[ ♪♪ ] [boat motor running]>>I don’t wanna to swim in the lake.>>It almost makes my hair stand on end, to be honest with you, just to think someone was dumped back here.>>It’s shallow, it’s muddy, it’s weedy. You could make somebody disappear pretty easy, right? [ ♪♪ ]>>We heard so many stories. Everybody’s got a story. Why are the old people still missing?>>Somebody somewhere knows something.>>That’s the Muskoka mystery, and everyone has their version on what happened.>>Announcer: On this edition of The Fifth Estate, Bob McKeown investigates the unexplained disappearance of four senior citizens and what clues lie inside the police files kept secret for almost 20 years.>>I think you know that the Ontario Provincial Police has been investigating you over the years. [ ♪♪ ]>>Bob: The Muskoka region north of Toronto is known for its natural beauty, often lavish cottage homes and outdoor fun in the sun. But shrouded by these lakes and forests, Muskoka has a darker side. A mystery revolving around one local family that reverberates here to this day. This is that family, the Laans, spelled L-double-A-N. The siblings attended high school in Huntsville, Ontario and played sports there. And as the generations gathered for this wedding, they appeared to be one big, happy, familial unit. One of the Laan brothers, Paul, was getting married. According to a family blog, God had brought him and his future wife together. The Laans have always professed to be a God-fearing group, sharing their faith online with postings like this one. “We are too weak because we are sinners and we cannot fight the devil.” “We need to pray to God for help in our lives.” But as you will see, that mention of sin and the devil would prove ironic for four members of the Laan family. Though outwardly, Christianity seemed an important part of their lives.>>I met Kathrine Laan for the first time in 1992.>>Bob: Alice Peddie first encountered Kathrine at the Muskoka Christian school where Alice was a teacher and Kathrine volunteered as school treasurer. Both had kids who were students there.>>We just had a lot of interaction at school, back and forth, and a lot of interaction because I’d pick up Jimmy, I’d drop off Maryka, I’d pick up Maryka so, um, I’d say we were friends.>>Bob: It’s about the same time that some of the Laans, Kathrine, her brothers Paul, Walter and David and their uncle, Ron Allen got involved in a new family business. They set up three retirement facilities in the woods outside Huntsville, including this one on the shores of Siding Lake, their brochures touted attractive, affordable rooms in a cozy home-like atmosphere with on-site nurses and dieticians and activities like bowling and woodwork. The Laans made their pitch to less-fortunate senior citizens, especially Christians, claiming to be doing God’s work. Were you aware of the retirement home?>>Yes.>>Bob: What did you know about that?>>Yes, she would go to Toronto and find people who had no connection to any other people really and she would entice them and say, you know, I have a nice retirement home up north and it’s a beautiful place.>>Bob: For the elderly and infirm with little or no family support, the offer must have been like a dream come true. Invited to live in the idyllic Muskoka region with room, board and care for a price they could actually afford on their government cheques. It all appeared to be perfect. But not for long.>>It’s unreal that one family can have so many criminals.>>Bob: Geoff Vander Kloet is a contractor in Muskoka who first heard whispers about the Laans’ past from long-time residents of the community.>>I knew an old guy in the neighbourhood who talked about them when they were kids, they played baseball and they were always– were always finding a way to cheat the system.>>Bob: But cheating in the local amateur baseball league would turn out to be the least of their problems. The oldest Laan brother, David, had a criminal record for breaking and entering and theft. His younger brother, Walter Laan’s record began at the age of 18 with property offenses, breaking and entering, fraud, even impersonating a police officer. And by 25, their sister Kathrine Laan had been to jail for drugs, theft and extortion, but by the mid-’90s, a mother and a church-goer, that all seemed to be in her past. And it might have stayed that way if not for a twist of fate at the Muskoka Christian school where contractor Geoff Vander Kloet, a board member there, became suspicious of how volunteer treasurer Kathrine Laan was handling the school’s money.>>She never had any reports for anyone. She was supposed to have a financial reports, she didn’t show up for board meetings. Finally at a meeting, I was just like doesn’t anybody smell a rat, probably six weeks or so later, got a phone call to meet in Huntsville, we found out that she was stealing from the school.