'I'm not seeking justice': Son of Brandon man killed in unsolved hit and run seeks apology

It's been more than three decades since Patrick Levins-Perrett lost his father in a fatal hit and run in Brandon's north end, a crime that has never been solved. He now believes he knows who did it, but he doesn't want legal justice — he wants an apology.

Barry Levins was run over on a bike path while walking home from a Brandon bar on Oct. 24, 1985

Barry Levins was run over and killed while walking on a bicycle path along Braecrest Drive in Brandon on Oct. 24, 1985. (Supplied )

Patrick Levins-Perrett believes he knows who killed his father in a Brandon hit and run three decades ago, but he doesn't want legal justice — he wants an apology.

"I'd like to have a conversation with them," Levins-Perrett said this week in an interview with CBC News from his home in Utah, one of the few times the family has spoken to media about the unsolved homicide.

"It would be great to have an apology, but at this point I'm not seeking justice."

George Barry Levins, 41, was hit and killed on a Braecrest Drive bicycle path near 18th Street while walking home from a Brandon bar on Oct. 24, 1985.

Police believe a pickup truck came from behind and ran him over, but there were no witnesses.

No charges have been laid, but the homicide case is still active, Brandon police spokesperson Sgt. Dave Andrew said on Tuesday.

Levins-Perrett said he's had the name of a man he believes ran over his father for 15 years. He got the name through conversations he's had with people his father knew. 

Patrick Levins-Perrett believes he knows who killed his father in a Brandon hit and run three decades ago, but he doesn't want legal justice, he wants an apology. 1:14

Suspect questioned

Levins-Perrett believes this person has likely suffered enough psychologically for the past 30 years, and he doesn't want to see a trial destroy another family.

"It's just one of those moments where he screwed up," he said. 

"The only thing I would look for is a conversation between he and I and be able to settle it and move on," he said, but added his three siblings may have different opinions about that.

"I've made my peace with it [Levins' death]." 

At least 10 different investigators have worked on the case since since Levins' death, Sgt. Andrew said.

Cold cases are regularly re-examined by investigators in the force's criminal investigation unit, he said.

Brandon police did question a suspect in 1990 in connection with Levins' death, according to archived news stories, but the suspect was never charged.

Levins-Perrett said he's seen the police file on his dad's death and he believes officers have done everything they can to try to bring it to a close.

They even found a GMC half-ton truck in 1995 that they believe hit Levins, but they haven't been able to put a driver behind the wheel, Levins-Perrett said.

Levins loved his kids 

He believes short of a confession, police won't be able to put anyone in that truck at the scene. 

"It's frustrating," Levins-Perrett said. "I think it's probably more frustrating for them. For me, it was frustrating for a lot of years.

"It's been kind of a roller-coaster emotionally for years." 

Levins-Perrett is Levins' oldest son, from his first marriage, which ended in divorce. Levins-Perrett and his mother moved to Alberta after the divorce. He has three siblings, two sisters and a brother, as a result of Levins' subsequent relationship.

Levins-Perrett and his siblings described him as an "amazing father" and a role model in a 2008 article and letter to the editor published in the Brandon Sun. 

He was described by colleagues and friends in the same article as a "pleasant, straightforward sort of guy ... who wouldn't cause trouble in anyone's life." 

Death takes toll

Levins-Perrett said his dad's character has led him to ask questions like "Was it an accident?" or "Who would want him dead?" 

They are questions Levins-Perret wants answered through a conversation, not a courtroom. 

"I don't think that any more resources need to be spent on this." 

He said he would like the person who ran over his father to know that he forgives him and has moved on, but the pain has taken its toll.  

"It affected my family, my siblings' families, my grandmother, my uncle … fairly seriously," Levins-Perrett said. "My uncle was never really the same and neither was my grandmother.

"I hope he feels bad for what he did."