While it’s nice that you all think Canadians are nice and polite and non-violent, sometimes it gets a little exhausting living up to your expectations. And it irritates some of us that the rest of the world thinks we can’t be terrifying or even just a little creepy. Well, you know what? We can be crazy and violent. Batshit even. And we’ve got serial killers to prove it. As I created Carroll Albert, I researched a few Canadian whackjobs, and stumbled across a long history of bloodthirsty psychos. IN CANADA! But what’s really insane is some of them got away with their crimes (for a time) because our legal system was just too damn kind.
Of course, I couldn’t actually use any of my research in my books, because you guys would be all “Um… that totally would NEVER happen.” And I’d be all “Yeah, well it did. And we even let some of them go, because Canadians are nice like that.”
When I think of serial killers, I always think of Russell Williams, because he lived right here in the safe, quiet little town of Tweed, Ontario. I remember the panic surrounding the “Tweed Creeper” and my own realization that you can NEVER truly intruder-proof your home, which led to a lot of long nights and my dad giving me a two-way radio to sleep with, “just in case,” because he felt the police wouldn’t be nearly as effective as he would be should someone break into my home. Sigh. I miss my dad.
Anyway, the Russell Williams nightmare is too close to home, and it doesn’t show you how nice our legal system is, so we won’t go into those details. You can just Google his name and be shocked and disturbed on your own time. Let’s look at the batshit “Millionaire Pig Farmer’s” murder spree instead.
Robert Pickton was a wealthy pig farmer in British Columbia who murdered prostitutes for shits and giggles. (This is why most serial killers murder, because shits and giggles are like crazy-person crack. The loons can’t get enough shits and giggles.) No one’s sure how many women he killed, but estimates range between six and 50 (I know that’s a wide range, but they had to estimate because they couldn’t confirm every victim for obvious reasons). Pickton lured his victims back to his farm where he murdered them and cut up their bodies and fed them to his pigs. But that’s not the batshit part yet. Pickton didn’t just feed the bodies to his pigs. That’d be too predictable. He kept heads, hands and feet in refrigerators around the farm and mulched some of them in his wood chipper. IN HIS WOOD CHIPPER. But we’re still not at the batshit part. Investigators told the public they were “pretty sure” he mixed human remains in with unusable pig parts (intestines, blood, and bones) that were taken to a rendering plant in Vancouver, where they were used in things like lipstick, soap and shampoo. And you thought animal testing was the worst thing about your cosmetics. Now you might be slathering human bits all over your lips. This is why I never wear lipstick or gloss. What? Oh, yes. That’s pretty much the batshit part.
How did he get away with it for so long? Well, law enforcement at the time figured since the women going missing were prostitutes, they were all drug addicts that wandered off or died anonymously of overdoses. They even fired an investigator for suggesting they might be dealing with a serial killer. I know, right? But more disturbing is that one of Pickton’s victims managed to escape, and despite her accusations and multiple stab wounds, prosecutors dismissed the attempted murder charges against Pickton. Well everyone knows millionaires aren’t homicidal maniacs. Not Canadian millionaires anyway, eh. Wait…what? So how did they arrest him? Well, an employee came forward with testimony that led to an investigation, which revealed all his dirty deeds.
Best part of the hoopla surrounding his arrest: People naturally panicked at the possibility that they might have eaten pigs raised on human remains, but officials reassured us all that pork is “typically well-cooked,” so there’s no chance of catching any diseases from the murdered prostitutes…because the possibility of disease was the only reason one might panic. Not.
Perhaps the panic was due to the fact that no amount of cooking can erase the fact that you ATE human remains.
So the arrest of Pickton was preceded by a shit ton of idiocy, but at least Pickton was sentenced to a good long prison term. Enter, Karla Homolka and her serial killer psycho husband Paul Bernardo (AKA: The Scarborough Rapist). How does a nice young lady fall in love with a psycho? Well, Karla’s not a nice young lady. That’s how.
Imagine your fiancé told you he wanted to rape your younger sister. What would your reaction be? I’m going to assume that most of us would be preparing to castrate the motherfucker.
Not Karla. She helped him lure, drug and rape her own sister, and eventually caused the teenager’s death. Of course, you’d expect her to panic and go to the cops, or to at least leave Bernardo, but no. She decided it would be a fantastic idea to help him do it again. And again. Their rape and murder spree stopped only when they got caught in 1993. But wait, this isn’t the insane part. Despite a heap of evidence against both Karla and Paul, Canadian authorities gave her a plea bargain in exchange for her testimony against Bernardo. In the end, she served just 12 years. Now she’s free (released in 2005). Of course, she hightailed it out of Canada. So really, she could be anywhere. And she has children. Yikes.
But what about Paul? Well, Paul Bernardo is still in prison. So I guess there’s that.
The Canadian authorities completely lost their minds with the “nice” bullshit when they arrested Clifford Olson, who confessed to murdering 11 victims between the ages of 9 and 18 during the early 1980s. Olson agreed to confess to the murders and show the RCMP where the bodies of his victims were buried, and the authorities agreed to pay him $10,000 each for 10 of the victims (the eleventh would be a freebie). The payments (That’s $100,000) were put into a trust for his wife and son. Are you muttering something like “What. The. Fuck?” Well there’s more. Olson was sentenced to several concurrent life sentences, and in 2010 it was revealed he was receiving two federal government benefits from Canada. It seems we just couldn’t stop paying this guy. This was terminated after everyone lost their shit about it, of course, because we’re all about avoiding confrontation too.
Okay, now that you’re thoroughly disgusted, let’s go enjoy the holidays. Head on over to Goodreads where you can win a copy of THE LEGEND OF JACKSON MURPHY and IN THE BONES. Winners will be announced on December 24th, because I love Christmas.