Monday, February 2, 2015

Case Closed

When I finished on Friday,  Roy Lowther had just stated to Detective Chapman that he did not kill his wife, Pat Lowther.  That afternoon, Detective Hale flew back to Vancouver in an R.C.M.P. helicopter. With him were the mattress and hammer taken from Lowther. These items were taken to the Crime Detection Laboratory for analysis. Human bloodstains were found on both.

On October 20, Detective Hale accompanied Constable Joe Mikita of the Identification squad when he went to conduct a thorough examination of Lowther's Vancouver home. The two officers went over the master bedroom, inch by inch. Mikita found a number of small spots on the walls, floor and furniture. Random samples of these spots were removed, analysed and found to be human blood. There were one hundred and seventeen spots on the wall above the bed, eighty-five on the headboard itself, twenty-three on the other walls, twenty-three on a chest of drawers and others on the floor.

The next day, October 21, Detective Chapman and Sergeant Randall of the R.C.M.P. returned to Mayne Island to have a discussion with Roy Lowther. They told him they were investigating the death of his wife and that there was evidence she was murdered and they believed he was responsible. Roy Lowther was informed he was going to be arrested and held without charge for homicide.

After acknowledging he understood the official warning, Lowther was asked if he could explain why blood was found on the hammer. His comment, "No explanation." He gave the same answer when asked about the blood on the walls, mattress and bedroom floor.

On the trip to the ferry, Roy did offer one theory for the blood. Perhaps it was menstrual blood.

Roy Lowther spent the night in Vancouver's City Jail. The next day, Detective Chapman paid him a visit to formally charge the man with the murder of Patricia Lowther between September 22, 1975 and October 14, 1975.

This case was solved in a large extent upon scientific evidence. In addition to the evidence I have already told you about, mud-stains on a pair of Lowther's pants found in the hamper in his house were analysed and were identical to mud at Furry Creek.

To add to his perceived guilt, Lowther was also inconsistent in his statements to the police. For example, he told the detectives he hadn't been to Furry Creek since 1973. However, a letter he had written to the provincial government in February of 1975 was found. In this letter, Roy complained of the creek being polluted by a nearby gravel pit. This situation didn't exist in 1973.

Motive. Well, there didn't seem to be a definite reason for him killing his wife although perhaps it was due to jealousy of his wife's success, and lack of his own as a poet. Or maybe it was because he thought she was having an affair.

The jury found him guilty and sentenced him to Life Imprisonment.

Roy Armstrong died in prison in July of 1985. He always maintained he was innocent.

Thanks to Joe Swan and his book, Policebeat, for the information above.

I hope you find the beauty around you.


  1. It is not uncommon for a suspect to be the spouse of the victim. Only God and He knew his motive. It is a sad thing for someone that close to you who is supposed to provide and protect you to be your perpetrator. Does not say much for his character. Jealousy in any form is ugly be it success or adultery. Thanks for an intriguing blog.

    1. Thank you Lee for being such a devoted reader and commenter. I appreciate it.

  2. Thank you for writing a concise summary of my father's murder of my step-mother Pat.
    For someone proud of his "genius" IQ rating, he was an idiot. The man I loved as a little girl became a mess of rage. My visits to him in prison were.... difficult. It's been a much happier thirty years since his death.

    1. You're welcome. But you can thank Joe Swan because that is where I got the information.

  3. Yes, I have a copy somewhere in my files of Swan's story when he first published it in the paper, and I have his book of collected stories, too. My family members were upset when Swan's story about dad and Pat came out in the paper, but the thirty happier years have been healing.
    Best wishes for your own continued writings. :-)

    1. Thank you Ruth. This blog is a hobby. I have five published books - the first is going to be adapted to a short film - and I launched a mentor/life coach business last year. My focus for now is on the business and speaking.