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Brandon Sun (Newspaper) - March 27, 2008, Brandon, Manitoba Brandon Sun » Community News — Thursday. March 27. 2008 » IN 1985: FeaturesHit and run on Braecrest Drive: Man's harmless night out at the bar turns tragic DIGGING UP HISTORY Charles Brawn is a local historian. Professor Dale Brawn teaches in the Dept. of Law and Justice at Laurentian University. » [email protected] ONE OF TWO Barry Levins was a wellknown Brandon real estate agent and businessman when he was fatally injured while walking on a Braecrest Dove bicycle path in the city’s north end. Although police believe they have identified the vehicle that caused his death and its driver has been interviewed, no charges have been laid. This two-part column describes the circumstances surrounding Levins death and the investigation which ensued. Nearly a dozen people were interviewed, including members of the Brandon Police Service and many of those who were closest to the 41 -year-old realtor. Brandon is geographically situated in a valley divided by the Assiniboine River. From the north the city can be entered by way of either First Street or 18th Street. Connecting the two is Braecrest Drive. There was very little residential development on Braecrest Drive dunng the 1980s. To the south there were some apartments near First Street, and across the street to the north there were a few single family homes. Just south of the street a paved walking and bicycle path ran from the apartment buildings west to 18th Street. On Oct. 25, 1985, the front page headline of the Brandon Sun read “Hit-And-Run Confirms Fear On Hill.” It was this bicycle path that was referred to in the headline. Although no one had been arrested, for months there had been reports that young people were driving their cars on the path. On the north side of Braecrest, just yards away from the bicycle path and about halfway between First and 18th Streets, sits the North Hill Inn. In 1985 it was the largest business in the area and the home of Spats Bar, a popular late-night watering hole. Levins was at Spats with a group of friends dunng the evening of Oct. 24. Although not a heavy dnnker, he was a regular in Brandon’s bar scene, and his outgoing personality made him popular, both socially and professionally. At the time of his death, Levins was a partner in Levins, Reid and McTavish, a city real estate brokerage. The senior partner in the firm was William “Bill” McTavish. In addition to his real estate business, McTavish was involved in the hotel industry as proprietor of both the Beaubier and the City Centre Hotel. His real estate interests, however, were mainly in commercial sales and leasing, and he left residential sales to Barry and Cliff Reid. The remaining member of the team was Karen Doroschuk, the firm’s receptionist. Most of the Brandon real estate agents who knew Levins shared the same opinion of him. According to Fred Miller, “Barry was an all-around nice guy, easy-going, polite and friendly. Not a person who would ever offend anyone. Barry at one time owned the Country Kitchen restaurant, where he had some financial problems but certainly nothing that would have played a part in his death. I’m quite sure of that.” Recycling Depot Locations Ct Sportsplex Parking Lot Cf Westridge Community Centre w Capitol Theatre Parking Lot Cf Heritage Co-op, Richmond Ave. Cr 5th St. & Pacific Ave. Cf 1st St. & Richmond Ave. Ct 34th St. & Victoria Ave. Ct 400 Block of Franklin St. ipi) International Paper Industries rn .< hi. For more infomuition c eil! r>71 -128f> “Ihe Atnbi'i Slim ^Troika Red Cowboy hats! New belly dance wear Many in store specials! The Town Centre, SOO Rosser Ave., Brandon 204-729-9110 www.troikalreasures.com cot^T. * — * In-Store Computer Repairs Complete Virus/Maintenance Special *49.99 Computer Systems Starting At *999.' my t'I source.ca 9/    w« oati hull* you aeliievu your trouts... PIMM 204.728.1040 • 601 - 9th Str—t Brandon, BB • www.mylT>om>.co Lome Collins also knew Levins: “I always found Barry was a pleasant, straight-forward sort of guy. Not someone who would cause trouble in anyone’s life. His death coming in such a manner is certainly peculiar.” Barry was described by family members as a quiet, thoughtful child who was devoted to his mother. “He would never forget me on Mother’s Day,” his mother recalled. “From his earliest years he would save his allowance, which sometimes was not very large, and