Episode 291: Jack Fiddler was a chief and shaman among the Anishinaabe in northwestern Ontario. Born around 1839, he became renowned for his abilities in white magic, particularly his claimed power to defeat the Wendigo, a cannibalistic spirit. Fiddler asserted that he had vanquished fourteen Wendigos during his lifetime. Some of these were believed to be sent by enemy shamans, while others were individuals from his community who developed an uncontrollable craving for human flesh. Families often asked him to euthanize a gravely ill loved one to prevent them from becoming Wendigo.

In 1907, the North-West Mounted Police arrested Jack and his brother Joseph Fiddler for the alleged murder of a woman believed to have turned Wendigo. The arrest was part of a broader effort to impose Canadian law on Indigenous communities. The story garnered significant media attention, with many newspapers sensationalizing the events. Jack Fiddler died by suicide while in custody, and although Joseph went to trial and was convicted, he passed away in 1909, shortly before an order for his release arrived.

Sources:

Killing the Shamen : Fiddler, Thomas | Internet Archive

Windigo | The Canadian Encyclopedia

Wendigo Lore by Chad Lewis and Kevin Lee Nelson

Canadian Mysteries of the Unexplained by John Marlowe – Ebook

Dangerous Spirits: The Windigo in Myth and History – Ebook

Biography – ZHAUWUNO-GEEZHIGO-GAUBOW – Volume XIII (1901-1910) – Dictionary of Canadian Biography

Biography – PEEMEECHEEKAG – Volume XII (1891-1900) – Dictionary of Canadian Biography

(PDF) Wendigo Psychosis

The Windigo in the Material World on JSTOR

The Power to Punish: Conflicts of Authority in the Case of Jack Fiddler | Deborah Rose Peña | The Hypocrite Reader

Windigo of First Nations oral tradition — fearsome and loathsome creature

Free Press Prairie Farmer 23 Oct 1907, page 8

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On July 3, 1884, the Daily Colonist newspaper in Canada reported the capture of “Jacko,” described as a human-like creature resembling a gorilla near Yale, British Columbia. Some Bigfoot enthusiasts later cited this story as evidence for Sasquatch’s existence. The tale gained prominence and drew much speculation from only a single story reprinted in numerous newspapers. Jacko’s story has been featured in various books, documentaries and television shows. Other articles from 1884 dismiss the story as a probable hoax, yet some continue to believe he did exist.

Sources:

The Daily British Colonist, July 3, 1884

The Mainland Guardian, July 9, 1884

The British Columbian, July 12, 1884

Yale & the Strange Story of Jacko the Ape-boy by Christopher L. Murphy and Barry G. Blount

Abominable Snowmen, Legend Come To Life : Ivan T. Sanderson | Internet Archive

Strange Creatures from Time and Space by John A. Keel | Goodreads

Sasquatch in BC: A Chronology of Incidents… by Christopher L. Murphy | Goodreads

Remembering John Green’s indelible footprint

Kilby Historic Site

The Parker Road Phantom | Saltwire

rr_2009_july_protecting_elusive_sasquatch

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First, we look at a little more about the history of UFO sightings in Canada and elsewhere. These are not a new phenomena.

In the show’s second half, we learn about a series of UFO sightings that occurred in the 1970s in Manitoba, particularly around Carman. The sightings garnered significant attention because of their frequency and because many credible individuals, including police officers and other professionals, witnessed them.

The name “Charlie Red Star” was given to the object due to its bright red hue and was often described as a glowing, pulsating, and sometimes changing shape. Sightings of the object frequently mentioned its ability to move at incredible speeds and make sudden maneuvers that seemed beyond the capability of conventional aircraft of that era.

The phenomenon of Charlie Red Star drew many UFO enthusiasts, reporters, and investigators to the area in the hope of witnessing or gaining some understanding of the mysterious object.

While there were numerous speculations and theories regarding the nature of Charlie Red Star, including secret military projects, extraterrestrial craft, or atmospheric phenomena, the true identity and nature of the objects remain unexplained. The events surrounding Charlie Red Star have since become a notable chapter in the annals of UFO lore.

