The context of Susan Gourley's disappearance
The last confirmed sighting of Susan Gourley was November 21, 2001. She was reported missing by her mother February 28, 2002 (according to the RCMP), and by her family August 31, 2002 (according to the Hamilton police).
Regardless of the precise date, Gourley disappeared amidst a period of extreme violence against women in Hamilton, including at least 10 other assaults, murders and violent altercations during the span of a year.
It has not been proven that all of these instances are linked to the same person (nor are they likely all the same person), but it's undeniable that the ongoing epidemic of violence against women (especially sex workers) was, and remains, rampant in Hamilton.
Below is a timeline of the events surrounding Gourley's disappearance.
For a text version of the timeline and additional articles and info, click here.
Two additional dates of note:
July 2008 - The Hamilton Spectator reports that attacks against sex workers haven't slowed in recent years, and police are still checking for connections to the 2001/2002 assaults and murders.
June 2012 - Felicia Floriani found deceased in a field in West Lincoln Ontario, almost exactly 10 years after she had been reported missing.
March 2014 - CBC reports that a suspect is being sought for 8 assaults between 2010 and 2014 in Hamilton.
All this is to illuminate the pattern of assaults in the region Gourley was known to live and frequent, and more so to draw attention to the immense violence that women continue to suffer in the area.