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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.
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Rocco Galati: Immigration lawyer quits cases over death threats. "I'm not on the verge of tears for my safety" says Galati. "....because it means we now live in Colombia, because the rule of law is meaningless. It means that lawyers cannot represent anyone even in what you profess to be a democracy here in Canada."
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."
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.
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.
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.
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
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".
Scott Hornoff, ex Rhode Island cop, experienced both sides of the fence. If Rhode Island had the death penalty he would have been on it. Instead he was sentenced to life in prison for the murder of Victoria Cushman. After six years, four months and eighteen days (on November 6, 2002) he was freed when the one responsible, filled with remorse and hauntings, came forward and confessed. "If it could happen to me - a white, upper-middle class, 40-year-old cop, it can happen to you". He now speaks out about judicial system.
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.
Yvonne Johnson: Under the influence of alcohol, a fight broke out between several people in her home at Wetaskiwin, Alberta. A man who her cousin accused of being a child molester, ended up dead. Johnson was very protective of her young children and was originally trying to protect them. At the trial, court transcripts show the prosecutor's own chief medical witness proved that had she committed the act she was alleged to have done, death could not have happened. The only role she had in the fight was placing a phone cord around the victim's neck for a few seconds, then released. 25 years.
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.
MORE NATIVE STORIES: This is an aggregate of a theme in the inJusticebusters.org site centred around the injustices towards the indigenous people in North Anerica such as shootings, beatings, killings, rapes, and of course the famous "Midnight Tours". These individual stories rarely make it to the top 20 but as an aggregate theme they rank here.
Dr. Joel Yelland: Quack testimony convicts innocents. In 1990, Richard Klassen and 11 other people were charged with dozens of counts of child sexual abuse. According to the statement of claim, Klassen alleges Yelland "deliberately encouraged the children . . . to continue to make up stories of sexual abuse and further that he purposely and negligently supplied the prosecution with corroborated testimony that the defendant knew or should have known to be false." The case went to trial in late 2003 and the judge ruled in their favour. The judge was also critical of Yelland's work, saying he made statements of fact based solely on unsubstantiated allegations of the children rather than on physical examinations. Justice George Baynton said Yelland's judgment was clouded by the large number of abuse cases he'd handled in the past and it "blinded him."
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.
John Popowich: His decade-long fight to clear his name is over. He received an apology and a $1.3M settlement from the government. He was wrongly prosecuted for ritual child sexual abuse in Martensville in the early 1990s. "Money is not the issue. Having my name cleared is why I did this." "It's time the public sees that he's innocent. They tormented him, accusing him" his mother, Mary, said in an interview. His lawyer said nothing can make up for what his client has endured. "I cannot imagine a more heinous charge than sexually abusing young children at gunpoint under the umbrella of satanic worship."
Keldon McMillan: Another cop murder, another no-fault inquiry. Coroner to probe shooting. Grieving family question tactics. McMillan was depressed over marital and financial problems. He talked about killing himself several times in the weeks before he was shot to death in a harrowing confrontation with Saskatoon police near Wakaw. Hours before he led the RCMP on a high-speed chase.
* some are an aggregate across the site and/or a theme
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