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"KOV" 2007 Obituary


KOVACS 2007-12-26 published
Widow found slain
Her son is charged with murder in the death in the complex in Westmount.
By Katherina DEHAAS, Patrick MALONEY and Daniela SIMUNAC, Sun Media, Wed., December 26, 2007
Cranbrook Trace is a caring little community, a clutch of high-end London condos where residents greet their neighbours by name and keep an eye out for one another.
Some in the Westmount complex would dutifully check in on Helen VICARY, calling every few days to say hello and see how the kind, elderly widow was getting along.
Then, a few weeks ago, she stopped answering the phone.
She was no longer seen picking up her mail, either.
Now, a 48-year-old man, identified by neighbours as VICARY's son, is charged with second-degree murder in the death of a woman whose body was found at his mother's home on Christmas Eve.
Police haven't publicly identified the woman.
"We did notice that we hadn't seen (VICARY) in awhile," Eric JOHNSON, who lives a few doors away, said yesterday. "In the last month, we hadn't seen her at all."
Monday, London police swooped down on the VICARY home, unit 23 at 505 Cranbrook Rd., while searching for someone reported missing that morning.
A woman was found dead inside.
That night, neighbours say police went door-to-door asking about Helen VICARY.
Craig James VICARY, 48, whom, neighbours identified as Helen's son, is charged with second-degree murder. He had been living at the condo, police said yesterday.
With investigators still scouring the home for evidence, neighbours who would be otherwise occupied with the holiday were shaking their heads over the city's sixth homicide of the year.
"Obviously, we're all shocked by it," said one man. "It's really not hit home yet. We really haven't had a whole lot of time to reflect on it."
One neighbour said VICARY moved into the condo about three years ago but had lived alone since her husband died Christmas Day two years ago. Her grown children live in the area.
Investigators were first called to the condo Monday after a report of a missing person. Police haven't said who notified them of the disappearance.
Police then searched for a brown, four-door Pontiac Grand Am, which was registered to Helen VICARY.
JOHNSON, who described the elderly VICARY as kind and friendly, said the homicide is "unnerving… a close community. A lot of elderly people and we watch out for each other."
The Christmas Eve discovery marked the third serious incident in London this month. Early December 8, 24-year-old Anthony BRUN was found injured outside an Old South home and later died in hospital. Gordon Tyler McCURDY, 33, is charged with second-degree murder. Later that day, teacher Ed DICKSON/DIXON was seriously hurt in a south-end parking lot shooting. Angela SEDORE, who taught with DICKSON/DIXON, was killed in a murder-suicide, apparently at the hands of Ray KOVACS, whose body was found in her sport utility vehicle after a police chase.

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KOVAR 2007-08-10 published
Keen student drowns in waves
By Glynnis MAPP, Sun Media, Fri., August 10, 2007
The mother of a Michigan girl who drowned off Grand Bend on Wednesday remembered her daughter yesterday as an avid tennis player and ambitious student who loved ballet and Irish dancing.
And a Grand Bend-area resident described the desperate attempts to save her that ultimately failed.
Jule Marie KOVAR, 14, drowned Wednesday night when high waves pushed her into an area off the Lake Huron resort, not patrolled by lifeguards, that police called "highly dangerous."
"She was like the sunshine… always happy and dancing. She was gorgeous," Anna KOVAR said of her daughter.
The girl, from Fort Gratiot, Michigan., had been in Grand Bend visiting family and Friends for a day of shopping and fun, including swimming.
"She had been planning this trip for some time," her mother said, noting her daughter was excited to be in Grand Bend for the first time where she visited a longtime friend from Sarnia.
Jule Marie was swimming off the south end of the Bend's public beach, about 7: 20 p.m. with a friend, also 14, in metre-high waves, Ontario Provincial Police said.
The friend's mother called them back ashore, police said.
The friend made it back, but strong waves pushed Jule Marie north of the pier where the water was "extremely treacherous," police said.
The area, not patrolled by lifeguards, is known for high winds that cause large waves and a dangerous undertow.
A Beachville male, 17, whom police said was a friend of Jule Marie, tried to save her but was overcome by the waves and had to be pulled out. The teen, whose name was not released, was treated at hospital.
The Sarnia friend's mother also went into the water to try to save Jule Marie but couldn't.
Police and volunteers searched the water and found Jule Marie's body about 40 minutes later south of the Grand Bend pier.
Brian DALE, a Grand Bend-area resident, helped initiate a search about 25 minutes after Jule Marie slipped under.
He said he rounded up off-duty lifeguards -- who had finished their shifts at 5 p.m. -- from the other end of the beach to help in the search.
"No one seemed to be doing anything or knew what was going on when we got there… so I ran to the lifeguarding house and got them to bring out equipment.
"I cleared water from her throat… by the time we found her it was obvious it was too late," DALE said of efforts to revive the girl with cardio-pulmonary resuscitation.
At the south end of the beach, the area where Jule Marie drowned, there's no publicly accessible water safety equipment. There are signs posted at entrances and on the beach warning swimmers the south end is not patrolled by lifeguards.
On Wednesday, there were red flags on the beach warning of treacherous water conditions. It isn't known if Jule Marie and her friend were aware of the flags.
John BYRNE, chief municipal administrative officer for Lambton Shores, said he'll raise the issue of beach security at council's next meeting, in early September. "It is an unsupervised beach and we ask people to use their discretion when they swim there.
"We always try to monitor the area, but it is dangerous there&hellip we will try to determine whether we can implement better safety measures."

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