The Ballad of William Fyfe / WKT #26

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

William Patrick Fyfe

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)

Yarnold & Gaudreau

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”

Shanahan & Glenn

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?”

Fyfe’s Ford Ranger at Husky Truckstop in Barrie, Ontario

 

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

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:

Raymond, Poupart-Leblanc, et Laplante

  1. Suzanne-Marie Bernier, a 62-years-old woman who was stabbed and sexually assaulted October 17, 1979 in Cartierville, Montreal
  2. Nicole Raymond, a 26-years-old woman who was stabbed and sexually assaulted on November 14, 1979 in Pointe-Claire, Montreal
  3. Louise Poupart-Leblanc, a 37-years-old woman who was stabbed 17 times and sexually assaulted on September 26, 1987 in Saint-Adèle, Laurentides
  4. Pauline Laplante, a 44-years-old woman who was stabbed and sexually assaulted on June 9, 1989 in Saint-Adèle, Laurentides

And police also later learn that Fyfe was responsible for a string of violent rapes in the 1980s in downtown Montreal  / “The Plumber”  rapes.

Timeline:

  1. Suzanne-Marie Bernier, Cartierville, Montreal, October 17, 1979
  2. Nicole Raymond, Pointe-Claire, Montreal November 14, 1979

GAP

  1. Hazel Scattolon, Mount Royal  March 21, 1981. Stabbed 27 times.

(series  of violent rapes in the 1980s / Plumber Rapes)

  1. Louise Poupart-Leblanc, Saint-Adèle, Laurentides September 26, 1987
  2. Pauline Laplante, Saint-Adèle, Laurentides June 9, 1989

GAP

  1. Janet Kuckinsky, West island   July 1999
  2. Anna Yarnold, Senneville, Quebec (west of Montreal) October 15, 1999
  3. Monique Gaudreau, Sainte-Agathe, October 29,  1999
  4. Teresa Shanahan, Laval, Quebec  November 19  1999
  5. Mary Glenn, Baie-d’Urfé, Quebec (west).  December 15, 1999

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:

  • 1991 murder of Montrealer Joanne Beaudoin, 35, who was stabbed to death in Town of Mount Royal in May 1990. The killer stole her gray 1987 Honda Accord and several items from her home. Car later found torched.
  • Laval police submitted the case of 55-year-old Theresa Litzak. Her body was found in her Laval apartment on Nov. 22, 1999. Police believe she was killed Nov. 19 (this would mean she was killed the same day as Shanahan who also lived in Laval). She lived alone, as did Yarnold and Glen.
  • 3 Ontario cases.

Looking at our own cases, could Fyfe be a suspect? No: wrong timeline (too young), different modus operandi:

  • Lise Chagnon / Saint Hubert / 1974: entered subterfuge. Struggle, blood in many rooms. Stabbed and bludgeoned .   Fyfe was 19. Saint Hubert adjacent to Longueuil.
  • Roxanne Luce / 1981 / Longueuil.

And Yet:

  • 1977: Hawkes: Beaten, Stabbed, raped, purse missing: Fyfe’s first known murder was in 1979 when he was 24, could he have killed at 22?
  • 1978: Lison Blais: choked, struck on head, raped, purse missing

Note the above two because please only delve back as far as 1979, so we presume they know he was in prison?

  • 1979: Nicole Gaudreault: Beaten about head and raped. Empty purse. Blood on stairs, but extended to back lot: fight?

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

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How do you solve a problem like Homolka?

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.

Kristen French and Leslie Mahaffy

 

 

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.

Norma O’Brien and Debbie Fisher

 

 

 

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, shown at left in 1979

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.

 

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The Murder of Sharron Prior / Route 112 – WKT #10

The 1975 murder of Sharron Prior is discussed, and the significance of Highway 112 which is the route between Sherbrooke and Montreal:

Route 112 from Pointe-Saint-Charles to Chambly:

 

Here is a link to Sharron Prior’s website:

 

Sharron Prior

 

Sharron Prior crime scene:

Prior crime scene

 

This is a link to the National Film Board of Canada documentary, The Point:

 

Where Sharron Prior Lived

 

The site of Chez Marius Pizzeria

 

Rue Sebastopol

 

Where Sebastopol converges with Congregation

 

Sebastopol and Congregation converging with Wellington (note street signs). To the North is Route 112

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Crime & Culture in the City of Montreal – Interview with Kristian Gravenor – WKT #6

Here’s our interview with Kristian Gravenor, author of the soon to be released MONTREAL: 375 TALES.

 This is Episode 6 of the Who Killed Theresa? podcast:

Here are links to some things we discussed including Coolopolis, Montreal Biker Gangs (including legendary figure Michael French), the Reet Jurvetson case, Sharon Prior, Norma O’brien / Debbie Fisher and the Chateauguay Full Moon Killer murders, the Montreal tabloid Allo Police:

Here’s a link to Kristian’s blog, Coolopolis, and the Chateauguay Full Moon Killer case:

Here’s a link to Coolopolis’ reporting on the Charles Manson / Reet Jurvetson case:

Satan’s Choice biker Michael French and the connection to the Sharon Prior case (French is at the bottom on the left):

The history of Allo Police / Photo Police:

Link to National Film Board of Canada documentary, Station 10:

Maurice “The Rocket” Richard:

This happened:

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Katherine Hawkes: Police destroyed all physical evidence

IMG_0167

The Montreal Police have destroyed all physical evidence in the unsolved murder of Katherine Hawkes.

