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Operation Lowry was the codename assigned to a police investigation on a series of connected murders, spanning decades. For each kill, they would find the corpses with a punctured ribcage, and the heart removed. These kills were in fact carried out by Mary, an Arcateenian trapped on Earth who had been tearing out people's hearts, in fact since the year 1812, to feed herself.
When Torchwood Three doctor Owen Harper investigated the original murder, of a 19th century British soldier—to him, an unidentified skeleton with an mysterious hole in its ribs—he came across a similar murder, which took place in September 2001, that of Lucy Marmer. Through her file from the Cardiff General Hospital database, Owen discovered the code Operation Lowry, and found at least six others from the 1970s and '80s.
Myra Bennett, in 1970, was marked as victim 37. Sally Chappel died the same way in 1972: victim 38. Richard Playle was victim 39 in 1973, and Melanie Gough victim 40 in '74. Lee Ball was found in 1976, and Joyce Saville was discovered in 1984. Lucy Marmer was killed in 2001, and the Cardiff General Hospital handed death records and the results of her post-mortem to the police, mentioning Operation Lowry in their official records. (TV: Greeks Bearing Gifts)