These Peter­bor­ough mur­der vic­tims’ sto­ries have been lost to time

Lo­cal author’s 20th book looks at four true crime sto­ries of the 1970s

The Peterborough Examiner - - ARTS & LIFE - ED ARNOLD

This is the first of five Ex­am­iner ex­clu­sive ex­cerpts from Ed Arnold’s 20th non-fic­tion book, “Peter­bor­ough 1970s Crimes.” To­day: In­tro­duc­tion/Tears Without Cry­ing.

There are four sto­ries in this book about ma­jor Peter­bor­ough crimes in the early 1970s; all in­clude in­for­ma­tion never be­fore seen by the pub­lic. They are the sto­ries of four in­no­cent peo­ple.

Nora Wheeler was 87 years old, harm­less, when some­body de­cided to kill her.

Lisa Gold­ing was only 22, care­free, gor­geous, but in a trou­bled re­la­tion­ship while liv­ing in an apart­ment on Clon­silla Av­enue when she dis­ap­peared for­ever.

Mur­ray Green was a well-known com­mu­nity man with a wife and three chil­dren try­ing to make a liv­ing running a down­town ho­tel, happy to live in a won­der­ful, peace­ful com­mu­nity like Peter­bor­ough, when he was mur­dered.

Const. Dave Daw­son was a good, hon­est, hard-work­ing po­lice­man who did his job well, kept his nose out of of­fice pol­i­tics. He wanted to work the streets to help and pro­tect the pub­lic, then some­one de­cided to shoot him not once, not twice, but three times, ob­vi­ously at­tempt­ing to end his life.

In the 1970s few spoke for the vic­tims of such crimes. There were no victim im­pact state­ments, me­dia cov­er­age was about the ac­cused, as were the tri­als, punishment and treat­ment.

A daugh­ter spoke for Nora Wheeler at the time, but to­day there is no­body to keep the case alive other than hard­work­ing po­lice who want to put clo­sure to it. For 45 years they have not been able to and won’t tell the pub­lic much about their in­ves­ti­ga­tions.

No­body spoke pub­licly for Lisa Gold­ing. The cov­er­age and court case made it seem as though her death was her fault when noth­ing could be fur­ther from the truth. Even to­day it is dif­fi­cult to find some­one to speak for her.

Who spoke for the families of Mur­ray Green and Dave Daw­son? The po­lice who in­ves­ti­gated the cases? The Crown at­tor­ney who pros­e­cuted the cases? The judges and ju­ries who heard the cases? Maybe, but the vic­tims be­came ghosts at the tri­als, only names in me­dia cov­er­age.

This book hope­fully gives a voice to the vic­tims. It is them, and their families, that it is ded­i­cated to. Only the guilty par­ties know the an­swer to why they chose to de­stroy the lives of in­no­cent peo­ple. It is the guilty peo­ple who live with their con­sciences and ask ... why?

The victim’s families are left ask­ing ... what if?

These are four sto­ries that in­ter­ested me as I be­gan my 40-year jour­nal­ism jour­ney with The Peter­bor­ough Ex­am­iner in the early 1970s. I wasn’t as­signed to any of them, but was cu­ri­ous in know­ing more than what our busy daily news­pa­per could or did sup­ply about them.

The pur­suit of in­for­ma­tion in these sto­ries has been an up­hill bat­tle with so called pub­lic ar­chives kept pri­vate even with sev­eral Free­dom of In­for­ma­tion re­quests filed. Other files have been de­stroyed over time or are miss­ing. Some records are gone and peo­ple do not want to talk, while me­dia re­ports only touched the fringe of cases. In the case of Nora Wheeler, po­lice are not will­ing to re­veal any­thing about a 45-year old mur­der be­cause it “is still ac­tive.”

Worst of all, the pur­suit was dif­fi­cult be­cause the peo­ple who know their sto­ries bet­ter than any­one have died. There were doc­u­ments if you searched hard enough, news­pa­per ar­ti­cles, tran­scripts, po­lice re­ports, and the mem­o­ries of peo­ple that helped put us be­hind the scenes of the crimes to make sure the vic­tims are re­mem­bered.

I hope I did jus­tice to the vic­tims and helped bet­ter record what re­ally hap­pened in these ter­ri­ble mo­ments of our com­mu­nity’s his­tory.

Tears Without Cry­ing

Ed Arnold

Woke up this morn­ing, you weren’t be­side me

No fish in the ocean,

No sun in the sky

Hav­ing my cof­fee, you weren’t there singing

No birds in a meadow,

No grass on the lawn

Got home this evening, you weren’t there wait­ing

No bees on the flow­ers

No smell to the air

Moved on our mat­tress, no body near me

Sound without mu­sic

Skies without stars

Are you miss­ing me

Like I’m miss­ing you

Do­ing to­gether those things that we do Are you miss­ing me,

Like I’m miss­ing you

Do­ing to­gether those things that we do Thun­der without light­ning

Tears without cry­ing

Kids without laugh­ter

And me without you

Woke up this morn­ing, you weren’t be­side me,

And I’m long­ing for you

Woke up this morn­ing, no smell of your body

…a one without two

Copyright Ed Arnold. The $25 book is avail­able at The Peter­bor­ough Ex­am­iner of­fice on Hunter Street East, Trent Val­ley Ar­chives on Carnegie Av­enue, Hap­pen­stance Books in Lake­field or for lo­cal read­ers at [email protected]


Lo­cal author Ed Arnold, left, signs copies of his 20th book, “Peter­bor­ough 1970s Crimes,” for Ge­off He­wit­son and Char­lotte Juriga on Oct. 29 at The So­cial.

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