Canada is not recognized for its serial killers, a quick wikipedia search reveals twelve have been convicted since the 1950s. In 1989, Allan Legere would escape custody and reign terror on his rural childhood community in Canada, the Miramichi. During this time, he would move from convicted killer to notorious serial killer.
Legere had been serving a life sentence, since 1987, for the horrendous murder of an elderly store owner. The assault was explained as a planned robbery turned grisly murder by the two young men Legere had convinced to help him carry out the attack. Legere had been friends with one of the boy’s father.
On May 3, 1989, Legere is visiting a hospital for treatment of an ear infection. The hospital is located two hours away from his hometown. Legere convinces the officers to use a washroom alone. With a concealed TV antenna he opens his cuffs and leg shackles. He requests toilet paper and bounds through the door when the Officer responds. Upon fleeing the building, he hijacks a car taking the female owner with him.
During the ride, Legere promises the woman he will let her out, while his mood shifts from a calm to furious rage. A demeanour familiar to his school classmates. He would eventually release the woman on a local business street.
Four days later, a resident that lived in the stretch from Moncton to Miramichi was beaten and his car stolen. The residents wallet would turn up in Miramichi, meaning Allan had come home.
Within three weeks of his escape, the terror begins. The first victim another elderly store owner. Community hearsay purports Legere was banned from her store as a youth and he was working through a revenge kill list. The crime scene would bear the violent hallmarks of what would be Legere’s legacy; robbery, sexual assault, fatal beatings and then arson. The store owner’s sister had survived the event, after crawling from her bed where Legere had assaulted her, placed her in her bed and literally ‘tucked her in tightly’.
While still nascent in it protocols, Canadians would be introduced to Crime Scene Investigation techniques. Hair and DNA samples are collected at the scene. They could be examined against the samples taken in Legere’s 1986 arrest. A local police officer, after learning about DNA fingerprinting, however, contacts the Federal crime laboratory. He explains a knife used to stab Legere, while incarcerated, might have enough blood to provide a genetic match. The hair sample taken in the 1986 arrest would be considered an illegal seizure. All possibilities to connect Legere proved futile, including a wart taken while he was in prison.
Ironically, at this time, The Supreme Court of Canada gave Allan Legere until October 1, 1989 to have his original trial appeal heard. This provided some necessary joking in the community as to whether he would show up.
Legere’s presence loomed over Miramichi for seven long months. Rumors and sightings prevailed over the usual banter of hockey and trucks. Outdoor lights, referred to as “Legere Lights” remained on throughout the night. Legere was stealthily avoiding capture by manoeuvring through the heavily wooded area. The author’s own mother had a set of nunchucks under her bed in the event Legere engaged her in martial combat at some point.
Strange things were occurring in the community. A resident was shot in the back with a demand for cash. The next day another assault for robbery occurred. As well, a reported attempted break in at the home of one of Legere’s accomplices from the earlier conviction.
Just two weeks before Halloween, and shortly after 11pm, a woman noticed her neighbour’s back door light was out. It was later found to be partially unscrewed in its socket.
Reports of another house fire would percolate the following morning. Residents would soon learn two women were found tucked in their beds, following a sexual assault, fatal beating, and arson. This attack would ignite further fear in the community’s elderly and most vulnerable citizens, obvious targets of Legere’s impulses. The story goes that one sister returned from a walk, was attacked by Legere in her dark backyard and events unfolded from there.
At this point, all residents are locking their doors, more Legere lights are going up in backyards, a community curfew is self imposed and Halloween is cancelled. Tails of stolen food, attempted garage break ins, and backyard sightings are at a high.
Outside the community upheaval, the collected DNA evidence is still being analyzed in the country’s capital city, Ottawa, where a new Forensic Centre has assembled.
In the meantime, Legere’s next act, would be his most brutal and savage.
To be continued…
Lori Clair will be offering her takes on many topics in the months to come. We at BTR are incredibly happy to welcome her to the fold. Please follow Lori on Twitter here: @loriclair
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