episode 24 season 1
William (Bill) Shelever “we will do everything to see his death was not in vain”
Having friends in the police force in Calgary raining from Detectives to K-9 and surveillance makes me reflect on their jobs and skills – their sheer determination to make our streets better – safer. Having been on a “ride-a-long” (check our my blog for these stories – maybe a future podcast) and seeing what they go through first hand also makes me contemplate the sheer magnitude and intimate nature of the job. Going into peoples homes, searching people and speaking directly about the concerns at hand. Very intimate and personal. So when I came across this article well many articles about this fallen policeman I wanted to pay tribute to this story from the 1970’s.
The CPS (Calgary Police Service) with 2200 sworn members, 1000 unsworn members and 8 stations. Having the first female police Chief in Canada, Christine Silverberg. Since inception in 1885 the CPS has lost 11 officers in the line of duty:
- 1917 – Constable Arthur Duncan (gunfire)
- 1933 – Inspector Joe Carruthers (gunfire)
- 1941 – Constable Wilf Cox (motorcycle collision)
- 1957 – Constable Ken Delmage (motorcycle collision)
- 1974 – Detective Boyd Davidson (gunfire)
- 1976 – Staff Sgt. Keith Harrison (gunfire)
1977 – Constable Bill Shelever (gunfire)
- 1992 – Constable Rob Vanderwiel (gunfire)
- 1993 – Constable Rick Sonnenberg (hit while attempting to stop stolen vehicle)
In 1993, as a direct result of the hit and run death of Constable Rick Sonnenberg, the Helicopter Air Watch for Community Safety (HAWCS unit) was created, and the Calgary Police Service became the first law enforcement agency in Canada to incorporate the use of air support into its routine operations. In 2006, the unit was expanded when a second helicopter was purchased.
- 2000 – Constable John Petropoulos (injuries sustained in fall)
- 2001 – Constable Darren Beatty (injuries sustained during training exercise)
I will be featuring William Bill Shelever who lost his life to gunfire in 1977 as one of these 11.
May 24, 1977
The scene shows two police cruisers under the light of the street lamps, with a neon plant sign overhead, one police officer running toward the camera another ring is lit up and sales Pro Shop, caption reads “police at shooting scene in downtown calgary….after two officers were shot near restaurant. They were shot in their mobile office they were shot in their squad car on 8 avenue SW. Them as well as another assailment – a known robber was also shot on Friday. One of these officers William (Bill) Shelever, just 31 years old and only 6 weeks on the job was shot in the head. The other officer was 26 years old and he was shot in the groin. The suspect, Roy Glaremin only 22 years old was shot in the chest and buttocks…and was satisfactory after surgery saved his life once a few bullets were removed and he was sewn up.
The story goes something like this: There was a holdup Friday afternoon at the jean Joint, downtown Calgary a separate incident. The two policemen men Shelever and Pedersen were patrolling downtown around 1am when they saw a man that fit this description (Roy Glaremin) the culprit from earlier. When they approached him they asked him to come back to the Police car, while there, Shelver made an unsuccessful attempt to take the gun away -Glaremin demanded that the two officers turned over their guns and Pedersen stalled trying to get handcuffs and flashlight.They checked him (not like a full search) and put him in the back of the car…The fact that he was a suspect didn’t produce the official signal of a true/ thorough search then he/the suspect pulled a revolver immediately and shot Shelever once in the back of the head, the second officer went to flee the vehicle and was shot two times. Once in the leg and another time in the buttocks however another news article says one of these slugs hit his Petersen’s foot. Peterson, the second officer shot the gunman two times as he fled he as scene limping and excited as he continued to search for the suspect. Shooting the suspect two times also called into question the type of guns that policeman have – why shooting a suspect twice, could this suspect get up and continue to run?Two other officers captured the suspect shortly thereafter. The night Manager at the Holiday Inn heard over half a dozen gun shots and saw a police officer lying wounded in front of the Pink Panther nightclub located at 725 – 8 avenue SW (Currently this is the Queenswood House Apartments. and the other one was running and holding himself across this body and was believed to be Pederson.
When the two officers captured the suspect at 7 street and 7 avenue sw which currently resides the Nexen Tower, Sprague Drugs, Scotia Bank Tower and of course the c-train track on 7th avenue.
William (Bill) Shelever was in all account a rookie cop, he has a square jaw, short dark hair and tinted glasses, clean shaven, all of 31 years old, 6 weeks on the job, he was married with no kids. Being born in Belgrade known as the “white city” in Serbia, Shelever and his parents moved to Calgary, to the Forest Lawn district around 1943 and he graduated from Forest lawn High School in 1945. In 1969 he earned his welding papers and as he worked at Barber Industries – he was looking for more and to make a difference and changed his focus to becoming a police officer. Such a selfless honourable decision.
