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Beverly Ann McGowan, Mysterious Unsolved Murder

This story starts in the hot, humid summer of July 1990. Beverly Ann McGowan was a 34-year-old bank clerk at Glendale Federal Bank.

Beverly inhabited a two-bedroom condo in Pompano Beach, Florida. She was a kind, reliable woman who lived alone with her two cats. Although close with her family and companions, she had previously been having problems “settling down” and finding a place that felt “right,” which is why her loved ones were excited to learn how much she was enjoying her new condo in Florida. To save up some money, she had decided to rent out her extra bedroom. She placed an ad in the Sun-Sentinel in early July 1990 saying, “POMP SE- Share 2/2 condo, female 34 plus two cats. $290 plus half utilities.”

Beverly Informed Everyone

Beverly McGowan | Bonnie's Blog of Crime
My Life of Crime

She carefully examined all applicants. After passing on a few, McGowan notified her loved ones. That she had come across a woman who appeared like an excellent fit. Feeling sure about this prospective roommate, she invited the woman over to greet her and show her the apartment. She notified them the woman was named “Alice” and she was from England. Alice impressed Beverly with her elegant manner and designer clothes. She told me she worked for IBM and had just been transferred to the Fort Lauderdale office. Alice also brought up her beliefs in “numerology,”. Which is the belief that numbers can be utilized to predict one’s future.

Something about this charismatic blonde woman made Beverly feel comfortable enough to confide in her, as she later said to friends she divulged her passport and driver’s license number to Alice for her to predict her future. After receiving the numbers and doing the calculations, Alice notified her that she would come into money, have no concerns, and meet the man she was going to wed when she was 40 years old. Beverly was fascinated with her meeting with Alice as she told her friends and family that day after Alice had left. She excitedly notified them that Alice would shortly be moving in.

Beverly was excited

Alice was due to move in on July 17th. On July 18th, Beverly’s friends phoned her, excited to hear about how the new roommate condition was going..but Beverly wasn’t answering the phone for them. She also wasn’t answering for her family. Although worried, they inferred she was busy and would get in touch with them as quickly as she can. Concern shortly turned into alarm on July 19th, when Beverly’s friends and family earned cryptic letters in the mail from her, postmarked Miami. The letters noted she was quitting her job, selling her condo, and planning to travel.

Everyone who knew Beverly instantly became wary of the letters. It was entirely out of character. Very concerned, McGowan’s brother and sister traveled to McGowan’s condo to check things out. They discovered her phone disconnected, her car missing along with her cats, address book, birth certificate, and passport.

In some mean, it did seem she had left for a trip or to begin a new life but they couldn’t shake the nagging belief that something wasn’t right. Her nightgown still lay across her unmade bed and none of her clothes or personal belongings was missing.

As if that weren’t offending enough, they discovered a telegraph that had been sent to Beverly’s mortgage company, giving them the permission to foreclose on her beloved condo and take custody of all her belongings. Unbeknownst to them, at around the exact time, a fisherman was making a horrible discovery that would change their life forever.


It was a hot, humid July evening as a fisherman made his way along the canal right on the verge of the Florida Everglades. To this extent, he saw what appeared to be a bag of rags dumped into the embankment. As he got near, he was stunned to learn that it was not ragged but a female corpse. He instantly ran for help.

Although completely clothed, the corpse had been harshly mutilated. It was missing the head and hands both of which had been crudely hacked off. The shirt was pulled up above the waist uncovering a small section of the skin that had been cut off. The woman’s throat had been torn. Due to the drastic mutilation, it would have been difficult to recognize this woman had it not been for a tiny tattoo of a flower just under the hem of the jeans. Despite the murderer’s tries to prevent identification, they had missed the covered tattoo. Using that tattoo they were eligible to relate the corpse to a woman who had just been announced missing, Beverly McGowan.


On the same day that Beverly’s corpse was discovered, $795 of the $800 in McGowan’s account was withdrawn. An impressive blonde woman with a British accent used Beverly’s credit cards to buy books and designer clothes at the Aventura Mall. After talking with devastated friends and family, administrations rapidly concentrated their efforts on identifying and finding “Alice.”

They discovered that a ticket had been bought to fly from Miami to London on July 23rd but they hit a roadblock when they discovered that no one named Alice was on the flight. After analysis for all other passengers on the plane, they concentrated their efforts on one name: Sylvia Ann Hodgkinson. From there, they hit a wall. They couldn’t find Sylvia until they got a break in October when Hodgkinson flew from London to Los Angeles. Puzzlingly, once in Los Angeles, she rented a car under the name Charlotte Cowan.

The woman seemed to be one step ahead of them at every turn and they missed track of her again. It wasn’t until May 1991, when that exact rental car was pulled over for driving with a stolen plate. The car was also overdue. The woman in the car recognized herself as Elaine Parent. The police became doubtful when they found she was carrying identification for both Cowan and Hodgkinson; nonetheless, they were unfamiliar that she was a wanted woman so they let her go.


Once the detectives caught wind of this new data, they started to do more research into these distinct identities. Little is known about Sylvia Ann Hodgkinson except she was born in Lewisham in south London and was the daughter of a lorry driver. She wedded a dairy worker who perished in 1985. Most disturbing of all, she has not been able to be found and has been missing since 1986. Administrations cannot confirm if she is late or alive, although they fear the former.

Charlotte Cowan lived on the west coast of Florida. Authorities were relieved to find her alive and well but offended to hear her story. Cowan spoke with the Sun-Sentinel recounting her story. She told she had met a woman who introduced herself as Elaine Parent sometime in 1986 at a bar named Faces in Orlando. Cowan told she was impressed with Parent’s designer clothing, British accent, and charismatic attitude. She even had straight, short, red hair- very identical to Cowans.


