CBC British Columbia
Bob's Blog

Death Category

Marathon Man

bc-tobacco-nixon-100608.jpgWhenever anyone protested against tobacco companies in B.C., and there have been quite a few such events over the years, chances are a guy named Errol Povah was there.  He always dressed as the Grim Reaper, holding a sign encouraging children to smoke because "our business is death".  Given how Canada, the provinces and city halls, have placed more and more restrictions on where people can smoke, cigarette advertising and sponsorship, one could argue that Povah's attempt to equate cigarette manufacturers as purveyors of death has made some small impact on the war against tobacco.   

But he wants more and now at the age of 57 Povah has embarked on his latest challenge - a cross country marathon to drum up anger against 'Big Tobacco'.  In a way he is paying homage to the efforts of three fellow British Columbians who decades ago captivated the nation with their own feats of cross-country endurance in the name of noble causes.  But Povah's journey is just journey, and has not garnered much attention.  Watch this and if you are interested in learning more about his campaign, here's a link to his website.  If all goes well, he'll finish his walk/run at the end of September. Anti-Tobacco Campaign icon_video.gif 

Crime Scene Class

bc-bodies-nixon-100413.jpgI love a good corpse as much as the next guy.  That does not mean I want to pour over the possible reasons why a live body became a dead one.  But apparently many people do and not just professional forensic investigators.  To satisfy that desire the Vancouver Police Museum has scheduled a series of workshops on some aspects of crime scene investigation.  Open to the public, no need to wear rubber boots. 

Even if you do not plan on attending these workshops, a visit to the Museum is quite interesting.  Oh the stories 15-thousand dead people can tell.  Forensic Workshop icon_video.gif

Edmonton Murder

edm-100314-david-burns.jpgAs a reporter I have covered many murders over the years, though my current beat generally deals with more pleasing matters.  But when I read about the tragic shooting of two people at an Edmonton car dealership over the weekend, I recognized the name of the killer.  Dave Burns had worked there and killed himself.  Could it be the same Dave Burns I went to high school with back in Winnipeg in the 1970s?  The one who stabbed another teen to death at a social in 1974? 

On Sunday, I found out that, yes, it was the same Dave Burns. 

I did not know Dave well.  He was in my Chemistry class in Grade 11 at Grant Park High School.  He was not a bright student, even worse in chemistry than I was.  At some point he had had been put back a year because he was a year or so older than the rest of the kids.  He was a scary guy, brooding, angry, with eyes that made the rest of us wary.  Tales were told about him, about how he beat up other kids.  I did not know if any of those stories were true but I kept my distance.   


Dying to Get In?

What to do when your graveyard is full, yet the grass still needs cutting?  That's the dilemma Vancouver's biggest cemetery found for itself.