On the 26th of August 1932 Otto Olsen Egelstad was injured by three staff at Essondale. So on the 9th of September 1932 an inquiry was ordered by the Province. The Hon. Samuel Lyness Howe,( 1854—1939 ) was authorized to appoint a commissioner into the matter.
B.C. Archives A-02623
————— Suspended guards held in death of patient
Charged with causing grievous bodily harm to Otto Egelstad, a patient in the Provincial Mental Hospital, Essondale, on august 26, three attendants in that institution were remanded for eight days by O.E. Walker, J.P. in Coquitlam Police Court at 11 a.m. Tuesday. [note: probably F.G. Walker ]
The patient died at Essondale last night at 10:40 o'clock.
The three attendants who were released on $500 bail each, are Harry Maisoneuve, Maillardville; Malcolm McDonald, Essondale, and Archibald Lennox, Port Coquitlam.
The deceased patient, a Norwegian formerly resided in New Westminster. He had been at Essondale five years.
Dr. A.L. Crease, superintendent of the hospital, stated to the Vancouver Sun today that the three attendant had a struggle with Egelstad on August 26 after breakfast when a squad of patients were preparing to go to work in the fields.
As a result of that struggle the patient was put to bed in hospital and the three attendants were suspended from duty by Dr. E. Ryan who was in charge at the time.
Provincial police and the Attorney General were notified and an investigation was conducted.
It terminated Tuesday and resulted in the arrest of the three men Tuesday afternoon.
Dr. Crease stated that he cannot say whether the charge will be amended owing to the death of the patient but an inquest will be held although time and place have not been decided on.
Inspector John Shirra, acting assistant commissioner provincial police, was in charge of the case.
POOLEY ORDERS PROBE
Hon. Robert Henry Pooley,( 1878—1954 ) Attorney General, has ordered a complete investigation of the case according to a statement made by him in Victoria today.
"Eric Popler, departmental solicitor, returned from Essondale this morning where he held an inquiry under the Departmental Investigation Act, and I will have his report this afternoon," said Mr. Pooley. "Future action will depend upon the nature of that report"
DEMAND Asylum PROBE
Jurors urge gov't action
MAN'S DEATH MYSTERY
The jury returned a verdict that the patient died as a result of internal haemorrhage and injuries sustained in a struggle with attendants and that, while the injuries were accidentally inflicted, the circumstances should be thoroughly investigated.
Evidence that the patient died as a result of internal haemorrhage and congestion of the lungs was given during the inquest by Dr. Archibald William Hunter,( 1882—1959 ) police surgeon of Vancouver, who conducted an autopsy.
FIVE RIBS BROKEN
He stated that five of the patient's ribs had been fractured, three on the left side and two on the right side.
This could have been caused by the patient falling and someone falling heavily on him during a struggle.
He testified that internal injuries suggested direct violence.
There were blood clots in the abdomen and a wound on the right side of the scalp.
No evidence of brain injury was discovered.
THREE GUARDS ARRESTED
Harry Maisonneuve, Maillardville; Malcolm McDonald, Essondale and Archibald Lennox, Port Coquitlam, former guards at Essondale who were dismissed from that institution and later charged with causing grievous bodily harm to the patient are under remand on bail of $500 each.
Dr. A.L. Crease, superintendent of the hospital, testified that he was on holiday when the patient was injured August 26.
He stated that Egelstad was admitted to the institution June 13th, 1925 and was of a quiet, sullen possibly erratic disposition, subject to delusions. There are 2737 patients in the hospital he said.
STRUCK AT PATIENT
Dr. Crease stated that Egelstad was leaving with a squad after breakfast to go to work in the fields.
He got in the wrong squad and attendant Maisonneuve pulled him out of that party.
Another patient passed a remark that irritated Egelstad who swung his fist, missed the patient but struck Maisonneuve.
Maisonneuve and another attendant, Malcolm McDonald, grappled with Egelstad and all fell on the floor of the wash room where the struggle took place.
Attendant Lennox came to the assistance of the other two attendants and after the patient quietened down he joined the squad in the field apparently all right.
He complained of feeling unwell a short time later and was taken to the hospital.
A report was sent to the attorney general at Victoria, Dr. Ryan recommending that the three guards be dismissed from the service. Dr. Crease concurred in this and the men were dismissed a few days later.
Inspector John Shirras, ( 1883-1968 )Vancouver detachment Provincial Police, was present at the inquest which was held in Coquitlam Municipal Hall, Maillardville.
