Friday, January 23, 2015

The Interview

At 2 pm October 2, 1975, Roy Lowther walked into Detective Fred Menzies' office at the Vancouver Police Department. Lowther was a tall, thin man, casually dressed. His hair was grey-white and he had a white beard. He appeared nervous and he carefully weighed his words before answering questions.

Menzies asked when Lowther had last seen his wife. Lowther replied he and Pat had gone to bed the night of September 24 but when Roy woke the next day at 7 am, Pat was already awake. She had got up and left the room. Roy fell asleep for about an hour and then got the children ready for school. He noticed that his wife was not in the house. Their relationship had been strained for some time so when Pat didn't return by lunchtime, he thought she had left for good.

Lowther had a theory on what had happened to his wife. He produced two letters, which he claimed his wife had received from a male poet in Ontario. In his opinion, these letters suggested the two were lovers and Roy thought Pat had gone to Ontario to be with the other man.

After the interview, Menzies was not convinced Pat had left the home of her volition. He discussed the matter with his supervisor, Al Shepherd. Shepherd agreed the case didn't look right and assigned two homicide detectives to assist Menzies.

Roy Lowther was called back to the police station on October 7 for another interview. This time, Menzies was joined by Detectives Roy Chapman and Ken Hale. Lowther repeated the story he had told five days earlier but with one added detail. This time, he claimed he heard the front door slam around 7:15 am.

The detectives asked Lowther to take a polygraph exam but he declined, saying he didn't believe in them. He did agree to allow Hale and Chapman to view his home.  They explained it was part of any missing person case.

At 11:30, Lowther and the detectives entered his home at 566 East 46th. The detectives made a hasty inspection of the home and asked Lowther if he could determine if any of his wife's items were missing. Lowther claimed all he could find missing was an old suitcase, an off-white poncho, a pair of yellow shoes and his wife's toothbrush.

The detectives asked for a photo of his wife but Lowther said he didn't have one. When pushed, Lowther produced a book of poetry titled Mountain Day Moving. Inside was a small, unclear photo of Pat Lowther. Detective Hale glanced at a few of the poems before saying,

"This modern stuff isn't really my style. I prefer Kipling, that's more in my line." Lowther agreed with him and the detectives got the impression he didn't think highly of his wife's work. Lowther also mentioned that his children were staying on Mayne Island and he would be joining them in a couple of days.

The mystery deepens! Where is the missing poet, Pat Lowther? I will tell you more next week.

Thanks for the Joe Swan and the book Policebeat for this interesting story.

I hope you find the beauty around you.

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