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Christian Herbert MAGEE

 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 


A.K.A.: "Mad Slasher"
 
Classification: Serial killer
Characteristics: Rape
Number of victims: 3
Date of murders: 1974 - 1976
Date of arrest: June 1976
Date of birth: 1948
Victims profile: Judith Barksey, 19 / Patricia Jenner, 19 / Susan Lynn Scholes, 15
Method of murder: Cutting their throats
Location: Strathroy, Ontario, Canada
Status: Found not guilty by reason of insanity in 1977, and has been held at the maximum security Penetanguishene Mental Health Centre ever since
 
 
 
 
 
 

'Victory' for serial killer

May 13, 2006

A serial killer known as the Mad Slasher is one step closer to gaining his freedom after a provincial tribunal ruled he should be moved immediately to a west end Toronto health care centre.

The Oak Ridge division of the Penetanguishene mental health centre faces possible contempt charges for ignoring a ruling last year from the Ontario Review Board calling for the transfer of Christian Magee to the Queen St. W. health centre, a facility with programs allowing patients to travel into the community, chairman Crawford MacIntyre said yesterday.

"We find it rather offensive that the review board's order (from last year) has been snubbed," said MacIntyre at a hearing at Oak Ridge, as Magee looked on.

He said there was "a weakness" in the Criminal Code on how the board could enforce its rulings and called upon Magee's lawyer, Dan Brodsky, to bring a motion citing Oak Ridge for contempt at a later hearing.

"A year ago an order was made ... and nothing was done," he said, as two relatives of one of Magee's victims looked on glumly in the hearing room. "It could be said that the board's nose is out of joint."

Magee, who sexually assaulted and killed three women, and raped two others, was all smiles after the hearing. "I'm elated," the father of three said in an interview. "I'm no longer dangerous. I don't want to hurt anybody. I'm hoping sometime down the road I will be able to go out and visit with my family."

"This was a flat-out victory for Chris," Brodsky said later. "If Chris is not at the Toronto facility by next week I will go to the Superior Court with a motion calling for contempt charges to be laid against Oak Ridge."

Magee had been declared not criminally responsible because of mental disorder for the rape and murder of three women in the Strathroy area between 1974 and 1976, and sent to Oak Ridge in 1976, where he has remained for the past 30 years.

For years, he had been trying to get a transfer from the maximum-security facility to the Centre of Addiction and Mental health on Queen St. W., a medium secure facility with outpatient programs.

He won that right last year, but the transfer was put on hold after officials with Oak Ridge appealed to Ontario's Court of Appeal, arguing that Magee was still a "substantial danger" to society who shouldn't be moved. The case was heard just before this past Christmas. A ruling is expected in the next month.

The review board is mandated to hold hearings yearly, but MacIntyre decided to wait until the appeal court's ruling before having one on Magee's transfer.

At last year's review board hearing, a report from a clinical team of specialists described Magee as a sexual sadist, a man with an antisocial personality disorder who has a 76 per cent chance of reoffending in 10 years were he to be released.

"There is no proven and effective treatment or intervention that is likely to change the outcome in a man who commits serial, sexually sadistic homicide," warned the report.

Dr. Lisa Ramshaw said in the report that it would be safest for society if Magee stayed in a "highly structured environment" because he has a "dangerous combination" of personality disorders.

"He should never get out. There's nothing much more to say than that," said Geoffrey Scholes, whose 15-year-old sister, Susan Lynn Scholes was raped and murdered by Magee in June, 1976.

"What gives him the right to even exist?" asked a man at yesterday's hearing whose sister was raped by Magee and left for dead. "Thirty years have passed and my sister has never been the same. Magee took away her God-given right to enjoy the magical act of enjoying a normal relationship with a loved one. Justice will not be served until he is dead."

Magee is not asking for his keepers to fling open the locked gates and let him walk out scot-free, Brodsky said.

He said Magee is seeking more of a "controlled exit," perhaps starting with weekend passes to visit his family, just to show society that he can be trusted.

Now 57 and a grandfather, Magee spends his time playing solitaire on his computer in his room at Oak Ridge, watching 24 on TV and listening to gospel music. He's become a woodcarver, a born-again Christian, a foster parent, the "model prisoner" with a spotless record after three decades in custody.

