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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
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.
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.
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.
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 Pitt's DNA.
Gordon Strowbridge confessed to killing Marie Dupe in Cape Breton. This article of is more of entrapment. The cops enticed him to join a criminal organization luring him with promises of money. They bought him new clothes, flattered him and showed him the extravagent life he could expect in their ranks. To accomplish this he must pass some tests. He has to have committed a murder. Police use this to showcase the "Mr. Big" sting. It's a crapshoot; about credibility. Sometimes they go wrong and someone pays and that someone is innocent. Read it and see who.
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".
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.
Thomas Sophonow: Waitress Barbara Stoppel, 16, is found strangled in a washroom at a St. Boniface, MB doughnut shop. 1982-85: Thomas Sophonow is arrested, tried three times and convicted twice, by the perjured testimony of a pedophile-turned-snitch, before being freed by the Manitoba Court of Appeal on grounds of legal errors in the third trial. Gets $2.3M settlement.
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.
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".
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.
Pathologist Dr. Charles Smith was involved in several prominent cases where innocent parents were charged with killing their children. In 2001 Charles Smith was removed from the roster of forensic pathologists permitted to conduct autopsies in suspicious deaths. A year later, three complaints to the Ontario College of Physicians and Surgeons relating to his work in suspicious death cases were upheld. His findings led to erroneous murder charges and ruined the lives of: William Mullins-Johnson, Brenda Waudby, and Louise Reynolds.
Pamela George a 28-year-old mother of two, was beaten to death in December 1996. Steven Kummerfield and Alex Ternowetsky were convicted by jury of manslaughter for the murder and sentenced to 6½ years each by Justice Ted Malone who instructed the jury to remember that George was "indeed a prostitute" when considering whether she consented to the sexual assault. Band chief says verdict shows two classes of justice "One justice system for white people and one for the Indian people. Nobody cares if an Indian dies"
Wade Skiffington: Mounties used an elaborate sting to get a confession in the murder case. It was six years in the making; the result of a complex undercover operation, 'Mr Big', involving dozens of specially trained RCMP officers posing as underworld thugs. The props were elaborate: limousines, strippers, booze, and thousands of dollars. Skiffington says he made the confession because he was terrified for his life. "All I was thinking was that I was going to get bricks tied around my ankles and thrown into a river. I wanted it over with. I wanted out of there. I was frightened to death." Skiffington was granted bail in January 2019
Linda Fairstein: Central Park 5 D.A. may have tried too hard. Zealot. Crusader. Probably not labels former chief of the Manhattan DA's Sex Crimes Unit would use to describe herself. Her preferred image is the jacket-copy version of her career used to tout her bestselling mystery books (usually accompanied by an ultra-blond, airbrushed photo). After a confession to the Central Park attack by an imprisoned serial rapist, whose DNA linked him to the crime, the jogger case cracked open to reveal prosecutorial failures. This appears to be the third flub of a major case from her glory days.
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.
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.
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