It was the morning of September 15, 1954 when the greens keeper of the University of British Columbia golf course noticed something was wrong. Samual Bale was a conscientious man, proud of the way he kept the course. But on this day he discovered that a car had been driven down the fairway - around the tenth green and back again - leaving deep furrows in the manicured grass.
Bale went back to the clubhouse and informed William Rees, the club manager, about the damage. Together the two went out to the greens to see what could be done to repair the damage.
In the rough just a few feet from the west edge of the green was a body of a man.It lay on its side with the legs drawn to the chest. Bale called Rees over and the two men approached the body. The duo knew at once the man was dead when they saw the bullet hole behind his ear. Wisely, they went back to the clubhouse and called the R.C.M.P. - Royal Canadian Mounted Police - who were responsible for policing the U.B.C. campus.
Corporal Morgan and Constable Walton arrived on the scene and examined the body. The found a man in his mid-forties, dressed in a pair of grey pants, a red plaid shirt, brown shoes and argyle socks. There was a blood stained edition of the September 15, 1954 News Herald newspaper tucked inside of his pocket. The mounties also found that in addition to the bullet wound behind the ear, a second wound in the right cheek and a third in the back, the latter left a large exit wound on the stomach.
Identification in the man's pants pocket showed the man's name to be Danny Brent who lived at 2066 West 15th Avenue in Vancouver.
The officers called in the R.C.M.P. Criminal Investigation Bureau and a photographer from the Identification Branch. Since the body was found 100 yards from the city boundary, the mounties also notified the Vancouver City Police.
Then the investigation began. The body was photographed from all angles, as were the tire tracks. The tracks showed great detail of the tire-tread in the soft turf and it was determined, from those tracks, the car entered the golf course from Blanca Street and was driven directly to the area of the tenth green. Then it circled in a clockwise direction. It had stopped near where the body was found before driving out back the way it came.
Dr. Glen McDonald - the City Coroner - arrived at the scene and officially pronounced the victim dead. The body was then taken to the City Morgue.
Who was Danny Brent and why did he end up dead on the golf green? And, more importantly, who did it? I will tell you more on Monday.
Thanks to the book Policebeat by Joe Swan for the information on this crime.
I hope you find the beauty around you and a happy Easter weekend to all of you.