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Top 10 Canadian Crimes

May 21, 2012

I came across this article by Danny Brown and thought I share it with you. Didn’t know we had that many heinous Canadian individuals ruining our reputation for being a peaceful country. It’s not all maple sugar and Molson Dry in the Great White North – we’ve had our share of savage criminals. Here are the worst of the lot.




Number 10

The Flying Bandit Bank Robberies

Possibly one of the most beloved Canadian criminals, Ken Leishman was a roguish bank robber who became almost like a folk hero to many in the ’60s and ’70s. This was due, in no small way, to the fact that every single one of his bank heists was non-violent.

Perhaps the most famous of these was the 1966 gold bullion robbery Leishman masterminded at Winnipeg Airport. Whis his colleagues dressed as Air Canada freight handlers, Leishman orchestrated the theft of 12 crates of gold bars via a stolen Air Candada truck. Due to his bizarre popularity, the community of Red Lake named Leishman president of their Chamber of Commerce upon his release from prison.

Number 9

Piggy Palace Murders

With his trial held at the British Columbia Supreme Court, Vancouver pig farmer Robert William Pickton was accused of murdering 26 women. Pickton is no stranger to the law, ans was also charged with attempted murder in 1997. However, it was by sheer luck that the more recent case, which began in 2002, was brought on. While searching Pickton’s property for illegal firearms, police found personal belongings of women that had been reported missing.

Subsequent searches revealed body parts, such as jawbones belonging to some of the missing women, as well as skulls that had been sawed in half with the victim’s feet and hands inside for good measure. Many other remains have yet to be found. Although in 2004, it was disclosed that some of the flesh from Pickton’s victims may have been ground up and given out to his friends and farm visitors as part of the pork he sold from the farm. Pickton has been charged with 26 counts of first-degree murder.

Number 8

Mistaken Identity

Jailed on January 4, 2000, for the rape and murder of 20-year old Gail Miller in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Larry Fisher wasn’t even the prime suspect in this legendary Canadian crime case to begin with. An innocent man, David Milgaard, served 23 years for Fisher’s murder until his release in 1992. Yet it wasn’t until 1997 that new evidence, using DNA, actually exonerated Milgaard and he was subsequently awarded a $10-million compensation.

That DNA saw Fisher arrested and charged with the rape and subsequent stabbing of nursing aid Miller. He was convicted in November 1999, a full 20 years after the initial crime. Many people asked how Fisher had been missed since he had already spent time behind bars for a series of rapes in Winnipeg, North Battleford and Manitoba, as well as the city where Gail Millerr was murdered.

Number 7

Tracy Latimer Mercy Killing

Perhaps one of the most divisive crimes in this list is that of Saskatchewan farmer Robert Latimer. Set to serve a life sentence for the muder of his 13-year-old daughter, Tracy, the case divided Canada during the ’90s and continues to do so today. Latimer’s defense plea for Tracy’s death was that is was a mercy killing. Born in 1980, Tracy suffered severe cerebral palsy from birth, brought on my a lack of oxygen during labour. She suffered numerous seizures daily, and most medical experts agreed her life was one of perpetual pain.

In October 1983, her mother found Tracy dead after returning from church. While the rest of the family had gone to service, Robert had stayed home to look after his daughter. Insisting that she had died in her sleep, Robert changed his story after police carried out an autopsy and found carbon monoxide in her blood, and admitted he had killed Tracy by putting her in his cab and connecting a hose to his exhaust. Latimer was charged with second-degree murder and convicted in 1984, yet due to doubts about the jury a retrial was ordered. This took place in 1997, and again Latimer was found guilty of second-degree murder and jailed for life.

Number 6

The Black Donnelly Massacre

One of the most infamous crimes in Canadian history is that associated with the Donnelly family, otherwise known as the Black Donnellys. An immigrant family from Ireland, the Donnellys became ingrained in Canadian history in February 1880, with the massacre of much of their family by around 30 vigilantes from the town of Biddulph, Ontario. Five members of the Donnelly familiy were killed, including their 21-year-old niece, Bridget.

The event that triggered the muders of father James, mother Johannah, brothers John and Thomas, and niece Bridget was the killing of Patrick Farrell by James Donnelly. Caused by an argument over the stagecoach lines that Donnelly and Farrell were in competition over, Donnelly to into a drunken fight with Farrell and ended up clubbing him with a handspike. Donnelly went into hiding, although he later gave himself up and served seven years for the murder. Any crime that happened in Biddulph was subsequently blamed on the Donnellys. Although it was later proven that the Biddulph Peace Society itself had actually committed many of them.