Sources:

The Big Book of UFOs — Chris A. Rutkowski

Search Results: Carman, MB – Canada’s UFOs: The Search for the Unknown – Library and Archives Canada

Charlie Red Star: True Reports of One of North America’s Biggest UFO Sightings by Grant Cameron

The Canadian UFO Report: The Best Cases Revealed by Chris A. Rutkowski

Canada’s UFOs: Declassified by Chris A. Rutkowski

The Calgary Albertan 17 May 1975, page 12

Star-Phoenix 18 Jun 1975, page 17

The Brandon Sun 18 Nov 1975, page Page 1

THE SANDRA LARSON INCIDENT

Schumer, Rounds Introduce New Legislation To Declassify Government Records Related To Unidentified Anomalous Phenomena & UFOs – Modeled After JFK Assassination Records Collection Act – As An Amendment To NDAA | Senate Democratic Leadership

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Episode 288: In this, the second episode of our five-part Spooktober series, we dive into three ghostly tales from coast to coast or, to coin a phrase, ghost to ghost. First, we’re off to northern New Brunswick to learn about the ghostly Fire Ship of Chaleur Bay, said to sail the waters of the bay intermittently terrifying mariners. Next, we head to Wallaceburg, Ontario, where, in the 1830s, violent poltergeist activity known as the Baldoon Mystery occurred. Last, we come back west to B.C., where in a small museum in Quesnel resides Mandy the haunted doll.

Sources:

City of Bathurst | Bathurst.ca | Heritage & Culture | The Legend of the Phantom Ship

Le Vaisseau de Feu de la Baie des Chaleurs

Lost at Sea: Ghost Ships and Other Mysteries | Goss, Michael | Internet Archive

The Burning Ship of Northumberland Strait: Some Notes on That Apparition on JSTOR

The Baldoon Mystery

Baldoon Mystery | Psi Encyclopedia

The Baldoon Mystery | Skeptoid

Baldoon mystery | Wierd and Startling | McDonald, Neil T | Internet Archive

“A History of Wallaceburg and Vicinity 1804 to the Present.” pp. 20–22

Biography – TROYER, JOHN – Volume VII (1836-1850) – Dictionary of Canadian Biography

Mandy | Quesnel & District Museum and Archives

Calgary Herald 04 Apr 1999, page 31

Quesnel Cariboo Observer 28 Apr 1999, page 12

The Paranormal Road Trippers (@theparanormalroadtrippers) | Instagram

Canada’s Most Haunted Doll!! | The Paranormal Road Trippers | YouTube

Meet Mandy the Doll, Canada’s Most Evil Antique

Forget Annabelle. Meet Mandy the Haunted Doll

Mandy the Haunted Doll | The Paranormal Guide

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Episode 287: Canada, the second-largest country in the world, is a vast land of dense forests, expansive tundras, and rugged coastlines. Our diverse landscapes are home to folklore, legends, and tales of mysterious creatures. These elusive beings have captured the imaginations of locals, researchers, and enthusiasts for generations. In this, the first of five spookier-themed episodes for October, let’s explore a few of Canada’s most intriguing legendary creatures. We’ll learn about a weird giant frog in Coleman, New Brunswick, a mythical people-eating creature in B.C., grumpy fairies in Quebec, and a few mythical and often terrifying creatures from the indigenous lore of Canada’s north.

Sources:

The Coleman Frog

Jump Into History With the Coleman Frog

It’s Something | Coleman Frog

Kwakwaka’wakw (Kwakiutl)

Book of Creatures | Baxbakwalanuxsiwae

Le bonhomme sept-heures

The Social Organization & Secret Societies of the Kwakiutl by Franz Boas | Internet Archive

Intellectual culture of the Hudson Bay Eskimos : Rasmussen, Knud | Internet Archive

A Book of Creatures | Canada

.: INUIT MYTHOLOGY:. | Mahaha

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Episode 286: On July 9, 1928, the Alberta Provincial Police were alerted to a mass murder at the Booher farm in Mannville, Alberta. Upon arrival, they discovered the bodies of Rose Booher, her oldest son Fred, and two hired hands, Gabriel Grombey and Bill Rozak, all shot dead. 

The younger son, Vernon Booher, was unharmed. He’d been out in the fields working that evening and, after hearing shots, ran back to the house to his mother and brother dead. It was he who’d sounded the alarm.

Two Booher daughters were in town during the incident. The father of the family, Henry, also away during the killings, was devastated. 

