B.C. Penitentiary (1975) (Bc Penitentiary)

sted
#31
Yes andy was one of 13 kids !

I went to high school with his brother Rusty.... GREAT kid. Always felt sorry for him in a way because he had to work extra hard to try and live down his brother's "rep'... and he did it too.....

I went to st edmund's with his siter Linda and I THINK she was killed in a car crash while being driven home after a babysitting job....

As for the rest of the kids I dont remember going to school with them......

regards
 
talloola
+1
#32
oh yes, the sweet memories of catholic school, (boarding school), although I was not a boarder.(St. Annes Academy, New Westminster)

in grade 3, two nice twin girls sat very close to me, both had pretty long braids.

one day, one of them had to go to the bathroom, but was so afraid of the teacher, (not a nun) that
she was afraid to put up her hand and ask, so she sat their till she 'wet' herself, THEN, all hell
broke loose, the teacher marched down to her desk and yanked her out of the seat by her hair, and
yelled at her, the crying started, and the rest of us sat their as quiet as mice, also afraid to
make a sound.

That particular teacher was horrid, mean and I never saw her smile once.

That type of atmosphere seemed normal to me, as there was not once ounce of fun, going to that school,
ever. Stern faces at all times, and we all tip toed everywhere, afraid of something happening that
would have someone in trouble.
 
sted
#33
Quote: Originally Posted by JLMView Post

Yep, a lot of times there's good reasons for people being the way they are. Is Andy Bruce still in prison? I remember at the time hearing Andy Bruce's mother single handedly raised 14 children and 13 of them turned out well.

yes it sure does make you wonder ! it was over the top harsh but i think it has swung too far the other way now..... those times were very differant now teachers have to worry if their class are packing guns or knives !!!! never mind if they even turn up... I am not even sure now how many catholic schools in bc are taught by nuns ? I can only hope on an elementary leval that those poor little ones never4 have to see or go through what I did !
Small wonder that I left the catholic hurch permanetly and never went back.... ( long story behind that one too ) !!!
cheers

Quote: Originally Posted by bartonView Post

My grandparents have passed away for a couple of years now and now I would like to do some research on my uncle. He was aparently involved with Andy Bruce during the Hostage taking and in a number of escape attempts. His name is Steven Hall. Once the penitentiary closed down he was aparently voted one of the most feared inmates in the penitentiary by the guards. This was in an article in McCleans magizine. If anyone has any information that they would be willing to share i would really apprieciate it. He caused my whole family a huge amount of grief and out of respect for my grandparents I am now just starting to begin my research. Any help would be great...you can reach me at barton49@shaw.ca (external - login to view) thank you


hi... have you tried entereing Steven's name in ancestry. com it might give you some information as to birth where he lived ect....
good luck...do u have the article from mclean's magazine? try google for the magizine achives... they maybe able to send you a copy ?
let me know how it goes... and the bc pen has to have an archive dept somewhere...i doubt the records were destroyed...
cheers

Quote: Originally Posted by joeblowView Post

I remember visiting BC Pen in 1981, after it was closed down and they briefly opened it for tours (My class at Burquitlam elementary came for a tour). Several things stuck out from that day; one in particular I think was related to this horrible riot.

They showed us one cell block that apparently had been left untouched after the riot. Everything was trashed and I remember seeing some giant metal bar mechanism that had been pulled away from the wall and bent; we were told that prisoners had done it by hand. Does any of this ring a bell to anyone? Was there a trashed cell block that was not repaired after the riot?

I also remember them showing us a collection of whips that were used for discipline on the prisoners. They said that Raymond Burr, the actor--his father was the man who administered the whippings in the 40s and 50s. I also remember the the lunch hall, there were a few bathroom stalls that faced out into the lunchroom, with no doors on them. that completely creeped my 12 year old mind out...
Visiting that scary 100 year old prison was definitely one of the most memorable events of my childhood, even if my memory is faulty!

wow I meant to take the trip to the open house and never did.... wish i had.... cheers

Quote: Originally Posted by JersayView Post

Well a peace officer had been killed. But that still does not excuse the fact of what the prison officials did. At least my father had transfered to another prison after no one listened to him. Now, I think personally, if it hadn't been for that prisoner who had warned my father, he wouldn't be here today and I wouldn't be here today.

yes no kidding.... did your dad ever talk about what happened? like it or not it is a piece of history....cheers
 
