Monday, June 1, 2015

Justifiable Homicide

When I left off on Wednesday, Clayton Stratton and his girlfriend, Nancy Morrison, were travelling to Vancouver. They spent the night the Doric Howe Hotel and the next day Stratton drove his girlfriend to the SIU office on Main Street - almost directly opposite the Vancouver Police Headquarters.

Stratton and Nancy were shown into the President's office. Stratton introduced to a man he called "Mr. Rod". Once a second man Clayton called Walter entered the room, the three men had a private conversation. Then the couple left and returned to their hotel.

The next day, they drove back to Port Angeles. During the journey, Stratton and Morrison got into an argument. The dispute continued after their arrival so Stratton left her at her apartment, where he was staying. Clayton took the dynamite he was storing there and informed Nancy he was going back to Vancouver.

15 minutes before Stratton and his accomplice showed up on Gustav Strathie's doorstep, Stratton was seen in a Seymour Street parking lot. He parked his car then walked over to another car with a male driver. The two talked a moment then drove off together.

We know what happened after that but if you forgot, refer to this entry.

When police searched the room Stratton was staying in, they found the dynamite in a paper bag. It was primed and rigged to be used as a bomb on a car's ignition system.

Two weeks after Stratton's death, Ed Lawson, the President of the Joint Teamster's Council received a threatening phone call. According to the anonymous caller, a bomb would be set off under Lawson's car.

There was a lengthy investigation but police found no evidence Stratton was paid by anyone in the union movement to act as a strong arm man. Nor could anyone find a reason the labour movement would want to to harm Gustav Strathie.

So why did Clayton Stratton and his unknown accomplice - who was never identified - assault Strathie?

There are two theories. One is that Stratton and the other man were committing a robbery because they felt Strathie had money hidden in the house. The second possibility is that there was a contract put out on someone and the two men had gone to the wrong house.

After an inquest was held concerning Stratton's death, it was ruled a justifiable homicide.

Thanks to the book Policebeat, 24 Vancouver Murders by Joe Swan for the above information.

I hope you find the beauty around you.

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