Reg. # 25876, Cpl. Ole Roust LARSEN
August 11, 1981, Climax, Saskatchewan
The bizarre incident that follows took place in and around a small rural village of Climax, Saskatchewan, which is situated in a sparsely populated southwestern portion of the province, only 14 miles north of the Montana border west of the Badlands. It was here in 1981 that Cpl. Ole LARSEN was shot dead by an emotionally distraught young man in his mid-twenties, named Keith Allyn Sipley. According to the story around Climax, Keith Sipley was hit by a car when he was a child and, ever since then, hadn’t been completely right. Keith was unpredictable. Sometimes he could be soft spoken and polite. Other times he was quick to anger. Keith Sipley was watched carefully by the police in the area because he was known for his undisciplined and irresponsible behaviour. He had been given a number of tickets for speeding and other motor vehicle violations. Most of these citations were issued to him by Cpl. Ole LARSEN who was in charge of the two man detachment at Climax. Furthermore, because the RCMP corporal lived right in the village with his wife, Lindsey, and their two small children, Sipley’s unruly behaviour was seldom out of LARSEN’s sight. Although Keith Sipley’s younger years were quite turbulent, there were indications that things might improve. He married a local girl and fathered a daughter. Keith also landed a steady job with the Department of Highways in Swift Current. He lived there during the week and came home on weekends. But within a year of the baby’s birth, he became increasingly more abusive of his wife, Jamie. By August 1981, they weren’t living together and Jamie didn’t want him coming around to see her. But she had a difficult time keeping Keith away – especially on weekends when he came back to Climax to hang out with his friends.
On the night of Sunday, August 9, Cpl. Ole LARSEN was called to Jamie Sipley’s home to help remove Keith from the premises. After a prolonged argument, the young man finally left, but he became distraught and departed very angrily. The next day, Keith told one of his local friends, Dean Hirons, that he was having problems seeing his wife and he intended to have another discussion with Cpl. LARSEN on the matter. Late Monday night, Sipley drove to the west side of the village and made several screeching power turns with his car in front of the policeman’s home. It appears that Sipley’s intentions was to entice LARSEN out of the house to follow him downtown. About 11:40 PM, LARSEN finally did come out. He was unarmed and dressed in jeans and a T-shirt. Nevertheless, he was determined to stop Sipley’s nonsense so he got in his cruiser and chased Keith’s car several times around the streets of the village. When Sipley headed out to Main Street, the corporal stayed right behind him with is lights flashing and his siren on. Sipley came to a stop in the middle of the street in front of the Climax Hotel. LARSEN stopped bumper-to-bumper behind him and turned his siren off. Then, as the policeman walked towards Sipley’s car, the troubled young man stepped out of his car with a .22 rifle in his hands and shot the unsuspecting corporal several times at point blank range. Badly wounded, the Mountie stumbled back to his car and turned his sire back on in a vain attempt to rouse some help. In front of two witnesses who were standing outside the hotel, Sipley followed LARSEN back to the cruiser and shot him twice more through the closed car door as he lay across the seat. Then the killer got back in his car and roared away.
When help finally did come to Cpl. LARSEN, he was taken to the town’s eight-bed Border Union Hospital. Here he was found to be in a desperate condition with a grievous gunshot would through the eye. The doctor, realizing more sophisticated equipment was needed to save him, called for an ambulance plane from Regina. LARSEN managed to stay alive for a short time, but died as the airplane was landing in Climax at 2:25 AM on August 11, 1981.
In the meantime, Sipley had raced east to the village of Orkney, and then turned south on a rough prairie trail. Rocks on the trail damaged his transmission and put his car out of commission. He walked across the International Line and found himself a truck in a Montana farm yard. He proceeded to do some more power turns in the yard which soon raised the farmer, Scott Anderson, from his sleep. Thinking a drunk was stealing his truck, Anderson went out and chased Sipley with his car. Eventually the truck came to a stop and when the farmer approached it, he found Sipley with is head lying back against the seat. He was dead from a gunshot wound in the forehead. The .22 rifle lay across his knees. A portable tape recorder lay beside him on the front seat into which he had dictated a rambling final message, that indicated his confused state of mind, and included the statement that said: “I don’t know what made me do it. I wish to God it had never happened.” Unfortunately these sentiments were too late to be of any value to Cpl. LARSEN and his family.
Ole LARSEN was born in Varde, Denmark to Carl Erik Just and Saralise Roust LARSEN, and came to Canada with his family when he was 13 years old. He had an identical twin brother named Per Lykke, and two sisters, Inge & Lise, who were also identical twins. There was also one other brother, Erik, who passed away in 1963. Ole grew up in, what was then Galt, Ontario. He spent approx. 9 years with the Air & Army Cadets. After high school, Cpl. LARSEN engaged in the Force on July 12, 1967 at Toronto, Ont. After Recruit Training in Regina Depot Division and Penhold, Alberta, he was posted to Protective Service in ‘A’ Division in Ottawa where he met Lindsey Mary Creelman. On March 31, 1969, LARSEN was posted to Saskatchewan where he served at Cut Knife. Cpl. LARSEN and Lindsey were married at Cut Knife on October 4, 1969. Weyburn, Shellbrook and Climax. He and Lindsey had two daughters, Karen Erica LARSEN, born May 12, 1972 and Kirsten Marie LARSEN, born October 23, 1973.
LARSEN was very creative and an accomplished handyman. He enjoyed designing and remodeling rooms in the various houses in which his family lived. Bright and well read, Ole was studying towards his degree at the University of Regina. He also loved the outdoors, and spent a lot of his free time hunting. But that was all gone now. The 14 year veteran was buried with full honours at the RCMP Cemetery in Regina. A scholarship in his name was initiated at the University of Regina. He is still kindly remembered by the good people he served.
(Personnel File reviewed – photo on CD