History is rife with heinous acts, and sometimes we can forget what has happened closer to home. Canada as a whole may be a very peaceful country, but like any nation, there are criminals, murderers, and atrocities inflicted upon unsuspecting victims that can't be ignored.
Quebec has played a rather large role in Canada's criminal history, with many of the country's worst criminals hailing from the province. While it may not be the most comforting thing you'll read today, below you can find some of the worst murderers and criminals to have ever lived in Quebec. Read on and receive a lesson in Quebec's criminal history.
Léopold Dion, the "Monster of Pont-Rouge"
At the young age of 19, Léopold Dion began a lifetime of heinous acts, having raped and nearly killing a prostitute with his brother. Years later, during the 1960s, Dion would pose as a photographer and lure young boys to his secluded cottage by Pont Rouge with promises of being featured in a magazine.
In total, Dion sexually abused 21 boys, murdering four. Dion was sentenced to death in 1964 (Canada would not remove the death penalty until 1976) but the sentence was later rescinded for life in prison. Dion would eventually meet his end when fellow inmate Normand Champagne stabbed him to death in 1972.
Wayne Boden, the "Vampire Rapist"
Born and raised in Dundas, Ontario, Wayne Clifford Boden would eventually move to Montreal in the late 1960s, where he raped and killed four women. Dubbed the "vampire rapist," Boden's nickname was earned because his victims were found with vicious bite marks on their breasts.
Under the guise of a man named "Bill," Boden would court his victims with an enigmatic charm, and all would mysteriously go missing until their bodies were found days later. Boden was never caught in Montreal, and it wasn't until he moved to Calgary was the murderer apprehended.
Using evidence based off of Boden's teeth and the teeth marks found on the victim's breasts, authorities were able to link Boden to the murders, which was notably the first use of forensic odontological evidence to convict a murderer in all of North America. In 2006, Boden died of skin cancer at Kingston General Hospital.
William Patrick Fyfe, "The Killer Handyman"
For twenty years, William Patrick Fyfe terrorized the city of Montreal. Having murdered five women, and claiming to have killed four more, Fyfe is believed to have tricked his victims into thinking he was a plumber or handyman, which would also link Fyfe to a series of rape cases that occurred in downtown Montreal during the 80's.
Almost nothing connected Fyfe's murders, save they were all committed in the Montreal area, and that they were particularly gruesome. Fyfe remained at-large until 1999, when he was arrested near Barrie, Ontario thanks to fingerprint evidence left at the crime scene of his latest victim. Fyfe then only confessed to four more murders, and is suspected of many more.
Currently, Fyfe is serving a life sentence a psychiatric hospital in Saskatchewan.
Photo cred - CTV
Albert Guay, the "Airplane Bomber"
When Rita Morel got on her flight towards Baie-Comeau on September 9th, 1949, she had no idea she was bringing a bomb aboard, which led to her death and the demise of every other passenger.
Albert Guay, Rita's husband, planted the bomb on her in order to get out of the marriage, as Guay had fallen in love with a 19-year-old waitress, and chose murder as his best option since getting a divorce in Quebec was incredibly difficult to get at the time. Apparently, Guay was going to use poison to kill his wife, until he decided that bombing an entire aircraft, headed from Montreal to Baie-Comeau (with a stopover in Quebec City, where Rita boarded) was the best method.
Guay was responsible for the death of 23 people, including his wife, and was executed two years later in 1951.
Gilles Eccles, James O’Brien, & Jean-Marc Boutin, the "Blue Bird Café Arsons"
On a September evening in 1972, Montreal experienced one of the most tragic crimes the city had ever seen when a group of young men (Gilles Eccles, James O’Brien, and Jean-Marc Boutin) set fire to the Blue Bird Café complex, killing 37 individuals.
Specifically, the trio sought to set fire to the Wagon Wheel, a country-themed bar within the Blue Bird Café building in downtown Montreal. The three had been denied entry into the bar (presumably for being too drunk) and sought revenge by lighting the building's stairs on fire, using a container of gasoline filled at a nearby gas station.
While it may not have been the trio's original intention, their actions led to the deaths of 37 people, the highest death toll Montreal had ever seen. To escape conviction, the three tried to escape to Vancouver, but were swiftly caught and are now serving life in prison.
Marc Lépine, of The Polytechnique Massacre
Twenty-six years ago, in December 1989, Marc Lépine killed 14 women at École Polytechnique, injuring ten others and four men, an atrocity now known as the Polytechnique Massacre. For more on the Polytechnique Massacre and its continued relevancy, read our in-depth feature here.
Maurice "Mom" Boucher
Maurice Boucher's list of crimes is quite lengthy, but that's to be expected of the former President of Montreal's Hells Angels chapter. Leader of the gang during the Quebec Biker War from 1994-2002, Boucher has been convicted of murder, loan sharking, and drug trafficking. Currently, Boucher is serving three life sentences in prison, after being convicted of the murders of two Quebec prison guards in 2002.
Photo cred - TVA
Already a fearsome criminal, convicted of raping and murdering three young girls aged 14, 12, and 20, Colalillo is made an even more terrifying when you know how much he reveled in his own crimes.
According to Louis Bouthillier, the prosecutor who was tasked with jailing Colalillo, the murderer frequently bragged about his murders, even going as far as laughing at his victims. Colalillo was a cellphone salesman by trade, and killed himself in 2002 before his trial for three counts of murder, most likely using medication stashed in his cell.
Photo cred - National Post
Luka Magnotta, the "Craigslist Murderer"
Still in the memory of Montrealers today, Luka Rocco Magnotta is the porn model and actor who killed and dismembered Lin Jun, an international student from China, who then mailed the body parts to schools and political party members.
After fleeing Montreal, Magnotta was eventually apprehended in Berlin, and is currently serving a life sentence in prison. According to recent letters surveyed by The Gazette, Magnotta's life in prison is quite comfortable, with the murderer likening it to being in a university residence.
Magnotta even has access to TVs and stereos, which he uses to listen to Celine Dion. Hardly the harsh treatment one would expect a murderer to receive in a correctional institution.
Dishonorable mention: Avik Caron & Company, the "Maple Syrup Thieves"
A far cry from the heinous acts perpetrated by everyone else on this list, Avik Caron and his twenty-six person crew are being included on this list simply for the creative ingenuity of their crime.
Knowing that a barrel of maple syrup is worth about 13 times more than a barrel of crude oil, Caron and co. used an intricate plan to steal $30 million worth of syrup from the Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers. The whole crime has a cute, Ocean's 11, oh-so-Canadian edge to it, and is almost forgivable, because who wouldn't want to get rich off of maple syrup?