On June 8, 1995, the Mike Harris Conservatives were elected to run the province of Ontario. Harris campaigned on a platform that he called The Common Sense Revolution. For the next seven years Ontario underwent massive changes in everything from Welfare to Health Care. Conservative Cabinet Ministers were often on the hot seat as they implemented the changes in an atmosphere of protest and push-back. This episode of 1995 looks back at Mike Harris Government and the first year of their Common Sense Revolution in Ontario.
Music in this episode courtesy of "Broke for Free"
On May 18, 1995, the Crown Attorney gave his opening statement at the Paul Bernardo murder trial. The public and media finally heard the Crown's theory of what actually happened to 14-year-old Leslie Mahaffy and 15-year-old Kristen French. This is a replay of a previously aired episode on the Crown's opening statement. It was part 2 of a 7 part series on the trial. Scroll back in your feed to hear the other parts if you missed it the first time around.
In honor of the 23rd anniversary of the Oklahoma City Bombing, a replay of a previously released episode that looks back at the attack on the Alfred P. Murrah federal building.
On January 23, 1995, Guy Paul Morin was exonerated by DNA evidence in connection with the murder of his 9-year-old neighbour Christine Jessop. After he was convicted of murder in 1992, a grass roots movement sprung up to help free Morin and prove his innocence. Lawyer James Lockyer won an appeal for Morin, but before it was heard, advances in DNA technology proved once and for all that Morin did not kill Christine.
On Part 2 of this series on the exoneration of Guy Paul Morin, I look back at Morin's two trials. At the first trial in 1986, Morin was found not guilty in the murder of his 9-year-old neighbour Christine Jessop. The Crown appealed and a new trial was granted which took place beginning in November 1991. This trial included tons of new evidence including the shocking revelation that Christine had been abused for years by two young neighbors and her older brother Kenny. The trial dragged on for 9 months and everyone was stunned when the jury came back this time with a verdict of guilty. Thanks again to author Kirk Makin for his contribution to this episode.
On January 23, 1995, Guy Paul Morin was acquitted in the murder of his 9 year old neighbor Christine Jessop. His 10 year legal battle finally came to an end when new DNA technology proved that he wasn't responsible for the brutal killing and sexual assault of Christine.
Christine disappeared from her home on October 3, 1984, shortly after she was dropped off by a school bus in front of her house in Queensville, Ontario. Queensville is a small farming town about one hour north of Toronto and the disappearance shocked the community.
Part one of this series looks back at the disappearance of Christine and the arrest of Guy Paul Morin.
On this day in 1995, February 17th, a verdict was handed down in one of the most bizarre criminal trials ever. Colin Ferguson was charged with six counts of murder in connection with the Long Island Rail Road Massacre in 1993. His lawyers wanted him to plead guilty by reason of insanity but he refused to accept that plea. Ferguson fired his lawyers and defended himself. He took on the demeanor of an experienced lawyer and referred to himself in the third person when he cross examined 17 of the 19 people who survived the shooting spree.
February 8, 1995, iconic rapper and actor Tupac Shakur was sentenced to prison in connection with the sexual abuse of a 19-year- old woman. Shakur and his road manager had been charged with numerous offences after the Brooklyn woman said she was attacked by Shakur and three other men in a hotel room. They were found guilty of three counts of first degree sex abuse but found not guilty of the more serious charge of sodomy. The judge sentenced Shakur to 18 months to 4 and half years in jail. Shakur was out 8 months later after Suge Knight of Death Row Records posted $1.4 million in bail pending an appeal in the case.
In November 1995, the Middle East Peace Process came to an abrupt halt when Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated. Two years before his death, Rabin had brokered a peace deal with PLO leader Yasser Arafat that would lead to Israel's withdrawal from the occupied territories.
25 year old right wing Jew Yigal Amir along with occupiers and other extremists were against the plan. Amir decided the only way to stop it from moving forward was to kill Prime Minister Rabin.
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On January 11, 1995, the first lockout in the National Hockey League finally ended. The league had locked players out for 103 days as they tried to reach a new deal with players. The main sticking point was a luxury tax being proposed by Commissioner Gary Bettman. The union, headed by Bob Goodenow, said the tax was the same thing as a salary cap which they were dead set against.
In January 1995, Canada's elite Airborne Regiment was shut down by the country's Defence Minister. A shocking homemade video had been released by the media showing some officers make disturbing and racist comments while on a peace keeping mission in Somalia. Shortly after that video was released, a second video was uncovered that showed officers from the Airborne Regiment taking part in a hazing ritual. During the ceremony, a lack soldier was put on a leash and walked around like a dog while other soldiers were forced to eat feces. The regiment had already developed a bad reputation and was under a dark cloud because of two deaths that occurred inside the Canadian compound in Somalia. In one case a 16 year old Somalia boy was tortured and beaten to death. The main officer who conducted the beating posed for pictures with the boys battered body.
Clayton Matchee was arrested in connection with the death but attempted to commit suicide while in protective custody. He did not die but experienced severed brain damage and was declared unfit to stand trial.
Kyle Brown, was present during the beating and tried to stop Matchee who outranked him. He took pictures during the beating and eventually turned them over to authorities. Brown was convicted of charges and received a 5 year jail sentence.
The extro song in this episode is "The Longest Day" by Paul Anka. It was the official song of the Canadian Airborne Regiment.
On December 6, 1995, the Montreal Canadiens traded their star goaltender Patrick Roy to the Colorado Avalanche. The move is considered by many to be the worst trade in Montreal history. It came just days after Roy was humiliated during a home game at the Montreal Forum when coach Mario Tremblay refused to pull Roy from the game until the score was 9-1. Roy skated off the ice and went to the President of the hockey club and told him he had played his last game in Montreal.
