Friday, October 5, 2012

A Boozy Barber

Certain types have depicted Canadians as peaceful types. Not the kind of people to break the law or cause trouble. We are supposed to be polite and courteous. I even saw a documentary by one famous director that said that Canadians don't lock their doors. For those of you who are thinking that this country is some sort of paradise filled with well-mannered people and little crime, I got a news flash for you. It isn't.

My novel Missing Flowers was inspired by the Missing Women's case in which Robert Pickton murdered numerous prostitutes and disposed of the bodies on his pig farm. However, he isn't the only serial killer to haunt the streets of my city.

I am sure that many people reading this have had an alcoholic drink or two in their lifetime. Perhaps there have even been times when they have over indulged and felt horrible the next day. I wonder if any of my readers have considered using booze as a murder weapon.

Gilbert Paul Jordan - born Gilbert Paul Elsie - is believed to have done just that to between 8 and 10 women. His suspected murders span the years from 1965 to 1988.

Jordan would go into a bar, find a woman and buy her a drink. Then more. Sometimes he would pay them for sex and encourage them to drink with him. Many of these women were alcoholics and some were prostitutes.

Once the woman had drunk enough to pass out, Jordan would pour alcohol down her throat. When the body was autopsied and the level of alcohol was discovered, officials would assume that the woman died of her own actions. That she had just gone overboard that night.

The first woman to die in Jordan's company was a switchboard operator named Ivy Rose in 1965. She was found in a hotel room dead, naked and with a blood alcohol level of .51. (Remember that .08 is considered intoxication.) No charges were laid there.

Jordan was connected with the deaths of other women as well.

Mary Johnson was found on November 30, 1980 at the Aylmer Hotel with a blood alcohol level of .34.

On September 11, 1981, Barbara Paul's body was discovered at the Glenaird Hotel and her blood alcohol was .34.

Jordan's barbershop at 2503 Kingsway was the site for the next body discovery on July 30, 1982. Mary Johns had a blood alcohol level of .76.

Two years later, on December 15, 1984, the body of Patricia Thomas was found at the barbershop again with a blood alcohol reading of .51.

Another Patricia, Patricia Andrew, was discovered at that same place with a blood alcohol level of .51. Vera Harry was found dead on November 19, 1986 at the Clifton Hotel but her blood alcohol level was only .04.

Vanessa Lee Buckner died October 12, 1987 after drinking with Jordan. A month after that Edna Shane was found dead in a hotel room.

Jordan himself was known to drink more than 50 ounces of vodka a day.

The police knew that something was going on and after questioning Jordan in connection with Buckner's death - but not charging him - the police placed the man under surveillance. In the period between October 12 and November 26, 1987, the authorities managed to save four women from Jordan's clutches.

Jordan was eventually charged and convicted of manslaughter in the death of Vanessa Lee Buckner. He served six years.

Gilbert tried to change his name to Paul Pearce in 2000 but dropped the application when a loophole in the process was closed. At the time of his applying, fingerprints and criminal checks weren't performed.

Gilbert Paul Jordan died in 2006 at the age of 74.

Thanks to Wikipedia for the information.

I hope you find the beauty around you.

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