Nazi SS Major Arrested

Retired S/Sgt. Jack Randle

 

 

For many years, Force members confronted dangerous situations without the aid of bullet-proof vests and tasers.  Instead, they used various skills and techniques to make an arrest.

The following story has been submitted by Veteran Jack Randle (Reg. #19593).

 

 

 

In May 1969, Constables Paul Seefried (Reg. #23594) Rod Ulmer (Reg. #24735) and I were stationed at Surrey Detachment on GIS.  I was in charge of the Morality Detail while the two constables worked general plainclothes files.

We received a request for assistance from the Burnaby Detachment to check out a resident who lived in our area and who had just been in an altercation in the Burnaby Chrysler dealership.  The resident was a former employee who had been let go for unsatisfactory behavior with his fellow workers and customers.  The man’s name was Frank Willows and who lived in the Fleetwood area of Surrey.  There were suggestions Mr. Willows had a weapon.

Photograph of Retired Cpl. Paul Seefried

 

As we were the only members in the office, we were delegated the file.  Since there was an alleged weapon involved, we immediately familiarized ourselves with the details provided by Burnaby Detachment.  Apparently, Willows was in the Chrysler dealership office earlier in the day and intimidated some employees with the assumption he had a gun in his briefcase.  He resented the fact that he had been fired and was quite agitated.   A check of our municipal records and the Detachment records indicated a F. Willows resided at a Fleetwood address and that a F. Willows of that address possessed a legal weapon permit for a 9 mm Smith & Wesson semi-automatic pistol.   Without seeking any type of backup, the three of us attended the Willows residence.

 

Upon knocking on the door, we were met by a woman who identified herself as Mrs. Willow.  In the livingroom, we were confronted by Frank Willows armed with the pistol in a shoulder holster and a German shepherd dog on a leash.

Since we were in plain clothes, we identified ourselves and explained why we were there.  Being the senior person, I did all the talking.  He did not threaten us or make any aggressive moves toward us.  He admitted being fired from the Chrysler dealership, denied threatening anybody there or having his pistol with him when in Burnaby.  Although upset,  he answered all the questions rationally during the interview.  It soon became clear that it was a “he said-they said” complaint with little or no evidence to back up any further police action.

Photograph of Retired Cpl. Rod UImer

On departing, I spoke with Mrs. Willows to ensure she and her children were going to be all right because if she felt threatened or in fear of her husband we would arrest him and take him away.  She assured us they were going to be fine.  I gave her the Detachment office phone number and told her to contact us if her husband deteriorated and she felt him dangerous.

Outside the house, the three of us compared notes and it was generally agreed that Willows was potentially dangerous and if his mental health deteriorated the police may have to go in again to remove him for a medical examination.

Back at Cloverdale Detachment, I prepared information bulletins on the Willows incident and supplied the Whalley Sub Office, our Cloverdale dispatchers, and front desk attendants with them in case Mrs. Willows came in to complain about her husband.

About 10 days went by with nothing more heard from the Willows or the Burnaby detachment.   Just when we thought we could close the file Mrs. Willows came to the Cloverdale Detachment office complaining of her husband’s mental health saying she was concerned for herself and her family.  As I had dealt with Willows it was decided that I should be the one to deal with him and the situation.

So the three original members, augmented by two General Duty members, went to the Willows residence.  The plan was Constable Seefried, who had his “crossed rifles,” would be positioned over the hood of a PC with a .308 rifle.  Ulmer and I would be in the center flanked on either side by the two GD members.

There would be 5 to 6 feet between all  members.  The GD members would have their holster flaps open and revolvers loaded.  Seefried was to cover us going across Willows’ front lawn and if Willows pulled his pistol Seefried would try for a wounding shot if needed while the members in front would drop on their stomachs and pull their weapons.  We were to keep a firing lane open for the rifleman.

I hoped none of these plans would be required as I wanted to try to lure Willows out of the house onto his front lawn with  friendly chatter, once distracted  jump him and with everyone piling on take him into custody.  I hoped I had gained his trust  from our last visit and if so an arrest might be accomplished with no violence. Fortune smiled as it turned out, this is  exactly what happened.

I called him and asked to speak with him on his front lawn. His demeanor had changed from our first visit, he now arrogantly strutted around with his leashed shepherd dog. His attitude would seem that he was performing as to circumstances he’d witnessed in the past or had actually done himself. We set up quickly carried out the plan and Willows was jumped, disarmed and taken away under the Mental Health Act.

 

He subsequently ended up in Riverview Mental Hospital. After the arrest, we searched his home for weapons none were found.  While going through his bedroom a photo of him in a German military uniform was found indicating he was a decorated war hero albeit on the other side.  An interview with his wife indicated he had been on the eastern front as a major in the Nazi SS .

Later, I wrote a report on Willows indicating he might be a war criminal and asked for queries to be made with external affairs and immigration as to how this fellow had been able to get into Canada.   Sometime later, I heard that immigration had found some irregularities in his Canadian entry application and he was deported  back to Germany. Where upon his arrival he was arrested by German police  and placed  in a mental health facility.

I was never advised of what this individual’s actual name was.

It is believed that this SS Major’s name was not that of Frank Willows.  With the action of Immigration Canada, it would appear that he failed to declare his true identity when entering Canada.  The photograph of this SS Major reflects that he was awarded the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross.  In addition, the officer rank on the uniform is not that of a SS Major but that of what appears to be a junior General.  A quick check of the list of the Knight’s Cross recipients revealed no individual by the name of Frank Willows.

As a police officer, one never knows who you will come across and what their background activities were.  Therefore, police officers must be prepared for all possibilities and use the skills and techniques they have at hand.

If any Veterans have any further information on the identity of this SS Major, we would appreciate receiving an update.

 

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