291 episodes

True crime, legends, folklore, dark history and other creepy topics from the perspective of real live Canadians.

Dark Poutine - True Crime and Dark History Curiouscast

    • True Crime
    • 4.6 • 3.4K Ratings

True crime, legends, folklore, dark history and other creepy topics from the perspective of real live Canadians.

    The Mind Reader and the Murderer: The Booher Farm Massacre

    The Mind Reader and the Murderer: The Booher Farm Massacre

    Episode 286: On July 9, 1928, the Alberta Provincial Police were alerted to a mass murder at the Booher farm in Mannville, Alberta. Upon arrival, they discovered the bodies of Rose Booher, her oldest son Fred, and two hired hands, Gabriel Grombey and Bill Rozak, all shot dead. 
    The younger son, Vernon Booher, was unharmed. He’d been out in the fields working that evening and, after hearing shots, ran back to the house to his mother and brother dead. It was he who’d sounded the alarm.
    Two Booher daughters were in town during the incident. The father of the family, Henry, also away during the killings, was devastated. 
    Vernon displayed little emotion and soon became the number one suspect in the slayings. He denied involvement, and the murder weapon, a rifle, was missing. Dr. Adolph Maximilian Langsner, an Austrian criminologist and psychiatrist who claimed he could read brainwaves, was brought in to assist. He claimed he read Vernon’s mind, and confirmed he was the killer. Langsner also directed police to the missing firearm, claiming he’d drawn a map taken from Vernon’s thoughts. Presented with the formerly missing rifle, Vernon confessed, stating he killed his mother over her disapproval of his girlfriend and then eliminated witnesses. But his confession was disallowed. Why? His defence attorneys claimed Dr. Langsner had coerced him into it through hypnotism.
    1928 CanLII 342 (AB KB) | Rex v. Booher | CanLII
    2007 SCC 6 (CanLII) | R. v. Trochym | CanLII
    2009 CanLII 40558 (ON SC) | R. v. Trochym | CanLII
    Hypnotism and its Legal Import
    Times Colonist 19 Jul 1928, page 10
    Edmonton Journal 24 Jul 1928, page 1
    Langsner on the Stand: The Vancouver Sun 26 Sep 1928, page 1
    Edmonton Journal 29 Apr 1996, page 1
    Edmonton Journal 29 Apr 1996, page 7
    Hypnotically Enhanced Testimony in Criminal Proceedings
    Book: Strange Days: Amazing Stories From Canada's Wildest Decade by Ted Ferguson
    Book: The Big Book of Canadian Hauntings by John Robert Colombo
    Book: Murder: Twelve True Stories of Homicide in Canada by Edward Butts
    Detective Maximilian Langsner and the Murderer's Mind Part 1
    Detective Maximilian Langsner and the Murderer's Mind Part 2
    After 17 years, Stephen Trochym admits slaying
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    • 1 hr 8 min
    Away Game: The Trial of the Pendle Witches

    Away Game: The Trial of the Pendle Witches

    Episode: 285: The 1612 Lancashire trials of the accused Pendle witches, one of the most notorious witchcraft trials in English history, took place during the reign of King James I. Twelve individuals from the area around Pendle Hill in Lancashire were accused of practicing witchcraft and brought to trial at Lancaster Assizes. Of these, ten were found guilty and hanged, one was found not guilty, and another died in prison. The trial is particularly remembered for the testimonies of the accused, especially that of the young girl, Jennet Device, whose evidence played a significant role in the convictions.
    While the immediate aftermath of the Pendle trials saw heightened witch paranoia, the extremity of the trials and the nature of the evidence also sowed seeds of skepticism. Over time, as more and more trials took place, some segments of society began to question the validity of witchcraft accusations and the reliability of the testimony of children and confessions obtained under pressure.
    It's believed that from the early 15th to the early 18th centuries, the total number of executions from English witch trials was just under 500.
    The Lancashire Witches: A Romance of Pendle Forest by William Harrison Ainsworth
    Discovery of Witches by active 1612-1618 Thomas Potts
    Daemonologie. by King of England James I
    The Pendle Witches, a famous witch trial in Lancashire
    The History Press: The Pendle Witches
    The Demonology of King James I by Donald Tyson - Ebook
    Malleus Maleficarum Index
    The mark of the Devil: Medical proof in Witchcraft Trials by Sarah Dunn
    The Pendle Witches | Lancashire Witch Trials | English Witchcraft
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    • 1 hr 11 min
    The Murder of Gladys Wakabayashi