On March 20th, 1995, a deadly nerve gas was released in the Tokyo Subway system. Passengers stumbled out of the trains coughing and choking. Many collapsed and went into convulsions. No one had any idea what was going on. Thousands were injured and 13 died in the attack which was carried out by a doomsday cult that was trying to provoke a world war. Thanks to Professor Paul Midford from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology for his contribution to this episode. Twitter: @1995podcast FB:1995Podcast Email: email@example.com
In the shadow of the OJ Simpson trial, another high profile trial grabbed public attention in 1995. The trial of Susan Smith would reveal many shocking secrets about the young woman from South Carolina accused of killing her 2 young sons. All music in this episode is written and produced by Lee Revere. Twitter: @1995podcast Facebook: 1995 podcast
I am taking a short break from 1995 to air a podcast series over the next several weeks about an unprecedented legal case that has been making news in Toronto since July 2013. That's when 18-year-old Sammy Yatim was shot and killed by a Toronto Police Officer. Yatim was armed with a small knife and was standing just inside an empty streetcar when Toronto Constable James Forcillo shot him 8 times. Forcillo was eventually convicted in the teen's death but this fall the police officer will appeal the conviction. His lawyers say the judge caused a miscarriage of justice when he excluded evidence that Yatim may have been on a mission to commit suicide by cop.
It took years to unravel what really happened at Ipperwash Provincial Park in September 1995. A native protestor was shot dead by police after heavily armed officers marched to the park to confront a small group of natives who were occupying the park. This episode looks back at the criminal case and the public inquiry that took place after the shooting.
In September 1995, a small group of natives in Southwestern Ontario, occupied a provincial park and campground on the shore of Lake Huron. They claimed Ipperwash Provincial Park contained sacred native burial grounds. Within days the peaceful protest erupted in violence when heavily armed police officers marched to the park to confront the natives. Native protestor Dudley George was shot and killed by a police sniper. Part one of this two part series looks back at the years leading up to the occupation and at the night that George was killed. The opening music in this episode was recorded at a Chippewa Pow Wow at the Kettle and Stony Point Reserve. Thanks to Peter Edwards who shared his knowledge about this complicated case. His book about the Ipperwash crisis is called One Dead Indian.
In honor of Canada Day a special episode of 1995! One of the most intense moments in Canadian history happened on October 30th, 1995. A referendum was held in Quebec asking people of that province if they wanted to separate from Canada and create their own independent country. The road to the vote was equally as intense and dates back to the 1960's when a radical separatist group terrorized Quebec. Music in this episode written and performed by Min Y Llan and Downliners Sekt. You can reach me on Facebook @1995podcast and on Twitter @1995_podcast.
In August 1995, a commute home on a hot Friday evening became a horrific nightmare when a Toronto train crashed at full speed into the back of a stopped train. This episode looks back at the collision that killed 3 people and injured dozens more. The investigation after the crash found that almost everything went wrong that night. All music written and produced by Lee Rosevere and Jorge Mario Zuleta.
Before 9-11 there was the Oklahoma City Bombing. When the bombing occurred on April 19th, 1995, it was the worst act of terrorism in US history. But in this case it was an act of homegrown violence not international terrorism. This episode of 1995 looks back at the rescue efforts at the bomb scene and the hunt for John Doe #1 and John Doe #2 which eventually resulted in the arrest of US Army Veteran Timothy McVeigh and his army buddy Terry Nichols. All music in this episode written and performed by Lee Rosevere. 1995 is on Facebook @1995podcast and Twitter @1995_podcast.
On Oct 3, 1995 over 95 million people watched live on TV as the verdicts were read in the OJ Simpson Murder Trial. The country waited anxiously to find out what would happen on the streets of Los Angeles. If OJ was found guilty would there be a race riot. I was outside the LA county courthouse with microphone and tape recorder covering the reaction for my radio station back in Toronto. This episode of 1995 recreates that day when OJ Simpson was found not guilty.
In this bonus episode two interviews I did in 1995 about the Paul Bernardo Murder trial.
When Paul Bernardo was found guilty of first degree murder in the deaths of Leslie Mahaffy and Kristen French the case was far from over. The Crown wanted Bernardo to be declared a Dangerous Offender so he could be sent to jail indefinitely. And there were several more emotional hurdles for the families. Including victim impact statements at Bernardo's Dangerous Offender hearing, the demolition of the house where the girls were killed and the destruction of the horrific video-taped evidence from the case. In this final episode of Season One host Kathy Kenzora also brings you up to date on the status of Bernardo today. All music in this episode written and performed by Lee Rosevere.
After four months of testimony it's time for closing arguments from the Defence and the Crown at the Paul Bernardo murder trial. The Defence continues to advance it's position that Bernardo wasn't present when 14 year old Leslie Mahaffy and 15 year old Kristen French died. The Crown says that is a complete fantasy. The jury takes less then eight hours to decide who is telling the truth. All music in this episode written and performed by Lee Rosevere.
On August 15th, 1995, Paul Bernardo took the stand to defend himself against two first degree murder charges. It was the first time he would explain publically what happened to 14 year old Leslie Mahaffy and 15 year old Kristen French. His ex-wife had testified earlier that Bernardo strangled both girls with an electrical cord after kidnapping, confining and sexually assaulting them. Bernardo turned up his charm when he took the stand and had a quick answer for everything. But after several days of grueling questioning by the Crown his confidence appeared to disappear. All music in this episode written and performed by Lee Rosevere.