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Province rejects local claim for Red Ryan reward money

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The Sarnia Historical Society was rebuffed in its attempt to claim an unpaid $1,000 reward offered for the capture of notorious gangster Norman (Red) Ryan.

The Society applied for the money with hopes of erecting a memorial plaque to Sarnia Police Const. Jack Lewis, who was shot and killed by Ryan while responding to a burglary in progress at a downtown liquor store on May 23, 1936.

Assistant Deputy Attorney General Irwin Glasberg rejected the application, saying rewards are typically offered for information leading to an arrest and conviction of a suspect. In this case, Ryan was shot and killed in a gunfight with Const. Lewis and other officers, Glasberg stated in a letter.

“On this basis, I am not able to accede to your request.”

President Ron RealeSmith said the Society will look elsewhere for the plaque money.

“I’m astonished that Ontario would quibble over funds it had previously offered simply because Sarnia’s brave officers killed Ryan instead of arresting him,” he said.

“It’s only $1,000.”


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