13 Feb 2016

Thirteen Since 2007

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Severed feet inside shoes keep washing up on Pacific Northwest beaches. This has been going on for years, and the latest, found February 7 on a beach in Vancouver Island, has drawn international news coverage.

Washington Post:

They appear on the sand like any piece of sea detritus. Sometimes they’re found, amid the candy wrappers and cracked shells, by volunteers cleaning up the area. Other times a vacationer might glimpse the grisly discard from the corner of her eye, a serene walk along the beach interrupted just like that.

As more people learned about these discoveries, they attracted morbid scavengers to the Pacific Northwest shorelines, where the Salish Sea connects waterways along the west coasts of the United States and Canada.

What these scavengers sought remains a prickling curiosity: severed feet attached to running shoes, washed up from origins unknown.

Sixteen of these detached human feet have been found since 2007 in British Columbia, Canada, and Washington state. Most of these have been right feet. All of them have worn running shoes or hiking boots. Among them: three New Balances, two Nikes and an Ozark Trail.

The most recent one turned up earlier this week.

2 Feedbacks on "Thirteen Since 2007"

Bill Cook

Procrustes seems to have relocated to the Pacific Northwest.


I love a good mystery. It seems to me that with all of the outdoor related pursuits in the NW that this “could be” a series of accidents. Certainly a foot inside a shoe is more likely to survive the elements and the predators in the sea. So it could simply be 15 unrelated accidental deaths over the years. Odd that most are right feet but even that is not so far beyond the realm of possibility to be significant. Kayaking may be the source, how many kayaking deaths in the last ten years where no body was recovered. It would help to know the race of these dead people. That is they could be deaths that happened in Asian waters and the currents brought the shoes/feet here. Has anyone backtracked the local currents where these feet wash up? What about toxicology reports? Of course a foot sitting in sea water for months may not be a great candidate for toxicology but never the less…


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