Vancouver police are seeking information on a cold case involving the daughter of a retired Vancouver lawyer, which has eluded them for more than 20 years.
“Every couple of years we review these cases with a fresh set of eyes,” said Vancouver Police Department media officer Sgt. Randy Fincham, adding it is now the 20th anniversary since the murder in South Vancouver’s Marpole area occurred. The hope is someone will remember something about the night 28-year-old Jillian Blatchford Fuller, daughter of retired lawyer George Fuller, left the Fraser Arms Hotel March 4, 1993.
Only hours later, firefighters were called out at 5 a.m. to a fire at 8770 Granville St. where they discovered the Fuller’s slain body in her apartment. Police investigators found she had been assaulted and the fire used to cover the homicide. Police are not revealing the details of how she died. There were no signs of forced entry to the apartment.
Reports issued at the time indicated she had been seen leaving the hotel with a man, approximately 28 or 29 years of age, olive complexion, of average height, dark brown hair, and thick dark eyebrows. He as wearing a blue shirt.
The Fraser Arms property, recently renovated and in 2012 renamed Luminaire Plaza, was only a short walk from where Fuller lived near the foot of Granville at the cross-street of W. 72 Ave. The hotel is located at 1450 S.W. Marine Dr., just east of Granville and the Arthur Laing Bridge, en route to the Vancouver International Airport.
The 50-year-old hotel, especially the pub and restaurant, was a popular gathering spot for a wide clientele as it offered good food and drinks at reasonable prices. The hotel attracted locals from the mixed-use area near the Fraser River that included mill workers, car salesmen, commercial shops, and residents from the area’s higher-end homes and multi-family apartments. The hotel also is on a main arterial to the University of British Columbia and the Musqueam reserve. In 1991, the Musqueam Indian Band purchased the hotel and its property to prevent it from redevelopment as it sits on the site of the band’s historic village, the Marpole Midden, and part of its burial grounds.
While police have made a public appeal for more information, Fuller’s name has been kept alive through an endowment fund set up in 1993 by her family at the Emily Carr University of Art + Design, with an annual bursary. It is provided to a woman who may be marginalized in the community or who may struggle with a mental illness, said Eve Bouchard, the university’s fund and alumni relations officer. Although Fuller was an accomplished pianist, she did not attended Emily Carr. Bouchard said Fuller’s father George is in his 80s and living in a care facility while her mother, a Vancouver physician, is deceased.
Vancouver police, at the time of the murder, questioned several individuals who may have been considered suspect, but no charges were ever laid. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Vancouver homicide department at 604-717-2500 or Crime Stoppers.