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Peter Reilly found his mother's severely battered body on the floor of their cottage. Police immediately found his demeanor odd and whisked him away. A failed polygraph examination solidified investigators' belief that he attacked his mother, and used the findings as a hammer during an 8-hour interrogation. A jury convicted him of first-degree manslaughter in 1974. He was exonerated after it was disclosed prosecutors improperly withheld an auxiliary trooper's statement which placed him far from the crime scene at about the time of the murder. A judge concluded "a grave injustice" had been committed and vacated the conviction with prejudice, meaning Reilly could never be retried for the still unsolved crime.
Just before Christmas, 2001, when no one was paying attention, the infamous videotapes depicting sex killer Paul Bernardo and Karla Homolka's vicious rape and torture of schoolgirls Kristen French and Leslie Mahaffy were incinerated by court order. Future historians will have to speculate about just how demented Paul Bernardo and Karla Homolka really were. An exercise kind of like speculating on how awful Auschwitz was. Except to holocaust deniers like Ernst Zundel, we can point to the evidence. Bernardo dad: Karla got away with murder
David Milgaard: The partly clad body of nursing aide Gail Miller, 20, is found in a Saskatoon snowbank. 1970: Milgaard is sentenced to life in prison for murder. 1992: The Supreme Court of Canada recommends a new trial after hearing evidence of a series of rapes committed in Saskatoon by RCMP snitch Larry Fisher who had already been convicted of four rapes and one attempted rape. Fisher was convicted in 1999 and sentenced to life in prison. David Milgaard was set free in 1992 and exonerated in 1997 following DNA tests. Gets $10M
Clayton Johnson: Janice Johnson, 36, is found with fatal head injuries at the bottom of the basement stairs in her Shelburne, N.S. home. 1993-2001: Clayton Johnson, her husband, is convicted of bludgeoning her to death. A Texas pathologist who reviewed the original findings determined the woman died accidentally when she fell down the stairs backwards and struck her head. The federal justice minister refered this case to the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal which ordered a new murder trial for Clayton Johnson. Gets $2.5M
Jaime Wheeler, 20, was murdered in her basement suite on March 12, 2000, stabbed and slashed 56 times. Dominic McCullock, 23, was convicted in 2004 of second-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison with no eligibility for parole for 15 years. He has maintained his innocence and is appealing his conviction. The trial heard that DNA found in blood on Wheeler's jacket and apartment door handles matched McCullock's, and a pubic hair stuck in dried blood on Wheeler's arm matched his.
Anne Marie Aikins: Her story which began with a brutal rape, is almost mythic in its startling achievements, reversals, glories and depths. A pioneer in the rape crisis movement in Ontario, she quietly emerged from an 11-year shadow of legal travail. Charged with misuse of public funds, she went through six years of trial delays, appeals and setbacks, was convicted, and then was hit with further charges which have been dropped (2003). A chilling example of what can happen to someone who challenges the status quo, particularly in small-town Ontario.
Shannon Murrin: Mindy Tran disappeared on August 17, 1994. A lead RCMP investigator had Shannon Murrin brutally beaten up by thugs in 1995. He was charged with her rape and murder in January 1997 and acquitted by a jury in January 2000. A juror, later Murrin's girlfriend, wrote a story of what "really happened" and accused the media and RCMP of having him convicted before the trial began. The Mindy Tran website writes: "Her's is a well crafted tale transforming Murrin from a monstrous child killer into the lovable falsely accused rogue".
A Winnipeg woman, Monique Turenne, was found guilty of second-degree murder for helping her alleged former lover, convicted murderer Ralph Crompton, fatally bludgeon her husband, a Canadian air force officer serving in Florida. Much controversy with alleged perjured/forged affidavits by Winnipeg Police and an alleged frame-up surround this case. The most thorough investigation is A Soldier's Murder.
Dudley George: an unarmed native protester was killed, in September 1995, by an Ontario Provincial Police officer carrying a high-powered automatic rifle during the late-night assault in Ipperwash Provincial Park which was being claimed as a burial ground. An inquiry was called. Lawyers evaluated more than 200,000 documents relating to the killing including trial transcripts and government documents. Then premier Mike Harris had told a meeting: "Get those fucking Indians out of the park even if you have to draw guns to do it." George lay dying late at night in a car with a flat tire outside a farmhouse, as desperate relatives waited for an ambulance which never arrived.
Larry Fisher killed Gail Miller. David Milgaard did the time. Two women who were raped in North Battleford were told their rapist had been caught and it was Milgaard. Fisher was the real culprit and in custody. The practice of giving snitches licence to lie is standard practice for the RCMP who enlist the cooperation of local police. His licence included rape and murder. July 1997, Fisher is charged with the 1969 rape and murder of Gail Miller.
William Mullins-Johnson was condemned for having sodomised and strangled his 4-year old niece. No scientific evidence tied him to the crime. He was condemned by the testimony of now discredited "expert" pathologist Charles Smith who had also testified in the deaths of 41 other children and led to the convictions of 13 other people. In 2005 he was freed on bail while Ottawa debated whether this was a miscarriage of justice. The chief pathologist of Ontario declared his neice died of natural causes. The autopsy showed no traces of injuries to the neck or anus. There had never been a crime. Gets 4.25M in 2010.
Deveryn Ross: (2005) Ex-lawyer is seeking to prove his innocence. In a 400-page brief, he claims evidence which he could have used to defend himself against nine charges of fraud over $5,000 should have been disclosed to him. The federal application brief focuses on new evidence uncovered after his conviction in 1995, which Ross claims contradicts the testimony of two key Crown witnesses -- mutual fund salesmen Sheldon Gray and William Knight. Retired Brandon Police Chief [1995-2001] Dick Scott and former attorney general [1988-1993] Jim McCrae have both taken the unusual step of publicly supporting Deveryn Ross in a bid to prove his innocence.
Jason Dix was entrapped by an RCMP "Mr. Big" sting. He spent nearly two years in jail on murder charges that were later dismissed. Dix won a lawsuit, $756K, against the RCMP and Crown lawyers for malicious prosecution, false imprisonment and breach of rights. Justice Keith Ritter wrote "The defendants [police, prosecutor] are, quite simply, legally cloaked in malice" using tactics the judge called "dangerous", "deplorable" and "reprehensible".
Clayton Miller died as a result of a police raid at a place where teenagers normally went to party on weekends. The cause of death and the extent of police involvement, if any, has always been in dispute. Some claim Clayton Miller was seen at the police station. Certainly his body was not found until the following morning lying face down in a shallow puddle. Was he in custody when he died? Were bruises and wrists-marks caused by handcuffs? The Millers claim Clayton was murdered by a chokehold while in their custody. Cover-up is alleged in Cape Breton.
Randy Druken was convicted, in 1995, of murdering his girlfriend Brenda Young. No physical evidence pointed to Druken. He was released from prison after almost seven years, when DNA evidence indicated he did not commit the crime. The Crown's case focused on a jailhouse informant who was later charged with perjury. The snitch said police had put pressure on him to make a false statement.
Ledell Lee - a rushed execution: New DNA evidence found on a decades-old murder weapon, never previously tested, points to a different man say lawyers with the Innocence Project and the ACLU. His fingerprints were not found at the crime scene. Ledell Lee was executed in 2017. He maintained his innocence for more than two decades on death row. The state of Arkansas rushed Lee's execution and several others during an 11-day period in 2017 as the their supply of lethal injection drugs was on the verge of expiring.
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