Glenavon, Saskatchewan

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Glenavon (2016 population: 182) is a village in the Canadian province of Saskatchewan within the Rural Municipality of Chester No. 125 and Census Division No. 5.


Glenavon incorporated as a village on April 13, 1910.


In the 2016 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, the Village of Glenavon recorded a population of 182 living in 108 of its 121 total private dwellings, a 3.3% change from its 2011 population of 176. With a land area of 1.32 km2 (0.51 sq mi), it had a population density of 137.9/km2 (357.1/sq mi) in 2016.In the 2011 Census of Population, the Village of Glenavon recorded a population of 176, a -3.8% change from its 2006 population of 183. With a land area of 1.32 km2 (0.51 sq mi), it had a population density of 133.3/km2 (345.3/sq mi) in 2011.


Murder of Anna Juswiak

On May 5, 1950, 23-year old Polish émigrée Anna Juswiak boarded a train in Regina bound for Glenavon, where she was to meet friends of her fiancé, Stanley Kisilowski. On May 6, Juswiak's body was discovered in the backyard of a Glenavon home, "her head battered by a blunt instrument." Subsequently, Royal Canadian Mounted Police interviewed a man registered as "Leo Beaudry" from Portage La Prairie at a hotel in Kipling, identifying him as 25-year old John Woltucky, an ex-military and ex-convict using an alias, who had been released from penitentiary in Prince Albert on April 17, 1950. Woltucky was previously serving out a three-year sentence for illegal possession of a firearm, five charges of housebreaking, and theft of a parka. Police were initially "convinced that Woltucky did not answer to the description of the man they were looking for," but, with additional information from authorities in Glenavon, picked up Woltucky at the train station minutes before he was to board an outbound train. Among his personal effects, police discovered a bank book belonging to Ms. Juswiak. Two women from Kipling, Saskatchewan, Mrs. Lars Pearson and Mrs. Alf Johnston, identified Woltucky as having disembarked the train in Glenavon accompanying Juswiak.The trial of John Woltucky proved sensational for the small town of Glenavon, where, "nothing like it had ever happened before in the peaceful community." In multiple newspapers, the murder of Anna Juswiak was initially reported as a shooting. During the trial Glenavon's population of roughly 250 was "augmented by some 200 non-residents." According to Regina Leader-Post reporter Robert Tyre, "the murder itself was overshadowed by the antics of the villagers who deserted home, business, and family en masse to prowl and poke about the scene of the crime like an army of Scotland Yard detectives gravely and earnestly searching for clues."Woltucky was convicted and found guilty twice, both times sentenced to the death penalty. During his detainment, he underwent psychological testing at Weyburn's Souris Valley Mental Health Hospital, from which he escaped on July 2, 1951 and was later re-apprehended.
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