You can read about what happened to Mike Allan here, so I won’t recount the CBC News story.
But I wanted to point out something that I’m sure will be the subject of much debate over the next week.
Allan’s brother in law, Mervin Forbister, told me today that a Winnipeg homicide detective showed up at his door on Saturday to tell him the bad news and share with him and Allan’s sister, Nancy, what they believed had happened.
Among what Forbister says he was told is the following:
A call came in to 911 regrading a disturbance in the area of Allan’s Nassau Street South home around midnight Saturday. Sources tell me it was more like 1 a.m.
It’s at this point that Allan was believed to have been attacked by his assailant.
That same assailant left the home at some point before 2:15 a.m. and made her way towards the 7-11 on Osborne St. South.
An 18-year-old woman was stabbed and the suspect fled the area.
After this, the suspect is said to have then returned to Allan’s home, where police attended at about 5 a.m., according to Forbister.
The suspect is arrested.
Some will wonder – well, why the 4 hour gap between the disturbance call and the arrest at the home? Why didn’t police show up at midnight?
It’s because of a couple of things, I’m going to say.
One – the call that came in was for a disturbance. Not an assault, or gunfire or other pressing threat that the WPS could have immediately known based on the complaint that was made [arguably by a neighbour]. Others in the area told me they heard nothing Saturday morning.
The duty office told CBC today that at points over the weekend, there were as many as 100 calls in the dispatch queue awaiting service. A fair amount, but still down a heck of a lot from summers just a few years ago where sometimes upwards of 250 calls would be waiting to be cleared.
It was busy, crime wise, this weekend – and if you’re looking at the queue of stabbings, assaults [domestic or otherwise] and gun calls – and dealing with a scarce amount of bodies to place at calls across the city, you have to prioritize.
The fact that officers got to Allan’s home when they did is most likely as quick as they could, given the nature of the call — a disturbance.
Forbister was blunt with me: He feels the police are not to be blamed in any way for their response to the incident.
Homicides are, by and large, impossible to predict, and the fact the suspect [a 30-year-old woman] is charged with second, and not first-degree murder is an indication that the killing happened in the heat of the moment, and wasn’t a planned event.
Forbister lamented the loss of his relative, but was candid about his lifestyle and the backdrop to the killing.
For many years, Allan battled the bottle and was very ill [he weighed only 120 lbs.] with a contracted lung infection that left him very sick and weak.
Allan and the woman he was with were in a cab from the downtown area and stopped at the Osborne Village Inn to get a case of beer. They headed back to his place.
Forbister said police told him there was a dispute, which lead to Allan being beaten, “he had his face kicked in,” he told me, and was tossed down a flight of stairs and repeatedly stabbed.
The knife used, Forbister said, came from a set Allan recently won for being so productive at a telemarketing gig he was working at.
“I had a premonition [about Mike] three days ago,” Forbister said.
In that vision, Allan died.
He said he thought the former welder and Mensa member would have died while out riding his bicycle in traffic.
Forbister thought he’d never go in such a violent way.
Rest in peace, Mike Allan.