Dr. Edwin Howard McEwen,( 1878—1957 ) coroner, presided.
Thomas Robert Selkirk,( 1896-1952 ) appeared for the Crown. William Garland McQuarrie,( 1876-1943 ) for Maisonneuve, and Adam Smith Johnston,( 1888-1948 ) Vancouver for Lennox. McDonald had no lawyer present.
BC Archives A-02324
Essentially the same as the article transcribed below
3 accused of Manslaughter
Maillardville, Sept.21—Charges of causing grievous bodily harm to Otto Egelstad, Essondale Mental Hospital patient, on August 26, against three former attendants were changed to manslaughter today.
The patient had five ribs broken during a struggle with the attendants and died in hospital on September 13. He also sustained internal injuries.
The three men are H. Maisonneuve, Maillardville; Archibald Lennox, Port Coquitlam, and Malcolm McDonald, Essondale.
They appeared today in police court here before magistrate F.G. Walker and were remanded until Tuesday.
Maisonneuve and Lennox have been released on bail of $5000. McDonald, who was unable to raise this amount of bail is being held in Oakalla Prison.
1932 October 6 Medicine Hat News
Asylum orderlies committed for trial when patient dies in hospital from alleged abuse. ————
Dr. A.L. Crease, superintendent, appearing as a witness, said he had been absent when Egelstad was injured. In their report to him, the accused had stated that Egelstad was going to work with the wrong gang and Maisonneuve pulled him back. As he did so, another patient irritated Egelstad and the latter turned to strike him. Instead Egelstad struck Maisonneuve in the face. McDonald grabbed Egelstad's arms and the patient started kicking. the two attendants took him into an adjacent washroom where the scuffle continued until Egelstad was subdued. Near the end of the struggle Lennox came in and assisted.
The attendants in their report said Egelstad did not seem hurt and went to work outside, but reported sick at noon.
Some days later, after an investigation had been held and the attendants discharged, Egelstad took a sudden turn for the worse and died.
Dr. Crease testified that Egelstad was impulsive, erratic, subject to delusions and liable to become violent at times.
Evidence that patients at Essondale were liable to attack attendants at any time was given by Dr. Crease. He said that he himself had suffered a fractured arm once when struck by a patient with a piece of iron torn from a bed. the chief attendant and his assistant had been attacked and another had his eye gouged out by a violent patient.
ASYLUM Guards ON TRIAL
Supt. tells of violence
KEEPERS OFTEN ATTACKED
This statement was made by Dr. A.L. Crease, Medical Superintendent at Essondale, during cross-examination in New Westminster Assize Court Thursday.
Dr. Crease is a Crown witness in the case in which Archibald J. Lennox, Port Coquitlam; Harry Maisonneuve, Maillardville, and Malcolm McDonald, Essondale, stand charged with manslaughter.
They are charged with inflicting injuries that caused the death of Otto Egelstad, a patient, Sept. 13 last.
Cross-examined by Frank Lyons, defense counsel, Dr. Crease admitted that as a result of attacks by patients, attendants have suffered from fractured skulls.
Other injuries included loss of an eye, a broken nose and a finger bitten off.
"Of course, that does not excuse the guards," he added.
Dr. Crease also stated that a patient once broke his arm.
At the time of the trouble with Egelstad, August 26, Dr. Crease was on vacation.
On his return he received a written report of the occurrence from the accused men who had been suspended.
The report stated that the gangs were proceeding to work in the hospital grounds. Egelstad started out with the wrong gang but was pulled back by Maisonneuve.
Another patient named Armstrong made a remark at which Egelstad offense, and, swinging his fist he missed Armstrong and struck Maisonneuve.
GRAPPLED WITH PATIENT
Maisonneuve with the assistance of McDonald grappled with the patient and took him from the dormitory to a bathroom, a distance of thirty feet. Lennox then gave a hand in the scuffle that ensued.
Shortly afterwards Egelstad re-joins his gang but in the afternoon complained of being unwell and was sent to the hospital.
Dr. A.M. Gee, in charge of the ward, stated that Egelstad was of a sullen, impulsive, erratic and quarrelsome disposition. He testified that he attended Egelstad. A medical examination revealed broken ribs and severe bruises.
The patient died two weeks later.
Cause of death was internal haemorrhage as a result of injuries inflicted by violence, according to Dr. W.A. Hunter, who performed an autopsy.