Vernon displayed little emotion and soon became the number one suspect in the slayings. He denied involvement, and the murder weapon, a rifle, was missing. Dr. Adolph Maximilian Langsner, an Austrian criminologist and psychiatrist who claimed he could read brainwaves, was brought in to assist. He claimed he read Vernon’s mind, and confirmed he was the killer. Langsner also directed police to the missing firearm, claiming he’d drawn a map taken from Vernon’s thoughts. Presented with the formerly missing rifle, Vernon confessed, stating he killed his mother over her disapproval of his girlfriend and then eliminated witnesses. But his confession was disallowed. Why? His defence attorneys claimed Dr. Langsner had coerced him into it through hypnotism.

Sources:

1928 CanLII 342 (AB KB) | Rex v. Booher | CanLII

2007 SCC 6 (CanLII) | R. v. Trochym | CanLII

2009 CanLII 40558 (ON SC) | R. v. Trochym | CanLII

Hypnotism and its Legal Import

Times Colonist 19 Jul 1928, page 10

Edmonton Journal 24 Jul 1928, page 1

Langsner on the Stand: The Vancouver Sun 26 Sep 1928, page 1

Edmonton Journal 29 Apr 1996, page 1

Edmonton Journal 29 Apr 1996, page 7

Hypnotically Enhanced Testimony in Criminal Proceedings

Book: Strange Days: Amazing Stories From Canada’s Wildest Decade by Ted Ferguson

Book: The Big Book of Canadian Hauntings by John Robert Colombo

Book: Murder: Twelve True Stories of Homicide in Canada by Edward Butts

Detective Maximilian Langsner and the Murderer’s Mind Part 1

Detective Maximilian Langsner and the Murderer’s Mind Part 2

After 17 years, Stephen Trochym admits slaying

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Episode: 285: The 1612 Lancashire trials of the accused Pendle witches, one of the most notorious witchcraft trials in English history, took place during the reign of King James I. Twelve individuals from the area around Pendle Hill in Lancashire were accused of practicing witchcraft and brought to trial at Lancaster Assizes. Of these, ten were found guilty and hanged, one was found not guilty, and another died in prison. The trial is particularly remembered for the testimonies of the accused, especially that of the young girl, Jennet Device, whose evidence played a significant role in the convictions.

While the immediate aftermath of the Pendle trials saw heightened witch paranoia, the extremity of the trials and the nature of the evidence also sowed seeds of skepticism. Over time, as more and more trials took place, some segments of society began to question the validity of witchcraft accusations and the reliability of the testimony of children and confessions obtained under pressure.

It’s believed that from the early 15th to the early 18th centuries, the total number of executions from English witch trials was just under 500.

Sources:

The Lancashire Witches: A Romance of Pendle Forest by William Harrison Ainsworth

Discovery of Witches by active 1612-1618 Thomas Potts

Daemonologie. by King of England James I

The Pendle Witches, a famous witch trial in Lancashire

The History Press: The Pendle Witches

The Demonology of King James I by Donald Tyson – Ebook

Malleus Maleficarum Index

The mark of the Devil: Medical proof in Witchcraft Trials by Sarah Dunn

The Pendle Witches | Lancashire Witch Trials | English Witchcraft

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Episode 284: On the evening of June 24, 1992, after she failed to pick her daughter up from school, 41-year-old Gladys Wakabayshi’s estranged husband, Shinji and her daughter, Elisa, discovered her body in the hallway of their home in Shaughnessy, a posh Vancouver neighbourhood. Gladys had been brutally slashed and bled out on the floor. 

Early on, after uncovering an affair between Derek James, a long-time family friend, and Gladys Wakabayashi, Jean Ann James, 52, Derek’s wife, became the number one suspect in the murder. Jean Ann refused to talk, leaving the police without enough physical evidence to lay charges.

The crime would go unsolved for more than 15 years before Jean Ann James was arrested after she confessed to the murder of her friend during an intricate Mr. Big sting.

