Michael Arntfield joins us to talk about his latest book, Murder In Plain English – From Manifestos to Memes – Looking at Murder through the words of Killers.
We discuss how artifice and crime are linked and inform each other.
Michael Arntfield joins us to talk about his latest book, Murder In Plain English – From Manifestos to Memes – Looking at Murder through the words of Killers.
We discuss how artifice and crime are linked and inform each other.
I attended Trinity College with Malcolm Gladwell at the University of Toronto. In the course of the last thirty years we have attended two weddings together; one infamous and bombastic, the other sweet and unforgettable.
This is a slightly longer version of an an interview I did with Malcolm for GovLove International, a podcast about emerging issues and trends in local government. If you’re wondering what links a conversation with Malcolm Gladwell and a website about unsolved murders consider the issues of social justice:
The Mercey Brothers – Old Loves Never Die:
A response to The Minds Of Madness podcast.
We backtrack. Revisit Luc Gregoire.
The music: It’s The Sweet: Love Is Like Oxygen. This was released January, 1978. I know Theresa loved it. It also addresses Tyler and Bek’s point about prog rock and disco culture.
Twitter – @madnesspod
Patreon – https://www.patreon.com/MadnessPod
Notes from the podcast
Prologue: On October 29, 1999 Monique Gaudreau, a 45-year-old nurse at a hospital in the Laurentians was found dead at her home in Sainte-Agathe-des-Monts, Quebec (North of Montreal) . Gaudreau was found in the bedroom. She had been beaten, sexually assaulted, and stabbed 55 times. This is the story of William Patrick Fyfe.
Music: The Poppy Family: Evil Grows
Some intro on Fyfe: William Fyfe , known as the Killer Handyman, Born in late February 1955. One of Canada’s most prolific serial killers. why it’s important to talk about him
So let’s get into how Fyfe was caught. To answer that we first turn to the case of Anna Yarnold, a 59-year-old woman who was found dead on October 15, 1999 in Senneville, Quebec (west of Montreal… 1,500 people?). Lived in isolated home on water front. In analyzing the crime scene police note that the assailant approached the house in a vehicle at night. Yarnold’s dog was locked in a room with her handbag, wallet. The body found outside in the garden. Face down in flower bed. There was bruising on the neck and face, and she was beaten with a flower pot. She was initially attacked in the bathroom. She ran outside. Where she was choked beaten and bashed in the head with a flower pot. The assailant took credit cards. Police initially suspect her husband, Robert Yarnold because the scene seemed too violent for a mere robbery. crime of passion. There were no forensics / hard to get forensics on an outside murder. (Paul Cherry interviewed, he reported that it probably wasn’t a robbery)
Police know began to question if this was in some way connected to an incident that happened earlier in the Summer in the West Island of Montreal. In July, 1999 a woman named Janet Kuckinsky was attacked and murdered on a Bicycle path in the West Island.
At this point police also go back to the case of Monique Gaudreau, a 45-year-old victim from Saint Agathe who was beaten, sexually assaulted and stabbed 55 times. However, as with Yarnold police have very little forensics. In fact, not even a robbery, nothing taken. Outside they find a footprint (blood of Mrs. Gaudreau). They also find blood droplets belonging to a male individual. Different causes of death (knife / smashed with pot), therefore different killers? Forensic biologist Josenthe Prevot: “It’s difficult to approach violence, to be in there him. To be in the victim’s environment where they live their everyday lives”
On November 19th, 1999, a 55-year old accountant goes missing in Laval, Quebec. When police go to check her apartment they find four Montreal Gazette’s stacked outside her door. Teresa Shanahan was found stabbed to death on November 23, 1999. She had been sexually assaulted, beaten and stabbed 32 times. The scene was similar to Gaudreau, except there were items missing, jewelry and credit cards. Later there were ATM withdrawals the evening of the murder : $500 / $500. The assailant obtained her PIN number. At about this time the daughter of Anna Yarnold noticed withdrawals from her account. Police obtained a grainy / blurry photo produced from ATM, man in kangaroo hoody with a bearded. As Yarnold’s husband was clean shaven this ruled him out.
From this police now piece together that the assailant is torturing victims to obtain PIN numbers. He’s using subterfuge to obtain entry / tradesman or handyman: no break-ins.
December 15, 1999: a man comes to door of home in Baie-d’Urfé, Quebec (west). Asks the woman who answers if she’d like any gardening done. He’s doing some work in the area, could he offer services. Woman talks to husband, and then declines the offer.
