Monday, May 25, 2015

The Union Goon

On March 7, 1962 a man by the name of Gustav Strathie was cooking his evening meal in his home at 719 Homer Street.

Gustav was a bachelor at 62 years old. He had never married and lived in the same house he was born in. His mother died some years before.

Strathie was able to live on a small, regular income he received from the sale of some property his mother had left him.

While waiting for his dinner, there was knock on the door and when Strathie answered it, he saw two men standing on his doorstep.

One of the men had a pistol in his hand and as soon as Gustav opened the door, he pushed his way in and began hitting Strathie on the head with the gun butt. Strathie was pushed back the length of the front hall, pistol-whipped the entire time until he was prevented from going any further by the hall-stand.  The man with the gun swung at Gustav's head once more but missed and got the older man in the chest.

Gustav's back was pressed against the hall-stand, his face was bleeding. In desperation, he grabbed hold of the gun butt and got his finger on the trigger and... pulled.

The gun fired and the attacker released his grip on the barrel, sliding to the floor. Gustav stood with the gun in his hand.

The other man rushed at Gustav so he raised the gun and fired again. This time, he missed and the bullet shattered the glass in the front door. The would be assailant turned and ran.

Now alone, Gustav began to shake uncontrollably. His face was numb from the beating, his clothes covered with blood. Once he regained some of his composure, he turned on a light and looked at the man he shot. The guy was still alive so he asked him,

"Who the hell are you, anyway?" There was no reply.

Gustav went out on the porch, gun still in hand, and asked a passer-by to call the police and an ambulance. When they arrived, the man was dead. Strathie was taken to a hospital for treatment and, after he made a statement, was taken into custody pending further investigation into the matter.

Meanwhile the dead man's wallet was looked through and he was identified as Clayton Stratton - the man who hit Ronald Clark.

Thanks to the book Policebeat, 24 Vancouver Murders by Joe Swan for the above information. Wednesday, I will tell you more about Stratton.

I hope you find the beauty around you.

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