Sunday, February 1, 2009

The Murders that Rocked Kelowna

On 19 January 1932 at 5.20 pm, Kelowna’s Police Chief David Murdoch shot Genevieve Nolan seven times outside the Mayfair Hotel. He then walked four blocks south through City Park, reloaded his weapon, and stopped at the Forsbery residence to ask directions to ex-constable Archie McDonald’s residence. Murdoch left, walked next door and shot McDonald five times in his kitchen. On his return home Murdoch visited Thomas Norris, the local barrister, but the lawyer was away in Vancouver. Domestic servant Kitty Carsen testified that Murdoch had also visited the residence of her boss, Police Commissioner Benjamin Boyd. Not finding Boyd he returned to his home on St Paul Street. There he ate his supper and was later arrested without incident by his subordinate Constable William Sands. After three trials and two hung juries the courts found Murdoch not guilty by reason of insanity. He spent twenty-five years in Colquitz Insane Asylum.

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