Abducted: The First Twelve Hours

Written by Harold McNeill on June 28th, 2014. Posted in Police Notebook

A full set of photos from this story and a short introduction for the post appears on the
McNeill Life Stories Facebook Page (Link Here) (Note: All the photos except the two for the Police Department are captured from Web sources.)


“Except for my dogs, I am alone in a world filled with people.”

For  people of all ages, but particularly the young, few things can be more lonely than being on a street full of people and the only looks  received vary between  pity, disgust and outright anger. Most street people are viewed as being worth less than the clothes they wear. They could go missing, be raped or otherwise sexually assaulted, even murdered, yet this often raises barely a ripple within the police circles. If they are of native, it is even worse. In 2010 during the Olympics, I watched as two members of the “Red Shirt Brigade” (Volunteer Security) in Vancouver were openly antagonistic and physically aggressive towards a native woman sleeping in the doorway of a store that was closed for the night. This story traces the social conflicts which remain close to the surface in this bountiful country of Canada. (Photo Web source)


In the Oak Bay office it was nearing 3:00 am, as the night shift Sergeant, Constable and a Civilian Dispatcher were cleaning up the coffee room when the five phone lines lite up. In the quiet hours this usually meant an accident or similar emergency had shaken several residents from their pre-dawn slumber. In this case, two blasts from a shotgun were followed by blood curdling screens.  So began a twelve hour saga where a young woman’s life hung in the balance.”

Having lived inside the police system for thirty years, this story (and others to follow) use various Oak Bay Police Major Crime files to demonstrate how some criminal acts (or suspected criminal acts) can be quickly filtered to ‘inactive’ when the victim lives outside the mainstream. While this is sometimes done for good reason, discounting these crimes can have serious, unintended consequences in the mainstream as demonstrated in eight interconnected chapters beginning in the early 1980′s and extending to the present day.

Chapters 1: A discussion of how the police and justice system filter is applied and how societal norms (reference the section on deviance) impact the events described in this  Oak Bay Police abduction case.

Chapter 2: A general description of the Greater Victoria area, the various police departments and of area in which the crime occurred.

Chapter 3 and 4: Provides background on the victim as a method of demonstrating how some victims, because of age, sex, socio-economic status, mental illness or some other factor, are left vulnerable when society in general and the criminal justice system in particular, fails to render assistance.

Chapters 5, 6 and 7: Tracks the investigation from beginning to end as a means of demonstrating how a high level of cooperation between police agencies is an essential component of effective law enforcement. This is particularly so when a crime crosses jurisdictional boundaries, be it local, provincial or national. The chapters also demonstrate how a small Department the size of Oak Bay is able to provide a full range of effective police service.

Chapter 8: Outlines other cases, in particular the recent murder of Tim Bosma in Ancaster, Ontario, as a means of demonstrating how application of the police filter can have unintended consequences when a serial sex offender or murderer is at work.

Addendum 1:  Summary of a personal experience that resulted in some follow-up at work. The matter flowed back to the surface in July 2013. (110)

Local Powerlifter Breaks Records and Brings Home Gold!

Written by Dianne McNeill on June 26th, 2014. Posted in Dianne McNeill Blog Posts, Guest Posts

Kaiya McPayKaiya prepares for a Record Breaking Lift

Kaiya McPay, a local up and coming Powerlifter, made an extraordinary showing at the BC Powerlifting Association’s Provincial Powerlifting Competition in Vancouver, bringing home a Gold Medal and smashing records along the way. Kaiya trains and coaches out of Campbell River’s own Crossfit O’Twelve gym.

Powerlifting is an intense and exciting sport testing both physical and psychological strength. Powerlifters train to lift enormous weights and while there are obvious requirements of great strength, precision and technique, it is the overall iron will and correct tactical decisions which are necessary in order to mount the winners’ podium. There are three attempts in each of the disciplines, the best lift in each discipline is added together to arrive at a lifter’s total for the competition, they are then ranked.


The True North Strong and Pot Free —– Not

Written by Harold McNeill on December 20th, 2013. Posted in Editorials, Tim Hortons Morning Posts


 The True North Strong and Pot Free —– Not
Vancouver, April 20, 2012. Over 20,000 people, the largest crowd to date, attended the Four Twenty Protest.
At 4:20 pm (precisely), a sweet smelling cloud lazily drifted over the Library and across downtown Vancouver.
Twenty thousand people just had a group toke.

