Episode 087 – On the morning of October 9, 2011, 19-year-old Amber Kirwan failed to show up for an arranged ride home after leaving a local billiards hall in New Glasgow, N.S. After a massive search for almost a month Amber’s body was found in a shallow grave in the nearby village of Heathbell. The man eventually charged and convicted of the crime had a surprising background. Should he have been in the community at all?
Episode 086 – In October of 1902 the small, quiet Mennonite community of Altona, Manitoba was shaken by violent events at the hands of one of their own. The teacher at their one room school opened fire on three school trustees after an argument, wounding all three. He then returned to the school and shot three students, all daughters of the trustees he’d shot earlier.
episode 085 – The day before Valentines Day in 2008, James Shannon, a nurse from Port Alberni, BC, met up with another man he’d met on the web site, Plenty of Fish. Although James was looking for love, the man he brought into his home brought something much more sinister. Days later, after not showing up for multiple shifts at work, James Shannon was found brutally murdered in his home. The man who committed the act, Kim Winslow Rothgordt, was claiming he’d been raped and was too intoxicated at the time to know what happened. The truth was nowhere near his claims.
Episode 082 – On the morning of December 6, 2009, Ottawa paramedics and police responded to what sounded like a frantic 911 call placed by a man at a residence in the Bayshore area. The man was screaming that his wife was not breathing. Upon arriving they found the owner of the home, 33-year-old Donna Jones, deceased on a makeshift mattress on the basement floor. Donna’s injuries and her time of death did not match the story that her husband Mark Peter Hutt was telling. Investigators would uncover a brutal history of abuse and torture ultimately leading to a heinous murder.
WARNING: This podcast includes graphic descriptions of violent domestic abuse and murder.
Episode 078 – In May of 2013 police in New Jersey found respected, 73-year-old Lawyer, Joseph Galfy Jr. dead in the bedroom his home wearing only socks and underwear. Investigators were quickly onto a suspect who turned out to be a well known drifter.
Three months before, the suspect, 24-year-old, Canadian born Caleb Lawrence McGillvary, had become a internet celebrity, known as Kai the Hatchet Wielding Hitchhiker. He was interviewed by Jessob Reisbeck for Fox News in Fresno California. In the interview Caleb, using another name, described coming to the aid of people who were being attacked by a large man who he’d been riding with only moments before. Using a hatchet from his backpack, Caleb had cleaved the man’s skull allowing bystanders and later police to subdue him.
McGillvary was apprehended days later, but only tried for the murder in May of 2019, 6 years later. Although convicted, he maintains his innocence claiming he killed Galfy in self-defence.
Photo Credit: Jessob Reisbeck/YouTube/GlobalNews.ca screen grab
Episode 074 – In April of 1990, 14-year-old Julie Ann Stanton disappeared near her Pickering, Ontario home. Right away investigators suspected, Peter John Stark, a neighbour and father of Julie’s best, in Julie’s disappearance. After 4 years, the police and Crown finally had enough to go arrest Stark, who turned out to be a serial predator with a very dark past.
NOTE: This week’s guest host, Johanna Hemenway, went to the same high school and was in the same grade as Julie Stanton. She and some of her friends provided more insight around their experience with the crime and memories of the victim for the episode.
Episode 073 – In rural Prince Edward Island, on October 7, 1994 a car was found abandoned, away from the main road and in a field. The licence plates were missing and there appeared to be blood spatter on the windshield and throughout the vehicle’s interior. The car was found to belong to a 32-year-old mother of five named Shirley Anne Duguay. RCMP investigated and were told by Shirley’s family that she had not been seen in days. She’d disappeared, but thanks to evidence found by searchers, police believed that Shirley had been murdered.
Shirley’s body was found months later in a shallow grave. Douglas Leo Beamish, Shirley’s ex common-law spouse and father of three of her children, was arrested and charged with Shirley’s murder. Some of the evidence used against Beamish had never been utilized at trial before. This case from Canada’s tiny province would be precedent setting.
Episode 072 – On a freezing December morning the Castor Volunteer Fire Department braved the icy Alberta roads to attend a structure fire at a farm a few kilometers outside town. When the firefighters arrived there were red flags evident immediately.
The family dog lay dead in the driveway from an apparent gunshot wound, two 9mm casings were nearby as was a partially full gas can which lay only meters away from the front door of the home, now almost burned to the ground. Three people, Sandra and Gordon Klaus, and their adult daughter Monica, had been at home at the time of the unsurvivable inferno. The only member of the immediate family left alive was the couple’s eldest son and Monica’s brother, Jason, who lived in a trailer nearby.
Who could have committed horrific acts and why? As the investigation unfolded a bizarre cover up story emerged consisting of communication with the spirits of the deceased.
Episode 071 – It’s been a long time coming, but this is our first episode taking place entirely in Newfoundland. On the night of February 6, 2000 nearly the entire population of the tiny town of Fleur de Lys was out looking for 13-year-old Samantha Walsh. She’d gone missing on a three minute walk between her grandmother’s house and her own home in weather that was -25 °C. As the weeks wore on with no verified signs of Samantha suspicions fell on a local 16-year-old boy dividing the small community. Many did not believe that one of their own could hurt a child.
Episode 070 – In the quiet city of Armstrong B.C. on Halloween night 2011, Taylor Van Diest, 18, left her house dressed as a zombie. She was excited to meet up with her pals to go trick or treating one last time before they were ‘too old’. Taylor stopped responding to text messages just over ten minutes into her short walk to her friend’s home. She was found badly beaten and clinging to life two hours later by friends and family frantically searching. The fun loving girl with no known enemies died in hospital the next morning. It would take good old fashioned police work coupled with forensic DNA evidence to bring her killer to justice.