Thursday, 19 May 2016

That Telegram!


On the 10th of May 1977, at about mid-day, I was sitting in my kitchen here in France, about to eat lunch. Nearby was the sound of an approaching car, soon followed by a knock at the door.

I was handed the above telegram, and my world nearly fell apart.

The 'Stephen' to which it refers, was my first cousin Dr Stephen Lowe; the nearest thing I had to a brother. He had actually been stabbed 15 times (not shot); his murder having been witnessed by one of his 3 young daughters.

My cousin had moved to Canada in 1972 (the same year that I moved to France) and first practised at St Pauls Hospital Vancouver. He then became Director of Intensive Care at The Prince George Regional Hospital, British Columbia. He represented British Columbia on the Canadian Medical Association, and was an advisor to the Canadian Government. Just weeks before his death, he had been called upon by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to talk to an armed man whose behaviour had become irrational; and had been highly commended for his bravery. I could go on...

Stephen had the longest string of letters after his name that I've ever seen. He had become a medical genius by the age of 35; and was destined for even greater things. Then it all ended.

I've never known the name of his killer, never really known the reason why he was killed (one presumes it was for drugs), and never known what sentence his 16 year old, next door neighbour, scumbag, murderer was given. What I do know, however, is that 38 years later I still miss my cousin terribly, and that the world is a far poorer place without him.

No doubt his killer is long out of prison (or off the naughty step) and is living comfortably with a nice home, wife, and children.

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18 comments:

  1. I meant to repost this piece on the 10th May, but somehow it got overlooked. But here it is anyway, in memory of my dear cousin.

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  2. A very sad story. Perhaps the boy ended up in a secure mental unit for life.

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    1. I did try to find out what sentence, etc, he received, but the info was 'unavailable'. He was the son of a Canadian High Court Judge.

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    2. Oh then ...probably a slap on the wrist and promised not to do it again...I can understand your bitterness.Probably best not to find out about the murderer's sentence ...it will only upset you further.In Oz a guy was sentenced for driving without a license to 26 years. He never had an accident or a parking infringement. He just kept driving without a license. They gave him a suspended sentence.If he drives again he gets 26 years. I bet your cousin's murderer never got this amount of time.

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  3. That is very sad, Cro. Your cousin could have helped so many people. I hope the individual is still locked away!
    Greetings Maria x

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    1. He was a remarkable person; one in a million!

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  4. What a terrible tragedy ..... I can't imagine how you all dealt with such a thing. It's good that you write about him and keep his memory alive. XXXX

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    1. It's the sort of thing that happens to others. It was (and still is) a terrible shock.

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  5. Horrible tragedy. It is hard to make sense of the world sometimes.

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    1. I find this still hard to believe.

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  6. Yes horrific things happen to others not us.
    A lovely nurse Jill Pirrie was mown down by 14 year old joy riders a week ago, in Edinburgh , she had just left work. We have raised over £14000 for her sons future,please also contribute and let her little boy,know how much,his mum loved him, also good prevails evil.Kirrie.xxx

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  7. go fund me Jill pirrie
    Devastating

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  8. That brought a lump to my throat Cro.
    Arilx

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    Replies
    1. I had my own small moment yesterday too.

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  9. I finished high school in Vancouver in June 1977. I have no memory at all of this crime.

    I do however have a very good friend in the RCMP in British Columbia. Would you like me to ask if he knows anything?

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  10. I cannot begin to imagine how you felt or feel.

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