Lennox in a written report which was admitted during the trial said he went to the assistance of Maisonneuve and McDonald when he heard a loud thump on the door of the washroom. Maisonneuve said he heard no such bang.
Maisonneuve giving evidence on his own behalf today said he was unable to give any explanation of how Egelstad sustained the severe injuries which caused his death.
He recounted how Egelstad in the dormitory had had struck him and how McDonald and himself took Egelstad into the washroom.
He said the floor had recently been washed and was slippery.
Witness said he locked the door to prevent other patients from interfering.
During a gruelling cross-examination by George Cassidy, crown prosecutor. Maisonneuve declared "Egelstad must have been injured in the afternoon for all I know."
The scuffle between the patient and the attendants took place in the morning and evidence showed that Egelstad was working in the field in the afternoon.
——— 30 ———
Acquitted of manslaughter in Essondale death
New Westminster, Nov. 26.— Harry Maisonneuve, 40, Maillardville; Malcolm McDonald, 45, Essondale and Archibald J. Lenox, 23, Port Coquitlam, former attendants at Provincial mental hospital, Essondale, were acquitted of manslaughter charges by an assize jury Friday.
Excusable homicide and misadventure was the cause of death of Otto Egelstad, a patient at the hands of the accused, the jury found. The jury deliberated an hour and ten minutes.
The accused were immediately discharged by Mr. Justice William Alexander MacDonald,( 1860—1946 )
His Lordship in addressing the jury said:
"In my long experience in law, I cannot recall a similar case. three men are charged with manslaughter and the Crown is unable to produce a dying statement from the deceased."
"The presentation of evidence given by mental cases to a jury would be impossible and of no benefit."
Archibald James Lennox 1910—1990(a and b) James Archibald Lennox . Only a few months prior to this incident Archibald on March the 4th, 1932 married Florence Lois Lamb,( 1908—1987 ) But at his death James was married to Nora Cheney.
Malcolm McDonald, (1887? – ?) He just disappears locally, although, his is a common name.
Harry Maisonneuve. Real name: Alderic Aristide Maisonneuve ( 1897—1961) He Served in WWI, C.E.F. 1287170 Two attestations exist, one where he has NO military service then a second where he miraculously does.
Parents Wilfred Maisonneuve and Adda Pare.
At New Westminster in 1926 he married nurse, Jean Miller Brown,( 1903—1966 )
After Essondale, he appears to have worked as a boom-man, then various sawmilling related jobs, retiring as head sawyer. He continued to live in the Maillardville area until his death. Daughter: Lajrette Jean Maisonneuve 1932—1991 Son: A.Maisonneuve
father: Ole Eriksen (1840—1915) married in 1868 Anne Kirstine Andersdatter , they had twelve children
Otto Olsen Egelstad married in 1907 at Jevnaker, Norway, Johanna Amelia Andersen.
They moved in 1907 to Potlatch, Idaho, then in 1909 to Vancouver, B.C., then to Cape Scott 1920,1921 after a short stay there they moved to White Rock, [ his brother Sivert / Seivert Egelstad, ( 1883—1962 ) lived in White Rock, his wife: Charlotte Stanley ( 1883—1954 ) ]
In 1922 they tried to immigrate to the U.S.A., but were debarred at the Blaine border crossing. After a short stay in White Rock, the family moved to Surrey in 1928. Otto was committed to Essondale in June 1925, he was 40 years old.
Ruth Helen Egelstad ( 1917— ? ) at New Westminster 1937 married Vermont Maeland Beckett, ( 1913—1973 ) Henry Martin Egelstad d.1997 married to Ruth, they had two children
Signe Mary Egelstad ( 1921—1986 ) married: William Gray Watson they had two children. Oswald Arthur Egelstad ( 1912 — 1967 ) married to, Mary West Evelyn Carrolla Egelstad ( 1910—1987 ) in 1928 she married Richard Frederick Thompson ( 1907—1979 ) five children
Mrs. Egelstad must have had a struggle, losing her husband and six young children to take care of. I suspect the she may have remarried, after Otto’s abrupt death, since i could not find her name in B.C.
It certainly appears in hindsight that the first two staff on the scene were guilty of something, especially “Harry” with his expensive lawyer; and we have McDonald who was imprisoned while waiting for the trial to proceed, and Lennox who was last into the fray, and appears to be an innocent bystander in the matter. Sadly justice appears to have not been done in this matter. At least the hospital reacted quickly and fired all of them.