Wonder what happened? A brief synopsis of the incident taken from the book ‘DESPERATE ONES” written by Edward Butt. At that time there was organized crime going on in this area and one of the “ring leaders” was a man called William Townsend. Townsend had been a career criminal and in the course of the many crimes attributed to him was the crime of murder committed during a robbery.
Townsend, a wanted man, spent some time evading the law travelling both sides of the border and using alias’. However he was spotted by a civilian at a hotel in Pt. Robinson one evening and this person fetched the Constable. Upon approaching the suspect and attempting to effect an arrest Townsend fatally shot Cst. Charles Richards. Townsend fled and evaded police for sometime until his arrest on another crime in the U.S.A.. Here a detective from Canada who had been following up this crime attended to the states where he identified the suspect and obtained an extradition warrant for his return to stand to the charge of murder. The trial took place and in fact two trials took place with first one being a “hung jury”. The defense was not that no murder had been committed but that the accused was not William Townsend. A second trial took place in which the jury acquitted the accused believing that there was not enough evidence to support the identity alleged but there was enough for doubt. The accused now a free man left for parts unknown and though rumour abound to his whereabouts he was never heard of again. At least by the name of William , remember this was time when fingerprinting, photo identification or many other forms that are used today did not exist. If want an interesting read look the book up as mentioned above.