Friday, December 22, 2017

Happy Holidays from VSPI!

Hello Friends,

VSPI wishes all of YOU (our friends, clients and supporters) a most wonderful and lovely Holiday Season!

I am packing my bags and flying south to Northern California to visit family and go on a few ghost hunts. There is even a plan to investigate a haunted hotel on New Year's Eve with my wife, Lesli. It's going to be exciting!

I personally wish to thank our Clients, our warm New & Old Friends, and all of you who visited our tent at last summer's Car Free Vancouver event in the city's West End. It truly was special.

Keep an eye on our Facebook Page for photos, updates and more!

Thank you for your support and friendship. Be safe, enjoy family and festivities, and keep the positive energy flowing!


and the VSPI team
Photo: by Kati 2015 - Gastown @ Spaghetti Factory on Water Street

Note: Photos are the property of Kati Ackermann Webb & Vancouver Spooks. Written permission is required to use/share them. Contact Kati at our website. Thank you.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

The Man Who Preferred Prison (Convict Buried at Boot Hill Cemetery)

Hello Friends,

Our story of the following Boot Hill Cemetery convict leads us on a chase across the continent, starting in the Eastern Canada, dipping into the United States of America, and then north to Western Canada in Vancouver, B.C. This seventeenth blog about the convicts buried at the forgotten cemetery, belonging to the razed B.C. Penitentiary in New Westminster, B.C., carries with it mystery. Hopefully we'll gain some understanding of who this man was and why he ended up buried in the sacred acre of land.

Meet Convict #3237 - Harold Gordon McMaster
Photo by Kati - Convict #3237 (3rd row from NW top section, farthest N position)

Thursday, September 28, 2017

The Lillooet Outlaw - The Story of Francis Gott

Hello Friends,

Recently I received a thank you email concerning the research performed in presenting the case of: "Wild Boys Hunted by Posse for Murder". The blog is about two outlaws, Moses Paul and Paul Spintlum, whom our research uncovered for our "Boot Hill Cemetery Convicts" series. I recommend you give it a read!
A link posted within the account included a tale, as told by a St'át'imc Elder, about another indigenous outlaw of the area, Francis Gott. (Link: Tales of Our Elders.)
A request was made asking if I would consider researching Mr. Gott's case, and write the story from media accounts reported at the time. I decided to take on this challenge, for the true crime story was fascinating and certainly part of the history of the province I call home, British Columbia.
Courtesy Vancouver City Archives - 1900, Lillooet, B.C.
(Mount Chadwick)

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Home Cleansing - A Family Member's Fight...

Hello Friends,

Recently a kind gentleman reached out to the team asking for our assistance in the "cleansing" his family home. After a long conversation, his explanation and need for our help was clear. His family had been undergoing turmoil since before he had been born. It was the type of negativity and abuse passed down through the generations; from parent(s) to children. The cycle just would not stop; until one day this man fell in love with a woman of light and happiness. She helped put an end to passing it on through yet another generation. He expressed to me how truly grateful he is to her, his wife, for he had always feared this would continue through to his death and beyond. He was still fighting the demons of his family's past.. and this is part of the reason why he reached out for our help.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Ghost Towns & Haunted Hotels - Washington USA

Hello Friends,

Recently, Lesli and I packed our bags and headed south across the Canada - USA border into the green state of Washington, USA. We had our sights on visiting the old town of Port Townsend on the Olympic Peninsula. I've heard stories of haunted hotels, bordellos from the early 1900s, a small ghost town area with a steel mill which closed leaving behind little evidence of it's existence, and the people.. oh yes, I heard the people are truly warm and welcoming.

I also read/heard about an interesting ghost town in the Cascade Mountains. In 1910 two trains were caught in an avalanche and killed 96 people. We decided to put it on our travel agenda of the two day trip.

It was a blue sky day, the air was crisp as we headed out in the morning to make our trip. The "lineup" (I've heard Americans criticize my use of this word, but that is how we say it here in Canada) at the border was a 10-20 minute wait, which isn't bad at all; and after a short but friendly chat with the border guard, we were on our way. We drove the I-5 to the Anacortes turn off, then followed the signs to Whidbey Island, and there we joined our dearest friend Donna in Coupeville for a ride across the northern point of Puget Sound to the peninsula and it's interesting heritage.

Photo courtesy Kati - on the Port Townsend - Coupeville Ferry

Monday, August 28, 2017

Burglary! Organized Gang! (Convict Interred at Boot Hill Cemetery)

Hello Friends,

Today we find ourselves following the trail of Vancouver's finest detectives in search of the truth. We are now publishing our sixteenth blog about the convicts buried at the B.C. Penitentiary Cemetery known as "Boot Hill", and the first case involving a "gang of thieves" in Vancouver's East Side district, Main Street with Chinatown in its midst.

