Pubdate: Sat, 20 Jan 2018
Source: Vancouver Sun (CN BC)
Copyright: 2018 Postmedia Network Inc.
Author: John Mackie
Page: A2

This Week in History


City, police freak out over 'berserk' man

On Jan. 17, 1966, The Vancouver Sun published a small story with an
alarming headline, Man Goes Berserk While Using Drug. LSD had hit the
city. "Police said they found the man, clad only in his pants, running
around the 1600-block Yew shortly after 3 a.m., screaming that he was
God," said the story.

"The man, aged 36, was frothing at the mouth, had a wild-eyed
appearance and was completely devoid of reason, police said.

"Police checked the man's apartment, located nearby, and found he had
destroyed most of the interior."

The cops put the unnamed man "in restraints" and took him to hospital.
His wife told them he'd obtained the drug from a friend and taken a
dose, "although he was not a drug-user and did not suffer from mental

The rise in the use of drugs was alarming to the authorities. The same
day The Sun reported "a special police squad has been formed to combat
what authorities fear is an increase in the use of marijuana in Vancouver."

The two-man special force was comprised of a city cop and a member of
the RCMP. They weren't identified in the story, but the Mountie was
probably Sgt. Abe Snidanko, who would become Vancouver's most infamous
narc during the hippie era.

The Sun story was written by Stan Shillington, who described pot as a
"green, tea-like narcotic."

Shillington reported that the special squad had made a seizure of
"bulk marijuana that would make an estimated 150 marijuana cigarettes,
commonly known as reefers.

"Reefers sell in Vancouver for between $1.50 and $2

On Jan. 20 federal narcotics prosecutor Wilfred Hefferman crowed that
"recent marijuana seizures and arrests have cut into the drug's major
supply line into Vancouver."

Hefferman called for "heavy sentences" for marijuana-users, which he
said "will act as a deterrent to others."

Magistrate Lorne Jackson evidently agreed, sentencing 24-year-old
Russell Richardson to two years in prison for possession of marijuana.

The police were quite busy that week. On Jan. 19, The Sun reported the
police had raided a "stag party."

"Police raided an East End hall Tuesday night and said they found a
woman cavorting in the nude before about 650 university students."

Ten cops conducted the raid at Clinton Hall, 2605 East Pender, where
they found a "nude woman performing on the stage." The performer was
charged with committing an indecent act, but no charges were announced
against the hundreds of male science students.

Why the police would raid the stag is anyone's guess, when many of the
city's cabarets were advertising similar entertainment.

Frank's Cabaret ("Hot Spaghetti, Hot Music, A Hot Show!") had "gogo
princess" Joanne Howard and "exotic dancer" Miss Kim Lane. The Smilin'
Buddha had a big show with La Wanda, "the Bronze Goddess of Fire,"
"Zsa Zsa the notorious" and Daiquiri St. John, the "million-dollar

The hoax was that Daiquiri St. John was actually a man named Dimitrius

If that was a little too risque, big-band great Woody Herman was at
Isy's, Dixieland jazzer Lance Harrison was at the Rusty Nail in
Whalley's Flamingo Hotel and a barbershop quartet called the Howe
Sounds were at Shakey's on Granville.

A Fred Astaire Dance Studio was also opening at 166 West Hastings. For
$6 you got six lessons in foxtrot, waltz, swing, samba, mambo, tango
and rumba dancing.

The other big news that week was a proposal to build a third crossing
to the North Shore.

The $91-million plan by engineer Herbert J. Barratt called for a
suspension bridge from the foot of St. Patrick's Avenue in North
Vancouver to the foot of Woodland Drive in East Vancouver. (St.
Patrick's is three blocks east of Lonsdale, Woodland is two blocks
east of Clark.)

The plan was to build two new National Harbours Board piers on either
side, which would be 1,000feet long and have berths for five ships
each. The piers would be the anchor for the bridge, which would have
two 1,150-foot "back stays" at either end and a 2,600-ft.-long centre
span. It would have been 200-feet high, like the Lions Gate.

But it never got built.
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MAP posted-by: Matt