32148
#34
May 6th 2011...In 1975 I was stationed in Burnaby BC as a 19yr old RCMP constable. I was present inside the BC penitentiary when the riots were on going, a very scary time. I am retired now and just happened to be destroying my old notebooks when I came across my entries regarding your uncle Steven Albert Hall. In 1976 I was one of two officers involved in a shooting incident when Steven and David Gary Bennett robbed the bank at the Brentwood Mall. Steven was shot in the stomach and recovered later at Royal Columbian Hospital eventually convicted on attempt murder and robbery charges and sentenced to the BC pen to serve his time. Later on Steven was involved in an escape attempt, the theft of an ambulance and assault on ambulance driver. He was being transported to hospital as a result of a self inflicted wound I believe and that is when he overpowered the guard. Coincidentially I was assigned to Royal Columbian Hospital to guard him while in recovery. For some unknown reason I decided to google his name and came upon your entry. Small world!
 
sted
+1
#35
so good to see your post altho i am not related to steven... a suggestion coming from an avid genealogist dont detroy your notebooks from when u were an rcmp....someone ...somewhere in the future will be glad you kept thme... just a suugestion...cheers
ps my grandfather wsa a cop in detriot in the 1920'... all capone's erea... and what i would not give today to see his notebooks... wow...
 
77bcpen
#36
I started at BCPen in 77 at 19. It was quite an eye opener. But it was a bad job market, and I was getting hungry...
You could not imagine the people they were hiring... (including me) Funeral directors, Viet Nam combat Vets, missionaries...

The echos of the Steinhauser incident were still there.
Due to that incident, the ERT was disbanded, and the RCMP were used for any armed force reaction.

I remember Steven Hall. I would not say he was feared, but definately considered dangerous. He was polite to the guards faces, but he and AndyB slashed a hostage guards throat. I was 30 meters away.

The word was, that he was strange, and enjoyed torturing captured mice. (which overrand the prison). One of my friends found crucified mouse bodies in his cell.

One hostage event, with the ambulance, was after StevenH stabbed himself with a screwdriver.

He was known as "The brentwood bandit" after his failed robbery attempt. I understood that they went to the wrong location, and burst into the store next to the bank first. (this lost them important time, as the police were alerted early). The next problem that they had, was that one of them dropped the car keys in the bank, and had to return to get them.
As they finally got to the car, the RCMP showed up, and a quick gunfight. When Steven was hit, he immediatly surrendered.

I guess I am wrong, as the previous poster stated, but I thought that Steven received a minor hand wound, not a stomach wound.

I believe that AndyB was more hated than StevenH, as during the Steinhauser incident (remember, I was not there, so this is what I was told by many guards) 2 guards were also hostages, and were tortured by AndyB. (I was told chemicals in their eyes).

To keep this in context, remember that 90% of the inmates got along fine with staff. In a federal institution, you need to just keep your head down, and do your time. both sides are going to be there for a long percentage of their life, so most do not want conflict.

I actually remember Steven Hall (before the hostage takings) coming up to me, and warning that "one of the guards was preaching (a big no-no) about Jesus to the inmates, and that this was anoying them big time. Something was going to happen to him." The guard was then removed. I don't remember if it was fired, or transferred.
 
bill barilko
#37
I was down by what remains of the old pen a few weeks back on something of a historical tour-not a place to remember fondly and Yes I lived in the Lower Rainland when they shut it down-GFR.
 
damngrumpy
#38
I am fascinated by this story coming back to life after all this time. I would like it if some of
the people who know could fill us in. I am willing to bet there are a lot of stories out there
where some of us cross paths with events from our history or had some prior contact with
some of the participants who became famous or infamous later on.
 
Chev
#39
Hi Barton, sent you an email.
 
sted
#40
agrees that after all this time the BC Pen hostage still comes up every once in awhile. There were no doubt lots of things that occured during that hostage taking that never was reported in the media !!! The whole complete truth of it all will probably never come out either.

I remeber that once Andy Bruce was released from hospital he was not sent back to BC Pen. Anyone know where he was transferred too? Surely it can't be the same place that Hall was transferred too? Then again ....

Are either one of them alive ? Pretty sure Andy, if alive, has to be in his 60's now...

Would also be curious if the former BC Pen guards ever meet for a reunion?

All in all as horrible as it was it is still a part of B.C.'s history....

Quote: Originally Posted by damngrumpyView Post

I am fascinated by this story coming back to life after all this time. I would like it if some of
the people who know could fill us in. I am willing to bet there are a lot of stories out there
where some of us cross paths with events from our history or had some prior contact with
some of the participants who became famous or infamous later on.


oh Yes I agree and it is after all a part of ALL of our history !!!! sted

Quote: Originally Posted by 77bcpenView Post

I started at BCPen in 77 at 19. It was quite an eye opener. But it was a bad job market, and I was getting hungry...
You could not imagine the people they were hiring... (including me) Funeral directors, Viet Nam combat Vets, missionaries...

The echos of the Steinhauser incident were still there.
Due to that incident, the ERT was disbanded, and the RCMP were used for any armed force reaction.

