw her drop a dead cat on her doorstep? Things just don't add up.

Robbie's picture

She wasnt always on 24 Hrs surveillance.They told her when they watched her which was a Big mistake.Cops shud of not told her every single time..half/half..But she was murdered by a crazy person who is still at large.Maybe one of us,YOU OR ME WILL BE NEXT..SOOON!!HOPE NOT.The cops did catch her lying a couple of times..But that was because she thought they didnt believe her so she pranked herself couple of times..But Ozzy the Private Investigator saw a man standing around her house a few times,Also heard BANGING on the door at 2AM..

Tamara's picture

I do not understand how anyone thinks she could have done that herself (the killing). An expert said its possible? How the hell can someone tie themselves up like that? with hands behind your back + around your neck + your feet?
Someone show me how that would work??

she was murder 's picture

She was murder

Eric W Bohannon's picture

It Was a man that is in dorms of a collage, now, I see him walking into his room, after coming up stairs, dark hair, it was a cover up, by local meaning the group that interacts and works, and lives close by that are local authorities.

Robbie's picture

1.OZZY SAW A MAN A FEW TIMES BY HER HOUSE LATE NIGHT
2.OZZY HEARD BANGING ON THE DOOR AT 2AM
3.OZZY PICKED UP TWO OF THE PRANK CALLS AND HEARD HEAVY BREATHING AND A THREAT
4.COPS SHUD NOT HV TOLD CINDY WHEN THEY WERE WATCHING THE HOUSE..SHUD HV DONE IT RANDOMLY.
5.TWO CALLS WERE MADE FROM THE MARINE DR WENDYS ON ONTARIO ST..
6.MY PARENTS LIVED 3 DOORS FROM CINDY AND HEARD SCREAMING TWICE.THEY ALSO SAW A MAN MAKE A THROAT CUTTING SIGN TO CINDY WHILE SHE WAS STANDING BY HER WINDOW WHILE OZZY WAS THERE..

Lily's picture

Wow!!
I think she was murder.
1. Morphine in her system. It could be possible that her ex got injected to her.
2. If you tide your shoes is not going to give you enough chance to tide yourself in the back.
3. I think her ex was using some drug to make go crazy.
4. If I was the perpetrator, do you think that I was going to go around when the cops are around. NO
5. I think her strange behavior was caused by some drug .

LUIS FREEH's picture

THREE PEOPLE! A NEIGHBOUR ON EACH SIDE AND A "DAEMONS" LIVING IN ANY WALL IN THE HOUSE! CHRYSLER MAKES THEM! "I" WALKED THROUGH A WALL OUNCE TO FIND ASECRET ROOM! THAT WHEN DAEMONS STARTED TO COME OUT FOR ME! GUESS IT 'S "LIKE" PARANORMAL $60 000G CHRYSLER OF CHILD PEDAFILES OR EVERY POLICE"S DREAM CAR WITH THE ECONOMY AND ALL! THE JIGSAW KI_LLER WAS VANCOUVER AND IN PARAGON SECURITY! PARA LIKE PARANORMAL. OHHH! "U" DIDN'T KNOW THAT ONE EITHER! OH! "I" WAS AN ARNY DIVER THE NIGHT OF "SHAG HARBOUR INCIDENT".

john smith's picture

cops are all the same...they don't care about the truth, they just want a simple conclusion so they can cross a case off the books. if it's murder but can't be proved, screw it, it must have been suicide or accident. If they can find someone to frame to get a conviction, whether or not that person had anything to do with the crime, screw it, plant whatever evidence you need to, suppress any evidence you need to, just wrap it up. the only way they could wrap this one up was to call it anything BUT murder. cops suck. that chick was CLEARLY too smokin hot to be crazy.

john smith's picture

what the info in the article does NOT say is that her ex husband was a doctor...wouldn't be too surprising that the cops would protect a respected person like him. what also is not told is that her boyfriend was...a cop. who better to know when she was under surveillance, if he was working with the doctor? who better to know how to avoid leaving evidence? maybe other cops were even in on it. the whole thing just stinks, and does not add up to suicide.

Ann Rane's picture

Did anyone ever think that maybe it was a Police Officer that was stalking her? I had a undercover Cop stalk me when I was 17 almost 18. We met at the Cosmetology school I was going to at the time. He talked to my Parents one day when they came to pick me up, he asked them if he could take me to go get something to eat and they said sure because he was an Officer they trusted him. If I remember right he told us he was 24. I didnt want to go with him because I had never been out on a date before. I was an introvert for the most part and I was nervous. Anyway, I was talked into it, went and got dinner than he said he wanted to stop by his apt to get something for a friend he was going to see later that night. I did not want to but he insisted I accompany him because he may be awhile. This was all before cell phone or I would have called my Dad. To long story shortish.... I wound up getting molested almost to the point of rape. Once I started fighting back he stopped and said i was time he got to his friends house. He told me that what he did was what people do on dates. I dont think he realized at first I did not drink any of the soda he gave me when we got to his apt. Mom always said never take a drink from strangers or if you sit your drink down. On the way home he told me if I told anyone what he tried to do he would kill my family and that no one would believe me cause he was a Cop. I never did tell anyone till I was like 28 or so. My Parents were mad because I didnt tell sooner and because they were manipulated into trusting them. He was really cute but to me I could tell there was something off about him. Do not know what happened to him over the yrs either.

