Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Danny Brent

This photo is from the window of the Licorice Parlour on Commercial Drive. An ideal place to buy fine chocolate and exquisite licorice.

In 1929, while Danny Brent was in Edmonton, he was jailed for theft and breach of recognizance - in other words, Brent promised in court he would do something so he wouldn't have to go to jail and he violated that agreement. Five years later, Brent had moved to Vancouver and over the next three years was charged with possession of nitro-glycerine, shop-breaking, possession of burglary tools and explosives and retaining stolen property. All charges were dismissed by the courts.

However, in 1937, he was sentenced to two years in jail for breaking and entering in Kelowna and, in 1941, the Edmonton courts sentenced the man to seven years for receiving stolen property. When Danny was released from jail, he came back to Vancouver and soon became involved with the drug trade.

The Vancouver Drug Squad were informed of Danny Brent's activities in Vancouver. The squad was kept informed of who was dealing what drug and where by their informants.

Danny dealt in 'brown' heroin that he bought in bulk from the importers in Eastern Canada. Those importers got their supply from Mexico. Danny would bundle the heroin in 50 capsule lots and hired a man by the name of Mike Clifford to 'plant' the bundles at the foot of various trees along English Bay. Clifford was paid $20 for each planting and Brent would then sell the location of each 'plant' to street 'pushers'.

Even knowing this background, the police had to try and find out why Danny was killed and who had done it.

The police checked into Danny Brent's movements the night of the murder. Brent went to work at the Press Club as usual that evening and left at 12:45 a.m., his usual leaving time. He took with him a copy of the News Herald. One of the girls at the club had been working on the crossword and it was finished except for two clues, which Danny said he would finish for her. That was the paper found under his shirt.

Danny offered a number of people a ride before leaving work but no one took advantage of his offer and he drove off alone in his 1950 Meteor Convertible. The police questioned people at the club who remarked that Danny usually carried a large sum of money with him, ranging in amounts from two or three hundred to a couple of thousand dollars. No money was found on his body.

The 1950 Meteor Convertible was found parked in the 3500 block West 11th the same day the body was recovered. Would it show any evidence that would lead to the killer?

What clues did the car give? If any? Who killed Danny Brent and why? Was it drug related? I will finish this tale on Friday. Thanks to Joe Swan and his book, Policebeat. 

I hope you find the beauty around you.


  1. Another great blog post, and even better pictures. You're making me homesick.

    1. Glad you like it Nick. Though I don't want to make you sick!

  2. Really nice tale. Can't wait till Friday to hear more. Great pictures. :-)

    1. Thanks Lee. It was a rainy day when I took this photos.