Wednesday, January 13, 2016

A Suspect

Julius Levy, the 80-year-old tailor who was assaulted, died from his injuries. And the search for his assailant continued.  Homicide Squad detectives were called in and Detectives Hendy and McRae started checking the rooming houses in the area of Pender Street.

The detectives checked a rooming house in the 500 Block of Hornby Street. The spoke to the elderly manager, Mr. O'Casey, and his son, Michael. They asked if anyone in the hotel matched the description they had of tweed jacket man. They were told that no one staying the hotel matched who they were looking for.

However, noticed that Michael bore a striking resemblance to the description and they saw a brown tweed jacket hanging behind a door.

The detectives returned to the police station and checked Michael O'Casey against their record files. O'Casey had an extensive criminal record including three convictions for armed robbery and one for assault causing bodily harm. In fact, Michael was released from the B.C. Penitentiary earlier that year.

The detectives returned to the rooming house to bring Michael O'Casey in for questioning. They noticed he was wearing glasses with half rims.

That evening, O'Casey and seven other men were assembled for a line up and paraded in front of Mary Brown and Shirley Parsons. The two women were asked if they could identify the man they had seen in the tailor shop that night and given slips of paper to write down the number of the man they recognized.

Once the line-up was over, neither woman had written down a number. Mary Brown told the detectives that number one was the man she had seen in the store that night but she hadn't written his number down because his hair colour looked different under the spotlights. Number one was Michael O'Casey.

O'Casey was questioned by detectives but maintained his innocence, saying he knew nothing about the incident. When told he had been identified, O'Casey said, "I was not there - it wasn't me. This is unbelievable."

An inquest was held into the death of Julius Levy which O'Casey attended at his own request. When Mary Brown was asked by the Coroner if she could identify the man she saw in the tailor shop that night, she pointed at O'Casey and said "That is the man."

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

I hope you find the beauty around you.

Karen Magill

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