Page 57 - "George Alfred Beckett": Story & Song
ISSUE : Issue 42
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1986/6/1
turned the key on him--my woman was un? easy--and in the morning came and unlocked him and told him to have breakfast." Wall took him along the road as promised, put him off and wished him goodbye, and saw him no more. At the time of the Marthos murder. Inspec? tor Dan Nicholson had two other murder cases on his hands--one in Victoria and one in Pictou County. While he was out of town, a veteran Halifax detective came to Glace Bay. "After creating a lot of excite? ment and causing some embarrassment to in? nocent parties, the case was dropped... and the general opinion was that the mur? der of 'Nick the Greek' would be another added to the list of unsolved mysteries.... When Nicholson was free, he returned to the Marthos case." On October 17, a little boy named Joseph Norman Dearing saw a vest in the bushes a- long the S&L; track. Inspector Nicholson learned of this, and recognized it as the sort given to released prisoners. He learned that only two men likely to come to Glace Bay were released from Dorchester Penitentiary in 1930. One was found and quickly cleared. The other was Beckett, who had left town. Nicholson located a man who had known Beck? ett in Newfoundland, got him to write the family, casually asking whether George was Jeux Canada GAMES*87'!@iR!;! 17 sports, almost 3,000 young Canadian athletes and an Island rich in hospitality, scenery and sport heritage. What a combination for Canada Gannes '87, our country's largest national sporting event. For further information, write or phone. Public Relations Division Canada Games '87 P.O. Box 1987 Sydney, Nova Scotia B1P6V9 (902)564-1987 home. The reply came that he was, and Nich? olson, accompanied by Earl Wilson, left for Old Perlican. With the help of New? foundland Constabulary, he arrested Beck? ett in his home. Beckett had planned to ship out of St, John's on a steamer called the Fort St, George--but was unsuccessful. So he decided to go home and visit his two sons. And that's where he was found. It is said he confessed to the murder as soon as they entered his room. He was taken first to St. John's jail. Then, quietly--"to avoid a mob of sight- seers"--he was taken to Glace Bay. Once in jail in Cape Breton, the newspapers an? nounced his capture. The trial took two days. Thirty-six witnesses were brought a- gainst him. Although he pleaded "Not guilty," his lawyer Malcolm Patterson de? cided to bring no witnesses in Beckett's defence. He told the jury that it was a case based on circumstantial evidence and the word of people of low repute. He sug? gested that Nick Marthos kept company with married women, saying, "There are men in Cape Breton who would not hesitate to take this ultimate step in defence of their home." In the end, it took the jury one hour and twenty minutes to find Beckett guilty. Ex-alderman Angus MacDonald was with Beck? ett when he learned that the sentence was final, "MacDonald, who worked with Beckett when the latter was em? ployed by the Coal Com- Jlpany as an ironworker, WIW T''J' I and who has visited J'IJ'L I Beckett several times • *''' I since he was convicted, ?? stated that Beckett is reconciled to his fate.. .. He expressed sorrow for the terrible deed he had committed and added that he blamed no one but himself. His earnest wish was that his former friends would not think too ill of him, and he was very sorry that he had disap? pointed them by his act. He asked Mr. MacDonald to remember him to his old bosses and fellow workers and added that he bore no ill will a- gainst anyone, He praised the efforts made on his behalf by his lawyer, Malcolm Pat? terson, and also had nothing but good words for Jailer MacKay and his assistants"--all, by the way, in keeping with the tone of EUX Canada Games'87 CAPE BRETON NON' SCOTIA February 14 February 28, 1987 Du 14 fevrier au 28 fevrier, 1987 17 sports, pres de 3000 jeunes athletes canadiens et une Tie riche de son hospitalite, de ses paysages et de son heritage sportif: tout un annalgame en vue des Jeux du Canada '87,1'evenennent sportif majeur de notre pays. Pour de plus amples informations, ecrivez ou telephonez au; Services des Relations publiques Jeux du Canada 1987 C.P. 1987 Sydney (Nouvelle-Ecosse) B1P6V9 (902) 564-1987 CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE (57)
Cape Breton's Magazine