Pederson, Shelever’s partner was only 26 years old, with 2 years of training and street experience in the downtown area of Calgary. Peterson is slim faced, moustache, small eyes and serious looking. Such a young sole in a heavy, responsible work life.
Police Shot by a 9mm revolver/semi automatic
What is this style of gun? It has a chamber that holds the ammunition in a 6 chamber round, each round could potentially hold 15-17. It’s a revolver, meaning the chamber revolves exposing a new bullet to dislodge and fire. It can shoot up to 1800meters, 5400 feet to a man sized target. The bullet size is 9mm or almost 1/2 inch in diameter, weight approx 150 grams and the bullet shooting at approx 1200 feet/second, this is a small, lightweight, fast, effective gun. Glaremin had a direct shot at close range, deliberate.
Suspect Shot by a .38 Calibre Smith and Wesson Revolver
The Smith & Wesson Model 10, previously known as the Smith & Wesson .38 Hand Ejector Model of 1899, the Smith & Wesson Military & Police or the Smith & Wesson Victory Model, is a revolver of worldwide popularity. It was the successor to the Smith & Wesson .32 Hand Ejector Model of 1896 and was the first Smith & Wesson revolver to feature a cylinder release latch on the left side of the frame like the Colt M1889. In production since 1899, it is a six-shot double-action revolver with fixed sights. Over its long production run it has been available with barrel lengths of 2 in (51 mm), 3 in (76 mm), 4 in (100 mm), 5 in (130 mm), and 6 in (150 mm). Barrels of 2.5 inches (64 mm) are also known to have been made for special contracts. Some 6,000,000 of the type have been produced over the years, making it the most popular handgun of the 20th century.
Both officers were wearing bullet proof vests which only came out 7 years prior to this incident. Unfortunately due to to the aim of the gun shot, missed the bullet proof vest and hit Shelver in the back of the head behind his left ear. Also, at this time, in the 1970s the “silent” officer, the bullet proof glass cage was not invented yet nor was being administered and discussed as a usable, safety precaution however was revisited with more officers describing it as an obstruction – little did they know then how valuable this would be in a very short time. Police Chief Brian Sawyer was also being questioned about this new ‘silent police officer’ and not ruling this out as an added benefit and defence for safety.
Cst. Shelever was survived by his wife Janet and a daughter, Billie, who was born a few months after his death. His wife gave him this amazing news just days before he lost his life to Glaremin. He also left behind his parents Andriy and Olena (Helen), extended family and many friends, he was an only child. That’s Constable Bill Martin, can’t you just hear how he felt about Constable Shelever making the decision to become a Police Officer, likely a reflection of his own purpose. That’s Zone Sergeant Shaw again talking about Shelever’s character and future.
at 10am More than 1000 people paid their respects to the fallen officer, the 3rd officer down in as many as 30 months and one week after the shooting, This was held in the remarkable Jubilee auditorium with honour guards, pipe band, and representative from other forces. where the police force gave an incredible reflection on changing policy and how they conduct searches, and have put the promise out there to protect their officers during their very difficult positions on the job. 6 police motorcycles led the funeral procession from the auditorium doors, 200 red-coated mounties from across the country followed and a solo snare drum saluted each step down 14 street NW. this was an officer speaking about Shelever around the time of the funeral, can’t you just hear the impact something like this has on one of their own?
Roy Glaremin, who is this man, at 22 years old, where did he come from, what was his life like, how did he become a killer…as he sat quietly taking notes during the court case being charged with killing Shelver, FIRST degree murder. Caught nearby the shooting, extremely pale and blood on his shirt, he looked guilty. Two men described by Calgary police as associates to Glaremin have been arrested in Edmonton (just 3 hours north of Calgary) and charged with a gun shop break-in as well as armed robberies there. He deliberately shot two officers and didn’t show any remorse.
First Degree Murder – what does this mean: mostly what I could find referenced the United States of America and today’s justice details not from 1970s.
from wikipedi – any intentional murder that is willful and premeditated with malice aforethought. Felony murder, a charge that may be filed against a defendant who is involved in a dangerous crime where a death results from the crime, is typically first-degree. and also: First Degree Murder Overview from Field Law. First Degree Murder: Definition. In most states, first–degree murder is defined as an unlawful killing that is both willful and premeditated, meaning that it was committed after planning or “lying in wait” for the victim.
