Victim of vicious reading room attack dies
Elisabeth Salm, 59, remembered by sister as 'the bridge between all of us'
Elisabeth Salm, 59, was found assaulted in the Christian Science Reading Room in
downtown Ottawa on Thursday afternoon, and died in hospital Friday. (Facebook)
Elisabeth Salm was the
centre of a local family that now feels shattered.
Salm, 59, has been
identified as the victim of a vicious assault at the Christian Science
Reading Room on Laurier Avenue on Thursday afternoon. She died in hospital
Friday from her injuries.
"She was like a central hub
of our family. She was the bridge between all of us," said her older sister
One of five siblings, Salm
studied geology at Carleton University and worked in the north for about a
decade. Luc-Anne said her sister was an avid cyclist and passionate about
"She had an effervescent,
joyful spirit. I would say she still does. And she was interested in people,
she was interested in helping people. That was her favourite thing."
She was like a central hub of our family. She was the bridge between all of us.-
Luc-Anne Salm, victim's sister
Luc-Anne Salm said when she went through a difficult separation, her sister was
"She helped mother my kids. She was like a second mother to my kids," she said.
"They are pretty devastated at the moment."
She said working at the reading room was an extension of her love of helping
"She saw it as a good way to reach out and share something she felt was
Church devastated by the news
Church members expressed shock at the attack.
Hennie Buckshi said Salm was a longtime member of the church who worked at the
reading room most days, helping people who came in looking for information about
the faith. She said everyone is stunned by what happened.
"Anybody who would have come into the reading room would have known that she is
a lovely person," Buckshi said. "It's a shock to anyone in the community."
tape blocks off the Christian Science Reading Room on Laurier Avenue in Ottawa
Friday. (Claudine Richard/Radio-Canada)
Buckshi said the reading room provides an opportunity for the church to share
information about their faith for anyone interested.
"It is the open door to our church. People don't have to come to the church. It
is open to anybody, whatever religion people are," she said.
Mervyn Games, the organist at the First Church of Christ, Scientist, says he
can't imagine why anyone would attack a member of their church. 0:22
olice seeking witnesses
Ottawa police Insp. Jamie Dunlop said police want to speak with anyone who might
have been in the area of the reading room between 10 a.m. and 12:30
"We are taking this investigation very seriously. We have multiple people
working on the file," Dunlop said.
Dunlop said the woman began her volunteer shift at 10 a.m. and was found by a
co-worker at 12:30 p.m. Police said investigators aren't aware of any motive for
"It's really too early," he said.
Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call Ottawa police at
613-236-1222 ext. 5477, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
In an emailed statement, church spokesperson Wendy Margolese wrote that they're
"grateful for all that first responders and others have done and are doing. Like
most people in such a situation, Christian Scientists appreciate the concern and
support of the community and the respect shown for the family's privacy at this
CBC spoke with several employees who work in the same building as the Christian
Science Reading Room who say they noticed police cars parked outside Thursday