Friday, April 25, 2014

Drugs Kill

Just to refresh your memory. The body of Danny Brent was found on the west edge of the green at the UBC golf course on September 15, 1954. Known to police, Brent had been shot three times. His car was found the same day as his body.

The vehicle was towed to the police garage and the crime experts examined it thoroughly. No identifiable fingerprints, other than those of Danny Brent, were found. There small splatters of blood on the right front and rear windows and a pair of bloodstained gloves in the trunk. The blood was found to be the same group as Brent's and a comparison of the vehicle's tires was made to the tire tracks left on the golf course showed they were similar though a positive comparison could not be made. 

It appeared to the police that Brent had been shot in the back, put in his car and then driven to the golf course where the body was dumped. The killer - or killers - then drove the car to where it was recovered and left either on foot or in another car.

Over the next few weeks, the detectives questioned dozens of drug dealers and addicts, getting small bits of information here and there and a picture began to emerge of a struggle for control of the Vancouver drug trade. One of the most useful informants was a man named Mike Gifford. 

Gifford was close to Brent and believed the men who ordered Danny's demise were two rival heroin dealers - Alan McPeak and Joe Civelli. Both men worked for a Montreal organization. Gifford claimed that these two White Heroin dealers ordered another dealer, John Paris, to be pistol-whipped months before. Mike also said that Danny had received a phone call around that time warning him "If you don't back up, you are going to get moved." Brent had paid heed to the warning and suspended his operations. He had only started up again a few weeks before his death.

From other sources, police learned of two men believed to be the actual hit-team. Charles Angotti and Lewis Bergeron had extensive criminal records and high placed underworld connections and had recently arrived in Vancouver from Ontario.

The two men were picked up at the Vancouver motel they were living in and brought to police headquarters. Detectives questioned them at length but the two career criminals said little. Even though neither had an alibi for the night of the murder, the police were unable to connect them to the killing.

Someone did get a hold of Danny Brent's heroin supplies though. Within days, a new type of the drug was being sold on the street. It was a mixture of white and brown heroin, known by addicts as 'Dead-man's horse'. 

The murder of Danny Brent has never been solved.

The information above was gathered from the book Policebeat by Joe Swan.

I hope you find the beauty around you.


  1. Those unsolved murders make for goid reading. Thanks Karen and hope you find beauty all around as well. Check you out on Monday.

    1. Love a good mystery! I always liked the tale of Amelia Earhart's disappearance and the legend of the Romanovs and did anyone survive. It's those mysteries that make life interesting, in my opinion. Thanks for reading and commenting Lee.