Sources:

2013 BCCA 11 (CanLII) | R. v. James | CanLII

2012 BCCA 162 (CanLII) | R. v. James | CanLII

Search — Newspapers.com: Gladys Wakabayashi

Woman confessed to killing husband’s mistress with box cutters, court told

Jean Ann James | Murderpedia, the encyclopedia of murderers

Not So Sleepy Jean

Accused Killer Seen in Victim’s Bedroom 2 Days Before Murder

‘Volatile’ elderly killer loses bid for private visits with cheating husband | CBC News

The “Mr. Big” Police Tactic in Canada Leads to False Confessions…

华人女富豪被割喉家中 血贱温西豪宅 – 温哥华专栏 – Vansky.com

The case of Nelson Hart: 2 girls, 3 years and a mystery ‘Mr. Big’

No New Friends: A Look at the Law Relating to Mr. Big in R. v. Hart : Royle Law | Criminal and DUI Lawyers Toronto

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Episode 283: In this episode, we venture into a controversial and tragic chapter of Canada’s legal history. It intertwines public health, personal relationships, and the weight of the law. We’re talking about the history of HIV non-disclosure cases in Canada.

Part of our journey takes us to the early 2000s, zeroing in on Johnson Aziga, a Ugandan-born Canadian resident. His name would soon become synonymous with a landmark legal battle challenging the boundaries of consent, deception, and responsibility. Aziga was diagnosed with HIV in 1996, but his numerous subsequent relationships would cast him into the national spotlight. Two women, specifically, would become central to his story: both entered into relationships with Aziga, and HIV-related complications tragically took both. The women’s names are protected under publication bans, so we cannot speak to their biographies. Regardless, their untimely deaths would raise a storm of questions about trust, disclosure, and the duty one owes to their intimate partners. Aziga was convicted of murder and deemed a dangerous offender, but argued that his race and status as an immigrant weighed against him. In 2023, the murder convictions were overturned and replaced with manslaughter charges substituted in their place.

NOTE: In this podcast, the names of survivors will be kept confidential, and initials or aliases will be used instead.

Sources:

A history of HIV/AIDS

HIV 101: The History of HIV & AIDS in Canada – Freddie Magazine

The legacy of the HIV/AIDS fight in Canada

R v Cuerrier

After Cuerrier | Publications – Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network

African immigrant damnation syndrome: The case of Charles Ssenyonga

2006 CanLII 42798 (ON SC) | R. v. Aziga | CanLII

2007 CanLII 38 (ON SC) | R. v. Aziga | CanLII

2011 ONSC 4592 (CanLII) | R. v. Aziga | CanLII

Canada: HIV “murderer” Aziga now also a “dangerous offender,” locked up for life

HIV-positive man convicted of murder apologizes to victims

2014 HRTO 144 (CanLII) | Aziga v. Ontario (Community Safety and Correctional Services) | CanLII

2014 HRTO 1465 (CanLII) | Aziga v. Ontario (Community Safety and Correctional Services) | CanLII

Court overturns murder convictions against Ontario man who gave two women HIV, killing them

2023 ONCA 12 (CanLII) | R. v. Aziga | CanLII

Update — Canada: Murder convictions for HIV transmission reduced to manslaughter

HIV Criminalization

Criminal HIV Transmission

Canada: Ontario leads the world in the over-criminalization of HIV non-disclosure

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Episode 282: Aurore Gagnon is probably one of the most tragic figures in twentieth-century Canadian history. She was only ten years old when she died of exhaustion and blood poisoning in her hometown of Sainte-Philomène-de-Fortierville, Quebec, on February 12, 1920. An autopsy revealed at least 54 wounds on her body, presumably inflicted over time by her stepmother Marie-Anne Houde and her father, Télesphore Gagnon. Both were later convicted for their roles in the little girl’s death. Aurore Gagnon’s story has left a lasting impact on Quebec’s cultural memory, inspiring plays, films, and discussions about child abuse and children’s rights in the province.

Sources:

Aurore! The Mystery of the Martyred Child

HISTORY OF SAINTE-PHILOMÈNE

Fortierville, Quebec, Canada: Church of Saint Philomena of Fortierville

Fortierville

GAGNON, AURORE – Volume XIV (1911-1920) – Dictionary of Canadian Biography

Généalogie Aurore Gagnon

Centre d’interprétation de Fortierville | Église Ste-Philomène de Fortierville

Monument funéraire d’Aurore Gagnon – Répertoire du patrimoine culturel du Québec

Marie-Aurore-Lucienne “Aurore” Gagnon (1909-1920)…

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