>>Bob: Indeed, Kathrine Laan would eventually be arrested, charged and convicted of stealing about $30,000 from Muskoka Christian school. Teacher and friend, Alice Peddie.>>I think the first word that comes to mind was betrayed. Like I’m a very trusting person, and I felt betrayed professionally at the school and betrayed as a friend. She professed to be a Christian, and to do this when you profess to be a Christian is so un-Christian.>>Bob: But it would be those retirement homes that really got people in Muskoka talking. When Geoff Vander Kloet got a firsthand glimpse of what was going on inside the Laans’ facilities.>>I was taken back by the condition of the place and the conditions that they had to live in. In the room next was an old man just laying in bed, he was just laying there moaning and groaning, it just seemed very strange to me that this man would just be in an open room moaning and groaning, and thought to myself, boy, if my grandfather was here, he’d be going in the truck with me right now.>>Bob: The Laans boasted about a staff dietician. But police would later report residents might receive meals of Kraft dinner three times a day. They say they discovered 11 elderly people crammed into a four-bedroom house, with mattresses on the floor. Ralph Grant, Doogie as he was known to friends, was one of them.>>He was fast and furious, for want of a word. He was always seemed to be on the go.>>Bob: In his younger years, Doogie was a man about town in the automotive parts business. But his nephew Howard Grant says by his late 60s, he’d fallen on hard times. He was told by police that Doogie was one of those recruited by the Laan family while living in a homeless shelter in downtown Toronto.>>I think he was taken advantage, myself. I think if somebody promised you a nice, quiet life for half the price, you know, it’s kind of a holding up a lollipop to a child, you know, like, you know, it turned out to be a horror show.>>Bob: Soon, there would be more questions, especially about what the Laans were doing with their residents’ money. And then the Muskoka mystery would deepen when, one by one, elderly people living with the Laans began to disappear. Starting with the woman known locally as the cat lady. [ ♪♪ ] [ ♪♪ ]>>Bob: In the mid-1990s, a number of so-called Christian retirement homes began operating in the dense woods of Muskoka region near Huntsville, Ontario. With idyllic names like Fern Glen Manor and Cedar Pines. They were owned by members of one local family, the Laans, with a clientele of lonely, elderly people promised affordable home-like care. If that sounded too good to be true, it was. That elder care business and the family behind it were about to attract the attention of an up and coming young detective with the Ontario Provincial Police. In 1998, Erin Burke was assigned what seemed a routine missing persons case. At the time, she had no idea where it all would lead.>>I was assigned to investigate a possible missing female by the name of Joan Lawrence.>>Bob: The OPP would not allow Erin Burke to talk to us so we’ve dramatized her investigation. The words you hear are spoken by an actor, but they’re taken directly from police documents that detail detective Burke’s inquiry into the disappearance of Joan Lawrence.>>She’s an elderly woman who was also known in the town of Huntsville as the cat lady.>>Bob: Known as the cat lady because on any given day, Joan Lawrence could be seen walking the 13 kilometres from the Laan property into town to buy food for the dozens of cats she kept. Joan Lawrence lived here, not in the main residence, but right behind it in a tiny garden shed.>>It has no insulation, no running water, little or no heat, even in the depths of winter and a door that wouldn’t close. It’s just 8 x 10, which she shared with 30 of her cats. Detective Burke learned that for this hovel, Joan Lawrence paid the Laans around $700 a month. Almost all the money she had to support herself.>>There was no other place, she was trapped. She had no place to go. That was it.>>Bob: Unlike most in Muskoka, Linda Charbonneau got to know the real Joan Lawrence. Every day, she would come to the grocery store where Linda worked for free coffee and friendship. That’s how Linda learned why Joan was paying the Laans so much for that falling-down shed.>>Her cats meant so much to her that she put up with living in those living conditions for the sake of keeping her beloved pets, her family.>>Bob: But Joan Lawrence wasn’t always the Muskoka cat lady. It took some digging, but we were able to find out about her past. Born in Ottawa in 1921, by her 20s, she worked as a copywriter for a Toronto newspaper. No small feat for a woman in the 1940s. What’s more, she was a published poet.