Magee has a short, stocky build, a thick chest and powerful forearms. His handshake is strong. Sitting close to Magee, it's hard not to focus on the serial killer's large hands that were once wrapped around the necks of the two terrified teenagers and a woman seven months pregnant women he sexually assaulted and murdered.

Once illiterate, he now talks eloquently about his "mental health condition," at times sounding like one of the many psychiatrists he has seen over the years.

"I was out of reality when I killed her," Magee recalled about his first victim, Judith Barksey, 19, during four hours of interviews at Oak Ridge.

"The reality is I'll always have the problem, but now I can recognize the symptoms and take preventative measures stop myself before it happens again."

He spotted Barksey by chance, he said, that March 1974 evening in the town of Strathroy, and in the four blocks that he followed her, he had made up his mind he was going to rape her.

"I talked myself into it," he said. "I was fantasizing more and more as I walked behind her, building up the courage, the desire, the want.

"She looked good from behind," he admitted when asked about what was then going through his head.

He never saw her face as he lunged at her in the darkness. He wanted sex, not thinking what would happen after the attack.

But when the startled teen turned around, Magee said he realized right then that he had to kill her because she knew him and could identify him later to the police.

"I just couldn't walk away, even though I hadn't done anything yet. But in my mind I had already committed the crime," he said.

When she struggled, Magee took out a jackknife and slashed her throat, earning him the media nickname he so thoroughly detests. His two other victims also had their throats cut.

"If I were in the same situation now, I would just walk away if I got those thoughts," he said of his personality changes. "Now I would be able to recognize the warning signs and stop myself before anything happened. Back then I couldn't do that."

Several factors, he said, led him to kill. He was born into an abusive, loveless home that was followed by an equally loveless marriage, although the union produced three children. He lacked self-esteem.

When he was young, he walked around with his head down so much that his mother got him to curl his arms through a broom behind his back to force his head up. His parents berated him constantly, telling him he would never amount to anything. An older brother frequently beat him up, he said.

He was in his mid-teens when his father took him out of school and sent him to work to help support the family.

Even after he got married, he was still searching for the affection he wasn't getting from his wife. Magee has told psychiatrists that at one time he was confused by sex and love, believing that forcing sex on someone could get him the affection he so desperately needed. He said he realizes now that was wrong.

Magee said learning a trade woodworking has given him confidence.

He has raised more than $25,000 for charity by donating his woodwork at auctions. Magee sponsors a student in Ethiopia who is studying to become a nurse.

Magee freely admitted he still gets deviant sexual fantasies. He said he can never be cured of that problem but insists those thoughts can be controlled.

"I was sent here because I have an illness," he said. "I didn't understand that then. I do now."

"I would have been out years ago had I been found guilty at a criminal trial, and given the mandatory life sentence," he said. People convicted of first-degree murder are allowed to apply for parole after serving 25 years.

"We're a compassionate country. That's the way our system is set up. I can never repay my debt to society. But in Canada you're supposed to be given a second chance."

 
 

'Mad Slasher' staying put

May 17, 2006

Christian Magee, the notorious Mad Slasher of Strathroy, may wage his fight for transfer to a medium-security facility -- even one in London -- all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada.

Magee lost his bid yesterday to transfer to such a facility in Toronto. But he remains determined to get out of the maximum-security unit at the Penetanguishene mental health centre where he's been for nearly 29 years.

He's looking for a new home in a regional mental health centre like that in London, his lawyer, Daniel Brodsky of Toronto, said yesterday.

In the meantime, Brodsky said, he will help Magee prepare for the leave to appeal and for another hearing on his bid for a transfer.

The Ontario Court of Appeal overruled the Ontario Review Board, which had approved Magee's transfer from a maximum-security facility, despite overwhelming evidence Magee poses a continuing and substantial risk to reoffend.

"This is a small victory for victims and their families," said a London man whose sister survived after being left for dead by Magee.

"I feel good about it," said the man, who feared Magee is trying to get back on the streets where his sister, 19 at the time of her attack in 1975, remains traumatized by him.

Magee, now 58 and diagnosed as a sadistic serial sex killer, said he wanted the move for access to women and to eventually visit his family in Strathroy.

Evidence at his review board hearing was that his family -- except for a daughter -- remain terrified of him and don't want to see him.