Across the street on that same day 50-year-old Mary Glenn, was beaten and stabbed to death. Glenn lived alone in a waterfront home. Same man approaches home. Following morning woman finds her in living room. Interior, beaten, stabbed and violated. Prevost returns. Clothed. Beaten with blunt object. No forced entry. Very violent, covering many rooms, hair ripped out, blood in multiple rooms. Finished in living room. Turned on back,” beaten to a pulp” Again, footprints in blood. Blood on hands, washes hands in kitchen sink. Goes to bedroom upstairs, shakes down victim’s purse. A forensics printer expert, Jean Paul Menier, finds a finger print. Loads into finger print bank. A match is made: The print is that of 44 year old William Fyfe.
So who is Fyfe? Born in Toronto, raised in Montreal. Attended Montreal High School, he was known for urinating on the school bus. His first adult run-in with the law was in 1975, when he was charged with theft over $200 in Montreal and sentenced to six months in jail. Since then a series of BandEs and thefts. He worked as handyman. He was married, separated with a child. Since then several rel/ships. He did home renovations. Last known address was in a town north of Montreal.
At this point the police have a puzzle: Do they go public and risk scaring him off into hiding, or do they act in the importance of the public interest? The police are given several hours to find him. Ex-girl friend tips that he may be staying at mother’s in Barrie Ontario. OPP Detective Jim Miller goes to mother’s old farm house. Car with QC plates registered to Fyfe. 24 hour surveillance. Determining if enough evidence to arrest. MUC come to Barrie, publish photo of Fyfe. Say he’s suspect, wanted for questioning. Story goes national. Leaves home, goes to Toronto, looks for newspapers, puts in orders for the Gazette. Dec 21st, 1999. Goes to church, drops three pairs of running shoes. Drove away. Spots on shoes that appear to be blood. Police finally close in on Fyfe at the Husky Truck Stop gas station in Barrie on December 22, 1999, he’s placed under arrest for Mary Elizabeth Glenn. “why don’t you shoot me now?”
Corporal Andrew Bouchard, Montreal police : on the investigation. Bouchard head of Montreal’s major crimes division. Interrogation: “arrogant. Cold like a fish”. First night, they don’t get very far. The secure his cigarette butts for DNA.
Hazel Scattolon, a 52-year-old woman who was stabbed to death and sexually assaulted in March 21, 1981. Scattalon’s son played hockey with Fyfe. Calls in in aftermath. Fyfe had painted in Hazel’s house. Mount Royal. At this point, where they thought they were investigating a series of murders from 1999, Fyfe has the potential of stretching back 18 years
Through it all Fyfe maintained his innocence, but there was simply too much evidence. There was blood on Fyfe’s shoes and clothing. In the case of Anna Yarnold police found traces of her blood on Fyfe’s clothing. The prints from the Monique Gaudreau crime scene tied to shoes recovered at the church in Ontario. Teresa Shanahan’s stolen ring later turned up as one of Fyfe’s possessions. And finally of course the finger print recovered at the Mary Glenn site turned out to be Fyfe’s.
On Sept 21, 2001 Fyfe is sentenced to life in prison wit out parole for 25 years. He denied involvement in the Janet Kuckinsky case.
During these affairs Fyfe hinted at other cases. After his conviction he confessed to 4 more:
And police also later learn that Fyfe was responsible for a string of violent rapes in the 1980s in downtown Montreal / “The Plumber” rapes.
(series of violent rapes in the 1980s / Plumber Rapes)
So putting the timeline together, Fyfe’s activity crosses two decades 1979 – 1999.
Police begin to ponder the the gaps in time. And why the slowing of violence? Why did he calm down. Police said Fyfe was always willing to describe the crimes in vivid detail, but he remained silent as to motive. “What hit you to cause you to kill again? Why did you stab her so many times” / “that’s for me to know”, Fyfe replied.
In 2000 a task force was formed and Investigation units from Montreal, Laval, SQ went back and check files on 85 cold cases dating back to 1981.
During the 1980s Fyfe lived in St. Laurent (borders Cartierville) , LaSalle, Lachine and Verdun (south of Pointe Saint Charles) during the 1980s and in the Laurentian town of Saint-Jerome in 1993 (north).
He still remains a suspect in at least 5 unsolved murders:
Looking at our own cases, could Fyfe be a suspect? No: wrong timeline (too young), different modus operandi:
Note the above two because please only delve back as far as 1979, so we presume they know he was in prison?
Was Fyfe operating with a different M.O .at an earlier age, then switched at some point to something less risky? (Outdoors to indoors. Younger to older victims)
Fyfe will be elegible for parole September, 2026. He will be 69 to 70 years of age.