>>The window of the florist shop was gay with flowers in an orderly array. Happy that it had seen the great outside, the little flowers smiled at me and died.>>Bob: “The Little White Rose” was printed in the “Toronto Star” in 1941, though it seems to foreshadow the troubles that lay ahead for the 70-something Joan.>>I don’t want to say it this way, but that she was somebody at one time, she was somebody. And now she was just the cat lady.>>Bob: But according to police reports, in the fall of 1998, the cat lady disappeared. And when she was officially declared a missing person, OPP detective constable Erin Burke got the case.>>Our source informed us that he had not seen her for at least three weeks, which was highly unusual.>>Bob: Burke says those closest to Joan Lawrence said she was last seen around the beginning of October. And according to Erin Burke, she also learned that when Lawrence disappeared, she had been complaining about her missing tax refund, a seemingly minor matter that would turn out to be anything but. Her friend Linda Charbonneau says Joan was desperate to find the refund cheque she was expecting. Nearly $750, a fortune to the cat lady.>>Yeah, she just asked me if I got my income tax back.>>Right.>>And I went, yeah, I got it like a month ago or a long time ago. I said why? She goes, “Well, I filed, I filed a while ago, and I just never got my cheque,” and I said, “Oh, I guess you better look into that.” So she goes, “I’m going to look into that.”>>Bob: Linda says she understood what Joan intended to do was to confront her landlords about that missing tax cheque. Because the Laans sometimes picked up her mail, she suspected they might have had something to do with it. And did you hear back about what she found?>>No, I didn’t– I don’t think I remember seeing her after that.>>Bob: Literally, that was the last time you may have seen her.>>I think so, yeah.>>Bob: What’s more, detective Burke reported that the missing tax refund cheque had already been cashed. Endorsed with a signature that was not Joan Lawrence’s. So who did sign the cheque and where was the money? And where was Joan? With money now a possible motive, Burke believed her missing persons case had become a homicide investigation.>>I don’t believe that Lawrence moved off of the property. Her body may be buried on the property.>>Bob: The search of that Laan property began in the area around Joan Lawrence’s shed. However, no remains were found. But if Burke’s search of the land and woods didn’t produce a body, what about the murky Muskoka waters, she wondered. [ ♪♪ ]>>Due to the fact that the Laan property is located on Siding Lake, it’s possible that Lawrence’s deceased body is located in this lake.>>Bob: But in the ink-like depths of Siding Lake, what started as a four-day search became two tedious weeks of combing the muddy, weedy bottom looking for Lawrence. Again, in the end, police turned up nothing. And then the years began to pass. Still no body. Still no case. It has now been two decades since Joan Lawrence vanished from that Laan property outside Huntsville. Searches would continue on and off, ultimately Erin Burke would be transferred away from Muskoka. Then she left the OPP. The case still unresolved. Today, almost 20 years later, the Ontario Provincial Police still insist the investigation remains open. Though they refused all of our requests for an interview.>>And then it even says that they’re looking for her deceased remains.>>Bob: So earlier this summer, The Fifth Estate teamed up with the Walrus Magazine and went to court asking for access to police files that have been sealed for decades.>>In the very beginning, they were looking for– they were looking at a cheque.>>Bob: We got almost 500 pages of previously-secret documents. For the first time, it’s now possible for our editorial team to piece together the OPP investigation from years ago. What the police believe happened, and who they think was responsible.>>Is there any indication whose signature it is? Do you see that anywhere?>>I think there’s a lot of inference about whose signature it might be, but I don’t think we actually see the name.>>Bob: Call it inference or following the money but by digging deeper into Joan Lawrence’s finances, detective Burke reported finding something she believed could unlock the case.>>I telephoned the Toronto Dominion Bank. She confirmed that Lawrence had an account there and added that it was a joint account.>>Bob: It was the beginning of a money trail that would lead back to the Laan family. When Burke said she learned that for some reason Joan Lawrence had a joint bank account with none other than her landlord, David Laan. Police say they also found out that often when Joan Lawrence made a withdrawal when her monthly cheque came in, she immediately handed the money to a man waiting outside the bank. Lawrence’s friend Linda Charbonneau recalls seeing that person, too.