Find those burglars and bring em in! That was the message given to night-beat policeman James Archibald as he set out on patrol on the night of May 28th, 1913. There had been a rash of commercial burglaries in Vancouver, Canada, and the citys businessmen were getting anxious.
The streets were dark and empty at 1.30 a.m. when officer Archibald saw Herman Clark and Frank Davis leaving the offices of a factory in Powell Street. The officer moved in.
What are you doing? he asked.
Were just looking for a place to sleep in the bushes, Clark replied.
The officer reached for his revolver to arrest them, but Clark and Davis were both armed and Clark drew first. He shot Archibald three times at point-blank range, killing the officer immediately.
The two men hid the policemans body in bushes and threw his revolver, together with their burglary tools, into a nearby mud-hole. But they left behind a crudely made black cloth mask which was to become vital evidence. An informants tip led police to their hideout in a nearby waterfront shack, where a piece of black material was found with the outline of the mask cut from it.
Police arrested two more men who were members of the burglary gang. They turned kings evidence against Clark and Davis, effectively sealing their fate. The two killers were hanged on Friday, MAY 15th, 1914, in New Westminster Prison, Vancouver.