Episode 184: In Mississauga, Ontario in 1973 and early 1974, the discoveries of the murdered bodies of two young women, Constance Dickey, 19, and Neda Novak, 18, only months apart, left the community shaken. Both women, it appeared, had been abducted, sexually assaulted, then murdered and dumped by a yet unknown killer. On August 19, 1974, after being sexually assaulted and left for dead, a sixteen-year-old girl, Julia Sheldon, identified a twenty-four-year-old, married father of two named Henry Robert Williams as the man who’d brutally assaulted her. It soon became clear that Williams had also committed the two previous murders.
Early on a cold morning on January 7, 1922, two Montreal city Public Works Department employees, on their way to their works shed, discovered the body of a man laying on the frozen ground near the corners of Coolbrook and Snowden Street. The man, who’d been shot was later identified by a Catholic Priest named Adélard Delorme as his half-brother, Raoul Delorme. When police investigated they were surprised that their evidence pointed to one, very unusual suspect. This case would become important, not only for the oddity of its perpetrator and the groundbreaking forensics used to break the case but also for its shocking outcome.
This is a story of two talented people whose final interaction would lead to the death of one of comedy’s rising stars and a notorious place in Hollywood history for the other.
On March 5, 1982, after an all too brief but stellar career in film and television, actor and comedian John Belushi, 33, was found dead in his bungalow at the infamous Chateau Marmont on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood, California. Investigators soon discovered that a Canadian woman, Catherine Evelyn or Cathy Smith, was the last person with the star and had been the person who had supplied and shot him up with the fatal overdose that killed him.
The region in the South Nahanni River played host to several unexplained and disturbing occurrences in the first half of the twentieth century. Between1905 and 1945, in the remote and rugged wilderness in the lower west corner of Mackenzie Mountains in the Northwest Territories and other unexplained events, there were at least 44 people who went missing under mysterious circumstances.
Most unsettling of all were the four bodies that were found during that time in three separate incidents. All of the corpses had been decapitated, and their heads were never recovered, earning the area the ominous nickname, the Valley of the Headless Men. No one knows who was responsible for these horrific mutilations or what became of the other missing people.
On September 22, 2015, in Renfrew County, Ontario, 66-year-old Carol Culleton was murdered in her home by her one-time handyman. The man, who’d become obsessed with the recent widow before killing her, then stole Culleton’s car and drove to the home of an ex-girlfriend, Anastasia Kuzyk, 36, and shot Anastasia there with a shotgun as her sister fled the home. However, the killer was not done settling the scores he had cooked up in his head and then drove to the home of another ex-girlfriend, Nathalie Warmerdam, 48. As Nathalie’s son ran from their home, in fear of his life, he heard the gunshot that ended his mother’s life.
The killer, Basil Borutski, 58, a former millwright, then fled, and a brief search ensued that ended in Borutski being taken into police custody. Later on, in a 5-hour long taped police interview, the killer admitted to what he’d done, laying the blame for his spree squarely on his victims.
On April 19, 2018, in the village of Victoria Gracia, a community close to Pucallpa in Peru’s central Amazon region of Ucayali, a man got off his motorcycle. He walked toward the home of Olivia Arevalo Lomas, an 81-year-old shaman and respected elder in her community. The man was irate over a debt owed to him by the woman’s son. After firing a warning shot that drew a crowd of neighbours, the elderly healer came out of her house. After a bit of yelling back and forth, the man gunned the woman down with two shots from his pistol, killing her in broad daylight.
The man, later identified as Sebastian Paul Woodroffe, a 41-year-old British Columbian in Peru as an Ayahuasca researcher, was pursued by villagers who publicly lynched him. A cellphone recorded his killing, and the user later posted the video to Facebook. Woodroffe’s body was buried in a shallow grave. Two Peruvian men were later arrested for Woodroffe’s slaying.
What led this man, known to his friends as a gentle, helpful soul, to such a brutal crime?
On the evening of January 29, 2017, a young man, armed with a pistol and a rifle concealed inside a guitar case, entered the Islamic Cultural Centre of Quebec City, a mosque in the Sainte-Foy neighbourhood of the historic city. Just over 40 people were inside the mosque at the time. Just before 8:00 pm, the man entered the prayer hall and began firing and, within two minutes, had killed 6 and seriously injured 5 other worshippers. After the shootings, the killer walked out of the building, hopped into his car and drove off. Less than 20 minutes later, the perpetrator, a 27-year-old, Canadian-born student of anthropology and political science at Laval University, surrendered to police, admitting he was the shooter. The motive? Islamophobia.
On July 3, 1979, a pair of typical Montreal teenagers, Chantal Dupont, 15 and her friend, Maurice Marcil, 14, went missing as they walked home from a concert. Their loved ones had no idea what had happened to them. A week later they heard the news they dreaded. The bodies of Chantal and Maurice were discovered in different spots along the banks of the St. Lawrence River. The details of how the pair ended up in the water and the events leading up to their murders are horrifying.
On the night of November 13, 1974, In the sleepy community of Amityville on the coast of Long Island, New York, a 23-year-old man named Ronald (Butch) DeFeo Jr. came running into a local bar. He was distraught and claiming his whole family, his mother and father and 4 siblings, had been murdered in their home, a large Dutch Colonial house located at 112 Ocean Avenue. However, it was later determined it was Butch himself who’d annihilated his family. A year later, Butch was convicted on six counts of second-degree murder and received an equal number of sentences of 25 years to life in prison for slaughtering his family as they slept.
A month after Butch DeFeo’s conviction, the Lutz family, Kathy, George and their three kids moved into the property having purchased it for a steal, $80,000. But, after only 28 days in the house, the Lutz family fled. They claimed they’d been chased out by relentless psychic torture inflicted on them by some unseen presence; they thought demonic, who’d made life in the house impossible. A 1977 book on the case by author Jay Anson titled The Amityville Horror, and subsequent film in 1979 introduced the story to an international audience and has become one of the most well-known, most covered and at the same time, controversial tales of hauntings and demonic possession in history.
Like any other region, Canada has its share of stories of fantastical creatures that may or may not exist. Dark Poutine has covered a few of them. In episode 25 we learned of Swift Runner, believed to be possessed by the cannibalistic spirit known as Wendigo, we talked about, Ogopogo, the giant serpent in Okanagan Lake in episode 113 and of course, in episode 131 we gave you a primer on Sasquatch aka Bigfoot in Western Canada and the USA. In this episode, you will learn about some of Canada’s lesser-known cryptids, The Loup-Garou, The Thunderbird, The Toronto Tunnel Monster and The Giant Spider Bat.