After conversing for a while, the Parent asked Cowan for some of her private information like her birthday, driver’s license, and time of birth. The parent told them she was into numerology and needed to make a profile for Cowan. Writing on a napkin, she indicated a bright future for Cowan. “I had never had that method before,” she later said.

“She told she’d been involved with a woman before who harm her badly,” but otherwise divulged “not too damn much about herself,” Cowan said. Charlotte was so impressed with the Parent that she had asked her to have lunch with her and her mum in a couple of days. “Even my mum thought she was an elegant person. My mom is no fool,” she recounted.

Phone Call

After that, Cowan didn’t hear from Elaine for some time until she earned a phone call out of the blue from Parent. She notified Charlotte that her aunt had perished and left an inheritance that she was expected to divide with her brother. But she told her brother had had her committed to a hospital to keep her away from the money. Approximately a month later, Parent showed up at Cowan’s home around 3 a.m. She was wearing a paste-on mustache. She alleged she had used the camouflage to flee from the hospital and was hysterical and asked Cowan for her birth certificate so she could utilize it to get identification and get away from her brother. Cowan was cautious but Parent was inconsolable so she relented and gave her the paper. A few weeks later, their Parents sent Cowan back the birth certificate. Charlotte never heard from her again.

Utilizing this new data, they doubted Elaine Parent may be the actual identity they were looking for. Armed with this finding, they turned their attention to assessing the evidence discovered in Beverly McGowan’s apartment. They had their work cut out for them because there was a very small discovery. They were not eligible to discovered any fingerprints, hairs, or fibers in that apartment that could have placed Parent there. “She’s got to be one of the nicest I’ve come across,” says Sergeant George Miller told The Irish Times. “It tells me that she is very creative, meticulous, and deadly.” They proceeded to examine every avenue including conducting tests on a blank notepad. They discovered indented on the sheets various overlaid letters. All of the letters seemed to be written by Parent to a British woman.


The British woman turned out to be a prosperous businesswoman at a corporate company in England. Calling her only “Witness X,” police rejected to disclose her identity in news reports at the time as she was so anxious for her safety. They thought her life could be in threat. Witness X interpreted Elaine Antoinette Parent as being incredibly intelligent, loved animals despite being allergic, and had a fascination for environmental problems. Witness X met Parent around 1985. They started a romantic connection that remained for many years. They finally broke up due to Parent’s strange behavior and severe emotional outbursts. The break-up was terrible with Elaine endangering her life and even abducting her ex-girlfriend’s dogs. She took them overseas and urged a ransom for them.

Unfortunately, Witness X had no notion where Elaine Parent was anymore and administrations couldn’t track her. “Every time she takes on a new name we miss all trace of her,” told Special Agent Bob O’Bannon to The Irish Times. “She’s a very intelligent woman. There were even sightings in South Africa and Australia. Authorities were anxious that she may have been credible for yet undiscovered killings. “The cruelty of the McGowan killing and how the corpse was cut up leads me to think that a person eligible of committing something like this has already done the exact thing in the past and may do so again in the future,” said Florida detective Nora Walters in The Irish Times.


Elaine’s Parent was so arrogant that she even teased the authorities. She sent the lead detective in Florida a very bizarre gift- an oil painting of herself with “Best Wishes; your Chameleon” written on the back. Elaine Parent would be liked about Beverly McGowan’s killing for over twelve years. During that time, authorities knew very slight of her activities. They would later learn she traveled internationally often, slipping in and out of individualities. She had even filed a civil negligence suit under another personality after being injured at work. The suit was settled for an undisclosed amount.

America Most Wanted

In desperation, administrations had “America’s Most Wanted” air a segment on Elaine Parent on April 6, 2002. Almost instantly after the broadcast producers earned a tip-off. Someone had sighted a Parent at an apartment in Panama City, Florida. Police hurried to the given address but were unhappy to see the woman answering the door looked nothing like the woman they were looking for. They estimated it was an erroneous lead but liked to rule it out anyway so they asked her to come down to the station. She obliged but begged to change clothes first. While she changing, an officer examined the military ID she had provided- something was off about it. Just as he knocked on the door to inquire her about it, a gunshot rang out. Police rushed in to discover Elaine Parent collapsed, a disastrous gunshot wound to the chest from a .357 magnum.


She took everything she knew to the grave and rejected to answer for her crimes. Police discovered in her possession several camouflages for both men and women, a book on stage makeup, a book entitled “Learn to Speak French,” and a notebook including a man’s social security number, relatives’ names, date of birth, and credit card. Most interesting of all was a fake Wanted poster they discovered which seemed to feature her. The name listed on the poster was Antonia Rhymes-Ormond. It listed her as a woman about the death of a “highly placed government official discovered killed in a Washington D.C. hotel room.” It has been inferred that she was utilizing the poster to frighten someone. Her laptop computer and diary were never found.

Police were wishing to earn more data about this elusive woman as her once terrified victims came forward. Several of her living victims conveyed great solace when learning of her demise. It has been told that at least seven people whose personalities she was known to have utilized are still missing. I hesitate to state that as truth because I examine that on a blog post and wasn’t eligible to discover a source for it.. but it could very well be true. It’s really difficult to estimate because after her suicide the data abruptly stops.


After all these years, no one realizes Elaine Parent’s valid story. Despite going by the name “Elaine Antoinette Parent” her birth certificate was never discovered. There was a woman named Elaine Antoinette Parent that grew up in the Bronx but there is no substantial link to substantiate that was her actual identity. If it wasn’t her actual identity, who was she? What was she running from that resulted in her stealing identities? How many casualties does she have? Could other unsolved crimes be linked to her?

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