Crime in Lambton up for discussion in Heritage Hour talk

Infamous kidnappings, robberies, rum-running and notorious criminals are the subject of the next Heritage Hour talk from the Heritage Sarnia-Lambton network.

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Infamous kidnappings, robberies, rum-running and notorious criminals are the subject of the next Heritage Hour talk from the Heritage Sarnia-Lambton network.

On the Lam in Lambton – the fifth in the free virtual series that kicked off with a panel discussion more than a year ago comparing Sarnia-Lambton’s experience with the COVID-19 pandemic and the “Spanish flu” pandemic 100 years earlier – looks at historical crime and punishment in the area, said Erin Dee-Richard, curator and supervisor at the Oil Museum of Canada.

Expect discussion about notorious criminal Norman “Red” Ryan, who was killed in a shootout with police in 1936, rum running and smuggling in Sombra Township, and a murder from Forest in 1899, among other topics, Dee-Richard said.

“It’s a great mystery because not only was the murderer not identified, neither was the victim,” she said, “so I’m interested to know that story.”

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Be warned that the subject matter at times delves into violence and sexual assault, she said.

The virtual-talk series – given the Heritage Hour moniker earlier this year – has attracted 70 to 120 people per talk for the live events and are posted afterwards at lambtonmuseums.ca/en/heritage-sarnia-lambton.aspx, she said.

“Last year, we did it as an impromptu, spontaneous … wanting to stay connected with our audiences that we weren’t able to be open for,” she said.

The network, made up of Lambton’s eight museums, opted in January to continue on as the talks were proving popular, she said.

“People were interested. We were interested in doing it still.”

Pre-pandemic, network members would offer guest lectures at other museums, but the Heritage Hour series marks the first foray into digital panel discussions the group has done.

“Even when we’ve come out of the pandemic, this is something that we might be looking at continuing, just because it’s allowed us to reach a greater audience,” Dee-Richard said.

A sixth instalment in the series – Lambton’s Haunted History – is planned for Oct. 21.

Others so far have looked at disasters in Lambton, how residents used to spend their leisure time, and the efforts and sacrifices of military members.

On the Lam in Lambton is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. on June 17.

To register, visit calendar.lambtonmuseums.ca/heritagemuseum/Detail/2021-06-17-1900-On-the-Lam-in-Lambton3.

tkula@postmedia.com

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