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.)

homeless_woman_with_dogs

“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 descent or part of a visible minority, it is far 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)
(Post: February 2016 2794)

Link to the Second Part in this Series

Introduction 

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 the 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:  A pedophile in our midst. This part, which began in mid-1980’s, flowed back to the surface in July 2013. It involved a Boy Scout Leader who lead the Royal Oak Group of which our oldest son was a member until leaving the troop after a serious injury at a Scout Camp retreat in Sooke. There is no suggestion our son was molested, but the danger was lurking just one small step away.

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Women’s Suffrage in Canada

Written by Harold McNeill on January 24th, 2016. Posted in Tim Hortons Morning Posts


Womans Suffrage in BC

Women’ Rights in British Columbia

Much is said about the lack of rights of some women within some religions, yet we only need to go back fifty years to see the fight for basic women’s rights, including the right to vote, was still a battle in many parts of Canada.  It took until the 1940’s before the women of Quebec were able to overcome the church dominated political system and gained that right.  Other rights would slowly be gained over the following decades (e.g. right to enter drinking establishments), rights that today we all take for granted.

It took until 2015 and the last election for women to be fully represented in ministerial positions of our Federal Government and only in recent decades have we seen more women elected to lead Provincial Legislatures.

One 101 years ago, not one women in Canada had the right to vote or hold legislative or parliamentary office.  It was one hundred years ago today, in 1916, that the legislative and parliamentary house of cards controlled exclusively by men began to crumble when the women of Manitoba achieved the right:

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Family Resemblances

Written by Harold McNeill on January 19th, 2016. Posted in Tim Hortons Morning Posts


Louise and Karina Final

Louise and Karena?

Over the past while I have been working on several older photo files (both prints and electronic) and in the history of our families have noticed many astonishing similarities.  For example this one of my sister Louise at about fifteen, and comparing it with her daughter Karena, who I suspect was in her early thirties. the resemblance (to me at least) is extremely close.  If they were the same age I think it would be even closer.

When I first posted the two photos on Facebook, Louise’s hairstyle was not all that flattering and tended to distract from the similarity, so I simply updated her style to match that of Karena.  After doing this, one could be led to believe they were twins.  While photoshop works well at changing various features such as hair, glasses, etc., I still have much to learn about smoothing the edges (for example when eliminating the background on Karena’s photo).

As time goes by I will add other photos to this post.  If you have any suggestions (or photos) of look-a-likes in any part of our extended family (at any age – grandparents, etc.), please pass them along and I will work to bring them together as with Louise and Karina in this photo.

As I match more photos, I will move the current lead photo down and and replace it with another.

Cheers,

Harold

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Graham and Harold’s Magical Christmas Adventure

Written by Harold McNeill on December 26th, 2015. Posted in Christmas Stories


VLUU L100, M100 / Samsung L100, M100

Photo (Web Source, with a few Photoshop adjustments).  In the minds eye Graham makes his first
attempt at running the Skookumchuck Narrows.  Gery preferred to stay on dry land.

Dear Graham and Gery,

While this post was written a month earlier, with the slideshow now complete it is time to go live. Rather than putting the slideshow at the end, it will be used as an introduction in an attempt to capture the spirit of the trip.

It was an amazing time that I shall always cherish, as it seems demands of life have conspired against finding that one-on-one time that only a trip like this can provide. Graham, you are an exceptional man, an easy conversationalist and your depth of knowledge on so many subjects is inspiring. Also, as you will no doubt agree, we have not only been gifted with the most amazing life partners, we also have a string of children, grand-children and many friends who bring endless joy to our lives as we have moved along each successive stage. We could not have scripted our lives for a better result.

As for the following travel story, while I did not take any notes I hope that most of the family facts about your earlier life are correct and as for the make-believe stuff, that is simply a couple of old guys who remain daydream believers.

In preparing the final slideshow, the two of you will notice that I have plucked a dozen photographs from your respective Facebook pages in order to add flavour. Later, I will post all the photos on the open access McNeill Life Stories Facebook Page so individual copies can be accessed at leisure.