Magee was found not criminally responsible in three sex murders and two rapes of young women in the Strathroy area between 1974 and 1976. He used a knife to stab and slash most victims.

The court supported the Penetanguishene facility's appeal in a decision released yesterday. It found the review board erred by concentrating on finding the "least onerous and restrictive" setting for Magee. A re-hearing was ordered.

"I'll be there," vowed the man, whose family lived in Strathroy in the 1970s.

The 27-page ruling, written by Justice E. A. Cronk, minced few words as it condemned the review board's decision last May.

"The board's disposition was not made after meaningful consideration of the requisite statutory factors, namely, the need to protect the public from Mr. Magee, Mr. Magee's mental condition, his other needs and his reintegration into society," Cronk wrote.

The review board conducts annual reviews of persons found mentally ill and not criminally responsible for their crimes.

"The evidence (was) that Mr. Magee persists in seeking a transfer to a medium secure facility because he believes that it will facilitate his desired access to women," Cronk wrote. "Mr. Magee's motivation in seeking a transfer should have sounded an alarm bell for the review board."

Medium secure facilities stress reintegration into the community.

MPP Garfield Dunlop, the Conservative critic for public safety and correctional services, hailed the decision.

Dunlop said he found it particularly troublesome Magee wants to return to Strathroy, the scene of his crimes.

"Society has to pay far more attention to victims," he said.

Brodsky said he expects a new review board hearing within 45 days.

He said Magee is "stoic" and determined to get out of Penetanguishene. If Magee had pleaded guilty to the murders, he said, he'd have been out on the street by now.

 
 

Transfer of serial sex killer fought

October 7, 2005

A sexually sadistic serial killer, dubbed the Mad Slasher when he was terrorizing Southwestern Ontario three decades ago, is one step closer to gaining his freedom.

Christian Magee, now 57, overweight and suffering from diabetes, is to be transferred from the Penetanguishene Mental Health Centre to a medium-security hospital in Toronto, a facility that stresses reintegration into the community, the Ontario Review Board ordered recently.

His transfer to Toronto is being fought by Penetanguishene officials, and a spokesperson told the review board at hearings in March and May the former Strathroy-area resident was a "sadistic serial murderer" who was likely to reoffend.

An appeal against the transfer has been launched by officials at Penetanguishene, and could be heard as early as next month at the Ontario Court of Appeal.

A spokesperson for the mental health centre said privacy laws prevent them from talking about inmates.

According to a brief released by the review board after the hearing, Magee has an anti-social personality disorder, a psychosexual disorder, and suffers from sexual sadism. Rape scenes arouse him more than pictures of consensual sex.

Magee was 12 when he committed his first offence, raping a 10-year-old girl, it said. He committed three sex killings and two sex assaults between 1974 and 1976 in the Strathroy, Mt. Brydges and Forest areas. He was arrested in London in June 1976 at the age of 28.

"Mr. Magee has a number of risk factors which combine to make him a very high-risk candidate for any form of release," one psychiatric report presented to the hearing said.

 
 

A break for the Slasher?

January 16, 2006

The serial killer known as the Mad Slasher says he is sorry for his reign of terror 30 years ago in southwestern Ontario, and wants to make amends by meeting the relatives of his victims so they can vent their anger at him.

"It won't be a very comfortable meeting ... but I owe them that much," Christian Herbert Magee said in a recent phone interview from the Oak Ridge division of the Mental Health Centre in Penetanguishene, where he is awaiting an Ontario Court of Appeal ruling on whether he should have the chance for some limited freedom.

Magee, 57, overweight and diabetic, wants to be transferred to a treatment program in west-end Toronto geared towards reintegrating patients into the community. Penetang officials strongly oppose the move, warning Magee is too dangerous to be allowed back into society. He has been in custody since 1977 after being found not guilty by reason of insanity for murdering three teenagers.

Regardless of the decision of Ontario's highest court, Magee said he wants to sit down with the people he hurt and give them a chance to express their rage. Lawyer Dan Brodsky has offered to set up the meeting.

"I can never take that hurt away, as much as I'd love to," Magee said. "It will always be there. But I feel that if I give them the chance to meet with me, and let them vent their anger and how much I messed up their lives ... it would be a step in the healing process."

