Brian Platt

Selected Works

One of two slain escorts told friends ‘I keep myself safe’

Aug. 27, 2013
The Globe and Mail

To their friends, Karen Nabors and Jill Lyons were friendly women who walked their dogs every day, usually to a nearby park at a New Westminster elementary school. Though both worked as online escorts, posting advertisements across a network of Lower Mainland adult websites, friends say the women only met each other because they lived in the same building and both owned chihuahuas.

But over the past two weeks, both women have died in what police say are suspicious circumstances, and the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team is warning other escorts to take precautions until more is understood about how – and why – Ms. Nabors and Ms. Lyons died.

[Read the rest at The Globe and Mail]

Unpaid landlord likely to sue unlicensed B.C. dentist if investigators track him down

Aug. 25, 2013
The Globe and Mail

Two weeks after an arrest warrant was issued for unlicensed dentist Tung Sheng Wu, private investigators aren’t the only ones still hunting for him – the landlord for his Burnaby clinic would like a word with Mr. Wu as well.

“He ran off two months ago without paying the rent,” said Kang Cheng Qian, who co-owns the house with a family friend. “And he was dumping all his [dental] waste in the toilet, it caused thousands of dollars in damage.”

Mr. Qian said he’ll likely be suing Mr. Wu if investigators manage to find him. But whether the rogue dentist will ever be seen again in B.C. is an open question, as the College of Dental Surgeons of B.C. (CDSBC) remains stymied in locating him.

[Read the rest at The Globe and Mail]

Suspect in alleged Victoria bomb plot transferred to psychiatric ward, lawyer says

Aug 7, 2013
The Globe and Mail

At least one of the two suspects accused of plotting to detonate bombs among Canada Day crowds has been transferred to a psychiatric ward, according to his lawyer.

Tom Morino, counsel for John Nuttall, told reporters outside B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver on Wednesday that his client has been certified under the B.C. Mental Health Act, but he did not have any more information about the diagnosis.

“The only reason I’m aware that he has been certified under the Mental Health Act is because my client called me and told me,” Mr. Morino said. “I have received no official information one way or another about the assessment, or the basis upon which the finding was made.”

[Read the rest at The Globe and Mail]

U.S. owl hunt could save species from extinction

July 28, 2013
The Globe and Mail

A U.S. federal agency is embarking on an experiment that could provide crucial evidence for saving the northern spotted owl, a bird that’s been on the brink of extinction in B.C. for two decades.

As early as this fall, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service plans to start removing more than 3,600 barred owls from four test areas in California, Oregon and Washington.

The birds will be relocated to zoos and educational facilities when possible, but most will simply be shot.

[Read the rest at The Globe and Mail]

Vancouver bike share program aims to avoid mistakes of other cities

July 19, 2013
The Globe and Mail

In the dream scenario of Vancouver City Hall, here’s how things could work next spring.

You take the SkyTrain in from the suburbs and arrive in downtown Vancouver. You’re trying to get to Stanley Park, or Kits Beach, or a movie theatre, or your office. You could walk or wait for a bus, but instead you head to a bike share docking station.

With a swipe of a card, you grab one of the seven-speed aluminum bikes, agile enough to handle Vancouver’s hilly terrain and arched bridges, durable enough to be on the streets every day of the year, rain or shine.

[Read the rest at The Globe and Mail]

Mountie tells inquest about firing 30 rounds at violent fugitive

June 24, 2013
The Globe and Mail

An RCMP officer who fired 30 rounds at a suspect two years ago in Surrey gave emotional testimony about the incident to a coroner’s inquest on Monday, marking the first time the public has heard a firsthand account of what happened in the violent final moments of Adam Purdie’s life.

Mr. Purdie was initially pulled over on March 2, 2011, for having blacked-out tail lights, but fled after an officer noticed a partially concealed rifle in the back seat. In a subsequent shootout with Constable Peter Neily, Mr. Purdie was killed.

[Read the rest at The Globe and Mail]

Fatal fire, river rescue linked

Dec 12, 2012
The Winnipeg Free Press

SELKIRK — A 51-year-old woman died in a house fire here Monday and a few hours later, her nephew drove his truck into the frigid Red River at Lockport but survived the crash.

RCMP did not release the name of the victim of the blaze, but neighbours and relatives identified the woman as Gloria Sanderson. The fire, which engulfed the house’s front porch around 10:30 p.m., also took the life of her black Labrador dog.

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Is Quebec better at holding student demonstrations?

May 28, 2012
The Canadian Press

When a six-year tuition freeze was lifted in British Columbia in 2002, causing tuition at most universities to double over the next three years, a group of 50 students spent a night camping in the University of British Columbia administration offices while a few hundred protested outside.

Then the group stormed the student union’s executive offices to demand the resignation of the union’s president, Kristen Harvey.

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Finding Morgan Freeman

May 3, 2012
The Canadian Press 

A catastrophic hard drive failure has led a pair of film school students on an epic odyssey to convince Hollywood icon Morgan Freeman to narrate their project.

Just a week before his graduation project deadline, Ian MacDougall knew he had to do something drastic.

His hard drive had crashed, taking seven months of work on his short film with it. It would be impossible to do over that work in seven days.

MacDougall remembered an idea that Mackenzie Warner, his classmate at Simon Fraser University, had told him about last year: Wouldn’t it be great to make a documentary about getting Morgan Freeman to narrate a documentary?

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The problem with Bountiful

May 2012
The United Church Observer

By all accounts, Bountiful is a beautiful place. Nestled in the Creston Valley of southeast British Columbia, just north of the Idaho border, it is home to about 1,000 people. Aside from the nearby town of Creston, Bountiful is isolated — and that’s how the residents prefer it. It may be the most controversial community in Canada.

Bountiful’s inhabitants belong to two feuding Mormon fundamentalist sects, both of which practise polygamy. In 1990, the RCMP began to investigate allegations from former residents of incest, sexual abuse and trafficking of teenage brides.

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