It has long since been ordained that the ubiquitous Mary Jane would one day become, if not legal, at the very least a controlled substance sold in Government style Liquor Stores. Marihuana grow ops will be popping up across the country like dandelions on a newly planted lawn. Now that a few States in that bastion of extreme conservatism south of the border have begun to decriminalize the substance, can the Province of British Columbia’s five billion (that’s right five, with nine zeros) pot growing industry, be far behind? For BC  this is not a trivial amount of untaxed ‘free enterprise’ money by any count.

Seeing an opportunity in this trend, Medbox Inc., a U.S. based company, is set to introduce into Canada, automatic Pot Vending Machines (PVMs) for use by those licenced to toke as permitted under the Canada Health Act (link to story).  Apparently the PVMs provide easy and secure 24 hour access. Imagine, pot on demand at your nearest 7-11. It was also reported the RCMP is looking at installing machines in their remote detachments (link). City members, of course, will be able to pop by the nearest 7-11. (1523)

The Big Kinosoo: Origin of the Legend – Chapter 1 of 6

Written by Harold McNeill on January 10th, 2011. Posted in Adventure

The Big Kinosoo: Origin of the Legend - Chapter 1 of 6

Native in Birch Bark Canoe

Cold Lake, 1800s

The following short excerpt is taken from a story by J.B. Minoose1, a friend of our father, Dave Benjamin McNeill.  We lived not far from Mr. Minoose and his family while our family was at the Martineau River logging Camp in the mid-1940s. This was followed by two years at English Bay on the North side of Cold Lake, then two years at Marie Lake which was 15 miles west of English Bay (reference Family Stories 1940 -1965).  The Minoose story appears in Treasured Scales of the Kinosoo, a history of families in Cold Lake edited by Laura Dean Skarsen. Laura Dean Skarsen, was sister-in-law of our step-father, Wilfred Skarsen and our mother Laura Isabel Skarsen (McNeill) (Wheeler).  J.B. Minooses (standing, second from right in photo) spoke of his life in Cold Lake: (446)

Vaccines and the Good Old Days

Written by Harold McNeill on April 17th, 2014. Posted in Tim Hortons Morning Posts


If you have a child, it is your decision whether or not to vaccinate. But, you might stand by the strength of your conviction and stop taking your own preventative medications. Why would you want to risk falling prey to one of the side effects of those medications even if the danger is minimal?  There is no better way to show you love your child than standing side-by-side with them if your decision is to not vaccinate.

May 17, 2014.  An excellent article on “A Failure to Vaccinate” begins on Page 1, of the  Vancouver Sun. An 80-90% vaccination rate is needed to prevent a widespread outbreak.  Check the details on page A6 and A7 of the Sun or read the Post below. Think it over folks. (Link Here to the Sun Article)

Children of the 1940′s

My sister and I grew up at a time when many childhood communicable diseases such as measles, whooping cough and others were feared by every parent.  While vaccines had been developed for polio, scarlet fever and others, many killers still remained.  In PolioCrusade_t614every community, children were dying for lack of effective vaccines and over the course of the 18th  and 19th  centuries, millions of children and adults around the world died. Millions more were left with debilitating, life long scars. Except for Chicken Pox, my sister Louise and I luckily escaped the most serious.

Photo (Web): In this polio campaign photo a nurse stands with a recovering child.  Millions of children were afflicted with that dreaded disease and while many died, just as many were left with life long after effects.

After decades of careful medical research more and more vaccines (and safer, more effective vaccines) were being developed. By the 1980’s most childhood killer diseases, including measles, were on the brink of extinction. Many others had already been taken out of existence.

Was the world was safe? Well, almost.  It did not take many years after the rate of infection had dropped to very low levels, for a few to begin to question the possible side effects. It was then parents stopped vaccinating because they feared the side effects more than the disease, after all none of them had ever seen anyone with the disease. It seemed that a few pseudoscientists and celebrities carried more weight than mainstream doctors and scientists. (1754)

Cold Lake High School Years 1955-1960

Written by Harold McNeill on January 24th, 2014. Posted in Family 1940 1965

Introduction Collage

Collage: The above photos provide a small representation of the five years a group of young people spent completing Junior and Senior High in Cold Lake, Alberta. The following story places a context around their world, a world that was becoming vastly different from the one in which their parents and grandparents had spent their teen years.

