I’m writing a book about John F.C.B. Vance, the first forensic scientist in Vancouver, and this week I wrote about his first day of work as the new City Analyst. My book is non-fiction, but sometimes you need some creative license. My challenge was to get to get Vance from his house in Yaletown to Market Hall, a lovely long-gone gothic building on Westminster (Main Street) which doubled as City Hall.
This great Foncie photo of two women police officers ran in Sensational Vancouver, in a chapter called “Lurancy Harris’s Beat.” Lurancy was the first female police officer in Canada when she was hired along with Minnie Millar by the Vancouver Police Department in 1912, and one of my favourite historical characters.
I worked for the Vancouver Stock Exchange in the late 1980s—the same time that Forbes Magazine published a cover story calling it the “Scam Capital of the World.” While I never met Nick Masee, the mysterious disappearance of he and his wife in August 1994 has always intrigued me. This is a short excerpt from Cold Case Vancouver.
Before CRAB Park was created in 1987, there was a funky Spanish Colonial-style building that sat on the pier at the foot of Main Street. Built in 1931 as the terminal for the Canadian National Steamship Company, access was by way of a roadway over the CPR railway tracks.
Tom Carter found this ca.1930s map from a Hotel Greeter’s Guide at MacLeod’s Books.
On July 26, 1924, Janet Smith was found shot in the head by a .45 calibre automatic revolver in the basement of a Shaughnessy house. The murder of the Scottish nanny rocked Vancouver. The murder touched on high-level police corruption, kidnapping, drugs, society orgies and rampant racism. This is a short excerpt from At Home With History: the secrets of Greater Vancouver’s heritage homes.
Rhona Duncan died years before I moved to North Vancouver, but whenever I drive up Larson and cross Bewicke I think of her. And, 40 years later, her murder still haunts my friends and neighbours who either knew her or of her. This is a short excerpt from a chapter in Cold Case Vancouver: the city’s most baffling unsolved murders.
Kathryn Murray’s association with the Mission to Seafarers goes back to 1902—the same year the Flying Angels Club came to Vancouver. Kathyrn’s great grandmother Florence Sentell was bringing a fruit basket to the Mission when she met Charles Westrand, Kathryn’s great grandfather.
The Mission which still provides assistance and care to seaman from over 90 countries, has been housed in a heritage building at the foot of Dunlevy for almost half-a-century.