Said Brodsky: "He wants to say he's sorry. It could benefit both sides. Just saying he's the devil and not trying to understand doesn't help you get on with your life."

Magee's unusual offer has been met with anger by some of those he wants to meet.

"Talk to Magee? That's a definite no to that," said Geoffrey Scholes.

In June 1976, Scholes had told his 15-year-old sister, Susan Lynn, to wait until he finished work so he could drive her back to their parents' cottage near Strathroy.

But she went on ahead anyway, later accepting a ride from Magee, a familiar sight around town as he drove a truck in his job picking up animal carcasses from farms.

Magee raped her, then stabbed her in the throat, in the back, and strangled her with her halter top, before dumping the body in the basement of a deserted farm house.

Magee's first victim was 19-year-old Judith Barksey, whom he grabbed as she walked to her Strathroy home in March 1974, and then slashed her throat as she struggled, sexually assaulting her while she bled to death.

He also murdered Louise Patricia Jenner, 19, strangling her with a shoelace before stabbing her in the throat with a knife as she fought with him in the kitchen of her home in Mount Brydges in October 1975.

 
 

Serial killer moves closer to freedom

May 12, 2006

Tribunal rules `Mad Slasher' be moved to Toronto facility Centre that's held him for 30 years might face contempt.

A serial killer known as the Mad Slasher is one step closer to gaining his freedom after a provincial tribunal ruled he should be moved immediately to a west end Toronto health care centre.

The Oak Ridge division of the Penetanguishene mental health centre faces possible contempt charges for ignoring a ruling last year from the Ontario Review Board calling for the transfer of Christian Magee to the Queen St. W. health centre, a facility with programs allowing patients to travel into the community, chairman Crawford MacIntyre said yesterday.

"We find it rather offensive that the review board's order (from last year) has been snubbed," said MacIntyre at a hearing at Oak Ridge, as Magee looked on.

He said there was "a weakness" in the Criminal Code on how the board could enforce its rulings and called upon Magee's lawyer, Dan Brodsky, to bring a motion citing Oak Ridge for contempt at a later hearing.

"A year ago an order was made ... and nothing was done," he said, as two relatives of one of Magee's victims looked on glumly in the hearing room. "It could be said that the board's nose is out of joint."

Magee, who sexually assaulted and killed three women, and raped two others, was all smiles after the hearing. "I'm elated," the father of three said in an interview. "I'm no longer dangerous. I don't want to hurt anybody. I'm hoping sometime down the road I will be able to go out and visit with my family."

"This was a flat-out victory for Chris," Brodsky said later. "If Chris is not at the Toronto facility by next week I will go to the Superior Court with a motion calling for contempt charges to be laid against Oak Ridge."

Magee had been declared not criminally responsible because of mental disorder for the rape and murder of three women in the Strathroy area between 1974 and 1976, and sent to Oak Ridge in 1976, where he has remained for the past 30 years.

For years, he had been trying to get a transfer from the maximum-security facility to the Centre of Addiction and Mental health on Queen St. W., a medium secure facility with outpatient programs.

He won that right last year, but the transfer was put on hold after officials with Oak Ridge appealed to Ontario's Court of Appeal, arguing that Magee was still a "substantial danger" to society who shouldn't be moved. The case was heard just before this past Christmas. A ruling is expected in the next month.

The review board is mandated to hold hearings yearly, but MacIntyre decided to wait until the appeal court's ruling before having one on Magee's transfer.

At last year's review board hearing, a report from a clinical team of specialists described Magee as a sexual sadist, a man with an antisocial personality disorder who has a 76 per cent chance of reoffending in 10 years were he to be released.

"There is no proven and effective treatment or intervention that is likely to change the outcome in a man who commits serial, sexually sadistic homicide," warned the report.

Dr. Lisa Ramshaw said in the report that it would be safest for society if Magee stayed in a "highly structured environment" because he has a "dangerous combination" of personality disorders.

"He should never get out. There's nothing much more to say than that," said Geoffrey Scholes, whose 15-year-old sister, Susan Lynn Scholes was raped and murdered by Magee in June, 1976.

"What gives him the right to even exist?" asked a man at yesterday's hearing whose sister was raped by Magee and left for dead. "Thirty years have passed and my sister has never been the same. Magee took away her God-given right to enjoy the magical act of enjoying a normal relationship with a loved one. Justice will not be served until he is dead."

