Albert Johnson Walker
is a Canadian criminal currently serving a prison term for
embezzlement and murder. He is noted for murdering and assuming
the identity of an Englishman and posing for years as though his
daughter were his wife.
Originally from Paris, Ontario, Walker was a
high school drop-out. After numerous odd jobs, he eventually was
hired as a bank teller for a trust company. He also started filing
other people's income tax returns. Walker quit his job at the
trust company, some two years later, to establish his own
freelance bookkeeping business.
Over a decade, Walker Financial grew into a
six-branch operation with about thirty employees. In 1986, a stock
deal that Walker had invested collapsed. As a mortgage broker and
financier, Walker defrauded about 70 Canadian clients of $3.2
million. In 1990 he fled to Europe with the second of his three
daughters, Sheena. In 1993, Walker was charged in Canada with 18
counts of fraud, theft and money laundering. In time Walker became
Canada's most wanted criminal and the second most wanted by
Time in England
Walker eventually made his way to Harrogate in
North Yorkshire where he lived with his daughter, Sheena, who was
posing as his wife. During this time, Sheena had two children, the
paternity of whom has not been revealed. He changed his name to
David Davis and began a business career with television repairman
Ronald Joseph Platt. Platt, raised in Canada, wished to return to
his home country. Walker bankrolled this trip, but claimed he
needed Platt's driver's license, signature stamp and birth
certificate for the business. When Platt left for Canada in 1992,
initially with the intent of permanently settling there, Walker
assumed his identity.
Murder and Conviction
Platt was out of money and returned to England
in 1995. Walker took Platt out on a fishing trip 20 July 1996
where he murdered him, weighed him down with an anchor, and dumped
his body in the sea.
Two weeks later the body was discovered in the
English Channel by fisherman John Copik with a Rolex wristwatch
the only identifiable object on the body. Since the Rolex movement
had a serial number and was engraved with special markings every
time it was serviced, British police traced the service records
from Rolex. Ronald Joseph Platt was identified as the owner of the
watch and the victim of the murder.
In addition British police were able to
determine the date of death by examining the date on the watch
calendar and since the Rolex movement had a reserve of two to
three days of operation when inactive and it was fully waterproof,
they were able to determine the time of death within a small
margin of error. Walker was apprehended shortly thereafter.
In the spring of 1998, Walker's preliminary
hearing was held in the village courtroom in Teignmouth England.
On 27 April 1998, Walker pleaded not guilty in his murder trial in
the English city of Exeter. He was found guilty in 1998 and
received an automatic life sentence for murder. Had Walker not
been convicted, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office would have
transferred him back to Canada to face his fraud charges.
Transfer to Canada
On 22 February 2005, The Globe and Mail
reported that Walker would be transferred to a Canadian prison,
where he faced additional charges of fraud, theft and money
On 23 July 2007, Walker was sentenced in
Kingston, Ontario to four years for fraud and one year concurrent
for violations of the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act (Canada). He
is currently serving his life sentence at Kingston Penitentiary.
In 1998 a book detailing the story of Albert
Walker, A hand in the water: The many lies of Albert Walker,
by award-winning Toronto Star journalist Bill Schiller, was
published by HarperCollins.
Also in 1998, a second book detailing Walker's
story, Nothing Sacred: The many lives and betrayals of Albert
Walker, by award-winning Toronto Sun journalist Alan Cairns,
was published by McClelland-Bantam, Inc.
A made-for-TV movie AKA Albert Walker
documenting Walker's crimes and eventual arrest was released in
In 2002, Walker's wife, Barb (née MacDonald),
authored a book entitled "Dancing Devil - My twenty years with
Albert Walker", detailing her life with Walker leading up to
his departure from Canada.
A documentary detailing the crime called
"Interpol Investigates - Body Double" was made by National
A Forensic Files episode titled, Time Will
Tell details Walker's murder investigation.
