Monday, January 19, 2015

A Missing Poet

I'm in the mood for murder so today I am referring to the book Policebeat by Joe Swan and recounting one of the cases he wrote about. 

This case came to the attention of the Vancouver Police on October 1, 1975 when Kathy  Domphousse spoke to Detective Fred Menzies of the Missing Persons Squad. Domphousse was concerned about her mother, Patricia Louise Lowther.

Kathy and her mother had seen each other on September 23 at Lowther's residence at 566 East 46th Avenue. Her mother had been in a good mood and hadn't mentioned anything about going on a trip. However, four days later, when Kathy had gone again to visit her mother, her stepfather, Roy Lowther, told the woman that her mother had left three days earlier to travel back East and he didn't know when she would return.

This didn't seem right to Miss Domphousse. Pat Lowther was a poet with three published poetry books and another to soon be releases by Oxford University Press. She was co-chairperson of the League of Canadian Poets and was organizing a major poetry workshop in Victoria. In addition, Lowther taught a senior poetry workshop at the University of British Columbia's Creative Writing Department. Why would she leave town without arranging a replacement teacher for her students?

Something had happened to the woman who Andreas Schroeder of the Vancouver Province had once described as "the uncontested number one poet in the City."

Kathy was very concerned about the whereabouts of her mother. After her talk with her stepfather, she spent the next few days contacting her mother's friends and acquaintances but none were able to help her. Why would Pat Lowther go away and not tell anyone her plans?

Detective Menzies listened to Miss Domphousse's story. He had listened to many reports about people gone missing from concerned friends and relatives. In most instances, the 'missing person' turned up safe and secure with an innocent reason why they were absent.

In this matter, Menzies had a feeling something was not right. He told Kathy Domphousse he would look into the matter and keep her informed. When she had gone, he phoned Roy Lowther. Menzies informed the other man that he had a report his wife was missing and asked him to come to the police station to discuss the situation. Lowther agreed and a meeting was set for the following afternoon at 2.

Detective Menzies hung up the phone and set about learning everything he could about the backgrounds of Roy and Pat Lowther to get ready for the upcoming interview.

The mystery deepens! Wednesday, I will tell you the history of these two and the interview. 

The photos are of the Commercial Drive area in Vancouver. I was once told that a person could eat from every corner of the world on the Drive and, as you can see, there are lots of food vendors here.

I hope you find the beauty around you.

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