Monday, May 08, 2017

Mystery Monday: Emma Fillipoff


It's Monday, which means it's time for another...



Few mysteries haunt true crime fans like the disappearance of this beautiful young woman:



Emma Fillipoff was a free spirit, artistic in nature. She grew up in Perth, Ontario, Canada as one of four kids to a schoolteacher and a painter. Emma wrote and danced and was always looking for new adventures.



She was a very giving, open person, which made it easier for someone to attach to her. This is exactly what happened with a man named Julien, who befriended Emma and pursued her relentlessly. He repeatedly called her house and showed up places he knew she'd be. Emma was too nice to let him down roughly.


Image credit: Finding Emma, The Fifth Estate

Julian Huard was infatuated with Emma, but he claims it was nothing more than a crush. He also says it was sheer coincidence that when Emma chose to move to Victoria, British Columbia in 2011, he moved to the area, as well, only a few months later. He "happened to" run into her on the street soon after.




Emma worked briefly as a chef at a restaurant called Red Fish Blue Fish, but the work was seasonal. When the summer season ended at the end of October 2012, she told everyone she'd be back in the spring.


Image credit: Finding Emma, The Fifth Estate

However, things already weren't going well for Emma. Her family didn't realize she'd been living at a women's shelter since February and in November, she was seen on security footage at a YMCA. She entered and exited the building six times, behaving as though someone was outside.

Image credit: Finding Emma, The Fifth Estate

Her behavior during this time was reported as odd, both by her "admirer" Julien and workers at the women's shelter. The women's shelter workers said she moved a bunch of furniture from inside the shelter to the front lawn, complaining that the items were talking to her. 



Julien said the first time he ran into her, she seemed happy to see him but during subsequent run-ins, she was distant and cold. The final time he saw her, he claims to have made the decision to leave her alone because she seemed to not want anything to do with him.



On the day of her disappearance, November 28, 2012, Emma left the women's shelter early in the morning. Security footage captured her at 8:30 a.m. at a 7-Eleven, buying a $200 prepaid credit card.


Image credit: Finding Emma, The Fifth Estate

That evening, she returned to the same store to buy a prepaid cell phone. Emma had never owned a cell phone before, so it was odd for her to suddenly buy one. After buying it, she didn't leave, though. She stood at the door, looking out, pacing back and forth.



Image credit: Finding Emma, The Fifth Estate

In the days leading up to her disappearance, Emma had written in her journal that she felt like someone was following her. She finally left the store, but didn't get far. She got into a cab and asked to go to the airport, but said she didn't have the fare. (She did.) She had him drop her off near where he picked her up. She got out of the car. A man recognized her and saw her behavior as odd. She was standing at a crosswalk, refusing to cross, but looking around as though searching for someone.



After standing with her for a while, the man ducked into a nearby business and called the police. They showed up and interviewed her, but let her go when they saw no reason to detain her. Emma was never seen again.



Perhaps most haunting are the words Emma herself wrote soon before disappearing:

to everyone
from dead Emma
hello
I figure someone will be on this computer at some point and will read this
okay, so I'm dead 
floating about on energy or not
watching dying stars, reviving stars
and dreaming milky dreams and shadow dancing on your timelines
or whatever
good luck everyheart
I love you
--Em

What do you think happened to Emma Fillipoff?

45 comments:

  1. Sounds like she was on some really bad drugs. Not sure anyone was really following her as much as it was in her head. What a shame.

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    1. True...I personally believe there may have been something mental going on...but it could have been both. She may have been self-medicating against something that was going on with her mind. It feels similar to Elisa Lam, which many believe was related to a chemical imbalance of some kind.

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  2. Hi Stephanie - these stories are heart-rending ... I've no idea - and fairly terrifying that we don't know what happened. Also why do we not ask for help when we are in dire trouble ... Interestingly, fascinatingly sad ... Hilary

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    1. I really wish she'd asked for help. I didn't get into it (not enough space here) but her mom actually arrived in town the day she disappeared. She'd been concerned because of some calls Emma had made to her in the days leading up to her disappearance.

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  3. Sounds like she had mental health issues. Too bad. That guy that followed her when she moved sounds creepy but not sure that she was murdered. May have been suicide.

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    1. I agree. I listened to an interview with that guy and I definitely agreed he was guilty of stalking. I even bought for a second that he might have done something...but considering the details of her final days, I really think it was more her issues than someone deliberately stalking and killing her. Whether or not she fell prey to someone taking advantage of a young homeless woman is a different matter! But I don't think it was someone who knew her.

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  4. Sounds like suicide, but they should have found her body. No living person and no corpse - that's the worst.

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    1. I listened to a detective who said with missing people, either they were murdered, killed by someone else, or they were "absorbed into the homeless population." I think in her case she probably wandered into the homeless population and harm befell her there...but I could be wrong. I just think there are people out there who will take advantage of a young woman who doesn't have her mental faculties...

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  5. When they are in their late teens or early 20's is when many young people start experiencing signs of some form of mental illness. I believe she went undiagnosed and she fell through the cracks as many do. She shows all the signs of someone in need of help but I have seen how many have mental illness only to be told they are fine and let out into the world when their families brought them to the hospital. I think she probably committed suicide...that's my guess and I hope I am wrong and that she is living somewhere under cover.