Out music: Terry Jacks / Seasons in the Sun
Donc, le monde s’élève à nouveau à propos de la dernière transgression géographique de Karla Homolka.
Hier, la Gazette de Montréal a rapporté que le tueur en série canadien a supervisé les enfants de la maternelle de l’Académie Adventiste de Greaves lors d’une excursion en mars et une fois amené son chien à l’école pour les élèves d’animaux de compagnie. Les trois enfants d’Homolka fréquentent l’école privée.
Comme tout parent, je suis outragé. Maintenant, dites-moi comment vous allez mieux gérer la situation. C’est une école privée. L’école connaissait son histoire. Ils ont apparemment pris la décision que tout le monde mérite une seconde chance. Leur décision.
Dans l’affaire pénale contre Karla Homolka, la poursuite lui a donné un accord de cœur doux, après 12 ans de prison, elle a marché en 2005. Encore une fois, leur décision (…effroyable). Au printemps dernier, nous avons appris que Homolka vivait dans la communauté de Chateauguay à la rive sud de Montréal, et le monde était de nouveau indigné. Eh bien, elle doit vivre quelque part? Nous ne la lancerons pas devant les murs de la société.
Je me souviens très bien d’avoir parlé avec un administrateur des services correctionnels de la Colombie-Britannique il y a quelques années, qui a parlé de l’arrestation d’un délinquant sexuel enregistré dans son quartier. Elle a cuit une assiette de biscuits, et elle et sa fille ont traversé la rue pour les présenter à l’homme:
“Salut, bienvenue dans le quartier. Je m’appelle Jane Smith, je travaille pour le département des services correctionnels”
Traduction: “Salut,” Jane Jane, je sais que vous êtes “.
Le point était très simple. Bienvenue, mais je vais regarder. Confiance, mais vérifiez.
Lorsque mes enfants étaient plus jeunes, j’avais l’habitude de passer du temps à sondage périodique de la base de données des délinquants sexuels pour voir qui était entré dans le quartier. Je me suis rapidement arrêté parce qu’il y avait trop d’aller et venir, et je n’avais pas beaucoup des biscuits. Mieux vaut apprendre à mes enfants à être vigilants et à NE PAS CONFIER LES HOMMES. Difficile, je sais, mais pourquoi ne pas couper à la poursuite.
À plus d’attention, je préfère avoir Leanne Teale – le nom d’Homolka qui utilise actuellement – vivant dans mon quartier parce que j’ai identifié la menace, je pourrais atténuer les risques.
Dans tout cela, je crains que les gens manquent d’un problème plus important; La menace d’Homolka pourrait être réelle, et les panneaux d’avertissement sont profondément tissés dans le tissu de l’histoire de Montréal.
En choisissant de vivre sur la rive sud de Montréal, Homolka a sélectionné une communauté avec une histoire tragique remarquablement similaire à celle de Saint Catherines, en Ontario, où Paul Bernardo et Homolka ont menacé les meurtres brutaux de Leslie Mahaffy, âgée de 14 ans, et de 15 ans Kirsten French.
En 1974-75, la ville de Châteauguay a été secouée par les disparitions et les meurtres de Norma O’Brien, 12 ans, et Debbie Fisher, âgée de 14 ans. Dans un délai d’un an, un jeune délinquant qui s’appelait le chasseur de Châteauguay (“Le Maniaque Pleine Lune”) a été arrêté, mais la communauté n’a jamais complètement récupéré.
Aller au printemps dernier et avoir une idée de la véritable source de l’indignation de la communauté. Remarquablement, aucune agence de presse ne s’est inquiété de souligner ” l’ironie” d’Homolka en choisissant cette ville. Un journaliste m’a dit à l’époque que «ils ne voulaient pas encore traumatiser les gens», comme si, en tant que société, nous ne pouvions pas avoir de discussions difficiles. Lorsque les médias brouillent de telles conversations, ils font plus de dégâts que de bien, ce qui laisse les communautés à aucun autre recours, mais à la fessée des tours dans les cirques des médias sociaux (et ils n’ont aucun scrupule de remuer ce pot de merde).
Et est-ce que Homolka peut-on se qualifier “d’ironique” à Chateauguay? N’est-il pas possible qu’elle ait délibérément choisi cette communauté parce qu’elle lui était aussi familière que Saint Catherines? Une petite communauté de banlieue, une histoire de tragédie avec deux jeunes victimes d’âge similaire à Mahaffy et French, qui ressemblent physiquement à Mahaffy et French. Homolka a-t-elle appris la tragédie pendant son séjour dans la prison du Québec? Les détenus parlent de ces choses. En bref, Homolka a-t-il choisi Chateauguay parce qu’il se sentait à la maison?
