Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Love's Victim

Alfredo Paulos came to Canada in 1957, settling in Vancouver. He worked hard to learn English and take advantage of the opportunities in this new land.

Things were going well but Paulos was lonely. He wanted a wife and not just anyone would do. He wanted a woman from his home country of Yugoslavia. A woman who would give him fine sons, cook him meals he had grown up on and bring a bit of his homeland to Canada.

So Alfredo wrote to a relative in his hometown and was given the name of a lady who was 34, unmarried, attractive, morally etc. Alfredo and this woman, Laura Mandich, began to write letters back and forth.

This building at 533 Woodland Drive dates back to 1912.

After a few months, and fifty letters, Alfredo and Laura became engaged. Alfredo sent money for airfare and On June 9, 1959, his bride to be walked into the Immigration Office at the airport. Although Laura was as attractive as Alfredo had been led to believe, when he spoke to her he found the woman to be shy and retiring - not as warm, talkative and witty as her letters. 

However, when the couple were with Paulos' friends, Laura became the vivacious woman that Alfredo had imagined her to be. Needless to say, Alfredo was disappointed. As was seen in his diary entries at that time.

Obviously, the love affair between Laura and Alfredo was not going to work out and they soon stopped seeing each other. Laura had developed a love for her new found country and got herself a job as a housekeeper for a local lawyer and his family. She began dating other men.

This infuriated Alfredo. He felt as if this was an insult to his manhood, that he had been betrayed and that Laura had used him to get into Canada. The final straw was when Laura began dating Alfredo's best friend. Paulos contacted Immigration, informing them that the wedding was off so Laura should be sent back to Yugoslavia. Laura contacted the office, asking permission to become a Landed Immigrant since she did have full employment. Her new boyfriend, Joe Marcos, stepped up as sponsor and Laura was granted permission to stay.

Paulos was furious. He went to a lawyer to force Marcos to pay him the money that Paulos had spent to bring Laura over to Canada for the engagement ring he had bought her - $900. Marcos, trying to soothe bruised feelings, offered $500 but Paulos refused the offer. His lawyer advised him to take the money since there was really nothing to be gained by going to court. Paulos refused and the lawyer said there was nothing more he could do.

This seems to have sent the lovelorn Alfredo over the edge. He became more irrational - writing letters of complaint to various judges and government officials and convinced it was all a conspiracy against him. He was becoming paranoid and when he returned home for a visit in the fall of 1960, his family and friends could see the changes in the man.

By the time he returned to Vancouver, it is thought that Alfredo had lost almost all touch with reality.

On January 11, 1961, Alfredo showed up on the doorstep of the Rogers' home where Laura worked. When the door was opened by the lady of the house, Paulos pushed past her and walked down the hall to Laura. He spoke to her in Italian (the native tongue of their part of Yugoslavia) before slapping her hard across the face. He then withdrew a long, slim bladed knife from his pocket and stabbed the maid repeatedly.

At the sounds of his mother's screams, young  Morris Rogers rand downstairs and grabbed Alfredo. The two males rolled together on the floor - Morris ignoring the pain of the knife blade cutting his shoulder.

Then Mr. Rogers ran in and began to beat on Alfredo with his fists. By this time Morris had lost a lot of blood and released his attacker. Alfredo ran out and Mrs. Rogers called the police who arrived very quickly.

Two ambulances arrived on the scene and the injured people were rushed to the hospital. Laura Mandich never regained consciousness, dying from her wounds.

Constable Len Hogue was a policeman who was sent to the general search area. He boarded a northbound bus on 27th Avenue to check the five passengers there but none of them matched the suspect's description. As Hogue was leaving the bus, a man got on and approached the officer saying "Me mister, it's me, I did it. I want kaput right now."

Alfredo showed the officers where the bloody knife and other evidence was and later explained that he had just gone to the Rogers' to get the engagement ring back from Laura. Everything would have been fine if she had just given him the ring back. He was charged with murder. Even though he had a serious mental problem, Alfredo Paulos understood the nature of his acts, which made him sane in the eyes of the law.

On September 21, 1961 he was found guilty of non-capital murder and sentenced to life imprisonment. Paulos was later deported.

And people wonder why I am still single! I hope you find the beauty around you.

Thanks to the book Policebeat by Joe Swan for the information.

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