I remember Steven Hall. I would not say he was feared, but definately considered dangerous. He was polite to the guards faces, but he and AndyB slashed a hostage guards throat. I was 30 meters away.

The word was, that he was strange, and enjoyed torturing captured mice. (which overrand the prison). One of my friends found crucified mouse bodies in his cell.

One hostage event, with the ambulance, was after StevenH stabbed himself with a screwdriver.

He was known as "The brentwood bandit" after his failed robbery attempt. I understood that they went to the wrong location, and burst into the store next to the bank first. (this lost them important time, as the police were alerted early). The next problem that they had, was that one of them dropped the car keys in the bank, and had to return to get them.
As they finally got to the car, the RCMP showed up, and a quick gunfight. When Steven was hit, he immediatly surrendered.

I guess I am wrong, as the previous poster stated, but I thought that Steven received a minor hand wound, not a stomach wound.

I believe that AndyB was more hated than StevenH, as during the Steinhauser incident (remember, I was not there, so this is what I was told by many guards) 2 guards were also hostages, and were tortured by AndyB. (I was told chemicals in their eyes).

To keep this in context, remember that 90% of the inmates got along fine with staff. In a federal institution, you need to just keep your head down, and do your time. both sides are going to be there for a long percentage of their life, so most do not want conflict.

I actually remember Steven Hall (before the hostage takings) coming up to me, and warning that "one of the guards was preaching (a big no-no) about Jesus to the inmates, and that this was anoying them big time. Something was going to happen to him." The guard was then removed. I don't remember if it was fired, or transferred.

was that the same bank robbery that andy bruce was also involved in ? wrong location ??? dropped keyes ??? wow not exactly a stellar start to a bank robbery LOL... maybe Hall should have stayed in school !!! I know Andy did not because I went to school with him for a short time,,,,,
I did go to school with his brother Rusty who spent years having to live down what andy did ! Rusty was a GREAT guy and a wonderful basketball player.
 
Chev
#41
Barton, apologies, don't know why my message to you appeared in bold print..
 
77bcpen
#42
No, Andy and StephH were never outside together. I forgot StephH's partners name. I guess he was a minor player.

As for AndyB's fellow hostage takers in the Steinhauser time, I believe that they went to Millhaven. The word came back 2 years later, that one of them was attacked by inmates, for some infraction, and castrated. I don't know if it is true, but it was a morale booster to the guards!

Another interesting story, (a non-violent one) was a group of thieves, who robbed a bank safety deposit section in Vancouver (around 197. They tunneled in from next door over a long weekend. They got in and out in hours, and scored literally millions. (much of it was later unclaimed, which indicates the owners were reluctant to come forward...) It was a perfect crime, they had 3 days to disapear.

Their stupid mistake was leaving by plane. They carried much of their loot with them, including heavy carry-on luggage with gold bullion. (in 1978, the airlines were not very concerned about security, like now, so they thought they could get away with it)
An alert agent got suspicious at the heavy weight, in a smallish bag, and contacted the police.

The police seized the loot, and held the people, but they didn't know where the loot came from! Not until the next tuesday, when the bank opened.

At any rate, after a short trial, (in those days, it only took a couple of days) they arrived at the BCPen. By pre-arranged signal, a group of guards met them at the gate, and said "Carry your luggage, sir?"

I also remember one of the crazier guards (an Englishman, for those that will remember) who wore a pig mask on the guard tower on april fools day.
 
renegade98
#43
Quote: Originally Posted by JersayView Post

Now June 9th, 1975 holds significance with my family because my father, was also a peace officer/classifications officer at the prison in 1975 and was actually Steinhauser's 'partner' if you could say, they worked together on many incidents.

About a month before the incident took place, a prisoner warned my father to transfer out of the prison because something was planned. He warned the warden and others but they did not listen so he did transfer out a few weeks before the incident. If he had stayed, he believes because he is a 'tough cookie' as he says, that he would have been killed or wounded in place of Mary Steinhauser if he had remained in the prison.

So that is why the day is important to us.

Mary was a friend of ours.
 
reddrunner
#44
I was in Renous max pen with Andy Bruce a couple years ago,he pretty laid back now getting old but noone messes with him, everyone knows his reputation i guess..From what i heard the woman that got shot she an Andy were a couple and they planned it so he could go out an be with her,probally not what people want to hear but just saying what i heard an everyone thinks that back in NB,dont really matter to me either way just wanted to let people know where he was an he still alive an believe it or not really looked up to by people in jail,not sure why but he is...just letting the curious know i guess,i always wondered about his past thats why i googled it an came up with this thread...I know he came into a bunch of money not sure how i think he sued someone or something,anyway just wanted to say he is still alive an might actually be in a medium security now in NS actually,he was suppose to go there but not sure.
 