From the criminal code of Canada and the Justice Laws Website of Canada:First Degree is slightly different results as we do not have the death penalty in Canada: currently it means…
Planned and deliberate murder
Marginal note:Contracted murder
(3) Without limiting the generality of subsection (2), murder is planned and deliberate when it is committed pursuant to an arrangement under which money or anything of value passes or is intended to pass from one person to another, or is promised by one person to another, as consideration for that other’s causing or assisting in causing the death of anyone or counselling another person to do any act causing or assisting in causing that death.
Marginal note: (this is interesting)Murder of peace officer, etc.
Glaremin gets Life for Slay Police Officer
…found guilty in 4 ways of first degree murder, mandatory life imprisonment. This means he met 4 of the criteria for first degree murder, the criteria today may not have been the criteria in the 1970s.. 1) Culpable homicide 2) attempting to commit robbery by pointing a gun at the officers trying to steel their weapons 3) Threatening the officers with his gun was likely to cause a struggle and potential death of a police officer 4) even if a murder isn’t planned when the victim is a police officer it’s automatically First Degree
Today’s laws state: First degree was committed against an identified peace officer.
a visit to a prisoner, by the spouse of the prisoner, especially for sexual relations.
A conjugal visit is a scheduled period in which an inmate of a prison or jail is permitted to spend several hours or days in private with a visitor, usually their legal spouse. The parties may engage in sexual activity. The generally recognized basis for permitting such visits in modern times is to preserve family bonds and increase the chances of success for a prisoner’s eventual return to life after release from prison. They also provide an incentive to inmates to comply with the various day-to-day rules and regulations of the prison.
Conjugal visits usually take place in designated rooms or a structure provided for that purpose, such as a trailer or a small cabin. Supplies such as soap, condoms, lubricant, bed linens, and towels may be provided. That’s Mrs. Shelever, being asked her option to Roy Glaremin requesting conjugal visits, 23 years later in 2000. Ms, Shelever can still feel the resentment toward Roy Glaremin 23 years later. That pain of losing a loved one will get easier but will never go away completely. And when your past catches up to you like this, i’m sure the flood of emotions comes rushing back to that day and time when you received this dreadful news.
Who is Roy Glaremin
He is pining for prisoners rights on conjugal visits says the Globe and Main as recently as April of this year. He served. Maximum, to Medium and Minimum.
Were you around in 1977 when this story unfolded, did you know William Bill Shelever back in 1977 what about his partner,
Constable Jack Petersen? How about Roy Glaremin?
References to Journalists and Newspapers
- Charles Sterling (Herald Staff Writer)
- Mark Tait (Herald Staff Writer)
- Deborah Lehman (Herald Staff Writer)
- John Bertrand
- Joanne Ramondt
- Photos by Bill Herriot (of Shelever at Graduation)
- Globe and Mail, ALEXANDER PANETTA for the Canadian Press
- Thank you to the Calgary Central Public Library for having amazing resources and all of these original news clippings that I was allowed to take pictures of which are posted at ValerieMoss.ca
Special Thank you for All the people who contributed to the voice work
- Andy Ace for being the voice of Chief Howard Leary
- Austin Kirk for being the voice of Police Chief Brian Sawyer
- Bridget Frank for submitting an entry for Amazing Grace
- Chirag Desai for being the voice of Inspector Don Neilson
- Dan Stephenson for being the voice of Dr Jack Barlass and Sergeant Ron Gutteridge
- Dean Giles for being the voice of Constable Pederson or Peterson depending on which article you’re referencing
- Dustin Danzer for being the voice of an officer at the funeral
- Karen Heindahl for being the voice of Ms. Shelever probably the most special part
- Kyle Marshall for being the voice of Constable Bill Martin
- Lucia Julio for singing Amazing grace at the start of the funeral
- Phil Better for being the voice of the Crown Prosecutor Chrumka
- Samantha for submitting an entry for Amazing Grace
- Sean Perrin for being the voice of Zone Sergeant Shaw
Thank you to London Moss for the Intro and Outtro for this podcast, Jason Schnell for Tacam 40 my theme music. Sound effects used through Garage band: 1) Rescue Helicopter, Slamming Metal Lid in place of gun shots, Motorcycle Engine Start, True Heart Solo Snare, Dark Bark 03, Grand Piano. Research for this show has be a collaboration between newspaper articles and online research done by me Valerie Moss, produced through Garage Band and Workpress.
Coming up on a future episode will be the making of this one, it’s amazing what needed to go into this story and the amount of editing to get it done. If you’ve enjoyed this podcast story about Bill Shelever and would like to hear more of these in future episodes, please leave me a comment, rating on iTunes which would be amazing as well as send me a text/email Valerie@ValerieMoss.ca
Thanks for listening.