    The Murder of Gladys Wakabayashi

    Episode 284: On the evening of June 24, 1992, after she failed to pick her daughter up from school, 41-year-old Gladys Wakabayshi’s estranged husband, Shinji and her daughter, Elisa, discovered her body in the hallway of their home in Shaughnessy, a posh Vancouver neighbourhood. Gladys had been brutally slashed and bled out on the floor. 
    Early on, after uncovering an affair between Derek James, a long-time family friend, and Gladys Wakabayashi, Jean Ann James, 52, Derek’s wife, became the number one suspect in the murder. Jean Ann refused to talk, leaving the police without enough physical evidence to lay charges.
    The crime would go unsolved for more than 15 years before Jean Ann James was arrested after she confessed to the murder of her friend during an intricate Mr. Big sting.
    2013 BCCA 11 (CanLII) | R. v. James | CanLII
    2012 BCCA 162 (CanLII) | R. v. James | CanLII
    Search — Newspapers.com: Gladys Wakabayashi
    Woman confessed to killing husband's mistress with box cutters, court told
    Jean Ann James | Murderpedia, the encyclopedia of murderers
    Not So Sleepy Jean
    Accused Killer Seen in Victim's Bedroom 2 Days Before Murder
    'Volatile' elderly killer loses bid for private visits with cheating husband | CBC News
    The “Mr. Big” Police Tactic in Canada Leads to False Confessions…
    华人女富豪被割喉家中 血贱温西豪宅 - 温哥华专栏 - Vansky.com
    The case of Nelson Hart: 2 girls, 3 years and a mystery 'Mr. Big'
    No New Friends: A Look at the Law Relating to Mr. Big in R. v. Hart : Royle Law | Criminal and DUI Lawyers Toronto
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    • 57 min
    Private Acts and Public Health: HIV Non-Disclosure in Canada

    Private Acts and Public Health: HIV Non-Disclosure in Canada

    Episode 283: In this episode, we venture into a controversial and tragic chapter of Canada's legal history. It intertwines public health, personal relationships, and the weight of the law. We're talking about the history of HIV non-disclosure cases in Canada.
    Part of our journey takes us to the early 2000s, zeroing in on Johnson Aziga, a Ugandan-born Canadian resident. His name would soon become synonymous with a landmark legal battle challenging the boundaries of consent, deception, and responsibility. Aziga was diagnosed with HIV in 1996, but his numerous subsequent relationships would cast him into the national spotlight. Two women, specifically, would become central to his story: both entered into relationships with Aziga, and HIV-related complications tragically took both. The women’s names are protected under publication bans, so we cannot speak to their biographies. Regardless, their untimely deaths would raise a storm of questions about trust, disclosure, and the duty one owes to their intimate partners. Aziga was convicted of murder and deemed a dangerous offender, but argued that his race and status as an immigrant weighed against him. In 2023, the murder convictions were overturned and replaced with manslaughter charges substituted in their place.
    NOTE: In this podcast, the names of survivors will be kept confidential, and initials or aliases will be used instead.
    A history of HIV/AIDS
    HIV 101: The History of HIV & AIDS in Canada - Freddie Magazine
    The legacy of the HIV/AIDS fight in Canada
    R v Cuerrier
    After Cuerrier | Publications - Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network
    African immigrant damnation syndrome: The case of Charles Ssenyonga
    2006 CanLII 42798 (ON SC) | R. v. Aziga | CanLII
    2007 CanLII 38 (ON SC) | R. v. Aziga | CanLII
    2011 ONSC 4592 (CanLII) | R. v. Aziga | CanLII
    Canada: HIV “murderer” Aziga now also a “dangerous offender,” locked up for life
    HIV-positive man convicted of murder apologizes to victims
    2014 HRTO 144 (CanLII) | Aziga v. Ontario (Community Safety and Correctional Services) | CanLII
    2014 HRTO 1465 (CanLII) | Aziga v. Ontario (Community Safety and Correctional Services) | CanLII
    Court overturns murder convictions against Ontario man who gave two women HIV, killing them
    2023 ONCA 12 (CanLII) | R. v. Aziga | CanLII
    Update — Canada: Murder convictions for HIV transmission reduced to manslaughter
    HIV Criminalization
    Criminal HIV Transmission
    Canada: Ontario leads the world in the over-criminalization of HIV non-disclosure
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    • 1 hr 17 min
    The Child Martyr: Aurore Gagnon