So I am wondering if he was an Officer cause he seemed to know when they were watching, like the one step ahead game deal. RIP Cindy.

Me's picture

Ann, what you wrote is creepy and almost identical to what happened to me in 1993. I met a man online who claimed to be about 19. He sweet talked my parents and long story short this guy stalked and raped me for months. He would threaten me saying he knew when my sister got home from school and other personal things. He even took me to a cabin when we were suppose to be going to Six Flags. He did horrible things to me there and even talked of chaining me up. A huge bolt was in the middle of the kitchen floor. He said it was to keep me in my place. I'm not sure how I wasnt kidnapped but he stopped stalking and raping me. I didn't go to the police till I was about 25 or so. They looked back and saw he had done similar things. He was in his late 20s according to the police and he posed as a doctor, police officer and other things. It was too late to file charges but they took my report. I was told if they ever caught him and could charge him I could speak at senetensing. But it's been almost 16yrs since I reported him and nothing. The name he went by was likely fake too.

Anyway I don't think Cindy did this to herself. It's sad people think that. One reason people don't report stalking is because it makes you feel crazy. I still have a family member who blames me for what happened to me. That's why I took me years to come forward.

Anonymous's picture

This case is one that is heartbreaking and tragic.. I feel very sad for her family for losing their daughter. For it to finally end up with her being found tied up in abandon lot.. I read a lot of comments on here. This is a very bizarre and frustrating case. We can speculate and try to put the pieces together and they seem very odd.. Did she really do this to herself? Was she capable of tying herself up after taking morphine? Was there a sick person torturing and stalking her? Was it murder or suicide? Besides the fact of the harassment and the police believing she was doing this to herself. It looks like a murder. The way the body was laying. The way she was tied up. The fact that she was barefoot... I read somewhere that there was bruises and scratches on her body. It looks like a busy area.. So someone could have heard or seen something. I am no expert.. I am no doctor or psychologist. So I really don't have a leg to stand on. All I know is this case is scary and very eerie.. It would be very strange to act out and be your own stalker.. It seem very calculated to take your own life in such an extreme fashion. I feel the private investigator tried to help her and stumbled upon somethings that could help in this case. However there are many factors that dont add up. There are some truths buried under these strange events.. I hope that someone.. Somewhere uncovers a piece of information that puts this to rest.. Until then it's just speculation..

todd's picture

why is everyone bullying everyone else in the comments.. people make mistakes all the time.. we are just trying to help.. unless you're perfect stop being so mean.. geez

todd's picture

i dont understand how mean comments are allowed.. we shouldn't be picking on each other.. we need to help bring justice to other people instead of being a bully.. leave others alone they are just trying to help.. especially robbie who has written mean things in the comments here on various cases.. you should be helping too or go away.. lets focus on being helpful to other human beings instead!!!

James's picture

"She was drugged, strangled and tied up. How can that be suicide? Very stupid police work and cops."

The only stupid police work is the fact they gave her so much attention. Had they backed off immediately, she'd still be alive. I assume the police were smart enough to see that the more attention they paid to the case and the more skeptical they became, the "stalking" and level of attacks increased. That's not a coincidence. Its also proof that she herself was her own stalker.

Her suicide was a huge FU to the cops for not believing her. Its like, See! Maybe now you'll believe me since I'm dead!".

THis woman suffered mental illness and I hope they never waste another penny reopening this case and giving it another look.

jack's picture

her husband or cop EX bf

Lyn's picture

She had a cop move in with her for a month during the harassment as well. It was said to be her boyfriend at the time. Plus her ex husband was a psychiatrist. Very bizarre case.

A Man's picture

I was born and raised in Richmond. Oddly enough, this is NOT a well-discussed case in a small, peaceful city. One of my family friend's husband is the person who found her body.

Very odd to believe Unsolved Mysteries came out in my own city to film a segment, given how big the world is. I've done research and there don't appear to be any developments in this case. RIP Cindy.

Anonymous's picture

"The morphine took 15 minutes to kick in." The knot specialist tied it in three. Ok...well he's a knot specialist. Pretty sure he's faster than her...