Si vous pensez que l’idée d’un délinquant obligé de ré-vivre les expériences horribles des crimes, le sujet de la fiction considère ceci:
Gilles Pimparé, montré à gauche en 1979
Gilles Pimparé, emprisonné depuis 1979 pour le brutal et infâme meurtre du pont Jacques-Cartier de Maurice Marcil, 14 ans, et Chantal Dupont, 15 ans, a été renvoyée à la libération conditionnelle six fois en 13 ans. Remarquablement, la famille Dupont l’a pardonné, en achetant son histoire qu’il «aimait Chantal trop, c’est pourquoi il devait la tuer». Mais l’une des principales raisons pour lesquelles Pimparé n’a jamais été libéré? Il a gardé un porn stash sur son disque dur qui avait des photos de jeunes filles nues posant au pont Jacques Cartier pour soutenir les décennies de sa paraphilique après les meurtres commis (vous pouvez le consulter en vérifiant ses dossiers de libération conditionnelle).
Je me demande si Homolka avait une intention particulière quand elle a choisi de vivre à Châteauguy. Si j’étais journaliste d’investigation? Je voudrais vérifier si les corrections / libération conditionnelle l’ont assignée à Chateauguy ou si elle l’a choisi.
Faites confiance, mais vérifiez.
So the world’s up in arms again about the latest geographic transgression of Karla Homolka.
Yesterday the Montreal Gazette reported that the Canadian serial killer supervised kindergarten children from the Greaves Adventist Academy on a field trip in March and once brought her dog to the school for students to pet. Homolka’s three children attend the private school ( Karla volunteered at an N.D.G. elementary school ).
Like any parent I am outraged. Now tell me how you’d better handle the situation. It’s a private school. The school knew of her history. They apparently made the decision that everyone deserves a second chance. Their decision.
In the criminal case against Karla Homolka the prosecution gave her a sweet-heart deal, after 12-years in prison she walked in 2005. Again, their (appalling) decision. Last spring we learned Homolka was living in the Montreal south shore community of Chateauguay, and the world again was outraged. Well she’s got to live somewhere? We’re not going to toss her outside the walls of society.
I well remember speaking with a British Columbia corrections administrator some years ago who talkedto about when a registered sex offender moved into her neighborhood. She baked a plate of cookies, and she and her daughter walked across the street to present them to the man:
“Hi, welcome to the neighborhood. My name’s Jane Smith, I work for the department of corrections,”
Translation: “Hi, “m Jane Smith, I KNOW WHO YOU ARE.”
The point was very simple. Welcome, but I’ll be watching. Trust, but verify.
When my children were younger I used to spend time periodically probing the sex offender database to see who had moved into the neighborhood. I soon stopped because there were just too many coming and going, and I didn’t have that many cookies. Better to teach my kids how to be vigilant, and to NOT TRUST MEN. Harsh, I know, but why not cut to the chase.
On further consideration I might prefer having Leanne Teale – the name Homolka’s currently using – living in my neighborhood because having identified the threat, I could then mitigate the risk.
In all this bluster and bombast I fear people are missing a larger issue; Homolka’s threat might be real, and the warning signs are deeply woven int the fabric of Montreal’s history.
In choosing to live on Montreal’s south shore Homolka selected a community with a remarkably similar tragic history to that of Saint Catherines, Ontario, where Paul Bernardo and Homolka carried out the brutal murders of 14-year-old Leslie Mahaffy and 15-year-old Kirsten French.
In 1974-75 the town of Chateauguay was rocked by the disappearances and murders of 12-year-old Norma O’Brien and 14-year-old Debbie Fisher. Within a year a young offender who came to be known as the Chateauguay Killer (“Le Maniaque Pleine Lune”) was arrested, but the community never fully recovered.
Jump forward to last spring and you get some idea of the true source of the community’s outrage. Remarkably, no news agency bothered to point out the “irony” of Homolka choosing this town. One reporter told me at the time that “they didn’t want to further traumatize people”, as if as a society we are incapable of having difficult discussions. When the media muzzles such conversations they do more damage than good, leaving communities no other resort but to sling shit at the towers in the social media circus (and the media have no qualms about stirring that shit pot).
