Canadian Taxi Driver Homicides: Lawrence "Dick" Hewitt Previous page    Next page • Driver Profiles

Lawrence "Dick" Hewitt

Kitchener, Ontario / March 14, 1937

Lawrence "Dick" Hewitt, 29, ran a taxi and rental car business in Kitchener, ON. He lived in an apartment above the business with his wife and two small daughters.

Sometime after 10 p.m. on March 14, 1937 he was at home listening to a radio broadcast of the Toronto Maple Leafs-Chicago Black Hawks hockey game when the telephone rang. Despite the fact that he was fighting off a cold he put on his jacket and went out into the night. He did not tell his wife who called.

Four hours later Mr. Hewitt was found dead on the southern outskirts of Kitchener, lying on his back in a frozen ditch. He had been shot once in the heart with a .32 bullet but this was not discovered until the autopsy.

The bullet came from above, so it appeared that Mr. Hewitt was on his knees when he was shot. Mr. Hewitt's taxi was parked nearby with the passenger door open. His keys were on the ground near his right hand and his wallet, containing $17, was still on is body. A witness claimed to have seen a car speed away from the scene about the time of the murder.

Despite some apparently promising leads the police investigation came to nothing. Three years later, in 1940, the police chief and four constables were fired for corruption and misconduct and other officers were suspended. The mayor at the time called the police department, which was subsequently reorganized, "the rottenest police force in the Dominion." The charges raised persistent suspicions that Mr. Hewitt knew something about the corruption and that someone on the police force had deliberately sllenced him.

Mr. Hewitt was an active outdoorsman and fisherman and a well-known athlete who played on local lacrosse, softball and hockey teams. Mourners packed the Zion Evangelical Church for Mr. Hewitt's funeral and a procession of cabs several blocks long escorted his body to Woodland Cemetery.

Mr. Hewitt's two daughters were toddlers when he died. The younger daughter, Helen Smiley, was only fifteen months old. The elder daughter, Janet Hilliard, has only faint memories of her father. "I remember seeing him in the coffin," she said. "My mother always told me I asked her why he didn't get up and walk."

Lawrence "Dick" Hewitt. (Source: Kitchener-Waterloo Record, March 14, 2015)

Their mother was forced to sell the family business after Mr. Hewitt's death. She later remarried.

Rumours and suspicions continued to circulate but fear kept people from speaking too freely. Finally, in 1991, a friend of Mr. Hewitt's broke his own long silence and, shortly before his death, wrote a letter to Mr. Hewitt's daughters pointing a finger at someone on the force. Notwithstanding the suspicions, the murder remains unsolved.