Waterloo Region Generations
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Reta Christina Gordner 

Reta Christina Gordner

Female 1906 - 1930

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  • Birth  9 Apr 1906  Stratford, Perth Co., Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Gender  Female 
    Crime  1930  Montreal, Ile de Montreal, Quebec Find all individuals with events at this location 
    murdered by George Redfern 
    Interesting  murdered 
    Misfortune  1930 
    murdered by George Redfern - poisoned 
    Eby ID Number  Waterloo-49281 
    Died  May 1930  Montreal, Ile de Montreal, Quebec Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Buried  Fairmount Cemetery, Baden, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Person ID  I49281  Generations
    Last Modified  6 Jun 2018 

    Father  Noah Gordner,   b. 1877, Wilmot Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1949 
    Mother  Albertena Falk,   b. 17 Oct 1882, Wilmot Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1949 
    Married  24 May 1904  , Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID  F23191  Group Sheet

  • Photos
    Reta Gordner
    Reta Gordner
    1930 newspaper unknown

  • Notes 
    • On May 10th Noah Gardner's daughter, Rita the eldest left Baden with George H. Redfern of Kitchener, married salesman, to Montreal presumably on a business trip. Not against the wishes of her parents and expecting to return on Sunday evening in order to be at the place of employment in a Kitchener office. But she never returned alive.

      Mr. Redfern poisoned her in a room in the Hotel Viger, making a clear getaway from Montreal. She had feared to go with him somehow, but he was so insistent. Rita was engaged to Mr. Harry Capling to be married this summer. Mr. Redfern pretended to be very wealthy and so kept the friendship of the family. The motive for the crime seems to hinge on a grudge against young Capling and so avenged himself by killing this highly respectable young 23 year-old girl of Baden.

      May 22nd at London Ontario Mr. George Redfern was arrested this morning and jailed. But after being in for two hours he died - apparently administered Strychnine to his own body causing death.

      __________________________

      Poison Victim Buried at Baden

      Died From Strychnine Poisoning in Montreal Hotel - Murder Suspected

      This community was stirred into excitement last week when it became known that a girl found dead in an hotel in Montreal, happened to be Miss Reta Gordner, the 22 year old daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Noah Gordner, of Baden. She was an office clerk in the Kaufman Rubber factory at Kitchener for some time and there made the acquaintance of one G. H. Redfern, who was for some time past a frequent visitor at their Baden home. On Saturday, May 10th Redfern is alleged that he had to go on a business trip to Montreal and asked the girl to go with him and she reluctantly accompanied him with the apparent intention of returning to her work on the following Monday morning. When she did not return to her home on Monday night, as usual, some alarm was felt and it was on the following day that the sad disclosure was made that it was her dead body which was found in the Montreal hotel.

      Redfern and the girt left from Galt on Saturday evening for Montreal and were registered for two separate rooms at the hotel under assumed names On Monday Redfern is said to have told the chambermaid that his sister was ill and was not to be disturbed. On the following day her dead body was found lying on the bed in Redfern's' room. A postmortem examination revealed the fact that the girl had died from strychnine poisoning but otherwise all her organs were in normal condition.

      Redfern purchased strychnine at a Kitchener drug store about one month ago. He wanted it to kill rats at the Dowler store where he was employed as a clerk. He is wanted by the police for questioning in regards to the death but so far he has eluded the police and no trace of him has been found. He is wanted for non-support of a wife and further investigations revealed the feet that he had drawn a loan on two insurance policies and it is alleged had forged his wife's name to the cheques therefor.

      The case seems to be baffling to the police as no motive for the crime, if such has been committed, has so far come to light.

      Mr. Gordner went to Montreal and identified the body of his daughter. Her remains were brought to Baden and interment took place last Friday with a private service at the house and interment in the Baden cemetery. Rey. Mr. A. E. Pletch, of the New Hamburg Evangelical church conducted the obsequies.

      The tragic death of Miss Gordner is keenly felt by a large circle of friend. and much sympathy is felt for the parents and her two sisters in their sad bereavement The deceased as in her 23rd year and was a cheerful and popular girl among her friends in the village.

      Probe Suicide Report

      Niagara Falls, Ont. authorities received word that George H. Redfern is believed by his relatives to have committed suicide in that city.

      The Falls police are conducting an investigation and thorough search for Redfern, believing, they say. he furnished Kitchener authorities with a fake suicide clue in order to cover op his disappearance.

      It was learned that a man answering Redfern's description registered at a Niagara Falls hotel on May 12 without any baggage, and left the hotel at 9 o'clock on Tuesday night giving no forwarding address. In his room were found a soft felt hat, from which the label with the manufacturers name had been removed. A soiled collar and bow tie.

      Detective Chief George H. Callinan received a telegram from Kitchener authorities stating that Redfern's family received a letter on Tuesday from Redfern, postmarked Niagara Falls, NY., in which Redfern expressed his intention of committing suicide by going over the cataract.

      New Hamburg Independent, May 23, 1930

  • Sources 
    1. [S300] Cemetery - ON, Waterloo, Wilmot - Fairmount Baden CC#4557 Cemetery Internet Link.
      [north] Gordner/ Noah Gordner/ 1877-1949/ His Beloved Wife/ Albertena Falk/ 1882-1949/ I Know That My Redeemer Liveth
      [south] Reta Gordner/ 1906-1930

  • Event Map
    Event
    Link to Google MapsBirth - 9 Apr 1906 - Stratford, Perth Co., Ontario Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsCrime - murdered by George Redfern - 1930 - Montreal, Ile de Montreal, Quebec Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - May 1930 - Montreal, Ile de Montreal, Quebec Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsBuried - - Fairmount Cemetery, Baden, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Maps 
     = Link to Google Earth