Dear Zachary: A Heartbreaking Case

2021-09-22 19:44:14 Written by Today In Horror History

Dear Zachary 

August 18, 2003

Conception Bay South, Newfoundland, and Labrador

Zachary Turner (1, pictured) is drugged by his mother and strapped to her chest before she jumps into the Atlantic Ocean

Zachary's mother, Shirley Jane Turner, was a suspect in the killing of Zachary's father, Andrew David Bagby, at the time of the murder-suicide.

Dear Zachary: A Heartbreaking Case

Bagby had been shot five times in the face, chest, back of the head, and buttocks shortly after ending his relationship with Turner, citing her jealous and selfish tendencies as his reason for the breakup. Some circumstantial proof relating her to the crime was found, including records that she tested her eBay and Hotmail accounts from Bagby's computer and used his home phone to call in sick to her work, despite her claims that she was not in contact with Bagby before his murder. Before a warrant for her charge could be issued, Turner fled the United States back to her home in Canada. 

While a try to extradite Turner was made, it was discovered she was pregnant with Bagby's child. The case instead turned to a civil custody case with Bagby's parents, who feared Turner would abduct Zachary. It was also noted Zachary appeared separated from his mother and preferred the company of other adults, specifically the Bagby family. 

Dear Zachary: A Heartbreaking Case

In July of 2003, Turner met a man and had a brief relationship with him, ending when he found her connection to Bagby's killing. Turner proceeded to make harassing phone calls to the man, over 200 in a month.

He contacted the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary three times regarding the harassment, but as he was unwilling to give his name or file a criminal report, the police were unable to interrogate the claim. Had an inquiry commenced, Turner would have violated her bail terms, and custody of Zachary would have been taken from her. 

On August 18, 2003, Turner parked her car near the home of the ex she had been harassing and left some proof behind — a few photos of the mother and child as well as a used tampon — most likely made to involve her ex-boyfriend and to indicate he had killed her and Zachary.

Dear Zachary: A Heartbreaking Case

She gave Zachary a bottle of formula laced with Ativan (used to treat those with sleeping disorders as well as other conditions) and took a few herself. Turner then strapped Zachary to her chest and jumped from a wharf into the Atlantic Ocean; both drowned. It was determined Zachary was oblivious before reaching the water and did not suffer. 

Zachary's murder led to the passing of Zachary's Bill which modified and boosted the child welfare system in Canada.

Source: Today in Horror history