Juli's picture

This story truly catches my attention because ibhave so many things in common with her an ever story. I am also a nurse and was stalked similar but not near as severe as her for nearly 2 years. I never found out who it was and I was also scared to call the police and think they would not believe me. I understand the point of view from the police but at the same time I understand more so from possibly Cindy's perspective. I was brutally stalked for nearly 2 years and still to this day do not know for SURE who it was. I have a good idea of whom it is but at the same time went over it again and could possibly 2 other men. 2 of them could have possibly been deputies. I dated a deputy intermittently for 10 years and we had a rocky relationship but nonetheless always went back to one another and were very jealous of others. I was 18 years old when I met him and he was 28. During those 10 years when we would break up for short periods I never really dated anyone else. Well, I was getting older and tired of the break ups and truly trying to move on for the first time. He didn't like it very much. As I got older I found out things I would have never thought twice about him. The second person was another deputy that was very sexual and obsessed but I would not date nor give into his advances when I found out he was married!! The third was someone I also casually dated and I would not allow it to go any further either.

I will try to make this as short as possible but it all started when I left the long time boyfriend and completely quit talking to another guy that I didn't want to date anymore or take it further with. I was in nursing school at the time. I lived in an apartment complex in the very back by woods where a trail ran from the window to through the woods and also to another apartment complex. In and the window partially open for my car to return and all of a sudden heard 3 gun shots that sounded as if they came in the apartment. Shortly after went outside and talked with all neighbors to rule out anyone playing around although I had the window open and would have heard someone walking back there or talking if they weren't trying to b sneaky. Next day I go out there and find 3 shell casing lying next to the window. Then the stalking truly started. I would come home and find zip ties on my porch (which ended being the stalkers "signature"). He did this to let me know he had been there wherever whether it be my car door handle or the porch or even work. He was able to get in my home and car without forced entry somehow because I would find things from inside my car like airfreshmer and then put in my house. My cat was shot with a bb gun, whiskers cut off and even shaved his fur!! Shortly after this another black and white cat that looked just like mine was found burned and zip tied and tortured and was on the news. When I would sleep he would tap on my window (it was very hard for me to see out that window at night plus I had pushed a huge dresser in front of it for extra protection) and shine bright flashlights at the window. He would tap and make noise outside. I could go on and on. I then thought moving would solve the problem because suspected all my neighbors at first but it only made it worse. I texted anyone I thought it could be and said I knew it was him and left a note inside my house saying in bad evidence of who the person was and they would be caught. This was partially true. I had at the time put cameras up, taken pictures of foot prints, etc and made a notebook and timeline of the events and I moved away. I was there all of 6 days before my back door was kicked down and everything stolen including the notebook and sentimental things like rose petals from grandfather's funeral. Anyhow, calling the cops (not that they didn't necessarily believe me) but they didn't really take it seriously at all.

Anyhow, everyone believes stalkers are someone you know exactly who they are and follow you and show up places where you are at. Honestly, in my experience a stalker is someone that wants to scare the living death out of you, make you live in fear and wonder when they will come next or if they are there now, and a clever stalker will want to make your think you are going crazy. I believe the stalker delibertlwy did crazy things such as make that sign "I will cut you" because he knew the police would possibly overlook that and possibly consider as if she did it. Also, they want the person to go crazy. That keeps them from getting caught and weakens the defence of the victim even through protection by police.

I ALSO had cameras, etc and somehow the person would get around it. Such as the first camera I had looked like a click but didn't have great footage. He disguised himself, walked right up to the "clock" and smirked in it and then knocked it over. So you tell me a random burglerar would not have even looked twice at that clock. Anyhow, when I was started to catch images etc was when he came in and stole everything. All my pictures and everything.

Anyhow, so this case could very, very likely be completely 100% true. I can tell you from experience similar to this that the stalking can make you go crazy. First of all, you can understand why someone would do this so you doubt yourzelf. You are scared for your life and don't even know who to trust especially when you don't know who it is so you live entirely in fear and suspect EVERYONE. You don't sleep. Ever. No joke it affected my job. I was late often because I never slept and would sleep in sometimes when I finally did fall asleep. I was scared for my animals most of all because I knew they couldtlnt defend theirselves and I purchased a gun and kept with me at all times. Also, the stalker knew how to hurt me was through my animals. Later we found gps on car that was deactivated. The person was always one step ahead and I rarely involved the police because i felt ashamed, embarrassed, crazy and felt like they wouldn't believe me nor would they do anything for me.

That's what the stalker does. In my case and seems in Cindy's case the stalker appears to be one step ahead of everyone else. He obviously knows to make her look crazy and do bizarre things. So there may have been a phone call or 2 to herself and not saying I personally did this but I could see why she possibly may have done this. When this type of thing is happening to you, you obviously feel crazy, you feel like no one believes you and MOST OF ALL you FEAR FOR YOUR LIFE and what's next. She may have done this to try and the the police attention and help so they may believe her. In my instance. I never got phone calls. I always got things in my porch left to let me know he was there. If I did get message it was to let me know what I'm wearing.

