Violence in the Valley

Here’s a list of sorts of  local murders from an article recently in the CH  [Dec. 30, B1]

In late November a hunter found the body of Leslie Ann Conrad near her home in Lower Wolfville. The remains of the 44-year-old mother of four, who was reported missing by her brother on Oct. 6, were found covered by stones near a path that runs through the woods. No arrests have been made.

An Ottawa man was found shot to death in a Kentville home on Dec. 7. Paul Lebron Coleman had been in the area for 18 months helping to care for his ailing grandmother when police found his body at the residence of his cousin William Harold Clarke, who has been charged with first-degree murder in the case.

In the early hours of Dec. 23, family members found the body of 59-year-old bartender Peter Vanderpluijm at the Royal Canadian Legion in Lawrencetown. They had gone to look for him after he was late coming home from work.[link]

These deaths have been widely publicised by the press but do we hear about all the violent suspicious deaths? Are they mentioned in the press always? No. We can answer positively because there is a recent
[after Leslie’s] death nearby that hasn’t hit the press for whatever reason. No one seems to want to talk about it, except the neighbours of course, who speculate widely.

Does the press know of it? We were told that Steve Murphy was in the area that day filming for some fluff story at the research station. Could he not hear about all the police cars and the forensic vans which
showed up at the scene? How does the press find out about other deaths? Aren’t they informed in some way? So why is this one so hush hush. Our mayor must know about it mustn’t he?

Wolfville Mayor Bob Stead said in an interview that residents of the town, which is near where Ms.
Conrad’s body was found, have spoken to him about the three murders.

“It seems to be so close at hand and so frequent,” Mr. Stead said.

He said he believes “people want things resolved quickly when something like this happens.”

He said the time it takes to solve some cases makes people concerned about safety.

Does it make us feel any safer when we know that the general public isn’t even informed about all of them?

Kingston Diner manager Barb Buchanan said Friday she has lived in the Middleton area for 25 years
but doesn’t feel safe there anymore.

“It’s not safe around here. Not at night.”

She said she is concerned police don’t always give the public enough information about their investigation of violent crimes.

However, Const. Dale Guy of Bridgetown RCMP said police can’t tell citizens everything they know while they are doing an investigation because it could jeopardize the outcome.

So has the press been given a gag order?


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