Last Trip: The Death of Alfred Bonenfant / 24: Foul Play?
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Thomas W. Chisnall advertised "busses & cabs" for hire in 1891. By the end of the '90s Chisnall was out of the livery business, although the Queen Street address was still a livery stable in 1909. Nobody got rich in the livery business except perhaps those who found themselves in possession of choice downtown properties which increased in value as the city grew around them.


T.W. Chisnall [Chivery] Livery Stable (68 Queen Street), March, 1891. (Topley Studio / Library and Archives Canada / PA-027245).

Last Trip: The Death of Alfred Bonenfant / 25

Foul Play?

Not everyone was convinced that Alfred Bonenfant had died accidently. His family was sure that he was murdered and the fact that he had wounds on both his face and the back of his head made it difficult to believe that he had succumbed to a simple fall.

To those who suspected foul play the mysterious beer bottle was a murder weapon rather than evidence of Bonenfant's drunkenness.

Both the Journal and the Citizen put the story on their front pages and both unintentionally deepened the mystery by reporting that the cab with Bonenfant's body in it had been found wandering driverless through the streets before it was taken to the American House.

This probably reflects what the reporters were able to glean from the few witnesses that they could find before press time. O'Meara and Wright refused to discuss details of the case other than to affirm that in their opinion Bonenfant had died accidently.

Both papers accepted the police theory as being the most likely but they also noted that Bonenfant's strange injuries raised the possibility of an attack. The Journal went even further and added this headline: "Was Murder or Accident Cause of Cabman's Death?"

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