Sorry for long post but yes this is bizarre. I never was there so I can't accurately say what happened or what I believe I just know that something similar happened to me and fortunately I am alive today to talk about it. And comments regarding nothing happened when police were watching her home obviously this STALKER carefully planned it out. Obviously he realized if someone was survallancing her house. He carefully planned each step and wasn't impusilve in his acts just like mine was.Always a step ahead OF the game.

In my opinion, it could have VERY WELL been the COP she was dating. He would have known when they were out there or at least be able to figure it outs or sure. He would have known to make her look crazy so the other deputies wouldn't take it seriously. Although, it appears most stalkers know to do this. Plus that's how they want their victim to feel. It also could have been the doctor, her ex husband but for some reason I just lean more towards the COP. People always assume police are there to protect and so forth but cops are only human and there are the good and bad just as any other profession.

As far as the crime scene. I cannot see a clear picture of it really. But I highly doubt she would have been able to take a dose of morphine (a LETHAL dose) of morphine and tie herself up. If she orally ingested it and orally ingested a LETHAL dose I say 15 min MAX would have been the time it took to really start kicking in and she would not have been able to tie ANYTHING in my opinion. I mean we have to look at the fact she took more than just morphine, she took a LETHAL dose of morphine. And where did the bruising and scratching come from. I just don't feel this girl murdered herself like that. Why wouldn't she have done this in her own home? It sounds to me she was murdered elsewhere and dumped which would explain why there were no fibers and what not at the crime scene. Not to mention there are A LOT of crime scenes where no fibers and other things are found. Which makes me think that it was the deputy even more. He would have known and made sure somehow he did not leave fibers . I mean how do forensics find the fibers . They use tape? And who knows what this actual crime scene has for evidence. Maybe the police don't want to admit she was murdered because they didn't take her seriously previously. I personally think the FBI should be involved in this case.

I also want to say all police departments need to learn more information on stalking and being a victim of stalking. Stalking isn't just your ex following you down the road but that what this stalker did to Cindy is the goal of stalkers in my personal opinion. Yes, her case was quite bizarre but NO 2 are the same. This person just sounded more confident in what They were doing.They want to isolate the victim, inflict fear and make them think they are crazy. Police need to be trained in this type of thing and need more education in things such as this.

I also remember a bizarre case such as this that involved a young woman maybe 16 to 20? She lived with her mother and all kinds of things qerre happening despite cameras etc. The girl was found dead in her room and involved medication as well. Quite bizarre. I do no think her mother made that up and murdered her though. Anyhow. I don't think Cindy would have commited suicide like this. Had she been driven crazy by the stalker and committed suicide she wouldn't have done it like that. Had she already been mentally ill and made these bizarre things up and committed suicide she also wouldn't have done it like that. I just feel this woman really did have a stalker and that they did bizarre things purposely so that she would be driven crazy with fear and so that the police wouldn't believe her. What better defence?

I have seen comments about her walking her dog at 3am but doesn't fit someone being stalked. Well, she is a nurse and we work SHIFT WORK. I personally worked 3p to 3a for part of the time when I was stalked. When I would come home sometimes opening the door my cat would dart out the door. Do you think I left him out there despite being scared for my life??? Nope. Call me stupid but I wouldn't. I had tasers, guns, knives, mace etc, I would practically have all these things either in hand or next to me when I had to try and grab my cat or get him in. At one point, I remember I worked 530 am to 530pm and that is when it got really bad. I was so so scared because it was still dark out leaving for work and at the time all my neighbors had moved out. I was scared to death but I still had to go out to leave for work. Anyhow, just because you are scared doesn't mean you won't do it. I was scared for death but at certain times I refused this asshole to make me live in fear entirely so sometimes I would do things I probably shouldn't have done as far as my safety. However, my personality of being fearless at times doesng coincide with many females. Not surewl what Cindy's personality is. Anyhow, this woman's case deserves different agencies to come in with fresh outlook to investigate. I think the COP had something to to do with it.

Rip Cindy

RR's picture

Now I can't imagine why on earth her husband would have left her, I am sure he could relate some good stories of being kept up late at night over one sort of foolishness or another.

Carlos Allende 's picture

If you get a chance, listen to the call threat from the so called accuser sent to the voice recorder machine on her ex-husbands ( yes you read that right) recorder. It's on various web pages and her home page. Listen with headphones and here a womans voice say "Cindy....dead meat soon". It's Cindy James trying to change her voice. The Canadian police are undoubtedly right about her doing this to herself! And what's really baffling is how convincing her act carried out fooled even a private investigator

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