A theatrical play by Peter Colley, "Stolen
Lives, The Albert Walker Story", performed at the Blyth Festival
in Blyth Ontario in 20.
'Fugitive financier' turned killer sentenced
to 4 years for fraud
July 23, 2007
Albert Walker, a former Ontario investment
planner infamous for fleeing Canada with his daughter and later
committing murder in Britain, was sentenced Monday to four years
in jail on fraud-related charges.
In a court in Kingston, Ont., Justice Rommel
Masse sentenced Walker to four years in prison on 19 fraud-related
crimes. He was also sentenced to one year, to be served
concurrently, on a charge of violating the Bankruptcy Act.
The 61-year-old, formerly a financier
in Woodstock, Ont., embezzled more than $3 million from dozens of
people in the 1980s, many whom lost their life savings. He pleaded
guilty in April to 20 theft and fraud charges.
Walker is currently serving a life sentence in
Kingston penitentiary for the slaying of his business partner,
Ronald Platt, whose identity he assumed while in Britain.
Walker's life story has been the subject of a
book, a movie and a play.
In 1990, Walker abandoned his home in Paris,
Ont., and fled to Britain with his daughter, Sheena, who was then
British police say that while in Britain,
Walker assumed the identity of Platt, a man he had befriended,
after convincing Platt to relocate to Canada. Platt returned to
England in 1995, causing a major problem for Walker.
Walker killed Platt during a 1996 sailing trip
by knocking him unconscious and throwing him overboard, after
weighing down his body with an anchor.
British police investigating Platt's death
revealed Walker's true identity. They identified Platt's body by a
Rolex watch on his wrist, which had a serial number allowing
police to trace its owner.
In 1998, Walker was found guilty of murdering
Platt and sentenced to life in prison without parole for 15 years.
Seven years later he was transferred to Canada to serve the
remainder of his sentence.
Sheena had two daughters while on the lam with her father for
six years, during which time she posed as his wife. The girls'
paternity has never been revealed.
Walker Money Hunt
By D'Arcy Jenish and Edward Davenport
July 20, 1998
Convicted killer Albert Walker, 52, may spend
the next 20 years in a British prison cell, but last week he still
tried to evade dozens of southwestern Ontario residents who hope
to recover some of the $3.2 million he stole from them.
In Exeter county court on July 10 - in the same
building where four days earlier he was convicted of murdering his
51-year-old friend and business associate Ronald Platt - Walker's
lawyers sought an adjournment of legal proceedings to seize his
assets. But the gambit failed. District Judge Andrew Moon ordered
local police to turn over the assets to KPMG Inc., the accounting
firm whose London, Ont., office is administering the bankrupt
estates of Walker and his companies. At stake were any items
Walker purchased with stolen funds and any money left in 25
European bank accounts he controlled. "This is nothing more than a
treasure hunt," acknowledged Angelo D'Ascanio, a lawyer in London,
Ont., who represents KPMG. "We don't know if there's a significant
amount of money left to recover."
D'Ascanio, and many of the southwestern Ontario
residents who lost money in Walker's shady schemes, are not
optimistic. The assets include the sailboat on which Platt was
murdered, oil paintings, gold bars and cash totalling about
$290,000, all seized by police when they arrested Walker in
However, Crown prosecutor Charles Barton
received permission from Judge Neil Butterfield to sell the
sailboat in order to reduce the Crown's costs. Walker's bank
accounts, many of which were opened in the names of Platt and his
former girlfriend Elaine Boyes, are believed to have been used for
money-laundering transactions. "I don't think I'll get anything
back," said 75-year-old Brantford resident Eric Winter. Winter's
late wife, Myrtle, sold her tax and accounting business to Walker
for $100,000 in the mid-1980s, but was never paid for it. "I've
got a funny feeling it's a waste of time pursuing this."