elevator
#45
I was able to tour BC Pen twice after its closure, first as a guest of criminology class from SFU, Then later after winning some tickets in a contest offered by the Vancouver Sun. on both occasions I had the identical tours with ex or retired guards. I saw most of the wings, including the damaged area of the riot, where Andy Bruce took his hostages and where ended, and then the Dome. Where the prisoners who were to be protected from the general population, our tour guide described them as the rats and pedophiles. (I think Donald Alexander Hay, Abbey Drover's kidnapper was one of the more recent tenants before it's closure) Solitary confinement was the most dramatic place. The guard told us stories for the general population who ran the commissary, would embed razor blade into bars of soap to be sent up to the Dome. Not only to injure them while bathing, but to torture them by having the guards rush in at the final moment and save them after cutting their wrists, to make there lives as miserable as they could, by not allowing them to die.

In the first tour, all of the cells was left as is, the cells had incredible art work, one cell had every name of everyone who had played in the NHL, the next one had every type of gun drawn on its walls and ceilings, almost in 3D form. It was as if you could reach up and grab a gun from its walls. Then there was the most beautiful one covered head to toe in Coastal Native Art, ravens, totem-poles, shields and masks. Most cells had some sort of graffiti on them, including the general population. I believe they must have had access to pencils. You could feel the pain, despair and possibly the insanity of the men through there artwork. We were shown the cell that had a granite wall destroyed, it was blackened by fire or smoke. We were told that playing cards were no longer allowed in prisons after the riot, because the red ink contained some sort of nitrocellulose, and was used with ammonia or bleach to make a crude explosive. We also saw and heard the story of the big steel bar being torn form the was and used as a tool for destruction.

Then on my second visit, it was so disappointed when all the graffiti had been white washed. I then became to tour guide to our small group, describing the art that had been there. I later learned that Clifford Olson had been arrested on the day of my second tour.
In a weird twist of fate, i soon after rented an apartment on Foster ave in Coquitlam, its previous tenant had been Olson.
My current interest in BC Pen. is after my fathers death in 1995, I found a picture of my father on a weight lifting team. it was dated 1952 inside BC Pen.(you could see the razor wire in the background) My father was involved in a robbery of a Safeway store in 1949 and served in the Pen until 1954. I then learned that my father had also been in solitary confinement. My fathers as I knew him was a very tortured soul, growing up I never new this part of his life. upon learning this everything mad so much sense.

See here for a survey of the pen in 1958:
https://circle.ubc.ca/bitstream/.../...0M25%20S8.pdf? (external - login to view)...
 
flapperpie
#46
Quote: Originally Posted by renegade98View Post

Mary Steinhauser was a very close friend of ours and thought of my parents as her own. It was a very difficult time especially so for my mother and father when she was killed. I was talking with a friend tonight in Campbell River and we were looking for information on the BC Penitiary as well Oakalla and one of my searches led me to this forum. I am interested in any information that I can get relating to this period of time.

Thanks,
Wayne

I grew up in Burnaby, and still remember the cattle and horses grazing along side Royal Oak Avenue. At that time it was the Oakalla Prison Farm, and the inmates were actively engaged in farming/raising animals. Oakalla also had a heavy-horse hitch (a team of Clydesdales) that performed at the PNE. The inmates were really proud of those horses.
 
kalbertson
#47
Quote: Originally Posted by stedView Post

Re: andy bruce
I went to school with andy bruce at st edmunds catholic school, north vancouver. At the time the school was taught by the nuns from the order of the child jesus whose convent ( now a music academy I understand) was about 3 blocks away.
The parish priest was Father McEvoy.
Andy sat behind me in Grade 3. I will forever remember the day that once again andy was given a beating by Father McEvoy. Of course it was not called what it tuly was: a beating but merely "the strap".
I remember andy after 'the strap' and he was crying and saying over and over again " I didn't do it... I didn't do it".
I turned around and he looked up and I wont foget the look in his eyes and I believe although we were only in Grade 3 , that he was telling the truth.
The nun stood at the front of the class teaching and never so much as looked at andy.
Sad for him but this was not to be the only beating he got that day. As class was being let out for the day and I passed the staff room which was very close to our door andy was being dragged into the office by Father McEvoy who slammed the door and the next I recall was hearing Andy screaming at the top of his lungs !
I never did find...

Quote has been trimmed, See full post: View Post

My aunt was briefly married to Andy Bruce around 1991... She was the nurse at Dorchester. Yikes!
 
spaminator
#48
its amazing how some of the decisions we make in life can make the difference between life and death.
 
Once upon a tim
#49
I was Steve Halls girl from 1981-2006. Last I saw of him ...he was headed to medium security from Sepilles Quebec to possibly Drummondville
 
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