1967-11-17 Murder


1967 Murder of Robert Arthur Ward

Robert Arthur Ward (May 21, 1916 - November 18, 1967) was born in Lower Sackville, lived there, and owned and operated Wards's Grocery Store there. He is interred at Hillcrest Memorial Gardens.

We have no evidence or even hearsay that Ward was gay, except the code word "bachelor" used in some of the articles, and the testimony by one of the convicted young men who said that Ward picked them up that Friday night on Spring Garden road by the YMCA, that is, near TheMeatRack - after he closed up his shop in Lower Sackville at 10:45pm.

November 17, 1967
Ward leaves his store at 10:45pm and is later stabbed 21 times. His car was found stuck in the ditch with his body nearby on the Greenhead Road near Lakeside, Timberlea about an hour and a half later.
January 25, 1968
Charges are laid against Barry Rhodenizer and John William Michael Whalen, both 17 years old. Rhodenizer was arrested in the Halifax area and Whalen in Windsor, Ontario.
June 5, 1968
The trial for Rhodenizer begins. Evidence of matching fingerprints, clothing and personal items were presented at Rhodenizer's trial. The all-male jury had spent only 40 minutes deliberating before delivering the verdict of guilty. Rhodenizer is sentenced to life imprisonment.
June 7, 1968
The trial for Whalen begins with defence lawyer Stewart McInnes. Among about 40 witnesses to take the stand, former Halifax hairstylist Carl Gerald LeMarchand, of St. John's Newfoundland was given protection by the court for his testimony. He said that Whalen and Rhodenizer had been with him on the night of the murder, and he had seen them with Ward's personal items, and he had spoken with Whalen about the murder. Whalen later testified that LeMarchand had washed blood out of their clothes. The jury of eight men and four women deliberated for a little more than four hours before he was found guilty of non-capital murder and sentenced to life in prison.1 2

Newspaper clippings may be found in the media folder for this page

This story and the clippings were contributed to the H•R•E by Bev Keddy.


1. June 11, 1968 ChronicleHerald "Youths Had Blood On Their Clothing"
2. June 12, 1968 ChronicleHerald "Whalen Case To Go Before Supreme Court Jury Today"