Meet Convict #2225 - Louie Num
Photo by Kati - Convict #2225 (middle section, close to fence on south side)

Monday, July 17, 2017

Guilty! A Life In and Out of Prison.. (Convict Interred at Boot Hill Cemetery)

Hello Friends,

We take you on the journey of a young man who's life ended in an accident. What truly happened, we may never know; however, he became one of the convicts interred at the forgotten Boot Hill Cemetery in New Westminster, B.C. (1913-1967, used by the old B.C. Penitentiary, which was razed in 1980). Welcome to our fifteenth blog about the inmates buried at this unique cemetery.

Meet Convict #9720 - Norman Donald Bottineau
Photo by Kati - Jan16'2016 (lower part of cemetery)

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Robbery with Violence! (Convict Interred at Boot Hill Cemetery)

Hello Friends,

Our fourteenth blog about the convicts interred at Boot Hill Cemetery (1913-1967, New Westminster, used by the old B.C. Penitentiary-which was razed in 1980) takes us back in history to the year 1912, on Vancouver Island, B.C. and a community of coal mining.
[Note: please see our links for previous blogs about the convicts at the end of the following account.]

Meet Convict #unknown - Phillip Hopkins
Photo by Kati (VSPI) - unknown gravemarker at Boot Hill Cemetery (April 2015)

Courtesy Cumberland Museum Archives - 1913, Mine No. 4 (C164-010)

Monday, May 29, 2017

VSPI Participates at Car Free Day Vancouver!

Hello Friends,

Once again, VSPI will participate at the 2017 Car Free Day Vancouver, West End Festival. We'd love for you to drop on by, should you be in the neighbourhood. Or better yet, grab friends, family members, your pet, your bike, and come on by!

What:  Car Free Day Vancouver - West End Festival
Date:   Saturday, June 17, 2017
Time:   Noon - 7 pm
Place:  Denman Street (between Robson St & Haro St)

The festival runs on Denman Street, has music groups, food vendors, games for everyone, and more!
We'll be tweeting, posting photos and more.. so keep updated via our:
Facebook page,
and Twitter.

Have a question you've been holding onto?
Been anxious to share an experience you've had?
Curious about a method we use?
Interested in how we research the background of a site or a home?

Kati, our founder, will be on hand to listen, understand and share.
We'd love to visit with you.. so save the day!

Saturday, June 17, 2017.

See you there!
-- your VSPI team -- 

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Shots Fired! (Convict Interred at Boot Hill Cemetery)

Hello Friends,

Our thirteenth blog, about the convicts interred at New Westminster's Boot Hill Cemetery, investigates a lively chase of a man who attempted to pull off a number of robberies. Join us on this journey of discovery of an event which caused a stir in the city of Vancouver, B.C. in 1917.

Meet Convict #2312 - Albert Hill
Photo by Kati - Convict #2312 (middle section)

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Corpse Hidden in Cellar! (Convict Interred at Boot Hill Cemetery)

Hello Friends,

This twelve instalment of the true crime stories of Convicts buried in the Boot Hill Cemetery, New Westminster, B.C., is unique. Not only were there no witnesses to the crime, but the suspect hid the body in his cellar! Want to know more? Join me on this journey of discovery.

Meet Convict #3130 - Harry Davis
Courtesy Find a Grave - photo: Herbert Richards (2007) - Middle Section, North edge of Ravine

Friday, April 14, 2017

Clubbed to Death! (Convict Interred at Boot Hill Cemetery)

Hello Friends,

This next instalment (our eleventh!) of our investigation into the convicts of Boot Hill Cemetery situated above the Glenbrooke Ravine trail in New Westminster, in an unmarked, overgrown acre surrounded by tall trees in which crows sit, carries harrowing details. The cemetery was used for convicts of the old B.C. Penitentiary (closed in 1980), known for it's riots and murders.

This true story is of a heinous and gruesome crime, one witnessed by a child.

Meet Convict #5603 - Stephen Poole
Photo by Kati - Convict #5603 (top section - northwest)

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Capital Murder at Age 18! (Convict Interred at Boot Hill Cemetery)

Hello Friends,

We bring you the tenth story of our series about the convicts buried at Boot Hill Cemetery, the small plot of land used for prisoners (maintained by inmates & 1913-1968) from the BC Penitentiary (aka "The Pen, closed in the 1980's), overlooking the Fraser River.
As the cemetery is unmarked to this day, I wonder how many people walk by believing it's just an unused piece of land. I have witnessed walkers with their dogs pooping on the grass, but they never stay long. Crows sit in the trees surrounding the land, squawking loudly as people try to enter the sacred space.

Meet Convict #2938 - Reginald John Colpitts:
Photo by Kati - Convict #2938 (top section - northwest)

Saturday, February 18, 2017

The Chicken Thief with Intent to Murder! (Convict Interred at Boot Hill Cemetery)

Hello Friends,

Today the story I bring you is about a convict buried at New Westminster's Boot Hill Cemetery, belonging to the B.C. Penitentiary (decommissioned May 10, 1980, and demolished), with a bit of a twist. It took some time to put it together, but finally I believe I have enough information to present this most interesting and puzzling case.

Meet Convict #1948 - "Unknown Gim"
Photo by Kati - Convict #1948 (middle section, south edge)