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The Murder of Mary Lynn Breeden
Old 05-25-2018, 12:17 PM
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In the early hours of July 6th, 1991, in Vancouver, British Columbia, a horrifying discovery was made by Janitor Milton Diaz. He stumbled upon a burning dumpster with human remains clearly visible inside and immediately dialed 911 for assistance. Authorities and the coroner swiftly arrived at the scene to retrieve the body and assess the grim crime scene. Unfortunately, the intensity of the fire had obliterated most sources of identification for the victim. At that time, the only recourse was to rely on dental records, which revealed that the victim was a female aged between 24 and 30. Tragically, the cause of death was determined to be multiple gunshot wounds to the head.

The investigation took a significant turn when investigators delved into missing persons reports and discovered that a 30-year-old woman named Mary Lynn Breeden had been reported missing just one day before the gruesome discovery in the dumpster. Mary Lynn, a part-time model who also worked as a cocktail waitress at a gentleman's club, was the victim in question. Astonishingly, the dental records confirmed her identity.

With this crucial breakthrough, investigators began meticulously interviewing friends and family in a relentless pursuit to identify a suspect. During their inquiries, coworkers disclosed that Lynn had been involved in cocaine use and had recently been romantically involved with a local drug trafficker named Chris Paycook. Coincidentally, Lynn was last seen walking down the street where Chris rented an apartment.

Chris Paycook cooperated with the police and admitted to spending the evening and night with Lynn on the day she disappeared. He stated that she had visited his apartment for drinks, and they engaged in consensual sex before heading to several nightclubs. However, tensions arose when Lynn began flirting with other men at the second club, leading to a heated argument. Chris left the club alone, claiming it was the last time he saw Lynn alive.

The case took a bizarre twist when Lynn's bank notified authorities that a woman claiming to be Lynn had attempted to withdraw $4,000 from her checking account. Surveillance footage revealed the woman's peculiar behavior, as she constantly checked for someone waiting outside. The woman abruptly left when asked for identification. Her photograph was published in local newspapers, soliciting help in identifying her. Within hours, an anonymous tip led authorities to identify the woman as Tanya Forrester.

Upon questioning, Tanya admitted that a man named Chris Cruz, also known as Tony Devins, had given her Lynn's wallet, falsely claiming it was stolen. Together, they concocted a plan to drain the victim's bank account, completely unaware that the wallet belonged to a homicide victim. Chris Cruz, an exotic dancer and heavy cocaine user, admitted to being at the same club as Lynn on the night she was killed but vehemently denied any involvement in her murder. He asserted that a friend had given him Lynn's wallet, mentioning that it had been stolen.

Investigators requested to search Cruz's car, but he initially claimed it was inoperable and had not been driven. However, their investigation revealed that his vehicle was parked just down the street from police headquarters. Surveillance footage clearly showed Cruz's presence with his vehicle when Tanya attempted to withdraw money from Lynn's account. Furthermore, forensic analysts discovered Lynn's blood on both the exterior and interior of Cruz's car, along with gasoline, a rifle, and one of Lynn's Playboy bunny pendants, all stained with her blood. Tooth pulp DNA from Lynn's charred skull provided the conclusive match.

Based on this compelling evidence, Chris Cruz was charged with Lynn's murder. The harrowing truth emerged that after Lynn's former boyfriend, Paycook, left the club, she turned to Cruz to obtain more cocaine, given their prior acquaintance. Tragically, an altercation erupted between the two, leading Cruz to stop the car, retrieve a tire iron, and brutally beat Lynn before fatally shooting her in the head three times. He then callously disposed of her lifeless body in the dumpster, dousing it with gasoline and setting it ablaze. Authorities estimated that the fire burned for several hours before Janitor Milton Diaz noticed and called 911.

Ultimately, Chris Cruz was found guilty of second-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison, bringing closure to a gruesome and tragic chapter in Vancouver's history.
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