Episode 198: If you’ve had any interest in the Wild West, you’ve no doubt heard of a many of the storied gunmen and bandits from the era like Butch Cassidy, Jesse James and Billy the Kid. You probably also think of the United States, but Canada has its own legends and colourful characters from the era on both sides of the border. For example, legendary gunslinger and lawman, Bat Masterson, was was born in Henryville, Quebec. Sometimes the outlaws were women, like one notorious Canadian-born, lady bandit and the subject of this episode, whose most famous alias was Pearl Hart. After a rough life with criminal exploits that started during her troubled childhood, Pearl got herself into big trouble in Arizona in 1899 and was finally taken into custody after robbing a stage coach.
Episode 197: In our last episode we learned a bit about the life and depraved, early crimes of David Russell Williams, a 46-year-old decorated colonel and commander of the Canadian Forces Base (CFB) in Trenton, Ontario – one of the largest and busiest air force bases in Canada. The Canadian military’s rising star also had some dark secrets. Williams had been involved in dozens of instances of break, enter and theft of women’s undergarments in the communities in which he lived. The homeowners and police were unaware that many of these crimes had taken place. Many of the women presumed that their underwear had simply gone missing. They had no clue that they had been taken by someone who’s fantasy life had taken a very dark turn. Williams felt powerful in the homes, taking photos as he pleasured himself with the most private possessions of women he didn’t know. Russell would take their underwear home where, sexually aroused once again, he would take photos of himself as he modelled the items recalling his time in the homes of the women. The continued use of the garments thrilled Russell Williams and gave him a feeling of complete control.
In September 2009, Russell’s insatiable cravings for yet another sexual thrill demanded he take things a step further. Williams sexually assaulted two Tweed women, forcibly confining them, fondling them as he snapped multiple photos of the terrified women after removing their clothes. While those events had been exciting for Williams, they were dry runs for what he would do next. In November, 2009, Russell Williams committed his first murder, that of Marie-France Comeau. Month’s later, he killed Jessica Lloyd, but his inattention to the little details, eventually got him caught.
Episode 196 – In September of 2009, in Cosy Cove, a quiet, rural neighbourhood near Tweed, Ontario, an anonymous young woman sleeping in her home was brutally sexually assaulted by an unknown assailant who’d broken into her home. During the violent, two-hour sexual assault, as her 8 week old daughter slept in another room, the rapist snapped photos of the woman, before escaping into the night. Two weeks later, in the same small neighbourhood, the creeper struck again, sexually assaulting another woman, Laurie Massicotte. Her rapist also photographed her before fleeing. A neighbour Laurie’s, was suspected in the assault but he denied any involvement. He was later cleared when his DNA was not a match to that of the Laurie’s attacker. Police suspected the two sexual assaults were somehow connected as they were both so similar.
Two months later, there was a murder. A year after that, another. When police discovered the identity of the perpetrator, the whole country was shocked.
Episode 195: Hannah Buxbaum was found dead July 5, 1984 on a highway near London, Ontario after having been shot by roadside bandits three times in the head as her husband Helmuth Buxbaum and their young nephew, Roy, in town from Vancouver for a visit watched helplessly. The bandits sped off with Hanna’s purse and police were called. No one could figure out why anyone would want to murder Hanna Buxbaum, who was as close to being a living saint that anyone could find.
The press initially labelled the case ‘The Good Samaritan Murder’ until the true story unfolded. This story has so many twists and turns and crazy elements. The Buxbaums being millionaire owners of several nursing homes there were huge sums of money, cocaine, sex addiction, sex workers, double crossing, nuclear bunkers filled with tobacco and alcohol, people being dangled by their feet off 14th floor balconies, worries of rocket launcher attacks and courtroom spectacles. No less than a motley crew of 7 people were charged in the killing of the earnest, salt of the earth woman, until, finally, the truth came out.
Episode 194: On June 25, 1950, after months of increasing tension, the Korean War or what has been called Canada’s forgotten war, began when North Korean troops invaded South Korea. Countries, including Canada, belonging to the newly formed United Nations jumped in quickly to defend democratic South Korea from the the communist forces from the north. Canada contributed the third largest number of soldiers among UN countries to the war. More than 26,000 Canadians served in the conflict on land, at sea and in the air. Over the next three years of the conflict there were 516 Canadians killed, another 1042 were wounded, 33 became prisoners of war and 16 soldiers are still missing in action.
Lest we forget.
Episode 193: On September 5, 2009, Hilary Bonnell, 16, disappeared from Esgenoopetitj formerly known as, Burnt Church, in the Miramichi region of New Brunswick. Over the next several months her mother, stepfather, family and friends pulled out all the stops searching for the teen. Despite their tireless efforts, during which they utilized the media and a widespread poster campaign, they could not find Hilary. On Sunday, November 8, 2009, Curtis Wayne Bonnell, Hilary’s first cousin, was arrested by the R.C.M.P. on an unrelated sexual assault allegation. In custody, Curtis began talking. He admitted he had knowledge of what had happened to Hilary Bonnell.
Episode 192: If you’re willing to look you’ll see that human culture and all other endeavors are shot through with one predominant and frightening idea, that one day everything, including us, must come to an end. One day we will die. Human beings are, as far as we know, the only animal capable of understanding that inevitably every one of us, good eggs and bad apples alike, will expire. Hopefully, a long time from now, we will pass away, be sleeping with the fishes, or, if you like, have met our maker.
On the evening of July 30, 2008, Tim McLean, a 22-year-old Canadian carnival barker was returning home to Winnipeg riding a Greyhound bus when he was viciously stabbed, beheaded, and cannibalized by another passenger about 18 km west of Portage la Prairie, Manitoba. After arriving on the scene, RCMP watched for hours as the perpetrator, Vince Li, 40, desecrated Tim’s body inside the bus after the driver and remaining passengers had fled, powerless to stop the man’s frenzy. Less than a year later, Vince Li was found not criminally responsible (NCR) for Tim McLean’s slaying, but held in a Manitoba psychiatric institution from which he was released just 6 years later.
Episode 190: Old Mike Todor’s body was found in his east end Regina home in the spring of 1955. He’d lain there for more than 14 months and had been beaten to death. Someone had killed him, but who? Elizabeth “Tootsie” LaFleche, Mike’s 30-something-year-old wife, who’d been living with a friend for months, was telling a lot of stories about what had become of Mike. None of the tales made a lot of sense. After police found Mike’s body, a number of arrests were made, charges were laid and several trials held, but thanks to Tootsie’s lies, the real facts of the case may never be known.
Episode 189: Starting in 1963 and stretching over the next seven years, a militant French separatist group called the Front de libération du Québec (FLQ) terrorized La Belle Province. Their aim was to overthrow the Quebec government and leave Canada creating an independent Marxist- Leninist Quebec state. By 1970 the group had committed more than 200 violent criminal and terroristic acts including, bombings and high-profile kidnappings. The group’s activities ultimately claimed the lives of eight people, including a Quebec provincial cabinet minister, and injured many more, before then Prime Minister, Pierre Elliot Trudeau, finding himself out of options, enacted the 1914 War Measures act to stem the violence of the October Crisis of 1970.