And can Homolka moving to Chateauguay really be best summed up as “ironic”? Is it not possible that she deliberately chose this community because it was as familiar to her as Saint Catherines? A small suburban community, a history of tragedy with two young victims similar in age to Mahaffy and French, who physically resemble Mahaffy and French. Did Homolka learn of the tragedy while serving her time in Quebec prison? Inmates talk about such things. In short, did Homolka choose Chateauguay because it felt like home?
If you think the idea of an offender compelled to re-live the gruesome experiences of crimes the stuff of fiction consider this:
Gilles Pimparé, imprisoned since 1979 for the brutal and infamous Jacques Cartier Bridge murders of Maurice Marcil, 14, and Chantal Dupont, 15, has been denied parole six times in 13 years. Remarkably, the Dupont family forgave him, buying his story that he “loved Chantal too much, that’s why he had to kill her.”. But one of the chief reasons Pimparé has never been paroled? He kept a porn stash on his hard drive that had photos of naked young girls posing at the Jacques Cartier Bridge to sustain his paraphiliac fantasy’s decades after the murders were committed (you can look it up by checking his parole records).
So I just wonder whether Homolka had specific intention when she chose to live in Chateauguy. If I were an investigative journalist? I’d want to check and see if corrections / parole assigned her to Chateauguy or if she chose it.
Trust but verify.
An Interview with criminologist Dr. Kim Rossmo, whose pioneer work lead to the creation of the field of geographic profiling:
Rossmo joined the Vancouver Police Department as a civilian employee in 1978 and became a sworn officer in 1980. In 1987 he received a master’s degree in criminology from Simon Fraser University and in 1995 became the first police officer in Canada to obtain a doctorate in criminology. His dissertation research resulted in a new criminal investigative methodology called geographic profiling.
In 1995, he was promoted to detective inspector and founded a geographic profiling section within the Vancouver Police Department. In 1998, his analysis of cases of missing sex trade workers determined that a serial killer was at work, a conclusion ultimately vindicated by the arrest and conviction of Robert Pickton in 2002. A retired Vancouver police staff sergeant has claimed that animosity toward Rossmo delayed the arrest of Pickton, leaving him free to carry out additional murders. His analytic results were not accepted at the time and after a dispute with senior members of the department he left in 2001. His unsuccessful lawsuit against the Vancouver Police Board for wrongful dismissal exposed considerable apparent dysfunction within that department.
After serving as director of research at the Police Foundation in Washington, DC, from 2001 to 2003, he moved to Texas State University where he currently holds the Endowed Chair in Criminology and is director of the Center for Geospatial Intelligence and Investigation. Since then, he has applied techniques of geographic profiling to counterterrorism, animal foraging, and epidemiology. He has also researched and published on the subject of criminal investigative failures. He has written three books.
At the conclusion of this interview Kim very kindly wrote, “I just wanted to tell you that I have done a lot of interviews over the years and your questions today were really good. I could tell you put a lot of thought and planning into this.”
Rossmo as a “beat cop” in Vancouver:
The Bee Gees, Islands In The Stream:
The King Curtis cover of Procol Harum’s Whiter Shade of Pale:
My favorite Supertramp album (I hope it’s Kims!):
The Guess Who, Running Back to Saskatoon:
A show about the criminal investigative failure of the death of Theresa Allore from the Eastern Townships of Quebec. In this episode we focus on the murders of Manon Dube and Louise Camirand:
Happy New Year. For those interested, the episode that was filmed last Spring for Poirier Enquete on Theresa Allore will air tomorrow evening (January 4th, 2017) on the Historia channel in Quebec.
Historia advanced the release date on this. Originally it was not supposed to air until the third season (2018). Now it will be kicking off season two.
The episode will air daily on Historia through January 11th, and will be available for several weeks on Historia’s website ( Content available only in Canada, but there are work arounds for that 😉 )
Other cases to be covered in Season two:
Marie-Josée St-Antoine, episode 2
Nathalie Godbout, episode 3
Joanne Dorion, episode 4
Roxanne Luce, episode 5
Mélanie Cabay, episode 9
Here is a link to their website and a description of the program:
Novembre 1978, Theresa Allore, étudiante au Collège Champlain de,Lennoxville, disparaît. Le 13 avril 1979, le corps de la jeune femme de 19 ans sera,retrouvé dans un bras de la rivière Coaticook à Compton, à un km de sa,résidence étudiante. Longtemps, les enquêteurs de la SQ affirmeront,qu’elle est morte d’une overdose, même si ses proches affirment qu’elle ne,consommait pas de drogues dures. Récemment, les enquêteurs ont reconnu qu’elle a,été victime d’une mort violente.