Farmer and service station operator Bruce Alexander Beatty, 68, and his wife Ida Victoria Bird, of R.R.5 Simcoe (Renton) were savagely beaten in their home at the rear of their service station, 2 Feb 1954. Beatty died the next day of his wounds. His critically
injured wife was unconscious for days. Left paralyzed and unable to speak, she
lingered in hospital for months before dying on 20 May 1954.
Born and educated in Woodhouse,
Mr. Beatty was a son of the late
Hugh Beatty [sic] and Mary E.
Snider. Bruce and Ida married in 1927 in Hamilton. A lifelong resident of the district, he was a farmer in Woodhouse.
Three months ago he took over operation of the service station located on his farm.
He was survived by four brothers and four sisters:
Harry of Toronto, John of Chicago, Seymour of Philadelphia,
Ernest of Wilmington Delaware, Mrs. Ernest Jones of Rockford,
Mrs. Fred Darby of New York City, Mrs. W. C. Barker of Simcoe,
and Miss Leota Beatty of Toronto.
American Negros Jerry Simmons, 47, of Syracuse, N.Y., and
Joe Glen Lotharp, 23, of Detroit, Mich., were arrested 5 Feb 1954
near the scene of the crime
and charged with the brutal assault and murder. OPP constables Sam Way and Donald Pursley
Arraigned before Justice of the Peace L. R. Easdown, they were remanded in custody. A third
Negro, Henry Little, 43, of Detroit, Lotharp's uncle, was held for questioning.
Mrs. Beatty, 63, was born in
Haldimand County, daughter of the late William Bird. She taught elementary
school before her marriage. She was survived by three brothers: William M.
Bird of Niagara Falls Ontario, James Fred Bird of Glenford, Ontario and
Cecil Bird of Dunnville. Nephews were her pallbearers.
Simmons and Lotharp were both convicted of murder and robbery,
but Lotharp's murder conviction was overturned on appeal.
He was sentenced to 15 years for robbery.
Simmons was hanged for the murder of Bruce Beatty on 2 Mar 1955
in Norfolk County Jail, Simcoe.