A traffic stop on a road west of Calgary, Alberta, Canada, in January 1987 took a tragic turn, resulting in the death of an officer. When Gordon Kowalczyk stopped a pickup truck, he was met with a shotgun discharge.
‘The Case That Haunts Me: Officer Down,’ a documentary on Investigation Discovery, dives into Gordon’s tragic death, which was caused by the theft of $20 worth of gas.
So, how about we learn out more about what happened?
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What Caused Gordon Kowalczyk’s Death?
Gordon Zigmund Kowalczyk was born and raised in Calgary, where he worked as a mechanic and a correctional officer until joining the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in 1975.
With his first wife, Deborah, the 35-year-old had 3 kids before the couple split in 1982.
Gordon had been married to Sylvia since 1985 and had been posted at the Calgary Airport at the time of the incident.
On January 25, 1987, just before midnight, he answered to a radio call about a motorist leaving a petrol station without paying.
Gordon approached a pickup truck & pushed it over to look into it. However, he had no idea that those were his final minutes on earth.
Three workers heading home from the airport noticed Gordon’s body in the middle of a busy road a few minutes later.
He’d been fired 6 times with a shotgun, and his legs, stomach, chest, & face were all wounded. Gordon’s service pistol is nowhere to be found, and no one saw the shot.
Who Was Gordon Kowalczyk’s Killer?
The case stopped until a heist at a pizzeria in Edmonton, Alberta, gave detectives a new lead about a month later.
A middle-aged woman and a young man robbed a restaurant, and the guy fired a warning shot with his shotgun during the robbery.
The robbery’s expended shot casings were then linked to the ones found at Gordon’s crime scene.
Thanks to a customer’s note, the authorities traced the getaway car’s registration plate to a farmhouse in Crossfield, Alberta.
Linda Bowen, 43 years old at the time, and her 21-year-old son Andrew Harold Kay lived there. They both worked as waitresses and dishwashers at the same restaurant.
However, just days before Gordon’s murder, they were both sacked. The mother and son were also said to be in an incestuous connection.
Linda told the cops that they were in serious debt and had resorted to armed robbery out of desperation.
They decided to rob a petrol station after an unsuccessful attempt. Andrew was meant to go in while Linda acted as a lookout.
However, he decided not to loot the establishment because it would close. Instead, Andrew sped away in his stolen pickup vehicle without paying for the petrol.
Linda also recounted to the cops how her son transferred the license plates from another vehicle to the car in the issue.
Authorities say Andrew shot Gordon as he approached the pickup truck, prompting the officer to retaliate by emptying his service pistol.
The bullets, however, only impacted the car’s side. Before meeting his mother at their rendezvous spot, Andrew stood over Gordon & fired five additional shots.
The pair then attempted to dispose of the evidence in the car by tossing Gordon’s handgun into a river.
Linda eventually led investigators to the location where the gun had been thrown away, and it was retrieved.
What Has Happened to Andrew Kay & Linda Marie Bowen?
Andrew and Linda went on to commit a couple more robberies after the incident, including two convenience restaurants and stores.
Linda Marie Bowen admitted to manslaughter and four armed robberies in 1988.
She was sentenced to 13 years in jail as a result of her actions.
Andrew was tried and convicted of first-degree murder after a trial. He was given a life sentence with the option of release after 25 years.
Andrew’s parole was denied in 2012, but he was allowed a temporary escorted absence to a trauma clinic in September 2017.
Linda appears to have been released from jail, while Andrew appears to be incarcerated in a Canadian penitentiary facility.
According to a 2012 article, he was incarcerated at the Matsqui Institution in British Columbia.
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According to the parole board, “Andrew Kay exhibited little or no understanding of what was a particularly heinous offence. He hasn’t communicated with his case management team. He claims he doesn’t have a plan for his release and admits he isn’t prepared.”
Andrew Kay will be able to reapply in six months.
He is currently detained at Matsqui Institution in Abbottsford, B.C., a medium-security prison.
A few years ago, he became able to apply for either escorted or unescorted leave from prison, but he never did.
Kowalczyk’s mother Hilda told CBC News shortly after her son’s conviction in November 1988, “There is no justice; he was given a life sentence, but after 25 years, he will be released. Gordie will not be able to rise from the abyss and resurrect.”
Hilda had passed away six years prior. With his first marriage, Kowalczyk produced three children, all of whom live in the Calgary region.
They don’t want their father’s killer to be let free.
“When a person is slain, they do not return to life for another 25 years. It is a tragedy of our legal system that that individual was given a chance at freedom after killing an innocent person in such a heinous manner “The deceased officer’s son, Blaine Kowalczyk, remarked.
“Why should Andrew Kay receive a regular life after Jan. 26, 1987, while my father didn’t get to live a day after Jan. 26, 1987? He made his decisions “Kowalzyk’s daughter, Kerri Schell, agreed.
Kay’s application should not have been considered by the parole board, according to Insp. Thompson.
“He didn’t kill a young man in the prime of his life, no way. That lady has lost her husband, and the children have lost their father, and I don’t believe he deserves any attention; he should stay behind and be forgotten about.”
Kay’s previous lawyer, Noel O’Brien, was also interviewed by CBC News.
The defence attorney has a very different point of view than Thompson.
“I don’t understand how anyone, from a logical standpoint, could dispute with the notion that he has already paid that extra price in terms of punishment since the victim was a police officer,” O’Brien said.
However, Carley Kowalczyk, the eldest, expressed concern that no one from the Parole Board of Canada had alerted the family that Kay was set for a parole hearing.
Kowalczyk, who was 11 years old at the time of her father’s death, said she and her siblings were working on a victim impact statement to show Kay and the parole board how the atrocity affected their lives.
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