We'll be profiling 13 serial killers over the course of the 13 days leading up to Halloween. Today, we meet a Canadian psychopath. Have any suggestions for our list? Send them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Canada is known as being a wonderland full of maple syrup and moose -- not serial killers. (That title probably rests with the United States.) Just because they don't have the most prolific killers doesn't mean that every once in a while something crazy doesn't happen. In the early 1980s, the most dangerous man in Canada was Clifford Olson...
Before he became a murderer, Olson was a career criminal and notorious child molester in British Columbia.
Olson used the relative isolation of 1980s Vancouver to his advantage. Back then, it could take days for news to arrive from other parts of the country. Also, the police in towns surrounding the city had difficulty coordinating in any meaningful way. That is how Olson conducted his illicit activity and eventual murders.
Olson's first victim was 12-year-old Christine Weller. She was abducted in November 1980. Her body was found on Christmas day.
Weller had been badly beaten, strangled with a belt, and stabbed repeatedly. The brutal nature of the murder shocked the whole province. Suburban neighborhoods that were considered safe now locked their doors at night.
Olson sought out his victims at youth hangouts like malls and arcades.
He would find the most vulnerable among them and present himself as a construction worker looking to offer someone a job. After building a rapport with his victim, he would bring up the prospect of a job. Then, under the pretense of conducting an informal interview, he would drive them to the "construction site." In the car he would offer them a celebratory sip of spiked alcohol. He would then stop the car and begin his sadistic ritual. Olson picked his victims from across a large area, which only served to further confuse local police departments.
For the next year, Olson's killing spree continued and claimed the lives of 11 young teens and children in all. Somehow, in the midst of all that killing, Olson married, which would play a role in what happened after he was arrested.
When Olson was finally arrested in August 1981, he reached an unusual deal with police. Olson would confess to all 11 murders and show police where he had buried the rest of the bodies. In return Olson's family was paid $10,000 for the body of each victim. When all was said and done, Olson walked away with $100,000 for confessing. Needless to say, the move was a controversial one and essentially ended the career of then attorney-general Allan Williams.
Olson was given 11 life sentences at trial and sent to the maximum security prison at Sainte-Anne-des-Plaines, Quebec.
He died in prison of lung cancer in 2011 at age 71.
Essentially, he murdered 11 people and then sold the bodies back to the police.
That is seriously messed up.