(c. 1921 - 17 November 1972, Québec) was a Canadian sex offender and
serial killer who was active in Québec in the 1960s. He was nicknamed
the “Monster of Pont-Rouge”
His first sexual assault, which also involved an
attempted murder, was against a young woman from Pont-Rouge. Léopold
Dion and his brother raped and stabbed the woman on the railway track
linking the Rang Petit-Capsa (a street) to the village of Pont-Rouge.
They left her for dead, but she survived, albeit with both physical and
Dion sexually abused 21 boys, of whom he also killed
four. He lured his victims by posing as a photographer.
His first murder victim was twelve-year-old Guy
Luckenuck, in Quebec City that day for piano lessons, whom Dion lured by
taking a series of snapshots with an old camera that had no film before
claiming to want to continue elsewhere. He drove the boy into the
country, where, in a remote spot, Dion then strangled Luckenuck, and
then buried him.
On 5 May 1963, Dion crossed paths with eight-year-old
Alain Carrier and ten-year-old Michel Morel. He used the same ploy to
lure them into his car, driving them to a run-down building in Saint-Raymond-de-Portneuf.
With Alain, he pretended to play prisoner so that he could tie the boy
up in the cottage. Once the younger boy had been overcome, Dion turned
to the older one, Michel, whom he led outside, whereupon he asked the
child to take his clothes off. Dion then strangled him with a garrote,
before going back inside and smothering the other boy.
On 26 May 1963, he met thirteen-year-old Pierre
Marquis, who was also taken in by the fake photographer’s promises. They
were a couple of paces from a dune, the same one that had become Guy
Luckenuck’s grave a bit more than a month earlier. Once again, Dion
asked his victim to pose naked. The child complied, but when Dion tried
to assault him, he fought back before giving in and getting strangled.
Dion, who was then on conditional release for raping
a schoolteacher several years earlier, was arrested the day after his
last murder. It was a description of Dion from another boy whom he had
waylaid, but who had got away from him, that led to the police
apprehending Dion. Once in prison, Dion held out for a month before he
finally admitted his crimes to his interrogators, in detail. He then led
investigators to the spot where he had buried the children's bodies.
Defended as he was by criminal lawyer Guy Bertrand,
Dion was, in the end, charged with only one murder, Pierre Marquis’s,
for lack of evidence in the other cases. On 10 April 1964, Judge Gérard
Lacroix sentenced him to be hanged.
The death sentence was commuted to life imprisonment
by then Governor General of Canada Georges Vanier after Bertrand's
appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada in the matter had failed.
On 17 November 1972, Dion was stabbed to death by a
fellow inmate named Normand “Lawrence d'Arabie” Champagne, who was later
found not guilty of this crime by reason of insanity.
Guy Luckenuck (right) the first victim of Léopold Dion.