Well this is interesting…

The body of Matthew Besner, recovered on Tuesday Dec. 21st, 2010 - not the work of the author.

I’ve always been bothered by this.

Matthew Besner was a regular 27 year old guy who, last December, walked out of l’Orignal restaurant in the Old Port and wound up being found dead in the Lachine Canal three days later. You can read the CTV News article here.

In February of this year, the coroner’s office decided the death was accidental, the result of the inebriation of the victim. The coroner indicated that the victim had walked into the canal, fallen through the ice, regained his footing, fell through again and died of hypothermia while partially submerged, trying to free himself. You can read all about that here.

What disturbs me is that it seems so illogical, regardless of Besner’s blood alcohol level, which was reported at 0.26.

For one he was found a good distance from the bar. I estimate that it could have taken about twenty minutes to walk that distance, keeping in mind that the victim was apparently unfamiliar with his surroundings, as he was reported to have entered a depanneur near the Old Port restaurant he was frequenting to ask for directions to Verdun. While I suppose he was heading in the direction of Verdun, what would possess a Montrealer to cross the thin ice of the Canal? It wasn’t terribly cold back then, I’m not even certain it had really snowed much up to that point last winter. What would possess him to continue walking around in the cold without a hat or gloves that night, and why cross at that point of the Canal after potentially crossing paths with two bridges along Rue de la Commune? At the point where he was found, the Mill Street Bridge over the Canal would have been within eyesight.

It was this wikipedia article on the Smiley Face murder theory that raised the hairs on the back of my neck. Why was he trying to find a way to Verdun? Why walk all that way? Intoxication seems too convenient an answer, a catch-all and lesson on why we shouldn’t drink too much all at the same time. You might want to consider this blog, which has been keeping track of some 200 responsible, college-aged men who have gone missing or inexplicably turned up dead across parts of North America over the last few years – Footprints at the River’s Edge

I’d really like to know if the workers who found Besner halfway submerged in the ice didn’t also notice a smiley face graffitied onto the side of the billboard pole you can see in the above photograph.

What’s happening with the Dow Brewery?

Recently renovated portion of the Dow Brewery - not the work of the author, June 2011

So what with the redevelopment of the Chaboillez Square article I just wrote, it’s come to my attention that whatever work was going on at the old Dow Brewery building seems to have been suspended.

Can anyone verify this? Does anyone live around there?

Stumbled across this – not terribly well-written but good for a laugh: the “ghosts” that inhabit the Dow Brewery

I don’t believe in ghosts, but inside the Dow Brewery is a good place to let your imagination run wild.

Rooftop of the Dow Brewery - not the work of the author.

Though hopefully not too wild – keep in mind there are several large holes in various floors where brewing vats used to be, not to mention a plethora of other places you can potentially hurt yourself. Exercise caution if you can still get in here.

I’m curious about the pace of renovations and whether the project has stalled. If so, it would be a good time for Héritage Montréal to organize some tours, a la Silo No. 5.

Inside the Dow Brewery - not the work of the author.

On another matter, a person I once knew indicated he had come across mobsters disposing of a body in the Dow Brewery. Mob business isn’t mine, and I’m doubtful of the veracity of the story, though in a weird way I want a construction worker to come across a body, only to later reveal (because the building was abandoned for so long), that it had become a preferred location for the victims of organized crime.

I have these visions of construction workers standing in line to speak with CSST shrinks in make-shift counselling tents out behind the old loading docks, while the city’s coroner and homicide department deal with a year’s worth of unidentified (and in some cases unidentifiable) bodies, found buried here, there and everywhere in this massive old building.

Inside the Dow Brewery - not the work of the author.

And in the end, no one dares purchase a condo there, for fear of the countless ghosts and malicious spirits still crawling around inside.

Macabre I know, I guess I need some excitement in my life…