December 23: Remembering Barbara Stoppel; four firemen down; "Gar" Gillies dies.

December 23, 1981 - Barbara Gayle Stoppel, 16, is found strangled in the bathroom of the doughnut shop where she worked. She died the following week.

Police arrest Thomas Sophonow for the crime. He was tried three times and finally acquitted in 1985. In 2000 he was exonerated by the Winnipeg Police. The remaining prime suspect, Terry Arnold, was found dead in 2005 after maintaining his innocence. The case remains unsolved

From the provincial government inquiry into the wrongful arrest:

Barbara Stoppel was a beautiful, vivacious and friendly 16-year-old. She was well liked by school friends and beloved by her family. In a season of joy and hope she was brutally killed....A life so full of promise was extinguished. Barbara Stoppel was the ultimate victim. Her family suffered a grievous loss and have continued to relive the tragedy through three trials and two appeals and this Inquiry.

December 23, 1926
- Fire destroys the Winnipeg Theatre on Notre Dame Avenue. 

Four men, all from Number 2 Fire Hall, died when a wall collapsed on them. They were: Donald Melville (41) of 693 Langside; Robert Stewart (37) of 403 Seymore; Robert Shearer (33) of 384 Ashland; and Arthur Smith (38) of Strathcona Street, (he died the next day in hospital due to severe burns.) All had wives and children.

December 23, 2006 - Thomas Garnet "Gar" Gillies dies in Winnipeg.

The technician and musician created the Garnet Amplifier Company in the mid-1960's to serve the local music scene.
A decade later "Gar's" were a common piece of equipment on the Canadian music scene. In 1989 the company closed and Garnet spent his later years working on custom projects. (Also see Sound by Garnet.)

No comments: