Old St. Andrews



Acquitted of Murder



Jury Find Mrs. Weary Not Guilty

On May 15, 1960, a week after she finalized the sale of Minister's Island to the Van Horne Island Club, Beverley Ann Weary (née Van Horne) shot and killed a house guest at her Ste. Adele, Quebec home. She went to trial on a charge of manslaughter, and was acquitted on all counts. Mrs. Weary was at that time estranged from Martin Weary, her second husband of approximately two years, and being stalked, harassed and threatened by him. The steering and brakes of her car and the cars of houseguests were being tampered with. At one point Mr. Weary assaulted her maid and her friend Mr. Marvin Aitken, a Ste. Adele photographer, and vowed to the police to break all of the bones in Mrs. Weary's body. It was these mitigating circumstances which helped acquit the accused, as she seemed to have feared Mr. Weary's appearance at a drinking party to which she had invited half a dozen guests. The victim was Clifford Bridger, an RCAF radar man at the local military base, who had been invited to her home along with several others but who was otherwise unknown to her. According to the testimony of Mrs. Weary and Mr. Aitken, Mrs. Weary thought she heard a noise outside her veranda, on which Bridger and Aitken were either having a conversation or an argument. Entering the veranda with a cocked and loaded .22 caliber rifle, provided to her a few days before by Mr. Aitken, she tripped and shot Mr. Bridger through the heart. An hysterical Mrs. Weary spent a few nights in jail, during which she wrote a dramatic account of her ordeal with Mr. Weary, and then a week in hospital under heavy sedation. It was yet another sad episode in the life of the poor little rich girl. The trial received extensive coverage in the local press, but curiously only once or twice was Mrs. Weary referred to as the heiress of the Van Horne fortune. •