>>And there was one time that I saw her at the front of the store where the cashiers are with his hand out and her just– just– just piling his hand up with money and when he got his stash, which looked like a large amount, he turned his back and just walked out the door and just left her there.>>Bob: And according to Erin Burke’s report, a number of local residents said they frequently saw David Laan with Joan Lawrence. And another name kept coming up. The Laans’ uncle, Ron Allen.>>It has been determined from several witness interviews that Allen had a great deal of contact with Lawrence. Allen also picked up her mail or would drive her to pick up her mail. He drove her to the food bank. He drove her to pick up her cat food. And he would drive her to the bank to get her money.>>Bob: And here’s what police found really surprising. David Laan was Joan Lawrence’s landlord, he had access to her bank account. He and his uncle Ron Allen gave her rides to town and saw her virtually every day. But when the cat lady disappeared from their property, none of the Laans ever reported her missing. It was after that when Erin Burke spoke with David Laan several times, police documents show he claimed he didn’t know where Joan Lawrence was but then gave varying versions of what had happened. First saying she was afraid of the police and in hiding. But police say his story then changed. She had gone to New York to see a wealthy friend. She was visiting Vancouver. She was on vacation in Hawaii, all hard to believe of someone with barely enough money to feed her cats.>>We’re right in the area where she disappeared from, and it’s a pretty remote area.>>Bob: Ron House is former mayor of Huntsville, Ontario. He recalls a strange interaction he had with David Laan’s brother, Walter, after the cat lady went missing.>>He was programing me.>>Bob: What do you mean?>>Well, he was trying to make sure that I– that I knew that they had been very good to Joan Lawrence and that she just– she just disappeared. They had, if my memory is correct, he was making me very well aware that they had taken her in and that they were the good people and she all of a sudden disappeared. And they had no idea what happened to her.>>Bob: But the documents show detectives were sceptical about that and Erin Burke reported she found another key clue in Joan Lawrence’s bank records for that joint account she shared with her landlord, David Laan.>>The last activity on the account was at the Canadian Tire store in Bracebridge.>>Bob: Police found that last activity suspicious because it was done by bank card. But no card had ever been issued to Joan Lawrence. Police say the only card on that account was issued in the name of David Laan. And here’s the thing, Joan’s friends said they hadn’t seen her since the beginning of October but police report that throughout October to mid-November, that bank card in David Laan’s name was used at least six times. This is David Laan today in Toronto. He’s been publicly silent about the case for nearly 20 years. But questions about what happened still follow him. There may be a legitimate reason for him to have had access to the bank account of one of his elderly residents, to help manage her money or pay her rent. But wouldn’t he also be likely to know where she went or at least to have reported her missing? But then the police investigation would dramatically expand when they discovered that three other senior citizens had also gone missing from Laan retirement homes. Along with their money.>>Bob: The search for the missing cat lady, Joan Lawrence, would go on for years. 1998. 1999. 2000. But no body was found, and as far as we know, no murder weapon or surprise witnesses. But as the Ontario Provincial Police investigation unfolded, detective Erin Burke would come upon a startling fact. Joan Lawrence was not the only one who disappeared from retirement homes run by the Laan family. Incredibly, she discovered three other senior citizens were missing as well. 70-something John Crofts, a shoe salesman from Toronto. Irish-born farmworker, John Semple, in his early 90s. And Ralph Grant, 70 years old, from Nova Scotia, known as Doogie. And when they disappeared, the Laans never reported them missing. [ ♪♪ ]>>Bob: And there was something else. As detectives dug deeper into the finances of those three men, they realized members of the Laan family had been stealing tens of thousands of dollars a year in Canada and old age pension money. In all, almost $100,000 worth. Eventually, Kathrine Laan would be convicted and court records indicate she got a nine-month conditional sentence. Her brothers Paul and Walter pled guilty to numerous counts of theft and fraud for which they got conditional sentences, probation, and orders to repay tens of thousands of dollars. But though convicted, none of the Laan family members spent any time behind bars for stealing that money. As for the eldest brother, David Laan, his theft charges were withdrawn, no explanation publicly given. And two decades after those four senior citizens disappeared, no one has ever been charged.