As Ken McIntosh and I have noted on more than one occasion, we have sometimes received unexpected information about the March 1966 MacLauchlan Murders in New Westminster, and about the victims and their associates. Such an incident happened a few weeks ago when Sheena Tucker from Newfoundland contacted us. She introduced herself as the granddaughter of Thelma Mosier, one of the four members of the MacLauchlan Gang busted for narcotics trafficking four months earlier.
Frequent readers of this blog will remember Thelma as one of the women arrested on December 22, 1965 when Dr MacLauchlan was charged with trafficking, along with Margaret Ann Cunningham and Gerry Sperling, in the late afternoon of that day.
Sheena Tucker is the daughter of Daniel Mosier, the son from Thelma Mosier’s marriage to Ben Profit, a Royal Canadian Air Force pilot lost in a bombing mission over Europe in June 1944. She introduced herself as follows:
“My dear father Daniel [passed away] from lung and liver cancer September 22, 2004. My mother, Caroline Profit, is still living close to me here in Newfoundland. She is 73 years old.”
“My father… was Benjamin James Profit’s son with Thelma, and Brad (his brother, Richard Bradley Mosier) was Richard Mosier and Thelma's son.”
(This latter reference to Brad Mosier, who died in May 2014 in Surrey, British Columbia, clears up a misconception of Ken’s and mine: we had assumed that Richard Mosier had been married before his liaison with Thelma and that Brad had been the son from that putative earlier marriage.)
Sheena has lived up to her promise that her mother Caroline “…would have a lot of information regarding Thelma.” One of the things that Mrs. Profit’s information has done is add nuance to our previous understanding of Thelma Mosier as having been, essentially, an innocent lured into a life of crime. Given that Caroline Profit is closer to Thelma’s age than any of our previous informants and knew her when she was married to, and then divorced from, Richard Mosier back in Sechelt, BC, it is likely her information is pretty accurate. In Sheena’s words:
“Richard Mosier- Mom only remembers him as a logger. He and Thelma were divorced before my mom met my father (i.e. previous to 1963). Thelma used to always try getting money out him for Bradley. She tried to make his life miserable.”
Leaves her husband for the owner of a shingle mill
According to Sheena and Caroline, after Thelma left Richard Mosier, she became involved with a Sechelt area guy she believed had more money than her former husband. This fellow owned a shake mill but came to a bad end – either committing suicide or getting shot (Caroline is not sure which). Thelma then moved to Burnaby to stay a short while with Frances Parnell, the second wife of Burnaby resident John Albert “Andy” Anderson, the first husband of Rachel Anderson, who had left Anderson and gone cooking in logging camps in Sechelt. It was in this BC coastal community where Rachel had met Bill Kolterman, an ambitious and hardworking logger -- and the father of Thelma.
Subsequently, Thelma, after the death of her RCAF pilot husband, met and married Richard Mosier.
Richard and Thelma Mosier first appear together in the public record in 1953, in the federal voting list for that year, when they are living on Fell Avenue in Burnaby and, again in 1957, in the federal voting list, when they are living in Half Moon Bay, near Nanaimo, on Vancouver Island. In the 1953 list Richard Mosier is listed as a truck driver and, in the 1957 one, as a logger.
It had appeared to Ken and me that the couple had separated at some point after 1957 because, by the time of the 1965 voters list, only Thelma Mosier appears. Sheena Tucker’s information confirms our impression.
Sheena Tucker recalls that her parents lived in Merritt in 1965. Her mother remembers that Thelma (by this time separated from Mosier) and Richard’s son Bradley came to visit in 1965 and that Thelma had a car.
Cooking at White Spot
By this time, Thelma had found employment cooking at a White Spot, according to Sheena. At this time, there were two White Spots in Burnaby on Kingsway: one at the Eldorado Hotel in the Dining room at 2330 Kingsway at Victoria Drive and another at 2201 Kingsway. There was also a White Spot in New Westminster at 6th Avenue and 12th Street. Ken and I wonder which one of the three she worked at.
Before 1965, Daniel and Caroline Profit went to Vancouver to visit Thelma who was a “live-in” housekeeper for a man and woman who she had met before moving away from Sechelt. Caroline’s recollections:
“[On one occasion] Thelma was shocked that my parents came to this house unexpectedly to visit [but] they never stayed long as they were made to feel very uncomfortable. This man and woman had high priced prostitutes walking around their beautiful home.”
According to Caroline Profit, all her mother-in-law Thelma cared about was money. After that Thelma was living in a house in North Burnaby where Sheena’s parents and her brother also visited her. Sheena:
“She asked my father to take her to the drugstore where she never bought anything but used the phone to call someone. Mom thinks she was calling to tell someone not to come over because my parents were there. Mom thinks this is when the heroin started -- in 1965.”
“I’m in jail!”
The Profits were living by then in Quesnel, BC and early in 1966 they received a letter from Thelma saying she was in jail in Burnaby but without giving any explanation. The Profits found out via some relatives of Thelma’s by marriage that the police had taken an axe to Thelma's door and arrested her. Thelma wrote letters to the Profits but never discussed the heroin.
Upon being released from prison, Thelma lived for a time with the Sheena’s parents, the Profits, who by this time had moved to Burnaby. An anecdote from Sheena about her mother’s recollections:
Thelma got out of jail and asked my parents to pick her up at the airport and asked to live with us. She didn't live with us for very long. A couple days after Thelma was with us she told mom she was going for a walk. Mom was watching her from the window and saw Thelma talking to a man. The next day this man contacted my father, asking him if he wanted to start making some money and get involved with him [pushing] drugs. This is the same man Thelma had worked for housekeeping. Dad said no and mom and dad never seen him again. Thelma never spoke of why she had been in jail with my parents.
Eventually, after living with her step-sister Rachel Roberts in Harrison Hot Springs for a time, Thelma was hired to work at Seventh Step Society. Ken and I have previously reported on this blog that this facility for recently released prisoners was located in New Westminster. This is true but a recent informant, who knew Thelma back in the day, said he met her when the facility was earlier located in Port Moody. He was a recently-released convict at the time that, over the past three decades, has gone straight.
Suicide Attempts: Shame to the very end?
Sheena’s mother’s recollections indicate that Thelma never really did get over her crime and it seemed to affect her for the rest of her life:
“Thelma was starting to take medications from the guys at 7 steps society trying to end her life. Mom remembers of two times receiving calls from the hospital where she had tried to overdose. Thelma would come to our house stoned on drugs in front of us kids which upset my parents. This is when mom and dad started to give up contact with Thelma. She was always trying to manipulate my parents.”
Ken and I would like to know the following: 1. Brad Mosier, who died in May 2014, was reported to have been married to an Asian lady. If anyone knows the whereabouts of this lady, we would like to hear from them. 2. (And this is a much more remote possibility): It is reported that Thelma had met the people she was a “live-in” housekeeper for when they holidayed in Sechelt. These people sound as if they might have been in the upper echelons of the Vancouver’s crime world in the late 1950s, given the nice house and the prostitutes working out of it. Anyone with information on either of these two questions may contact us through this website.