Weekend Reads Ottawa triple killer had hit list of targets — including CBC journalist, two other judges

00:51  01 december  2017
00:51  01 december  2017 Source:   Ottawa Citizen

One man dead in triple stabbing at Mississauga shopping centre

  One man dead in triple stabbing at Mississauga shopping centre A man in his 20s is dead and two other men are injured after a triple stabbing near Meadowvale Town Centre in Mississauga on Wednesday evening. The stabbing at the town centre, on Winston Churchill Rd. and Derry Rd., happened around 7:30 p.m., according to Peel Regional Police. It isn’t clear exactly how it occurred.

Bush, 61, had two hit lists — a long list and a short list . The short list of targets included two Ottawa judges , one from Ontario Court, the other from Superior Court. The triple killer ’s No. 1 entry on the long list of targets was noted author and CBC journalist Carol Off.

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Ian Bush inside the back of of an unmarked police cruiser as it leaves the Elgin St. courthouse in Ottawa, Friday, February 20, 2015.© Mike Carroccetto, Ottawa Citizen Ian Bush inside the back of of an unmarked police cruiser as it leaves the Elgin St. courthouse in Ottawa, Friday, February 20, 2015.

Ian Bush, the failed Ottawa consultant who was branded a monster after his May convictions for the horrific 2007 killings of three seniors — including a retired judge — had drafted a hit list of other people he despised enough to kill.

Bush, 61, had two hit lists — a long list and a short list. The short list of targets included two Ottawa judges, one from Ontario Court, the other from Superior Court.

The triple killer’s No. 1 entry on the long list of targets was noted author and CBC journalist Carol Off. Others named on the long list of potential victims included officials from the CRA, CRTC, NCC, the NDP, the Liberal Party of Canada, unions, environment and human-rights groups and former Ontario premier Dalton McGuinty.

Police identify victim killed in triple stabbing at Mississauga shopping centre

  Police identify victim killed in triple stabbing at Mississauga shopping centre Police identify victim killed in triple stabbing at Mississauga shopping centrePolice responded to reports of a fight around 7:30 p.m. at Meadowvale Town Centre on Winston Churchill Rd. and Derry Rd. When officers arrived on scene they found three male victims with stab wounds.

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The disturbing lists were found by police at Bush’s Ottawa home in 2015 and revealed in court this week at the convicted killer’s trial for the 2014 attempted murder of 101-year-old Second World War veteran Ernest Côté.

The jury in the Côté trial didn’t hear that Bush had been convicted in May on three counts of first-degree murder in the 2007 killings of retired tax judge Alban Garon, his wife, Raymonde, and their friend, Marie-Claire Beniskos. The seniors were hogtied, beaten and suffocated with bags over their heads at their high-security condo in a deadly home invasion. Enraged over a bitter tax feud, Bush targeted the retired judge in a plot that included stealing his money. The judge’s wife and friend were killed for being at the wrong place at the wrong time.

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The jury is now sequestered and deliberating the fate of Bush on the attempted murder of Côté, a war veteran who went on to become a high-profile civil servant, serving two departments as deputy minister and later as Canada’s ambassador to Finland.

The decorated war veteran was not on Bush’s hit list, but his neighbour was. When the killer’s intended target wasn’t home, Bush decided on the fly to attack Côté instead after the frail, elderly man opened the door to his New Edinburgh apartment, according to Crown attorney James Cavanagh. Bush had presented himself as a city official, with fake identification for good measure. Bush stormed in and Côté screamed. Bush bound his hands behind his back, taped his mouth shut, then put a plastic bag over his head only to tighten it around his neck with duct-tape. Before leaving his latest victim to die, he stole Côté’s credit card, but it was useless because Côté — more angry than afraid — gave his attacker a fake PIN, the jury heard.

