Kristin GURHOLT Homicide UPDATED Aug. 25, 2014


Some people end up living difficult lives, a long way off from where they started.

Kristin Gurholt’s life came to an end in a Vancouver alleyway behind 575 Richards Street on September 4, 1981. She was naked and her skull had been fractured. Her clothing was scattered around her and a suitcase containing all of her personal effects was found nearby.

It was 2:00 in the morning and Kristen had just been evicted from the Marble Arch Hotel in the Downtown Eastside. Investigators believe she met her assailant when she entered the alley and that the severe attack may have been the result of Kristin rejecting sexual advances.

Kristin was just 34 years old, a petite woman with blue eyes and brown frizzy hair. She had come to Canada when she was only four, from Norway, and grew up in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, in a loving family with five sisters and three brothers. Kristin was a creative child, who loved to read. She did very well in school, and particularly excelled in music. She studied piano and received honours in the Royal Conservatory of Music exams. She went on to earn a masters degree in education.

It was while Kristin was in university that she was diagnosed with schizophrenia. She was married and had a son, who family say was her greatest joy and the love of her life. The marriage ended after a few years, and when her son was seven he went to live with his father in B.C. Kristin moved to Vancouver and would take the bus on weekends to see him.

Kristen, who was sometimes called Sunny or Misty, died a violent death in a dark alley, leaving behind a 12-year-old son. Her family has endured 32 long years of waiting for justice. For them, the memories of the sweet little girl who filled their house with music have been forever tainted with the painful knowledge of how her life ended and the fact that no one has been held accountable.

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