Elkford Man charged with Murder - The Free Press Turns 115 Years Old

January 27 1998

Free Press Files

The RCMP were called to the residence of 65 year old Harold William Kerr at 10.:19pm on January 19th to attend to Elkfords third murder in its history.

When Police arrived, they found 37 year old Calgary resident Omer William Shupe, dead from a gun shot wound to the head.

Reportedly, Kerr fled the scene shortly after the incident and was apprehended by Sparwood RCMP a short time later with the aid of a spike belt. Kerr is charged with second degree murder in connection to Shupe’s death.

Kerr’s neighbours on Newgate Cres told The Free Press they didn’t hear anything going on next door and woke up to see police officers at Kerr’s residence.

The victom’s Chevy truck still remained parked at the crime scene the day after the incident and police say they have witnesses who were there for some of the events.

The Community, meanwhile is now dealing with the incident.

“Mr. Kerr was very well known in our community” states Corporal Dave Bauhuis. “People are expressing shock”. Its unfortunate anytime there’s a death in town, wether it be this way or another way,” says Elkford Mayor Bill Wilcox. “We just see it as an unfortunate event for Elkford.

“Of course our heartfelt wishes go out to both families involved”

Some who knew Kerr, like friend Butch Harrison, heard Kerr’s tales of serving time in Kingston Penitentiary in Ontario and of goings on in the Montreal Underground. But as far as he knew, Kerr had settled down, was a good father and a retired coal miner.

“He wasn’t a violent man” he says

Harrison describes Kerr as a colourful character with an interesting history.

“He didn’t try to hide the fact he lived a hard life”

Len Vaness, Owner of the Elk River Inn in Hosmer, says Kerr loved to sing and was a good father. Not knowing the circumstances of the incident, Vaness was very surprised to hear about it.

Kerr had recently retired from Fording River and according to Harrison had become quite depressed since then and had started drinking quite heavily.

It is unsure what events led up to Monday nights homicide. Many questions remain such as wether Kerr knew the victim before that evening.

For more great stories that ran in The Free Press in the past 115 years

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