Charges laid in stabbing deaths of famed Calgary sportscaster and wife

 

 
 
 
 
Billy Powers, the legendary Calgary sportscaster, was found dead along with his wife in their Braeside home early Thursday.
 
 

Billy Powers, the legendary Calgary sportscaster, was found dead along with his wife in their Braeside home early Thursday.

Photograph by: Courtesy Corus Radio Calgary, Handout

Calgary sportscaster Bill Powers and his wife Donna Lee were stabbed to death in their bed early Thursday morning and likely had no chance to fight back, investigators say.

And when police picked up the man accused of the double slaying — identified by a family member as Donna Lee's adopted son — they found him standing naked by the side of the road.

Police have now charged Derek Puffer, 35, with two counts of second-degree murder in connection with the deaths.

"They were in bed in their room at 4 o'clock in the morning," Staff Sgt. Grant Miller told reporters Friday.

"I don't believe there was a struggle in this situation."

Police were first alerted Thursday morning by a witness who asked officers to check on a man near Southland Drive and 14th Street S.W. That man led police to a nearby Braeside residence where the two bodies were found.

Police said Bill, 71, and Donna Lee, 64, died from stab wounds.

Bill Powers' daughter, Debbie Powers, said she'd met Puffer on several occasions, and knew him to be a "loner."

She said Puffer was Donna Lee's adopted son from a previous marriage and that he grew up with Donna Lee's ex-husband after the couple split up.

Puffer had been living with the Powers on and off for a couple of years, but there was no sign of any tension, she said.

Debbie Powers also expressed love and admiration for her deceased father.

"He was loved by me, my brother and sister-in-law, and grandkids," she said.

Bill Powers — known to most as "Billy" — was a significant player in Calgary's sports community, first as a newspaper reporter and then as radio sportscaster. He was perhaps best known as the voice of the Calgary Stampeders for his play-by-play broadcasts.

In 2001, Powers was inducted into the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame.

Bill and Donna Lee met during a Calgary Flames golf tournament, where Powers was asked to operate a beer cart. The pair married in 1989.

Powers was a grandfather, had two children and three stepchildren.

Kenny Lovett, manager of Peanuts Sports Pub, met "Billy P" about 25 years ago when Powers began hosting Monday Night Football at the pub inside the Carriage House Inn on Macleod Trail.

"He was an icon in the city," said Lovett, who last saw Powers a week ago.

"I'm in shock right now. We were pretty close friends."

The pair bonded over sports and in 1997 Powers was the master of ceremonies for Lovett's wedding.

Donna Lee was a "bubbly, bubbly woman that loved to laugh" and, like her husband, would go out of her way to help anyone, Lovett said.

"Heart of gold," he said.

Donna Lee's colleagues at the Calgary Jewish Federation and Calgary Jewish Community Council, where she worked for eight years, described her as a compassionate person with a "commitment to justice and fair play."

"She put her gigantic heart into everything she did and became a vital member of our community," said Drew Staffenberg of the Calgary Jewish Federation.

"We'll miss her laugh that could be heard around the building and brought joy to everyone who heard it."

The Powers' presence will be sorely missed by their many friends, added Lovett.

"This is just a tragedy ... why them?" he said.
 
 
 
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Billy Powers, the legendary Calgary sportscaster, was found dead along with his wife in their Braeside home early Thursday.
 

Billy Powers, the legendary Calgary sportscaster, was found dead along with his wife in their Braeside home early Thursday.

Photograph by: Courtesy Corus Radio Calgary, Handout

 
Billy Powers, the legendary Calgary sportscaster, was found dead along with his wife in their Braeside home early Thursday.
Billy Powers and his wife Donna Lee in an undated photo.
 
 
 
 
 
 
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