A former Royal Winnipeg Ballet principal dancer — once celebrated as one of Canada’s finest — was found slain in his Ottawa home on Good Friday.
Ottawa Police Service officers arrived at a two-storey house on Smyth Road in the eastern part of the city around 3 pm on April 15. They found Richard Rutherford, 87, dead in the home he shared with his longtime partner.
Rutherford returned to RWB twice since moving to Ontario — once to coach the professional division in its 1991 performance of the Bitter Weird and again to speak at the school’s 2009 graduation, according to the RWB archives.
Ottawa neighbor Wendt said news of the arrest and Rutherford’s death was a total shock.
“It’s just very tragic,” he said.
Rutherford’s health had been failing in recent years and Hebert had been dutifully caring for the former dancer 24 hours a day, Wendt said. Rutherford’s condition had worsened in recent weeks and using stairs had become difficult.
“Great neighbors — both of them. A loving couple, great people,” Wendt said. “(Hebert) was very concerned for (Rutherford’s) failing health.”
Erik Pindera reports for the city desk, with a particular focus on crime and justice.
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