Monday, March 3, 2014

Kitsilano Killing

This Four square builder's house at 1748 East 5th, is unusual due to the cut-in porch, symmetrical full-height second storey, and hipped roof. A building permit was issued to owner/builder A.C. Fraser on April 22, 1910. The value was $2,200 and Fraser built 1722 East 5th the year before.

It was June 28, 1978. The weather was warm and sunny, a fact for which Irene Lenard was grateful since it made her job so much easier.

Lenard worked as an enumerator, gathering information on the residents of Vancouver's Kitsilano district to bring the electoral rolls up to date for the upcoming provincial election.

When it rained, people didn't want to speak to someone on their doorstep or invite them in and have the visitor drip rain water over their hallways. So, with the good weather, Irene made steady progress and had just about finished her daily quota of calls.
The time was nine o'clock when the woman approached 1817 West 5th Avenue, just west of Burrard Street.  Dwarfed by the concrete walls of commercial premises, this house was not much more than a small summer cottage. These types of homes had covered the area between Kitsilano Point and West Broadway during the 1920s.

Irene opened the gate in the picket fence and walked towards the cottage. There were no flowers in the garden but the lawn was neatly trimmed and the house looked well cared for. The wooden walls were painted a dark green with white trim around the windows and door.

She went up to the front door, which was on the east side of the house and not visible from the street. Lenard noticed the glass window in the door was broken and the door itself was ajar.

Irene knocked and when she received no reply, she called out. Still, the house was silent so Irene took a further step into the room, and glanced around. A door on the south side of the room was open and Irene saw the body of a man lying on the floor.

Wisely, the enumerator fled the scene and called the police.

Constables 514 Chinn and 726 Czech arrived at the house a few minutes later and, as was standard operating procedure at the time, they were accompanied by an inhalator. It was quickly determined that there was nothing the inhalator crew could do for the man. So they left and the police began to work.

The body was that of an elderly man and it seemed he had been dead for about a week. It lay face down on the floor, half under the bed. Beside the man in the small, neat, sparsely furnished room was an upturned chair. It was as if the man had fallen from it when died.

The man was dressed only in a pyjama jacket and was naked from the waist down. Areas of bruising on the legs and lowered abdomen were noticed and his arms were tied behind his back with electrical cord. The cord had been pulled so tightly the elbows were touching.

So what happened to this elderly man? And why? I will tell you more about this murder on Wednesday. Thanks goes to Joe Swan and his book, Policebeat, for the information on this case.

Don't forget, if you are on Facebook then you want to attend the book launch event I am having on Wednesday, March 5. This is in support of my latest, and first nonfiction, book - On The Right Side, My Story of Survival and SuccessI hope to see you all there.

I hope you find the beauty around you.

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  1. Love the new murder mystery and of course the pictures. Good job again.