Posts Tagged ‘Street People’

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 from the Oak Bay PD, were 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 from the public, even within 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 being 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)
(July 2018 4702)

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 the blood-curdling screens of a woman.  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 many others to follow, explore various Oak Bay Police Major Crime files from beginning to end. Many of the stories including this one, contain additional discussion about social issues related to the crime.  This particular file is used as a sample of 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 1980s and extending to the present day.  If you wish to skip the social interest sections you can read Chapters 3-7 for the present criminal case.

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 such as those 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. This is done 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.  This is done to demonstrate why 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, effective police service.  It also demonstrates how closely police agencies in Greater Victoria cooperate with one another.

Chapter 8: Outlines other cases, in particular, the recent murder of Tim Bosma in Ancaster, Ontario, as a means of demonstrating how an application of the police filter can have unintended consequences when a serial sex offender or murderer is at work.  I am currently writing a story about how a serial rapist and murderer was finally charged with numerous counts of rape and one murder, after several police agencies in Greater Victoria came together in common purpose.

Addendum 1:  A paedophile in our midst. This part, which began in the mid-1980s, flowed back to the surface in July 2013. It involved a Boy Scout Leader who led 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 from our family.

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  • Harold McNeill

    November 26, 2021 |

    Hi Dorthy, So glad you found those stories and, yes, they hold many fond memories. Thanks to social media and the blog, I’ve been able to get in touch with many friends from back in the day. Cheers, Harold

  • Harold McNeill

    November 26, 2021 |

    Well, well. Pleased to see your name pop up. I’m in regular contact via FB with many ‘kids’ from back in our HS days (Guy, Dawna, Shirley and others). Also, a lot of Cold Lake friends through FB. Cheers, Harold

  • Harold McNeill

    November 26, 2021 |

    Oh, that is many years back and glad you found the story. I don’t have any recall of others in my class other than the Murphy sisters on whose farm my Dad and Mom worked.

  • Harold McNeill

    November 26, 2021 |

    Pleased to hear from you Howie and trust all is going well. As with you, I have a couple of sad stories of times in my police career when I crossed paths with Ross Barrington Elworthy. Just haven’t had the time to write those stories.

  • Howie Siegel

    November 25, 2021 |

    My only fight at Pagliacci’s was a late Sunday night in 1980 (?) He ripped the towel machine off the bathroom wall which brought me running. He came after me, I grabbed a chair and cracked him on the head which split his skull and dropped him. I worried about the police finding him on the floor. I had just arrived from Lasqueti Island and wasn’t convinced the police were my friends. I dragged him out to Broad and Fort and left him on the sidewalk, called the cops. They picked him up and he never saw freedom again (as far as I know). I found out it was Ross Elworthy.

  • Herbert Plain

    November 24, 2021 |

    Just read you article on Pibroch excellent. My Dad was Searle Grain company agent we move there in 1942/3 live in town by the hall for 5 years than moved one mile east to the farm on the corner where the Pibroch road meets Hwy 44. Brother Don still lives there. I went to school with you and Louise.