Nova Scotia

Taylor Samson murdered in area known for drug activity, Halifax woman says

A Halifax mother who lives in the same neighbourhood where a university student was murdered says the area has seen a trend of drug activity over the last several years.

Halifax woman says south-end neighbourhood where Dalhousie student died has lots of drug activity

A woman who lives in the area of a Sigma Chi frat house on South Street in Halifax says there has been illegal drug activity going on for years in the neighbourhood, and that has put the neighbourhood and its families in danger. (Google Maps)

A Halifax mother who lives in the same neighbourhood where a university student was murdered says the area has seen a trend of drug activity over the last several years. 

The woman, who asked to remain anonymous, says the escalating illegal activity may have culminated in the death of Dalhousie University student Taylor Samson. 

"I think everyone knows. This is not a secret," she said of her neighbourhood.

"I believe that it has gone on for a long time without anyone being particularly disturbed by it until now, perhaps."

This past week, Halifax Regional Police said Samson was murdered at the 1200 block of Henry Street, around the corner from the Sigma Chi fraternity house to which he belonged.

Taylor Samson, 22, was reported missing on Aug. 16, 2015. (Halifax Regional Police)

The neighbourhood also has a daycare and nursery called University Children's Centre.

The woman says as a parent, she feels anyone who drops their children off at the daycare would be horrified to know what the neighbourhood is really like.

"They are in a neighbourhood that's practically in the crossfire of a drug war," she says. 

"But what about next time?" she wonders. "As this gets bigger, what happens to the people who are in the wrong place at the wrong time?" 

Knowing Sandeson

The woman says she also knows the accused, William Michael Sandeson. The 22-year-old Dalhousie University student is charged with first-degree murder in Samson's death.

She describes him as a "farm boy" whose behaviour had recently turned uneasy.

But because both Sandeson and Samson were Dalhousie students, she believes the university's jurisdiction should be a focus in the fallout of Samson's death.  

William Michael Sandeson is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Taylor Samson. (LinkedIn)

"Do you think four pounds is the end of it?" she said, referring to the amount of marijuana court documents say Samson was carrying the night he was allegedly murdered.

"Until those activities are no longer occurring, we're not safe — students aren't safe." 

In an email to CBC News, Janet Bryson, a senior communications advisor for Dalhousie University, says the school continues to cooperate with police.

"We cannot share details of our cooperation as it may jeopardize their investigation," Bryson wrote.

Statement from Sigma Chi

The Sigma Chi Fraternity, based out of Evanston, Ill. posted a statement on its website on Thursday about Samson. 

They say they will be assisting Halifax Regional Police in any capacity. 

"Our collective hearts and prayers are with Samson's chapter brothers and the family and friends who survive him," the statement said.

"We also send our sincere appreciation to the Halifax Regional Police for their tireless and expedient work in helping to bring clarity to an otherwise senseless tragedy."