Magee is not asking for his keepers to fling open the locked gates and let him walk out scot-free, Brodsky said.

He said Magee is seeking more of a "controlled exit," perhaps starting with weekend passes to visit his family, just to show society that he can be trusted.

Now 57 and a grandfather, Magee spends his time playing solitaire on his computer in his room at Oak Ridge, watching 24 on TV and listening to gospel music. He's become a woodcarver, a born-again Christian, a foster parent, the "model prisoner" with a spotless record after three decades in custody.

Magee has a short, stocky build, a thick chest and powerful forearms. His handshake is strong. Sitting close to Magee, it's hard not to focus on the serial killer's large hands that were once wrapped around the necks of the two terrified teenagers and a woman seven months pregnant women he sexually assaulted and murdered.

Once illiterate, he now talks eloquently about his "mental health condition," at times sounding like one of the many psychiatrists he has seen over the years.

"I was out of reality when I killed her," Magee recalled about his first victim, Judith Barksey, 19, during four hours of interviews at Oak Ridge.

"The reality is I'll always have the problem, but now I can recognize the symptoms and take preventative measures stop myself before it happens again."

He spotted Barksey by chance, he said, that March 1974 evening in the town of Strathroy, and in the four blocks that he followed her, he had made up his mind he was going to rape her.

"I talked myself into it," he said. "I was fantasizing more and more as I walked behind her, building up the courage, the desire, the want.

"She looked good from behind," he admitted when asked about what was then going through his head.

He never saw her face as he lunged at her in the darkness. He wanted sex, not thinking what would happen after the attack.

But when the startled teen turned around, Magee said he realized right then that he had to kill her because she knew him and could identify him later to the police.

"I just couldn't walk away, even though I hadn't done anything yet. But in my mind I had already committed the crime," he said.

When she struggled, Magee took out a jackknife and slashed her throat, earning him the media nickname he so thoroughly detests. His two other victims also had their throats cut.

"If I were in the same situation now, I would just walk away if I got those thoughts," he said of his personality changes. "Now I would be able to recognize the warning signs and stop myself before anything happened. Back then I couldn't do that."

Several factors, he said, led him to kill. He was born into an abusive, loveless home that was followed by an equally loveless marriage, although the union produced three children. He lacked self-esteem.

When he was young, he walked around with his head down so much that his mother got him to curl his arms through a broom behind his back to force his head up. His parents berated him constantly, telling him he would never amount to anything. An older brother frequently beat him up, he said.

He was in his mid-teens when his father took him out of school and sent him to work to help support the family.

Even after he got married, he was still searching for the affection he wasn't getting from his wife. Magee has told psychiatrists that at one time he was confused by sex and love, believing that forcing sex on someone could get him the affection he so desperately needed. He said he realizes now that was wrong.

Magee said learning a trade woodworking has given him confidence.

He has raised more than $25,000 for charity by donating his woodwork at auctions. Magee sponsors a student in Ethiopia who is studying to become a nurse.

Magee freely admitted he still gets deviant sexual fantasies. He said he can never be cured of that problem but insists those thoughts can be controlled.

"I was sent here because I have an illness," he said. "I didn't understand that then. I do now."

"I would have been out years ago had I been found guilty at a criminal trial, and given the mandatory life sentence," he said. People convicted of first-degree murder are allowed to apply for parole after serving 25 years.

"We're a compassionate country. That's the way our system is set up. I can never repay my debt to society. But in Canada you're supposed to be given a second chance."

 
 

Serial Killer Denied Transfer to Toronto Facility

May 17, 2006

The Mad Slasher isn't coming to Toronto. Serial Killer Chris Magee has been ordered to stay in a maximum security facility in Penetanguishene, rather than move to the Queen Street mental health centre.

His planned move was cancelled by the appeal court, after both the Attorney General and the Penetanguishene facility opposed the transfer. The appeal court says the Ontario Review Board must have a re-hearing because it made errors in law by approving the move.

58-year-old Magee has been in jail since the late 70's, after he raped and murdered three women. He was found not guilty by reason of insanity, and has been held at the maximum security Penetanguishene Mental Health Centre ever since.

 
 


Christian Magee

 

 

 
 
 
 
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