The Kelly Cook Case: Babysitting For A Killer

[Alberta, Canada]

On April 22nd, 1981, Kelly Cook (15) was busy getting ready for school when she got a call around 8:30am. The man on the other end of the phone identified himself as Bill Christensen. He asked Kelly if she was available to babysit for him later that night from 8:30pm to midnight. Kelly and her family didn’t personally know a Bill Christensen so there was hesitation. He had apparently called another girl in town (17) three days prior identifying himself by the same name, but she declined the offer because she was busy. The caller asked her if she knew of any other babysitters in the area which resulted in her giving classmate Kelly Cook’s number.

Her mother sent Kelly to school and said that they would make a decision on if she could go or not based on if people at her school were able to recognize the name. The only issue with that plan was that Christensen was a very common last name in Standard, Alberta. When Kelly asked some of her classmates if they knew of the man, some said they had heard of the name. After school, she told her mother that she would be completely fine because people confirmed knowing the caller.

At 8:30pm, a full-sized North American car pulled up outside of the Cook home. Kelly told her family goodbye as her mother requested her to call when she arrived at the home. The eager teenager entered the vehicle and was never seen again. After Kelly never phoned her mother, she called around town to all of the popular local places to see if any of the employees knew of Bill. They unfortunately couldn’t vouch for the man so police were called at 12:30am. Authorities didn’t waste time beginning a search due to the factors of Kelly’s disappearance. Every vehicle that drove by the area was stopped and searched. Woods, ditches, barns, and other greenery were checked, but they never found Kelly.

On June 28th, 1981, her body was discovered on the shore of Chin Lake which was an irrigation reservoir located two and a half hours from her home. She had been bound with rope, weighted down with cinder blocks, and dumped into the reservoir. Her body was fully clothed, and the autopsy revealed no sign of sexual assault. Kelly’s exact cause of death has never been heavily discussed, but a few sources mention strangulation.

A local gas station owner contacted police saying that their person of interest may have stopped by his shop to make the phone call to Kelly. The man was 5’9, in his 40s, had dark curly hair, a fair tan complexion, and looked like a farmer. The owner described the man as rude and egotistical when asking to use the phone. As the possible suspect used the phone, the shop owner watched over his shoulder to see him dial a local number and begin talking about babysitting.

RCMP Corporal Craig Green told the press, ”There is no doubt the suspect either lived in the area or frequented it. He knew what Kelly looked like and what her name was. He also knew the town layout and some of the neighbors.”

Kelly’s case has remained unsolved, even after looking into 2,200 different suspects. One of the officers who worked on Kelly’s case said he believes the case may be solved during the killer’s deathbed confession considering his possible age now. However, he also acknowledged that the suspect may be dead at this point.

22. Sociology & Criminal Justice Major. True Crime Fanatic. Writer. All articles are tossed together from the comfort of my couch.