use it to buy me a gift which he would pick out himself.” A family whose breadwinner was a gram buyer moved frequently, since the climate dictated where a buyer worked. If weather conditions were bad and crops poor, a grain company would often relocate its buyers and their families. Among the communities to which Barry’s father was transferred were Napinka, Lauder and Roblin, and it was in towns and villages like them that Barry spent his formative years. Notwithstanding his frequent moves, Barry was a good student. He got along well with his teachers and classmates, and his conduct was never a cause for concern to either his parents or any of the many schools he attended. After graduating from high school. Levins worked for a time in Thompson. Nickel mining, however, did not appeal to him, and he soon moved to Brandon, where he took a drafting course and started work at Simplot. Following the breakup of his mamage, Barry became involved with Terry Maxwell, a single mom with two children. Although his relationship with Maxwell did not survive, Barry’s interest in her children did. Terry described him as a role model to her daughter and son: “Barry was more of a father to the children than their biological father and they adored him. They still hold his memory very dear and are very, very anxious to see a resolution to this awful case. I can’t believe a man who would deliberately run someone down and then cold-heartedly dove away could still live with himself.” Asked if she thought the police had conducted a thorough investigation into Barry’s death, Maxwell said they had. “I think they were very thorough. When you consider that, with the hundreds of trucks like that in FlGoL ELECTRIC LTD. • ELECTRICAL MAINTENANCE • RESIDENTIAL • COTTAGES • RENOVATIONS NO JOB IS TOO SMALL FOR FAST RELIABLE SAME DAY SERVICE CAU 204-727-6556 NOW SERVING RURAL MANITOBA HUNT MILLER &c CO. LLP ATTORNEYS* AT*LAW (204)727-8491 148 8th Street Brandon, MB R7A 3X1 Jack D. Cram, LL.B. William R. Johnston, B.A.,LL.B. Robert D. Harrison, B.Sc., LL.B. Tammy D. Baryluk, B.A., (Spec) LL.B. Yasothini Davidson, B.Sc., B.A., LL.B. wtNe seNse Save $8 on all styles of Niagara Mist! Try 2 new styles! -Blue Pom White Merlot -Sangria Zinfandel Blush arriving early March tale ends March 31/08 the province, they were able to find the one that was used in the killing; they certainly did a good job.” Shen-Lyn Cullen, Terry’s daughter, had a difficult time controlling her emotions as she talked of her memories of Barry. “When we were kids nothing was too much for Barry to do for us. I have so many happy memones of Barry and I still think of him so often. As a girl, I always dreamed I would walk down the aisle at my wedding, leaning on Barry’s arm.” It was during this period of his life that Barry became involved with a group of friends who sold real estate, and it was with their encouragement that he obtained a sales licence It was a good decision. Barry finally found a job that suited his personality. In the years immediately preceding his death Levins was again single, and after his relationship with Maxwell ended, he drifted back into Brandon’s bar scene. Although Barry was a private person and did not discuss his "elationships with others, it was n.j pnvate life that became the focus of police interest early in their investigation of his death. Interviews with his fellow agents raised the possibility that Levins had been attracted to a lady with other suitors, and suggested that his death may have been the result of a love triangle gone bad. Next week. Part Two: Tracking the truck Foot Care For Seniors Mobile Nurses, Certified Foot Care Insurance Plan Accredited + Gift Certificates Available l+E BLUE CROSS* VISA 724-2472 Vat or an Affairs of Canada Terry Carter CFP Financial Planning Advisor Assante WEALTH MANAGEMENT 725.2300 Assante Financial Management Ltd. #30A-1015 26th Stieet Brandon, Manitoba 728-9463 1300-18,h St. Brandon mywinesense.comIN LOVING MEMORY Real estate agent Barry Levins seemed universally well-liked by friends and family. Even after his relationship with a single mother broke off, he maintained an interest in her daughter and son. Walking home after an evening at the bar, someone ran him down and killed him. Was it just a terrible accident? (Charles and Dale Brawn/For the Sun) 840-18' Street. Brandon 726-0896 NEW HOURS: Monday - Saturday 10-5 Sunday Closed ;

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