Murder trial into slaying of Stettler family opened 50 years ago

Some Delburne parents worried the community’s only day care would be forced to close because of an escalating dispute between village council and the operator.

Prince Hyacinth

Prince Hyacinth


• Some Delburne parents worried the community’s only day care would be forced to close because of an escalating dispute between village council and the operator. Danielle Dolan had sent a letter to Municipal Affairs Minister Ray Danyluk asking for provincial mediation between the Irene Moran Learning Centre and the village.

• The Crown needed more time to sort out how much money was involved when more than 60 new vehicles went missing from a Red Deer car dealership, resulting in about 90 total charges against four people about a year ago. Crown prosecutor Darwyn Ross of Red Deer told provincial court special prosecutor Peter McKenzie required additional time to sort out losses in case restitution was called for if various accused decide to plead guilty. Ross told court some accused may be close to settling their charges without the need for a trial.


• Transport Canada announced Red Deer Regional Airport would receive security screening. Passengers flying from Red Deer could remain on their planes during stopovers in larger airports rather than disembarking with carry-on luggage and then reboarding.

l•A bomb threat disrupted classes, halted renovations, and led to the evacuation of more than 2,000 people from Lindsay Thurber Comprehensive High School. It was the third bomb threat called in to a Central Alberta school in two months.


• City council prohibited operation of a crematorium that was already built in north Red Deer. The crematorium had been built, with the unwitting approval of the city, despite a bylaw banning crematoriums within the city.

• Red Deer South MLA Victor Doerksen announced plans to introduce a private member’s bill banning gay marriages. He planned to use the constitutional “notwithstanding clause” to protect the traditional institution of marriage.


• London Drugs Ltd. And Saveco Stores Ltd. were charged by the city under its Sunday opening bylaw. Representatives of the stores would appear in Red Deer court Dec. 20, 1984. London Drugs had opened its southside store on Sundays for 18 months and Saveco had operated its Village Mall store on Sundays since Oct. But London Drugs manager Bill Statnyk said his store planned to challenge the charge in court. He questioned how the city could enforce a Sunday opening bylaw when the Supreme Court still hadn’t ruled on the federal Lord’s Day Act.

• Office staff at a city high school had a new task this week: handing out toilet paper. Toilet tissue had been removed from the boys’ washrooms at Camille J. Lerouge Collegiate after a rash of vandalism. For the past three weeks, culprits had used the toilets, then plugged them with paper. Sinks had also been plugged with taps left running, eventually flooding the washrooms. Since Wednesday, male students had to get toilet paper from the office.


• Speed limit adjustments were ordered for the 1.8-mile stretch of four-lane undivided highway just south of Red Deer, according to an announcement made in Edmonton by Highways Minister Gordon Taylor. He explained changes had been made necessary by an increase in the accident rate on this stretch since the speed limit on Alberta four-lane highways was raised on July 1 to 65 miles per hour by day and to 55 miles per hour by night.

• The photographic story of what police found in a modest Stettler home on Sunday, June 28, in an investigation that led to the discovery of seven slain persons and resulted in a charge of murder against 23-year-old Robert Cook, was unfolded n the Red Deer Court House. Questions pertaining to the estimated time of death and to results of fingerprint checks throughout the Cook home featured the morning session on Tuesday. Up to noon on the second day, four witnesses had been called. Monday was the opening day of Red Deer’s first murder trial for many years, a trial which is expected to go into next week before all evidence is heard.


• The Alberta Horse Breeders’ Association was asked to ascertain the number of horses that would be available in Alberta for food purposes at five cents per pound f.o.b. owner’s nearest station. Horses had to be healthy and in good condition; old, used up horses were not wanted. There were undoubtedly thousands of horses in Western Canada that are misfits, undersized and of very little commercial value that could be utilized to help supply meat for the millions of people in Europe who were accustomed to eating horse flesh and whose meat supply was most seriously inadequate and at the same time their use for this purpose would conserve a tremendous amount of fodder to be used in raising a better class of horses and other classes of livestock.


• A group of girl singers from Boston, Mass. was scheduled to perform in Red Deer. “These sweet-voiced girls will bring a smile to the face of the most crabbed,” predicted the Advocate.

• Town councillors discussed a complaint of vandals breaking windows in vacant buildings. “The running around of useless curs was also complained of,” the Advocate noted.