Having lost the fight over the assets, Walker
is waging one last legal battle from his jail cell. Defence lawyer
Richard Ferguson announced that his client will seek leave to
appeal. Another member of his legal team said Walker is "quietly
convinced he was wrongly convicted." But he may wait months before
learning whether a higher court will grant his request. It may
also take several months before he finds out how much time he will
have to serve before he can apply for parole. Under British law, a
judge imposes a life sentence for murder, then recommends a term
in writing to the home secretary, the cabinet minister in charge
of law enforcement, based on the nature of the crime and the
character of the defendant. If his remarks at the conclusion of
the trial were any indication, Butterfield is not inclined to be
lenient. "The killing was carefully planned and cunningly executed
with chilling efficiency," he told Walker. "You are a plausible,
intelligent and ruthless man who poses a serious threat to anyone
who stands in your way."
Walker planned the July 20, 1996, murder so
well that he almost got away with it. At the time, he was living
under the name Ronald Platt in Essex in the southeast of England
with his daughter Sheena, who had fled Canada with him in
December, 1990, at age 15. Sheena later gave birth to two
daughters, Emily, now 4, and Lily, 2, while living with her
father. The real Platt, a shy television repairman, left England
for Canada in February, 1993, with Boyes - a venture conceived and
financed by Walker. But at the time of the murder Platt had
returned to England and was living in a nearby town.
The fugitive Canadian, who was number 4 on
Interpol's wanted list and feared his cover would be blown, lured
Platt to Devon in southwest England on the pretext of helping him
sail his boat, the Lady Jane, to Essex. Once aboard, Walker
knocked Platt unconscious, tied a 4.5-kg anchor to his belt and
tossed him overboard. Eight days later, a commercial fisherman
scooped up the body and the anchor in a net about 10 km offshore.
Police initially thought the victim had committed suicide. But
after establishing Platt's identity through the Rolex watch on his
wrist, and discovering that someone else was living under his
name, Devon police launched a murder investigation.
Their case against Walker was entirely
circumstantial, since there were no witnesses and nobody had seen
the two men together for at least 10 days prior to the murder.
Nevertheless, prosecutor Barton called or entered written evidence
from 36 witnesses, including 22-year-old Sheena Walker, who
travelled from her mother's home in Paris, Ont., to testify. She
carefully avoided shedding any light on the question hovering in
the background from the moment the trial opened on June 22: who is
the father of her children? Albert Walker also danced around the
issue during his two days in the witness box. He did admit that he
was a liar and a thief, but emphatically denied murdering Platt.
The jury of eight women and four men
deliberated a mere two hours before reaching a verdict last week.
"Do you find the defendant Albert Walker guilty or not guilty?" a
clerk asked. The jury foreman replied in a clear, unfaltering
Walker showed no emotion as the verdict was
delivered and sentence passed. Afterward, a relieved and smiling
Boyes, who attended the trial daily, described her former
boyfriend as a kind, honest and gentle man. "For his life to end
in this tragic way," she said, "by a so-called friend whom Ron and
I felt at ease with and trusted is - well, I cannot find the words
to express my horror." That feeling was clearly shared by the
Albert Johnson Walker
In 1990 Ontario financial consultant and Sunday
school teacher Albert Johnson Walker took his 15-year-old daughter
Sheena on a skiing trip to Europe. He left his wife Barbara to
look after their three other children until his return, but he had
no intention of coming back.
The exceptionally gifted salesman had set up
the United Canvest Corporation in the Cayman Islands and deceived
his fellow churchgoers and friends out of millions of dollars.
Unbeknownst to his wife, Walker had re-mortgaged their house for
over £44,000 and amassed up to 32 counts of fraud. Provincial
police fraud charges amounted to over £1.67 million and Walker
became Canada’s most wanted man and No. 4 on Interpol’s list of
Two months after leaving Canada, Walker
resurfaced in London as a wealthy American entrepreneur named
David Wallace Davis. He met Elaine Boyes, a receptionist for a
fine art auctioneer in Harrogate, North Yorkshire, and as they
chatted she told him how much she and her boyfriend, Ronald Platt,
a TV repairman, would love to move to Canada one day. Ronald was
so enthusiastic about the country he even had a maple leaf
tattooed on the back of his right hand.
