The Unsolved Murder of Margaret Sheeler
Case File Overview
In December 1963, Margaret Sheeler and her husband Philip were settling into married life in London, Ontario. Their home, 21 Bridle Path, was located in a townhouse complex geared towards young, well-to-do families.
Margaret and Philip had an argument over empty liquor bottles on Friday December 27, 1963. Afterwards, around 8:00 pm, Margaret left in a snowstorm to walk to her parents’ house. The next night, Philip reported his 20-year-old pregnant wife missing.
On January 23rd, 1964 two boys discovered Margaret’s body. She was in a field just west of Bridle Path on Kipps Lane. Margaret was naked, and her clothing was strewn around the field. The autopsy revealed that she had died from a skull fracture. There were no signs of sexual assault. Her death was ruled a homicide.
The murder of Margaret and her unborn child is unsolved.
Case File Theories
Did a stranger murder Margaret?
It’s very unlikely. Stranger murders aren’t as common as people think.
There was a terrible snowstorm on the evening Margaret disappeared. It doesn’t seem probable that many people were out and in a position to find Margaret after she left her home. Also, her body was found within 1000 feet (300 hundred meters) of her house, not affording a killer much of an opportunity to stumble upon her.
Did Philip murder his wife in a fit of rage and cover-up the crime?
This is the likeliest scenario. When women are murdered the perpetrator is typically their partner or someone close to them.
Details of Philip and Margaret’s relationship suggest he may have killed her. Philip had a drinking problem and a bad temper. Margaret became pregnant in July of 1963, leading to a shotgun wedding in October 1963. Perhaps Phillip was less than keen about taking on the responsibility of a young family.
On the night Margaret disappeared, the Sheelers were supposed to host a party. When the guests arrived shortly after 8:00 pm, Margaret was already missing. According to the guests, Philip acted strangely. He was drunk, paced frantically, and talked to himself. Philip told them that Margaret had left after an argument and had walked to her parents’ house. Notably, Margaret’s parents lived over an hour away by car. The family car was still in the driveway. It seems inconceivable that she’d try to walk that distance on a dark, stormy night. Also, Margaret’s body was found very close to home, suggesting Philip could have easily dumped her body in the field.
Who do you think murdered Margaret?
Decades have passed since Margaret’s murder. But Margaret and her unborn baby still deserve justice. Someone out there might know something about this cold case.
If you have any information about Margaret’s murder, please contact London Police Service at 519-661-5670.
Margaret Sheeler – London Police Service case overview
“London police publish list of 10 unsolved murders” – London Free Press article