On the night of the Donnelly massacre, the town’s police constable, James Carroll, led the gathered vigilantes to the Donnelly household where they clubbed James, Johannah, Tom and Bridget to death, then set the house on fire. They then made their way to Will Donnelly’s house, but actually killed John Donnelly instead when he answered the door. Instead of a trial, the prosecution dropped the case, not wanting any more adverse publicity for the town, and the case remains a taboo subject to this day.

Number 5

Dawson Shooting

On September 13, 2006, Kimveer Gill marched into Dawson College in Montreal and opened fire in the main building. By the time the shooting stopped, Gill had killed an 18-year-old student, Anastasia de Sousa, as well as injuring 19 others. Police shot him in the arm, before he turned his weapon on himself.

Investigations into Gill after the shootings showed that he had been part of the Canadian Forces Leadership and Recruit School in 1999, before being deemed unsuitable for the Armed Forces. He later joined the website, where he called himself the Angel of Death. It was also discovered that he had made plans for similar attacks at other schools and universities across the city, including the Université de Montreal.

Number 4

The Case of the Missing Lower Mainland Children

Any rape or murder is horrific enough, but when it involves children and adolescents it takes on a whole new level of notoriety. This is particularly true of Vancouver resident Clifford Olson, serving 11 life sentences for murder and rape. His victims included 9-year-old Simon Partington, who was abducted and strangled and 10 other victims whose ages ranged from 12-year-old Christine Weller to 18-year-old German tourist Sigrun Arnd. Olson had a long line of crimes already behind him when he was arrested in 1981, on the charges of attempting to abduct two more girls. What makes this case especially distasteful is that the Canadian authorities agreed to a deal with Olson, upin which his wife received $10,000 for every victim Olson confessed to abducting.

Number 3

FLQ Kidnapping and Murder

Montreal trade union leader Paul Rose was part of a four-man group that kidnapped and subsequently murdered Pierre Laporte, the Vice Minister of Quebec, in 1970. Rose was a member of the terrorist group Front de Liberation du Quebec (FLQ), which demanded Quebec sovereignty. The FLQ was responsible for over 200 bombings in the ’60s, as well as the 1970 kidnapping of the British Trade Commissioner, James Cross, later released after a deal was made to give the kidnappers safe passage to Cuba.

The murder of Laporte came from the belief that more people would join the uprising against the Canadian government, much like Fidel Castro had orchestrated in Cuba. Captured and jailed for life in 1971, Rose was paroled in 1982, and today he is part of the SCSN Labour Union and still believes strongly in independence for Quebec.

Number 2

École Polytechnique Massacre

Being in the wrong place at the wrong time is one of the reasons many people are victims of crime. Such was the sad fact surrounding the massacre at École Polytechnique in Montreal on December 6, 1989. On that day, gunman Marc Lepine shot and killed 14 women in cold blood, as well as injuring a further 10 women and four men, before committing suicide.

Lapine entered the school armed with a semi-automatic rifle and walked into a classroom on the second floor. He then separated the men and the women into two groups. Ordering the men to leave, Lepine opened fire on the nine remaining women, killing six immediately and wounding the remaining three. Moving on through the school, his rampage left a further eight victims dead and 11 injured. When he had finished his spree, Lapine then turned his gun on himself. On his body was a suicide note in which Lepine stated that his motives were pure and simple – he hated women, especially feminists who had “ruined his life”.

Number 1

Barbie and Ken Murders

They say that the vows of marriage should never be taken lightly. Unfortunately, Ontario citizens Paul Bernado and his wife Karla Homolka took “in life and in death” to a whole new level. When Bernado was jailed for life in 1995, he was found guilty of the rape and murder of  Tammy Lynn Homolka (Karla’s sister), Kristen French and Leslie Mahaffy. That Homolka’s sister was one of the victims isn’t the worst part 0 the fact that Karla herself assisted her husband in his murder spree takes the twisted cake.

Helping Bernado included videotaping the whole event – in total, six tapes were found at the couple’s home and were subsequently used in their conviction. Although never proven, Bernado was also suspected of being the infamous Scarborough Rapist, and perhaps even involved in 10 other separate sexual assault cases. Due to the deal that she struck with the prosecution that saw her testify against Bernado, Homolka was only sentenced to 12 years on manslaughter charges, and was released in 2005. Bernado is unlikely to ever see the light of day.

Canuck Criminals

While you may not think of Canada as a violent nation, we have our share of skeletons in the closet. We are neither proud nor pleased with our infamous criminals, but it’s also something we don’t wish to hide. In most cases, our justice system prevailed and horrendous offenders have met horrendous sentences. No country is perfect, and the above Canadian individuals are proof.

What do you think? Are you worried that you could become a victim to a serious crime in Canada? Or do you feel safe?

If you don’t have a security system or don’t have it monitored, call me for a free, no-obligation consultation. You will be glad you did!

Ulli Robson, Security Specialist, (780) 288-2986.


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