Man, 48, charged with 1st-degree murder in triple stabbing at Mississauga plaza

  Man, 48, charged with 1st-degree murder in triple stabbing at Mississauga plaza Peel regional police say they have arrested and charged a suspect with first-degree murder in connection with a fatal stabbing at a Mississauga, Ont., plaza. Police say they were called to Meadowvale Town Centre at about 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 22 after receiving reports about a fight. They say officers arrived and found three male victims with stab wounds. One of the victims, who has been identified as 22-year-old Heidrah Shraim of Mississauga, was rushed to hospital with critical injuries where he later died. Police say other victims had non-life threatening injuries from the altercation.

Hacking attempt!

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The killer had underestimated the war veteran, who managed to break free and cut a hole in the bag so he could breathe. He knew he didn’t have long because when he breathed, the bag deflated. He later told a detective: “He thought I was an old man. (That) I wouldn’t be able to do anything. I would be unconscious in no time.”

He also told the detective “I think the danger is that this person is a murderer — for having strangled me — for having put a bag over my head.”

Côté has been credited in court for cracking the 2007 triple murder case because he helped police finally identify the killer. Bush’s DNA was found on the tape he used to cover the war veteran’s mouth, and that DNA matched the profile left by the killer at the Garon condo seven years earlier.

In closing arguments this week, Cavanagh told the jury that Côté not only saved his own life — through the sheer strength of desperation — but also saved a number of other unsuspecting victims named on Bush’s hit list.

“This was just the start,” Cavanagh told the jury.

The hit lists included names of people and institutions Bush despised. The short list had been whittled down, and unlike the long list, included targets’ addresses and bus routes he could use to stake out the job, according to the Crown. The short list also included the heading “Assignment” above some of the targets.

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“This was a short list of victims,” Cavanagh declared.

Ian Bush didn’t leave much to chance, and he didn’t take a step without a detailed plan. In fact, he jotted down step-by-step how-to notes. Under the title “Process,” the triple killer listed what appeared to be all the usual ingredients for crime — from gaining access, to securing “parties, cash, plus credit cards and PINS, assets,” right down to leaving his “calling card.”

He had several fake ID cards in a wallet, including an RCMP inspector’s ID, a hydro worker’s ID, a federal government ID card and a delivery man’s ID.

And he also kept a toolkit for murder, which included duct-tape, rubber gloves, a shotgun, rifle, ammunition and plastic bags (the ones with suffocation warnings), an imitation handgun, a pellet gun, a cleaver and rope.

Police also found the diary of a madman — a handwritten journal about his deep hatred for the tax man. He wrote that it was time to take tax money back by force, even if it meant killing people.

He demonized his targets and wrote that tax collectors were the “lowest form of humanity” and likened them to extortionists.

Bush has admitted that he bound, gagged and robbed Côté but pleaded not guilty to the attempted murder charge.

Cavanagh told the jury there can be only one conclusion when an unmasked intruder storms your home with an arsenal of weapons and leaves you suffocating with a plastic bag over your head — he intends to kill you. Bush didn’t hide his face because he didn’t think he’d live to identify him, Cavanagh said.

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But defence lawyer Geraldine Castle-Trudel explained it to the jury another way, saying Bush didn’t intend to kill and only put the bag over Côté’s head so he couldn’t see his attacker. Bush targeted the New Edinburgh condo building because it’s typically occupied by relatively wealthy retirees — “perfect targets” because they are more frightened and less likely to fight back, the defence lawyer told the jury.

Bush is serving life in prison after he was convicted on three counts of first-degree murder in May. On that day, having just been scolded by a judge for the depths of his evil, a shackled Ian Bush left the courtroom grinning. It took the jury less than an hour and a half to decide his fate, and the trial judge told court that the crimes were inexplicable and steeped in gratuitous, spectacular violence.

In his latest trial, he’s been grinning and taking notes from the prisoner’s box, at least when he’s not sleeping in it like he did earlier this week.

He did not testify in his own defence and his latest jury is now deliberating his fate on the attempted murder case.

gdimmock@postmedia.com

Twitter.com/crimegarden

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