The boy who cried wolf

Section: 
Editorial

A report in the latest edition of Bruce County Historical Notes brought back memories of one of Bruce County’s most infamous sons.

 

The Bruce County Historical Society publication had a report on the spring bus trip for society members which included a tour of the recently closed Walkerton jail.

 

Mickey McArthur, from the Paisley area, escaped from at least five jails and prisons over time, including the county jail in Walkerton.

 

In his book, I’d Rather Be Wanted Than Had, Mickey explains how he escaped Walkerton jail from a narrow second-storey window in April of 1973.

 

After securing a hacksaw blade, he and his buddy tore a bed sheet into thin strips to form a cord. One person held the end of the cord while the other end was tied around the person who was sawing a bar around the corner. If a guard appeared, the cord would be tugged sharply.

 

They finished sawing just before they were to be locked up for the night. With much difficulty, they squeezed through the opening and made their break to freedom.

 

Mickey became a bit of folk hero in the county for a few years with his escapades. One of those was the 1983 robbery of the bank in Hepworth.

 

After robbing the bank, Mickey escaped on a motorbike and the hunt was on.

 

I’ve been unable to find my write-up from back then, so I’ll go from memory.

 

I owned The Teeswater News at the time and travelled there once or twice a week to sell advertising, etc.

While calling on customers there the day after the robbery, I heard a motorbike had been found in a cornfield just outside of town. Then at a clothing store, the owner said a man had come in at 7 a.m. and bought a set of clothes. I suggested she phone the police.

 

But Mickey had already taken the morning bus to London in his new outfit and it was sometime before the police caught up with him.

 

Mickey, from what I can find on the internet, is still in prison for a bank robbery in Port Perry that saw five people shot, including three police officers.

 

The shootings ended his “folk hero” status.

 

**

 

U.S. President Barack Obama is trying to convince the world that the U.S. needs to bomb Syria, but most of the world isn’t buying what he is selling.

 

It’s a classic case of the boy who cried wolf once to often.

 

People are leery of U.S. presidents, ever since George declared war on Iraq. Bush fabricated the evidence which said Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.

 

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad are a little short on credibility too.

Actually, in this province we have the same lack of trust for politicians. And so the rhetoric of the three provincial party leaders goes in one ear and out the other.

 

The result is minority government. And I don’t believe an election would change a thing.

 

The prime minister has a credibility problem as well; he shouldn’t have appointed and then defended those suspect senators we keep reading about.