    The Child Martyr: Aurore Gagnon

    Episode 282: Aurore Gagnon is probably one of the most tragic figures in twentieth-century Canadian history. She was only ten years old when she died of exhaustion and blood poisoning in her hometown of Sainte-Philomène-de-Fortierville, Quebec, on February 12, 1920. An autopsy revealed at least 54 wounds on her body, presumably inflicted over time by her stepmother Marie-Anne Houde and her father, Télesphore Gagnon. Both were later convicted for their roles in the little girl’s death. Aurore Gagnon’s story has left a lasting impact on Quebec's cultural memory, inspiring plays, films, and discussions about child abuse and children's rights in the province.
    Aurore! The Mystery of the Martyred Child
    Fortierville, Quebec, Canada: Church of Saint Philomena of Fortierville
    GAGNON, AURORE – Volume XIV (1911-1920) – Dictionary of Canadian Biography
    Généalogie Aurore Gagnon
    Centre d'interprétation de Fortierville | Église Ste-Philomène de Fortierville
    Monument funéraire d'Aurore Gagnon - Répertoire du patrimoine culturel du Québec
    Marie-Aurore-Lucienne “Aurore” Gagnon (1909-1920)...

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    • 1 hr 4 min
    Beaver Lake Tragedy: The McKenzie Murders

    Beaver Lake Tragedy: The McKenzie Murders

    Episode 281: On the night of Saturday, October 25th, 1857, in Beaver Lake, a part of Simond’s Parish in St John County, a heinous crime was committed unlike anything ever seen in New Brunswick up to that point. Sure, there had been murders and arsons, but those were often the result of heated arguments or drunken brawls. But this crime was different. It’s hard to believe that anyone in New Brunswick would coldly and calculatedly murder a man named Robert McKenzie, his wife, and his four helpless children, all for the sake of money, and then burn down their property to destroy the evidence. The perpetrators, three Irish Catholics, Hugh Breen and Patrick Slavin Sr. and Slavin’s teenage son, Patrick Jr., targeted the protestant Mackenzie family, robbing and murdering them. This crime, committed on that fateful Saturday night, was, to that point, unprecedented in New Brunswick. Some still feel the crime rivals the worst in the province’s history.
    The Beaver Lake tragedy | Internet Archive
    The Victorian Era Crime That Shocked New Brunswick: The Beaver Lake Tragedy
    McKenzie Murders | Cases | Crime and Punishment | Projects | Faculty of Arts | UNB
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    • 1 hr 7 min

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
3.4K Ratings

3.4K Ratings

Craig R28 ,

Best podcast to listen to while wearing a toque, eating a Nanaimo bar and drinking a double-double

I’ve listened to this show for years and enjoy Mike’s storytelling. They’ve covered an incredible amount of stories from Canada and have covered a few cases from outside the nation. Love how they embrace being Canadian as well as the care given to not glorify the crimes and the perpetrators. Great care is given to treat the victims with respect.

The back and forth banter between Mike and Matthew helps keep things light and break up the storytelling. Matthew does a great job asking the questions or stating the thoughts that many listeners must have while listening.

The listener calls and feedback section is an awesome way to bring the community together and to hear from fans from Canada and from other countries. It’s fascinating to hear the diversity of listeners.

Keep up the great work.

lk5555555552 ,


These two are so uneducated in how an investigation works. The Port Moody podcast was awful and the Wakanayashi also terrible. They really are two schmucks trying to talk about true crime.
Time listening to these clowns is time you’ll never get back. Awful

norrhern loggers ,

Wow. Shocking

Used to love your show u till the past year when you have gone completely woke. I get talking about controversial issues but wow I’m shocked how you can be so negative towards your own demographic. Putting down one demographic to lift another is also discriminatory!!!!

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