In closing, many thanks to Herb Craig and Ann Skeltcher for their overnight hospitality on that lonely stretch of highway that leads to the hinterlands of the Sechelt Peninsula. There is nothing like good friends, a hot meal, glass of wine and a warm bed to take away the sting out of a hard day on the trail.

Your friend,
Harold
(January 16, 2016)

Individual photos of the Christmas Adventure now posted.

Another event involving Gery and Graham may be linked here: Gery Lemon Achieves New Milestone

Blog Post of Another Recent Event Harold and Graham attended: Wow! Another Slideshow

Introduction

Forever Young –  Music by Joan Baez

1. A Narrow Escape

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Wow! Another Birthday Slideshow

Written by Harold McNeill on January 14th, 2016. Posted in Tim Hortons Morning Posts


Harold 75 Birthday Group

Meet the Whole Gang
Victoria B.C. January 13, 2016.
(Double Click for Full Photo)

(Top Row) Lucas, Drew, Andrew, Harold, Gery, Linda, Garth, Cory, Patty
(Second) Shary, Lynn, Esther, Shea, Alysha, Madeline, Norma,
Bjorn, Ingar, Svend
(Front) Gery, Graham, Sean (and Lexi), Erika.
(Missing) Kia, Mike and Kyle (and Toby)

Thank you everyone for the wonderful evening of family, friends, food, wine and
good times at the Dunn’s home.

Here is a short slideshow of the evening events.  I will post the photos in Facebook.

Link here to the full set of photo’s posted on McNeill Life Stories FB Page

Cheers,

Harold

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Guns on the Street

Written by Harold McNeill on January 15th, 2016. Posted in Editorials, Tim Hortons Morning Posts


Kids and Guns USA

January 9, 2016 (Web Source).  Over the past several weeks various media groups have posted video’s or photos of kids in the USA practicing with handguns and various high power weapons. Parents being interviewed made it clear that learning to protect ones self is important.  Clearly no bully will chance an encounter with this little girl in the playground.

President Obama’s Executive Order on Guns

This post flows from a FB post made by my nephew, Greg Yochim, showing a video of President Obama at a town house meeting on Anderson Cooper’s 360.  Greg also made the following comment “It’s no secret that I like Obama, and as I watched the town hall meeting on AC 360 I tried to imagine Trump in this forum and it just seemed so inconceivable. (Yes, I know what that word means.).”

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Happy Birthday Christine

Written by Harold McNeill on January 12th, 2016. Posted in Tim Hortons Morning Posts


16859_264660227528_5504936_n

Good Morning Honey and Happy 40th Birthday!

Well, another shared birthday which, for each of us, is a milestone – you reaching forty as I commence my seventy-fifth. The moment you arrived on my birthday forty years ago, a special bond was created and forever treasured.

It seems like yesterday when your mother gave birth and, while life has presented challenges along the way, meeting those challenges in a positive manner and accepting them as part of the process of growing older has made each of us stronger and our love that much deeper.

When sitting down to start a slideshow capturing those many years, it was difficult to choose a theme and music that expressed it all. I browsed through hundreds of photos and dozens of songs along the way to the final cut while suggestions from family members helped to clear the path.

Our journey began with one slideshow but quickly grew as we reminisced over 40 years of memories and the life we’ve shared – soon evolving into 4 segments which, along with the attached poem, express the depth of our love for you, your sister, brothers, and families.

We hope you enjoy each moment as much as we have enjoyed creating this tribute to you and the rest of the family.

Love Dad and Lynn
(Grandpa and Nana)

THE WOMAN YOU’VE BECOME

With those big eyes and sweet little smile
Your contentment so grand, the hours you’d while
Alone or with others, it mattered not
The love from within shone forth with each thought

Through the years it continued, this skill to enjoy
A moment, a dream, a specially made toy
Always sharing with others to help them to grow
More than imagined, and more than you know

We’ve sat on the sidelines and watched o’er the years
Through happiness, struggles, and of course, lots of tears
With each challenge you’ve managed to rise and excel
Each pitfall and obstacle all handled so well

It’s with pride and much love that we watch you soar
Now a wife, a mother, and so very much more
And on this day, one with Dad you share
We send these memories with loving care

And with each tune, — so familiar to some-
We rejoice in the Woman that you’ve become.

