Fifty years ago late this evening, Dr Robert Henry MacLauchlan and his third wife Margaret Ann (the former Margaret Ann Cunningham and before that the former Margaret Ann Herring) were murdered in their modest New Westminster bungalow at 912 Fifth Street. The execution was carried out in what newspapers of the day described as an execution Mafia style – a bullet in the face for each of them, followed similarly by one in the abdomen.
The murders followed their arrest on the previous December 22nd after investigation by a drug squad composed of members of the New Westminster, Vancouver and Royal Canadian Mounted Police forces during which heroin worth $200,000 was discovered in their possession. At the time, this was enough to buy about twenty houses in New Westminster. Their arrest was a cause celebre in New Westminster, given that previously MacLauchlan had been regarded as a harmless retired Albertan doctor and Margaret Ann as a modest, quiet and extremely capable teacher at Woodlands School for the Handicapped.
The MacLauchlans’ murder came but a few days before their trial was to start. Ken McIntosh and I have spent a few years researching these murders, for which no one was ever arrested or charged. We now have a pretty good idea who ordered the hit and have a fistful of possible suspects for the shooter. We are aiming to publish the results of our research by the end of the summer. Watch this space for further information.