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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
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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
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.
Brenton Butler: "Murder on a Sunday Morning", the winner for Best Documentary at the 2002 Academy Award ceremony, premiered on HBO. It recounts the trial of Brenton Butler, a 15-year-old Jacksonville resident who had been falsely accused of murdering a white tourist during a robbery. He had no gunshot residue on his hands. His fingerprints were not on the woman's purse which was stolen during the shooting. The $91 he had on him was from honest work at Burger King. Butler testified that police detectives beat a confession out of him. Settles for $775K.
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
Robert Mailman and Walter Gillespie were sentenced to life largely on testimony of a 16-year old who now admits he lied, claiming pressure by police and was paid "living allowance" in the weeks leading to the trial. A second witness agreed to testify against them after the murder charge against her was dropped on the eve of trial. The first trial ended in a hung jury. Both had an alibi putting them elsewhere around the time the victim was killed. Information favourable to the accused was not disclosed. Detectives admit acting only on "suspicion" and had no "concrete" evidence. A senior detective who worked closely on the case says other detectives were "a little bit overzealous".
Sebastian Burns and Atif Rafay: The heartbreaking story of two bright Canadians who were traded to the U.S. by malicious cops to advance their careers. This "Mr Big" undercover operation is a disgrace to the democratic world. RCMP undercover operators Haslett and Shinkaruk have boasted that using the Mr. Big or some other scenario, the cops can get anyone to "confess". Posing as thugs, the two lured Burns into a phony criminal enterprise. Eventually, they extracted a pair of halting, reluctant confessions.
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.
The senseless, racist police shooting of J. J. Harper, a First Nations chief on his way home one snowy night in downtown Winnipeg, gunned down by police constable Robert Cross. Thought he was a car thief. A CBC website shows in its update 15 years later, the police are still reluctant to let go of a culture which allows it to commit violence against the citizens it has sworn to serve and protect.
Ron and Linda Sterling were the key figures in the Martensville case, the most infamous sexual abuse trial ever held in Saskatchewan. They were found not guilty of 32 crimes against children. "We're going to be tainted as the most vile child molesters for the rest of our lives" says Ron. "No matter that I've been found not guilty. Our life can never be normal. We've lost two years of our lives. I used to have great faith in the justice system."
Tisdale Rape story: Three white men from Tisdale, Dean Trevor Edmondson, Jeffrey Kindrat, and Jeffrey Brown, are accused of sexually assaulting a 12-year-old Cree girl. Edmondson was convicted and sentenced to two years less a day of house arrest but the others were acquitted by a Melfort jury. In 2005 the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal upheld Edmondson's conviction.
Darrell Night: of the Cree Nation, recalls thinking the cops were going to throw him in the drunk tank, but they drove straight out to an isolated spot 3 miles outside Saskatoon. It was Jan. 28, 2000 and temperatures can drop to -40 degrees. "Get the fuck out of here, you fuckin Indian" he recalled one cop saying. They slammed his face on the hood of the trunk, took off his handcuffs and left him standing alone on a riverbank. "I'll freeze out here. What's wrong with you guys?" A voice echoed in the cold: "That's your fuckin problem." Night watched the car drive off, its lights trailing out of sight. He was wearing a T-shirt, jeans, a jean jacket, and running shoes. It was the "Midnight Ride" or "Starlight Tour".
In 1973, 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.
Ray Krone:'s crooked front teeth helped land him on Arizona's death row where he spent 3 years after a police dentist wrongly linked him to unusually shaped bite marks on a murder victim. Krone, the "snaggletooth killer", served 10 years in prison and was exonerated in 2002 after DNA tests matched another man to the murder. "I'm not pointing fingers.... Maybe it was a mistake, maybe incompetence," he said but felt betrayed by the justice system. Even after his first conviction he lived by a mantra: "I didn't do it, so how could there be unquestionable evidence that I did?"
George Pitt: is serving a life sentence for the slaying, in 1993, of a six-year-old girl who had been raped, beaten, choked and then drowned. This sent shockwaves through Saint John NB. Lawyers acting for Pitt believe it may have triggered a rush to judgement in his arrest and conviction. He has maintained his innocence since day one. New evidence could force federal justice officials to take another look at the murder conviction. Authorities have finally tested key evidence from the crime scene, including the girl's nightgown and swabs from her body. None of it matches George Pitt's DNA.
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".
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.
John Schneeberger has lost his Canadian citizenship. He is on parole after being convicted for drugging and sexually-assaulting two female patients in 1999. In 2003 a movie was made, "I Accuse", based on the crimes of Dr. John Schneeberger. He was deported to his South African homeland where he applied to the Health Professions Council.
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