After almost two years spent delving into the 1966 double murder of Dr. Robert Henry MacLauchlan and Margaret “Nan” Cunningham, two New Westminster authors have hit a wall on their quest for the truth.
As previously reported by The Record,Rod Drown, a local writer, and Ken McIntosh, a retired New West police officer, have been researching the lives of MacLauchlan and Cunningham. The New Westminster couple was shot in their home on Fifth Street in March of 1966, and to this day police still don’t know who killed them, or why.
Recently, Drown and McIntosh tracked down Cunningham’s daughter Lorraine, who married a doctor in Mexico in 1965 – shortly before her mother and stepfather were killed.
But after a couple of failed attempts at contacting Lorraine, McIntosh received a phone call from her son living in Ontario.
“Ken told me that Mr. Bojalil was very good-humoured throughout the conversation but insisted that his mother was still traumatized by this event and wanted to be left alone,” Drown said of the phone call made to McIntosh.
Despite this roadblock, Drown and McIntosh said they don’t plan on giving up anytime soon.
“We spent a lot of time – months, in fact – looking for her and one day, while scouring the Internet, I stumbled on her. So we drafted what we considered to be a very sympathetic letter and sent it off to her by registered mail,” Drown said.
While the writers hope for a response from Lorraine, they’ll continue to dig deeper into the lives of MacLauchlan and Cunningham. Both agree there is still much more to be discovered, especially when it comes to Cunningham’s connection with MacLauchlan.
“She (Cunningham) was a very responsible lady and someone who was held in high esteem by her co-workers and neighbours. She worked at Woodlands teaching the children there. We find it hard to understand how she could have fallen for someone like Dr. Robert Henry MacLauchlan,” he said.
According to Drown and McIntosh’s research, Dr. MacLauchlan had quite the seedy past. He was arrested for performing illegal abortions in both California and Calgary, where his medical licence was eventually revoked in 1955. He was married twice and divorced twice. In 1957, he moved to New Westminster and began living with Cunningham in a small bungalow on Fifth Street under the guise of uncle and niece. Eight years later, police arrested MacLauchlan and Cunningham and raided their home, finding about $200,000 worth of heroin.
“So now we are reaching out to anyone in New Westminster who may have known Lorraine or her mother, and can tell us more about that small family unit,” Drown said.