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    1. That is definitely true. I don't believe she'd ever been diagnosed, but she moved away from her friends and family, so she didn't have the support system she would have needed to get help.

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    2. This is in Keeping with someone who is experiencing a mental breakdown for lack of a better word...real shame

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  6. I agree with those who say she must have had mental health issues. Depression is not always obvious, as I have learned in my experience. and it comes in different forms, including dysthymia, low-grade depression, which I was diagnosed with.

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    1. And depression can often be accompanied by other issues, as well, which could have been the case with her.

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  7. Either she was tripping out on some substance or other ... or... she had a serious mental illness.

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  8. It sound like symptoms of Schizophrenia (her age, paranoia, hearing voices, etc.). Suicide is often the end result in cases like this, but since her body hasn't been found she may still be alive and lost among the mentally ill homeless wandering the streets today.

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    1. I agree with these comments. No need for me to rewrite them.

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    2. I agree. That's exactly what I feel happened to her. Either she's still among the homeless or someone took advantage of her lack of mental health...this is one of those cases where "sex slavery" applies. Often they go after people nobody will notice is gone, such as the homeless and drug addicts.

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    3. I was about to say the same thing. She may have killed herself, may have gotten on a bus and ended up god knows where. It's horrible how many people slip through the cracks like this.

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  9. Man, this is a tough one. It sounds (from the talking furniture story) that she might be schizophrenic or at least seriously depressed. Having that boy with a crush following her is certainly suspicious. If it were a novel, I'd wonder if somebody else typed that message into the computer. This is quite a mixed bag. No wonder it hasn't been solved.

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    1. I also didn't mention that when she was in the cab, she asked if she could stay there a while. He said she could stay until he got another fare. When the driver started getting messages through his radio, she freaked out and jumped out of the (parked) cab. She was acting as though she was paranoid about the voices.

      So many details to this, it was hard to fit it all in one blog post!

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  10. It could have been some type of breakdown, but the stalker-ish sounding guy does complicate things. And why by a prepaid credit card and cell phone to commit suicide? Sounds more like an escape plan....

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    1. I agree. That part of it doesn't fit with the most believable theories!

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  11. What a sad story! If the reports of witness can be believed, it seems this poor young woman was troubled by madness. I hope she's safe somewhere, perhaps with a new identity.

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    1. That's a lot rarer than we'd like to believe, unfortunately. Apparently it's pretty hard to hide these days!

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  12. It is very mysterious. There are too many suspects. A mental breakdown. The stalker. A different stalker. Or did she disappear on purpose to escape that stalker?

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    1. And I didn't even go into ALL the details here. Although I crammed a LOT in. This case has so many pieces and parts!

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  13. I am wondering if she might have had an onset of paranoid schizophrenia. It sounds like a story similar to someone I know. So sad :(

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  14. Really does sound like schizophrenia. Often manifests in late teens or 20s--voices, paranoia, strange behavior, etc. She could easily have been taken advantage of, killed, or disappeared into the homeless population. People cared about her. That one guy was definitely a stalker, but it doesn't seem like even he was attracted to the new crazier version. Such a sad story.

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  15. Another heart-wrenching story. Sounds like mental illness could definitely have been involved.

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  16. She sounds suicidal. Very sad story.

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  17. Wow. Sounds like she was very troubled. The note she left made me think she drowned. The part about drifting just made my brain go to that. It would be awful if she drowned herself though. Of course that might not be what happened at all. We'll probably never know. So sad.

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  18. Omgosh this is so sad. Definitely sounded like her mind slipped at some point...

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  19. Poor Emma. It sounds as if she were mentally ill if the furniture talked to her.

    Love,
    Janie

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  20. Gosh, the story gives me goosebumps. I think it's the note that's creepiest of all.

    Where indeed is she? And I thought I'd only be thinking about Amelia Earhart's whereabouts.

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  21. The whole thing must have been heartbreaking for her family. I'm like you, there may have been some things going on with her mental health, but she may have also been legitimately scared. She was a beautiful young girl. Hugs...

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  22. Oooh, that's some freaky stuff! Especially with the note left behind. Gives me the chills.

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  23. Deep depression along with self-medication will cause severe mental problems. My heart aches for this girl. It's a shame her family didn't interfere, but I've kind have been in a similar situation and it's almost impossible to help a person that doesn't want to be helped. I keep wondering, where did she get her money??

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  24. This is so sad! Totally sounds like some kind of mental or drug issue, but who knows. If someone were stalking her, that might have tipped her over the edge? So much speculation but definitely freaky!

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  25. So, very, very sad!! I think mentally, there was something going on with her! So horrible!

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  26. Oh, my gosh. How eerie. What did her note mean? I wonder if they'll ever find out.

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  27. Such an odd story. And they never found her?

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  28. Very sad indeed! What on earth were her family doing all this time? If I were out of contact for more than a day, my family would have been on my doorstep! Why did they not know where she had been or even what was happening in her head till too late?

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  29. It sounds like possibly paranoid schizophrenia. She sounds like she's around the right age for that to occur and the fact that she was afraid someone was following her but no one reported that, plus thinking the furniture was talking to her...

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