Search for "Crime"

Displaying 1-20 of 25 results
Article

Maggie Vail Murder Case

In September 1869, berry pickers in Saint John, New Brunswick, discovered the remains of an adult and a child hidden in some bushes. The bodies were soon identified as belonging to Sarah Margaret “Maggie” Vail and her infant daughter, Ella May. Later that month, architect John A. Munroe was charged with the murder of Vail, with whom he had an affair. Although his lawyer argued that Munroe was incapable of murder given his education and social standing — an early example of the “character” defence — he was convicted in December 1869. Munroe eventually confessed to the murders and was executed in February 1870.

timeline event

Money Laundering in BC Raised Home Prices by 5 Per Cent, Study Finds

An independent study found that $47 billion was laundered in Canada in 2018, with $7.4 billion in BC alone. It also estimated that $5 billion was laundered through the BC real estate market, and that this raised the cost of buying a house by at least 5 per cent. The study was conducted by an expert panel led by former BC deputy attorney general Maureen Maloney.

Article

Howard Engel

Howard Engel, novelist, cartoonist (under the pen name “Foo”), story writer, poet (born 2 April 1931 in Toronto, ON; died 16 July 2019 in Toronto). Howard Engel was raised in St. Catharines, Ontario, and educated at McMaster University and the Ontario College of Education. During his career as a producer of literary and cultural programs at the CBC, Engel published a few stories and poems, but he did not begin to write seriously until he became interested in detective fiction.

timeline event

LifeLabs Data Breach May Affect 15 Million Canadians

LifeLabs, a private provider of health diagnostic testing, announced that a recent hack to its computer systems put the personal data of 15 million people at risk. Information in the breached data included addresses, passwords, birthdays and health card numbers. LifeLabs told privacy commissioners in Ontario and BC about the hacks on 1 November. The company paid a ransom to retrieve the information, but it could not make assurances that the data was not copied.

timeline event

SNC-Lavalin Executive Found Guilty of Fraud, Corruption and Laundering

Sami Bebawi, a former executive with SNC-Lavalin, was found guilty by a Quebec Superior Court jury of five charges including fraud, corruption of foreign officials, and laundering proceeds of crime. Bebawi allegedly received $26 million in kickbacks from infrastructure deals between the Montreal-based construction firm and the country of Libya, dating back to the late 1990s. Babawi was sentenced to 8.5 years on 10 January 2020.

Article

Genocide

Genocide is the intentional destruction of a particular group through killing, serious physical or mental harm, preventing births and/or forcibly transferring children to another group. The Canadian government has formally recognized five instances of genocide abroad: the Armenian genocide, the Holodomor, the Holocaust, the Rwandan genocide and the ethnic cleansing in Bosnia. Within Canada, some historians, legal scholars and activists have claimed that the historical, intergenerational and present treatment of Indigenous peoples are acts of genocide.

Article

Angelina Napolitano

Angelina Napolitano, homemaker, murderer (born 1883 near Naples, Italy; died 4 September 1932 in Kingston, ON). Angelina was an Italian immigrant who killed her emotionally and physically abusive husband, Pietro Napolitano. The murder occurred on the afternoon of Easter Sunday, 16 April 1911, in a flat of a house in the immigrant quarter of Sault Ste Marie, Ontario. A mother of four children and pregnant with her fifth, Angelina, 28, struck her sleeping husband several times on the neck and head with an axe. Her story is notable for the widespread, international support she received from feminists of the time. Many saw her as a victim, someone who, in today’s terminology, would be described as “battered woman” forced to defend herself.

Article

Murder of Reena Virk

Reena Virk, a 14-year-old of South Asian origin, was savagely beaten and murdered by teenaged attackers in November 1997 in a suburb of Victoria, British Columbia. The crime horrified Canadians and attracted international media attention because of the brutality of the killing as well as the youth of Virk and those who attacked her. It prompted a national conversation about teenaged bullying and racism, led in part by Virk’s parents, who became anti-bullying campaigners in the wake of their daughter’s murder.

This article contains sensitive material that may not be suitable for all audiences.