Chapter 17    The Silent Generation                     (Link Here to Chapter 16: The Journey Begins)

The Silent Generation, a name coined to define those born between 1925 – 1945.  While it was applied to those of us who filed into Grade 8 at Cold Lake Junior (photos in footer) in September, 1954, we were so close to the cusp it seems to have missed the mark. Our small group preceded the Baby Boomers by a few years and in the months following graduation, we helped to add a tidy number of Little Boomers to Canada’s rapidly growing population.

The Silent Generation! Really? It seems the Time Magazine reporters who defined our group obviously never traveled to Cold Lake High in the late 50′s, nor did they do any first hand research at those week-end ‘retreats’ at French Bay, English Bay or Marie Lake. For that matter, all they had to do was drop by one of the week-end parties at the Ruggles, Hill’s, Sanregret’s, Poirier’s or any of a dozen other homes when the parents were away. People called us many things, but ‘silent’ ‘grave’ and ‘fatalistic’ were not the adjectives that flowed past their lips. (1659)

Stay up to date

* = required field

Social Bookmarks


  • Harold McNeill

    July 28, 2014 |

    So glad you happened upon the blog story. I have sent you an follow-up email with a few questions.

  • Shirl (Blair) Parsonss

    July 28, 2014 |

    I was so happy to come across your website and stories of Pibroch via “google”. I was born in Westlock, Alberta and lived my whole life in Pibroch and very fond and happy memories.

  • Harold McNeill

    June 23, 2014 |

    The following comment from BOB CHERKAS of Nanaimo became attached to the wrong story. It belonged on the LacLaBiche story (reference second half of Chapter 7): Hello again Harold, I was going to include a comment in my previous E-Mail about that girl….and that kiss…Pauline Sampietro. Sadly Pauline, who was a neighbor as well was killed in a car accident many years ago. As I recall she was only about 17 years of age. Lovely girl. I remember her so well….even to this day. She had a sister, Charolette who lives in the Coquitlam area whoo I spoke to a few times over the years but not recently. I know this news about Pauline is unsettling but I felt you should know. I live in Nanaimo and presume you still reside in Victoria. I have an answer to some of my question and now know you are a writter and that skill was certainly evident in my earkier reading of your postings.Regards, Bob

  • McNeill Life Stories Cold Lake High School Years: The Journey Begins McNeill Life Stories

    May 2, 2014 |

    [...] Chapter 16:  The Tumultuous Teens Begin in 1953                (Link to Chapter 17, Cold Lake High 1955 -1960) [...]

  • McNeill Life Stories Cold Lake High School Years: 1955 - 1960

    May 2, 2014 |

    [...] Chapter 17    The Silent Generation                     (Link Here to Chapter 16: The Journey Begins) [...]

  • McNeill Life Stories Cold Lake High School Years: The Journey Begins McNeill Life Stories

    May 2, 2014 |

    [...] Mom’s parents: Grandpa William Skyler Wheeler (1888 – 1940) and Grandma Lillie Cressie Wheeler (1896 – 1956).  I do not have the birthplaces, or where they were buried.  Grandpa died while in Birch Lake and Grandma died in Battleford. For more history of the family link to Mom’s Biography [...]

  • McNeill Life Stories Cold Lake High School Years: The Journey Begins McNeill Life Stories

    May 2, 2014 |

    [...] Photo Below (Summer, 2008): Smith Place, North Bay, Cold Lake. Link: Our home  1945-1947 [...]

  • McNeill Life Stories Cold Lake High School Years: The Journey Begins McNeill Life Stories

    May 2, 2014 |

    [...] This was a hellish situation for Mom and at one point she even bought a car. But, as chance would have it Dad picked it up the car after he had been drinking in the Grande Centre Hotel and on his way home crashed into a pole on the Highway #28 just before town.  He was not seriously injured, but the car was totaled and as there was no insurance, Mom was again standing on the side of the highway waiting for a ride.  It was ironic as the location of the accident was no more than half a mile from the point where Dad had nearly been killed a few years earlier (Crash on Highway #28) [...]

  • McNeill Life Stories Cold Lake High School Years: The Journey Begins McNeill Life Stories

    April 29, 2014 |

    [...] the early 1950s, as the Cold War was ramping up around the world, Cold Lake was thrust along a path that would take it from its [...]

  • China’s Police Will Carry Guns Unlike Any Others – China Real Time Report – WSJ | a vocation of the heart

    April 24, 2014 |

    [...] robust, armoured look of police uniforms (not to mention weapons array and the physique and demeanour of officers themselves) in recent decades, you’ll know what I mean. A City of Edmonton police officer for good or [...]