The Case of Donnie Goss

Location: Calgary Zoo bridge

Date: Aug. 29, 2021

Time: 12:15am – 1:45am

Weather: mild, calm

Claims: hearing a child screaming for help, manifestations to other living children

Investigators: Holly, Paul, Shae

Variables: ongoing traffic moving across the bridge and along Memorial Drive, people partying loudly across the river, people coming down on bicycles to the investigation area, proximity to the Bow River

Historical Background

On July 24, 1946, Donald Sherman Staley murdered 6-year-old Donnie Goss in Calgary, Alberta. On July 25th, the child’s body was found behind some bushes on St. George’s Island, on the north end of the bridge that spans the Bow River from 8th Ave. SE. Details of what police discovered when they located him are purposely omitted from this report due to their extreme gruesomeness.

Over the years, many people have reported hearing a child screaming for help under the bridge. Emergency services have been called to the area several times. There are also claims of children visiting the Calgary Zoo around that area meeting a boy named Donnie, who asked them to come and play with him.

Donald Sherman Staley was tried and convicted by a jury for the murders of Donnie Goss, as well as 11-year-old Garry Billings, who was killed in Vancouver, British Columbia. Staley was sentenced to hang. On Dec. 18, 1946, alongside four German prisoners of war, Staley was executed in what was the largest public hanging in Canadian history.

The Investigation

DSCF0026 (2) Approximately 5 minutes after passing the archway towards the walking path, Paul turned on his EMF detector. The detector began beeping almost immediately,indicating fluctuations. Readings fluctuated between 33mG [milligaus] and 110 mG. Holly set up her EMF detector, but while it did record minor temperature fluctuations, no EMF was recorded. Two trail cameras were set up under the south end of the bridge, one on each side of the base. The video camera was set up along the walking and cycling path that parallels the Bow River.

Once the trail and video cameras were positioned, the team began asking questions. Holly moved back and forth along the walking path, near the top of the boulder slope. Her EMF detector recorded changes ranging from 0.7 mG to 1.5 mG. Shae and Paul moved down the rock slope to the edge of the river and remained there for several minutes. Water is a known conductor; it was hoped that it would, perhaps, provide any spirits in the area with enough energy to at least set off the EMF detectors. Interestingly, Paul’s EMF detector repeatedly beeped; however, Holly’s EMF detector held steady at between 0.7mG and 1.5 mG.

After approximately 30 minutes, the team brought out the Sb-7 spirit box. A child’s voice came through twice that left Holly and Paul quite surprised. The voice said, “To the family,” and then, a few seconds later, “I’m sorry.” Nothing more came through after that, so the team prepared to start Estes sessions [sensory deprivation using the spirit box and noise-cancelling headphones].

DSCF0154 (2) Three sessions were done. Shae was first, then Paul took over, and Holly was last. Each session was approximately 7 to 10 minutes in duration. While several words and phrases come through, three were repeated in each team member’s session: help, lonely, and open. These words corroborated what others have reported to hear with their ears.


The results of this investigation are inconclusive. Holly, Shae, and Paul repeatedly experienced strong sensations of being watched throughout the duration of the investigation. However, due to persistent and loud noise contamination from traffic going back and forth across the bridge, people showing up on bicycles and riding around us, and people across the river partying quite loudly, all audio had to be marked as contaminated and dismissed. No other evidence appeared either on video or in the photographs taken by the trail cameras.

We investigated the south end of the bridge connecting to 8th Ave. SE. That is where many people have reported hearing a young child screaming for help. However, according to the newspaper article Paul located, the boy’s body was actually found at the north end of the bridge, where it connects to St. George’s Island. The return investigation will take place in the very near future.

What happened to young Donnie Goss was beyond horrific. We are glad his killer received the justice he deserved, and we hope and pray that Donnie finds peace and can move on to a happier, better place.

What do you think?