Article

Organized Crime in Canada

Organized crime is defined in the Criminal Code as a group of three or more people whose purpose is the commission of one or more serious offences that would “likely result in the direct or indirect receipt of a material benefit, including a financial benefit, by the group.” Organized crime centres on illegal means of making money, such as gambling; prostitution; pornography; drug trafficking; insurance and construction fraud; illegal bankruptcy; motor vehicle theft; computer crime; and counterfeiting, among many others. The structure, sophistication and widespread nature of organized crime first became evident in the 1960s and 1970s. Some criminal organizations are based on ethnicity, such as the Italian Mafia and Chinese triads. Others are founded within certain industries (e.g., construction) or activities (e.g., biker gangs).

Article

Alias Grace

Margaret Atwood’s ninth novel, Alias Grace (1996), is a work of historical fiction that centres on the mysterious figure of Grace Marks. She was convicted in 1843 at the age of 16 for the murder of her employer, Thomas Kinnear, a wealthy Scottish Canadian, who was killed along with his housekeeper and mistress, Nancy Montgomery. Alias Grace won the Giller Prize for fiction in 1996. It was also shortlisted for a Governor General’s Award and England’s Booker Prize. In 2017, Sarah Polley adapted Atwood’s novel into a six-part CBC/Netflix miniseries, starring Sarah Gadon as Marks.

timeline event

Muslim Family Killed in Hit-and-Run Hate Crime

Two parents, a grandparent and a daughter were killed and a nine-year-old son was left in serious condition after the family was struck by a pickup truck while walking along the sidewalk in London, Ontario. Police confirmed that the attack was “a planned, premeditated act and that the family was targeted because of their Muslim faith.” (See also Islamophobia in Canada.) A vigil was held in London two days later. The accused was charged with four counts of murder and one count of attempted murder. He was also charged with terrorism under section 83 of the Criminal Code. The nine-year-old orphaned boy was released to relatives a week later.

Article

Great Canadian Maple Syrup Heist

Over the course of several months in 2011 and 2012, a team of thieves stole approximately 2,700 tonnes of maple syrup from a strategic maple syrup reserve maintained in Quebec (see Maple Syrup Industry). The theft has been popularly dubbed as the Great Maple Syrup Heist. At the time of the heist, the stolen maple syrup was valued at nearly $18 million. The heist may be one of the largest thefts in Canadian history.

timeline event

Conrad Black Pardoned by US President Donald Trump

President Trump signed a full pardon for Conrad Black, an author and former media mogul who was convicted of fraud and obstruction of justice in 2007. He served just over three years in a Florida prison. In a statement, Black dismissed his conviction as “nonsense,” writing, “there was never a word of truth to any of it.” Black was appointed to the Order of Canada in 1990 and removed from the Order in 2014.

Article

​The École Polytechnique Tragedy: Beyond the Duty of Remembrance

Every year on 6 December, the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women, the women who lost their lives in the massacre are remembered. While flags are flown at half-mast, vigils, conferences and demonstrations are held in remembrance. Despite these efforts, assigning meaning to the shooting has stirred controversy — and continues to do so.

Article

Bessie Starkman

Besha (Bessie) Starkman (Perri), organized crime boss (born 14 April 1889 or 21 June 1890 in Poland; died 13 August 1930 in Hamilton, ON). During the Prohibition era she became known as Canada’s first high-profile female crime boss. With her common-law spouse, mobster Rocco Perri, she ran a bootlegging and drug-smuggling enterprise. Starkman was gunned down in the garage of her home and her murderers were never caught. Her funeral was one of the largest ever seen in Hamilton.

Article

Torts in Canada

Tort law is a cornerstone of the Canadian legal system. It provides compensation for people who have been injured; or whose property has been damaged by the wrongdoing of others. Tort law is a vast area of private law. It has evolved to keep up with technology and social issues. It has been used by a growing number of victims of crime to help them seek justice against perpetrators. It has also been at the centre of high-profile Canadian cases involving the abuse of children; and the liability of governments for failing to protect citizens from contagious diseases and from defective medical devices.

Article

École Polytechnique Tragedy (Montreal Massacre)

On 6 December 1989, a man entered a mechanical engineering classroom at Montreal’s École Polytechnique armed with a semi-automatic weapon. After separating the women from the men, he opened fire on the women while screaming, “You are all feminists.” Fourteen young women were murdered, and 13 other people were wounded. The shooter then turned the gun on himself. In his suicide note, he blamed feminists for ruining his life. The note contained a list of 19 “radical feminists” who he said would have been killed had he not run out of time. It included the names of well-known women in Quebec, including journalists, television personalities and union leaders.