A relative of Katherine’s recently contacted the Montreal police to receive an update on the “investigation”. The SPVM confirmed that the case is still an active investigation. When asked about the physical evidence the investigator responded,

“… there is no usable evidence at this point.”

Interpret “usable” as anything of Katherine’s that might have come into physical contact with her assailant, or anything left behind by the assailant, so:

  • The beige sock
  • The bra
  • Her sweater
  • Her brown coat
  • The bags containing hair rollers and Pepsodant toothpaste
  • Sperm samples
  • The three strands of hair clutched in Katherine’s hand

It’s all gone. The police disposed of all of it.

Katherine Hawkes-1977

And then there were five

This brings the confirmed number of cases from this era where evidence was destroyed to five (5), and adds the Montreal police to the growing list of police forces that engaged in this practice. The cases are:

Sharron Prior (Longeueil police)

Manon Dube (Surete du Quebec)

Theresa Allore (Surete du Quebec)

Roxanne Luce (Longeueil police)

Katherine Hawkes (Montreal police)

Recall that these three forces have the lowest homicide clearance rates in the country over a 30 year period, a measure that is not likely to improve if they continue to engage in this practice (we suspect there are many more cases where evidence was destroyed).

And how is this relevant to today? Just yesterday the case of a 44 year old St-Laurent man accused of the sexual assault and attempted murder of an 11 year old girl was almost tossed out of court because Montreal police made the catastrophic error of destroying the physical evidence during the trial:

“The trial was derailed, however, after it came to light a Montreal police sergeant had destroyed the skipping rope, the girl’s torn bra and about eight other pieces of evidence. The officer in question had confused the case with another in which the evidence had been ordered destroyed. “

When question a Montreal police spokesperson responded that ” procedures have been “reviewed and corrected” in an effort to prevent such an error from happening again.”

Excuse me, but over a 40 year period how many chances are the Quebec police going to receive to offset their systemic blunders?

rees

Contrast this with news that broke yesterday of the identification of a 47 year old cold case in Los Angeles, California. Jane Doe #59 was stabbed 150 times in Laurel Canyon. It has long been suspected that Jane Doe #59 may have been a victim of the Mason Family Murders, but with no identification police were not able to advance the case. Recently Kristian Gravenor over at the blog Coolopolis was deftly able to put the pieces together and identified Jane Doe #59 as former Montrealer, Reet Jurvetson who left the city for LA  in 1969. Police were then able to match DNA from Jane Doe #59 with DNA from Reet’s sister, and made a positive identification.

Of course this successful outcome was only possible because the LAPD kept Jane Doe #59’s DNA on file for 47 years. To our minds this only seems logical: if a case is not solved, you keep the evidence.

God only knows what seems logical to the Quebec police.

Here’s another thing. This wasn’t a case of a family hanging on for 47 years in the pursuit of justice. Reet’s parents are long deceased. They never even filed a missing persons report. The case was solved because the police – with the assistance of some very able websleuths – were determined to never give up on Jane Doe #59.

No one deserved the horrible fate of Reet Jurvetson. But if she had to die, it was fortunate that this Montrealer met her end in a place where law enforcement respect their duties and responsibilities.

If she had died in Montreal under the same circumstances Reet Jurvetson would never have been identified. 


For more on the Katherine Hawkes case click here

 

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Katherine Hawkes – Timeline

 

Here’s a brief timeline of events and an updated map on Katherine Hawkes (you can see the complete story on Hawkes here):

 

Hawkes map

September 20, 1977

  • Between 6:20 pm and 7:00 pm Katherine Hawkes exits the bus at Grenet and Henri Bourassa.
  • At 10:35 pm police receive two calls from a man saying he attacked a woman North-West of Grenet and Henri Bourassa and he fears “she might die”. Police do not respond.

Here again is the audio of the call:

 

 

September 21, 1977

  • At 5:30 pm two students – Carlo Aghbashian and Berry LeBlanc discover the body.
  • Montreal Police arrive at the scene at 6:30 pm.

September 23, 1977

  • A woman walking along rue Grenet discovers Katherine Hawkes’ shoes lying in the ditch.

(Thanks to Kevin for upgrading my mapping skills.)

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CBC interview on 1970s Cold-Cases

cbc

 

This is the audio from an interview I did a couple of weeks ago in Montreal with Kate McGillivray of CBC Radio Montreal. The interview aired on Monday, April 18th, 2016. I would call it one of the best of the interviews on these matters, simply because Kate was a very skilled host, and took the time to slowly understand the story:

 

 

In this interview there is discussion of the original Who Killed Theresa? casse, the Denise Bazinet case as the glue between Montreal and the Eastern Townships, and Stephan Parent’s initiative to make a film focusing on seven of these cold-cases.

 

I am also linking an interview I did with Canadian journalist, Rob Tripp on his podcast, CanCrime. This was done about a month ago:

 

Unsolved murders blamed on “incompetent” Quebec police

Finally, this is a brief five minute spot I did with Barry Morgan from CJAD that aired April 19, 2016:

The death of Theresa Allore is getting another look from the SQ

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