Walker offered the couple directorship of his
company, The Cavendish Corporation. They eventually accepted and
he sent them on business trips abroad, frequently asking them to
convert money from Swiss Francs to British Pounds when they were
In 1992 Walker gave Ronald and Elaine two
one-way airline tickets to Calgary in Canada as a Christmas
present. He persuaded Ronald to leave him a signature stamp for
corporate documents along with his driver's licence, birth
certificate and a credit card. The minute Ronald was out of the
country Walker then proceeded to steal his identity.
By 1996 Walker and Sheena had moved to Essex
and were living as husband and wife under the names of Ronald and
Noelle. They had two young daughters (the biological father is
unknown) and their birth certificates cited Ronald Platt as the
Walker kept in contact with the real Ronald
Platt and spoke to Elaine occasionally, who had eventually left
Ronald in Canada. However, disillusioned with the Canadian
economy, Ronald Platt returned to England and settled close to
Walker and his daughter.
Walker realised his cover was about to be
blown, so he invited Ronald to Devon with Sheena and their
daughters and took him out for a trip on his yacht. Four miles out
to sea, Walker hit Ronald over the head with an anchor, tied it
around his waist and tipped his body into the English Channel.
Ronald’s disappearance was not noticed for six weeks.
On 28 July 1996, John Copik pulled up a body
tangled in the nets of his fishing trawler off the coast of south
Devon. There was an injury to the back of the man’s head, but
everything indicated that he accidentally drowned. At first the
man’s identity was a mystery to the police, but he was wearing an
expensive Rolex Oyster Perpetual wristwatch. The police contacted
Rolex, who keep records of purchases, and they discovered that a
man by the name of Ronald Platt had that particular watch repaired
ten years earlier in 1986.
The police found Walker’s mobile phone number
on a reference letter Ronald had given a letting agent company.
When they spoke to Walker he was more than helpful and went into
the police station voluntarily. He told them that as far as he was
aware Ronald had gone to France.
Essex police contacted Walker to clear up a few
matters. He was still using the name of David Davis, but when they
went to his house he wasn’t there. A neighbour informed them that
Ronald Platt lived next door, not David Davis, and Ronald had a
yacht in Devon.
On 31 October 1997 police arrested Walker on
suspicion of the murder of Ronald Joseph Platt and found Sheena
stuffing gold bars into a diaper bag. In the previous month Walker
had bought over £67,000 in gold bullion.
A fantasist, Walker was able to pretend to be
anything or anyone at any time, but the evidence against him was
strong. A global positioning system later pinpointed Walker’s
yacht to the area at the time when Ronald died. One of Ronald’s
fingerprints was also found on a plastic bag on the boat and
Sheena testified against her father, excusing her behaviour by
claiming she had been hypnotised by him.
Walker admitted during his murder trial that he
stole from clients in Canada, but has never confessed to killing
Ronald. At Exeter Crown Court in June 1998, the jury took just two
hours to convict Walker of Ronald’s murder and embezzlement. Mr.
Justice Butterfield said Walker had committed “a callous,
By 2000 bankruptcy trustees had recovered about
£500,000 of embezzled money, but authorities are not really sure
how much the former financial adviser stole and how much he lost
in failed business ventures. There was possibly £150,000 in gold
bullion that was never recovered, but Walker has never revealed
how much money remains hidden.
Sheena and her children were allowed to return
to Canada after the trial and Britain signed an agreement with the
Canadian authorities in June 2004 to transfer Walker back. He was
returned in February 2005 after nearly seven years in prison. The
Canadian police have said they fully intend to proceed with the 37
outstanding fraud and theft charges against him. Walker is
eligible for parole on 6 July 2013.
The true identity of the father of Sheena’s
children has never been revealed.