LOCAL DOCTOR CLEARED OF CHARGES IN DEATH OF DEPRESSION-ERA VAGRANT
This week in 1931, Dr. Francis Joseph Buckley, of Haney, was cleared of the charge of manslaughter in the case of John Connely, a depression-era rail-rider. A sad case, in which the coroner found that Connely had died from alcohol poisoning.
The brucine-laced “wood alcohol” was allegedly purchased by Buckley in Hammond, where Buckley had taken Connely and traveller Herbert Brown to buy food. Brown testified that it was common for Connely to drink the denatured liquor, normally reserved for industrial applications.
Vagrants commonly stayed in Maple Ridge during the worst winters of the Depression, where they were allowed by management at the Port Haney Brick Company to sleep in the warm kiln sheds.