All our love on your 40th Birthday and Always

Lynn and Dad

Happy Birthday, Christine
January 13, 2016

Note: The slideshow was uploaded as HD so, in some instances, may be a little slow in loading.

1. The Adventure Begins: A Wonderful World, Louis Armstrong

2. The Adventure Continues: Precious Memories, J.J. Cale and
Dream a Little Dream of Me, Mama Cass

3. Girls Just Want to Have Fun:  Cyndi Lauper

4. A New Family: I Have a Dream, ABBA

 

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Six Little Dolls

Written by Harold McNeill on January 7th, 2016. Posted in Lynn McNeill Specials


Six Little Dolls

Double Click to Expand the Photo

A very special woman in our home spends hundreds of hours designing, crafting and quilting special gifts for family and friends. This particular gift was destined for our Granddaughter Audrey Leclair who, this Christmas, is four years old.  The Six Little Dolls to fill Six Little Deds made up Audrey’s 2015 Christmas Gift.

The quilt and dolls were lovingly crafted by Nana (Lynn McNeill) with an occasional helping hand from Esther Dunn (quilting), Linda Simonsen (hair) and Alysha Yakimishyn (faces)

If you look closely at the six little beds, you can see they are crafted in a three-dimensional manner and that the dolls can slip between the covers (each bed is individually crafted). We learned from mommy (Christine) that on opening each doll Audrey would give it a kiss and tuck it in a bed.

The quilt is designed as a wall hanging.

Cheers,

Harold

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Comments

  • McNeill Life Stories Gery Lemon Achieves New Milestone

    January 18, 2016 |

    […] A recent story about Gery and Graham may be linked here: Graham and Harold’s Christmas Adventure […]

  • Harold McNeill

    January 17, 2016 |

    Glad you enjoyed kids. Have been thinking more about these slideshows and think that being able to select a piece of music that suits the mood makes all the difference. Will be doing more as life moves along. So many stories and so little time. Love Harold

  • McNeill Life Stories Magical Christmas Adventure - McNeill Life Stories

    January 17, 2016 |

    […] Blog Post of Another Recent Event Harold and Graham attended: Wow! Another Slideshow […]

  • Ann and Herb

    January 17, 2016 |

    Love the new music – one of my most favourite ever- and love the story. Thank you for keeping us forever young in the photo! It is such a gift to know a person who writes so joyously and respectfully of his family and friends. It fills our hearts to know that you count us among them.

    A & H

  • Ann and Herb

    January 16, 2016 |

    So sorry to have missed celebrating you, Harold. It looked like a rocking good time.
    Love ya!

  • Christine

    January 12, 2016 |

    Hey Dad! Thanks for the lovely post! The videos were too slow for my phone but the first one did work and was great! I look forward to viewing the rest on my computer tomorrow!! Happy Birthday 😊

  • Harold McNeill

    December 27, 2015 |

    Thanks for the comment Danny. I am hoping that with a new government in place our country can role back the terror laws and refocus our efforts in a manner that will produce greater benefit for people in Canada and around the world. Regards, Harold

  • Danny Cain

    December 17, 2015 |

    I agree, the media has, can and does provide platforms for terrorists and criminals alike. These days terrorists use the media like marketing and recruiting tools. On the other hand, who can forget the role the media played in turning John Gotti, into a.k.a. the “Teflon Don” or the “Dapper Don” a celebrity.

  • Maurice Smook

    November 10, 2015 |

    I was watching a documentary on the History Channel. It was go deep. I heard the name of Harry Smook. It caught my attention. I am a Smook and wondering if Harry Smook is a kin to my Dad. My Dads family settled in Swan River Manitoba in the early 1900’s. When we were growing up I recall asking Dad about our background. Dad would ignore our questions. Why? We will never know. The day when Dad passed away he never spoke to us about his family etc. Maybe Dad’s Father had kin who chad also immigrated to Canada later. This part of the Military History really interesting. I would love receive info as well about Harry Smook. We may be kin or not. It would be nice to know.

  • rusty ruggles

    November 4, 2015 |

    your stories bring back a lot of long ago memories

    but very good from the little i remember thank you…