A THOUSAND WORDS - Alex Waterhouse-Hayward's blog on pictures, plants, politics and whatever else is on his mind.




 

A Murder That Never Was?
Sunday, January 08, 2012

A few sleepless nights ago I finally did what of late has been my only solution. Instead of obsessively trying to sleep by moving my body in one direction and then to another I now get up and do something. On this particular night I went to my photo files to look for a folder I knew I had filed in the Ms as Murder. Inside the folder were two envelopes. One had the title Murder in Haney and the other Murder Article – Vancouver Magazine – Blood at the dam in Maple Ridge – Colour. In those days Vancouver Magazine Editor Malcolm (Mac) Parry would run a crime story every once in a while.

My memory of the pictures is sparse. I cannot recall the name of the writer, nor the sex of the person who was found murdered on a parking lot outside the Haney Mall Safeway. The body had then been dumped in the Stave Lake Dam a place in which to get there I remember I had to cross an iron bridge with an iron deck.

I know that I worked on this story twice as the parking lot picture is of a rainy night while the pictures in the dam I took during the day and it does not seem overcast. But then it seems I must have lingered at the dam as there are pictures of a fading sky and ominous lights shining out of the windows of a structure that resembles a long ago closed down maximum security prison.

I place the date of the photographs between 1979 and 1981. I had purchased a Mamiya RB-67 with a 6x7 cm film format. I had only money to buy one lens so I had obtained a 65mm wide angle. The colour pictures are all in that focal length. I took pictures I b+w using Kodak Technical Pan Film and mostly with a variety of wide angles including a 20mm rectilinear wide angle.



For some of the colour pictures I had lit the gushing water with a portable flash (a Norman 200B) to which I had taped a deep read gel. I had then, with my camera on a tripod, flashed the water but I had kept my lens open to incorporate the dam. I must have used a very slow shutter (perhaps ¼ second) so that the gushing water would look blurred.


There is a possibility that this may have been some of the first pictures I had ever taken for Vancouver Magazine. As soon as my Mamiya had arrived from New York via the post office I had shown it to Vancouver Magazine art director Rick Staehling. At the time the magazine’s photographers shot only with 35mm cameras and the only exception was the 4x5 format camera used for the food articles.

I remember that Staehling called me one day with an assignment in which he stipulated I use that, “new-fangled camera you showed me the other day.” This crime story may have been the one.

What I do remember vividly is that Staehling thought my blood-gushing out of the dam pictures as over-the-top and opted for a 35mm b+w that looked eerie and gothic. Included in my display of the pictures is one that I colourized to blood-red that I rather like.

What is interesting is that while I have not exhausted all my sources, as it stands now, the only proof of the story and of that murder in Haney can be found in my photo files. No number of search engine variations has led to any information on any murder by a Safeway lot or of the dumping of a body into the Stave Lake Dam.


Some might say that if something is not on the internet it does not exist or never existed. I would not agree.
























 


Addendum: January 10 11:40 pm

Dear Mac,
Would you have any more facts about this?
Alex

Date: March, 1984
Title: Father's Night
Writer: Don McLellan
Murder Victims: Denis LaCoursiere and Yvon Gariepy

Malcolm Parry

Addendum 2: Malcolm Parry sent me copies of the article by snail mail from his very well organized collection of Vancouver Magazines. The frontspiece to the article is below as the photograph picked by art director Rick Staehling.






The Murder



     

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7/24/16 - 7/31/16

7/31/16 - 8/7/16

8/7/16 - 8/14/16

8/14/16 - 8/21/16

8/21/16 - 8/28/16

8/28/16 - 9/4/16

9/4/16 - 9/11/16

9/11/16 - 9/18/16

9/18/16 - 9/25/16

9/25/16 - 10/2/16

10/2/16 - 10/9/16

10/9/16 - 10/16/16

10/16/16 - 10/23/16

10/23/16 - 10/30/16

10/30/16 - 11/6/16

11/6/16 - 11/13/16

11/13/16 - 11/20/16

11/20/16 - 11/27/16

11/27/16 - 12/4/16

12/4/16 - 12/11/16

12/11/16 - 12/18/16

12/18/16 - 12/25/16

12/25/16 - 1/1/17

1/1/17 - 1/8/17

1/8/17 - 1/15/17

1/15/17 - 1/22/17

1/22/17 - 1/29/17