Claude McIntosh - Mac's Musings

When the United Counties Jail governor (aka warden) turned up dead in the garage adjacent to the jail in May 1938, Cornwall police didn’t know if they had a murder on their hands or if it was a case of self-inflicted wounds.

The governor had been shot twice in the chest by a single shot .22 rifle. His wallet, which the family said contained $200, was missing.

Police wondered how somebody could shoot themselves in the chest, re-load and shoot again. All identification marks on the rifle found at the scene had been filed off. No finger prints were found on the weapon. And then there was all that missing money. There was no suicide note.

But five days later, forensics solved the case. An Ontario medical expert ruled that gun powder residue on the man’s shirt sleeves and trousers showed it was a self-inflicted death.

Police also discovered that the dead man had financial and personal problems. The wallet with the money turned up in the man’s bedroom dresser.

It was learned that the ‘victim’ had purchased the rifle two weeks earlier at a T. Eaton store in Toronto using his own name but with a bogus Detroit address.

The unsolved mystery was why he tried to make it look like he had been murdered.

BACK IN 1938 – For the third time in less than a year, a safe in a Cornwall business was targeted by thieves. The latest on July 15, 1938 took a lot of elbow grease and four hacksaw blades to open. The two large steel hinges on the safe in the Gambill-Robertson warehouse on Water Street were sawed off. The hacksaw and blades were left behind. Five months earlier determined thieves used nitro-glycerine to blow the door off the safe at the Imperial Oil office. This followed an unsuccessful attempt to open the safe at the British American oil company office. In that case the thieves had been scared off before igniting two sticks of dynamite left behind. Police believed professionals were involved. Oh, really!… A converted chicken coop in the backyard of Dominic Carra’s home at 716 Pitt St. was one of just three fireworks manufacturing operations in Canada. Carra took over the business after working along side Dominic Ruffo. Carra’s father and grandfather were in the fireworks making business in Italy. When business was slow, Carra worked at his shoe-repair business. … Six men arrested during a raid of an illegal gambling joint above a store on Second Street East were fined after pleading guilty. The five customers were each fined $10, while the keeper of the establishment was hit with a $75 fine and warning from Mag. P. C. Bergeron that if he appeared before him again, he’d being going to jail. … Larger and more visible stop signs erected around the town were part of the police department’s “Safe and Sane” campaign.

ROUND’N’BOUT – Did the oil barons forget to look at the calendar last week. Gas prices in Ontario did not increase for the start of the long weekend and in some regions actually dropped a couple of cents. Don’t shed any tears for them, they’ll get it back. … Remember back when the push was on for one community hospital and we were told that it would improve emergency room care because ER would have as many as four doctors on duty. … One city grocery store has done away with hand baskets because so many were being stolen. …. We don’t have television at the ‘Summer Palace’, so we’ve been following the Blue Jays on radio. So much different than watching games on TV. Radio broadcasters tickle the listener’s imagination. Like the other night we were told that the late-day shadow at Fenway Park was “creeping over first base.” … Mr. and Mrs. Trudeau got the marriage split-up off to a good start with a family vacation, for the kids of course. … I’m waiting for the next National Inquiry edition to get the low-down on the marriage bust-up. I understand the editors have settled on a screaming salacious headline, now they are just waiting for the story to be written. … Most Canadians can name more hockey Senators than the lucky anointed folks who hang out in the Slumber Chamber (aka Canadian Senate). And when one becomes a national household name – Mike Duffy and Patrick Brazeau for example – it is for the wrong reason. … Circulation of the tri-weekly S-F print edition is said to have dipped below 1,000. In the early 1990s, it was touching 20,000, six-days a week, with a newsroom staffed with 20 editors and reporters. Today, the entire local production is a two-person operation working from their kitchens. … The Cat – aka Brian Rouleau – has made his annual August pilgrimage to Cornwall from Atlanta. The book ‘Stuck in Stupid’ still being written in corroboration with veteran crime author Andy Petepiece. As usually, the pilgrimage included supper with some members of the Mutts of the Roundtable (so coined by charter member Rick ‘Nash’ Kalil). … Talk about lack of compassion. While Deputy Chief Vincent Foy was mourning the unexpected loss of his father, he and his wife were unfairly targetted on social media by a small group of folks from the cathedral of wokery. A way-out-in-left-field claim was that she – and nudge-nudge, wink-wink perhaps her husband – embraces anti-immigrant beliefs. Perhaps they didn’t realize she is from the Philippines.

TRIVIA ANSWER: The Frontenac was a Canada only model that was based on a 1960 Ford Falcon. Even though it was the second best selling compact car in Canada in 1960, it was discontinued and replaced with the Ford Comet in 1961. There were a total of 9,500 Frontenacs built in Ontario, retailing at a little over $2,000 each and in 2018 they fetch up to $15,000 in average condition.

TRIVIA: In 2004 CBC TV viewers voted this former political leader “The Greatest Canadian”. 1) Robert Stanfield, 2) Pierre Trudeau, 3) Tommy Douglas, 4) John A. Macdonald, 5) Louis St. Laurent.

QUOTED – “They’ve done a very good job over the last 40 years of manicuring their image to get sympathy from the public … but the Hells Angels aren’t just a bunch of nice motorcycle riders.” – Staff Sgt. Linsday Houghton of the B.C. combined forces special enforcement unit.

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