>>I’ve heard, yeah, a number of different explanations.>>Bob: As our editorial team scoured the police documents, the question was why have there never been charges? Muskoka writer Zander Sherman has followed this case for years.>>It’s hard to say conclusively that someone has been murdered when you don’t have a body but the people have never shown up anywhere, they never boarded a bus, they never checked into a shelter, they’ve never gone back to the family.>>Never used their OHIP cards.>>Mmm-hmm.>>Their health cards.>>Mmm-hmm, yeah.>>They vanished. [ ♪♪ ]>>Bob: So how did four elderly people simply vanish from the Muskoka bush, especially given their close ties, financially and otherwise, to the Laans? [ ♪♪ ]>>Well, I think there was a number of suspicions around town. I think their business dealings certainly had people wondering what was going on.>>Bob: As Huntsville mayor at the time, Ron House received regular briefings on the case from the OPP.>>If there was fraudulent activity regarding their bank accounts and their pension cheques and whatever, it would appear to a lot of people, including myself, that there obviously was a game plan. And part of that game plan had to be for the disappearance of the individuals.>>Bob: Ron House believes another part of that plan was the isolated setting of those retirement houses.>>In a remote location like this, somewhat remote location, where they bring the residents here, they would not, then, know how to leave here and not have the capability, whether it was physically, mentally or financially, to leave. [ ♪♪ ]>>Did you know about the story of Joan Lawrence when you first arrived?>>No, I didn’t.>>Bob: Today, Tim Harrow lives in the house on Siding Lake that was once Laan property. Now ground zero for the Muskoka mystery.>>Just so many rumours around town that bodies were missing on the property and the thing is you live where there’s missing bodies and that’s where Joan the cat lady lives, so we started researching into who’s Joan, who’s the cat lady, what does all that mean?>>Bob: What it means now, for Tim Harrow and others in the area, is unanswered questions about what many here are convinced is a multiple murder.>>I don’t want to swim in the lake, first response is I don’t want to swim in the lake till I know where they are.>>Yeah.>>And also the question of why.>>Bob: Susan Peleikis and her husband Scott have also lived on the lake. They say this case has cast a pall over the area so that a backyard discovery can seem sinister. That’s when Susan found a set of false teeth in her garden.>>So I dug them up here, I turned them over, and found the false teeth kind of impacted in the clay mud. I right away told Scott about it. I phoned my mom about it. And for a couple of days, the teeth just remained there because I was not sure if I wanted to get involved and then my mom kept convincing me there’s no closure for these seniors so you got to get involved.>>Bob: The police came and got the teeth but since then, she’s heard nothing. The same official silence about this case that’s continued for almost two decades.>>I just think that the people who done this to the seniors, I don’t think that they’re all thinking with a level head and I think that there’s a concern of fear with the people you’re dealing with.>>Whether they’re still in the area, whether they’re not, we don’t know.>>We don’t know, yeah, yeah, if someone’s getting away with murders times four and that’s a very uneasy feeling.>>Bob: But if those four elderly people were indeed murdered, what happened to their bodies? Local contractor and outdoorsman Geoff van der Kloet says in the wilds of Muskoka, the possibilities are endless.>>It almost makes my hair stand on end to be honest with you just to think that someone is dumped back here and no one’s found them and, you know, I think of the families that they’re missing from, and you just think how terrible is this and, yeah, just driving through there, I’ll never think of this spot the same.>>Bob: And again, to this day, they have never been found. Not John Crofts or John Semple. Joan Lawrence or Doogie Grant. Today, Grant’s nephew Howard has no doubt that foul play was involved.>>I think it’s obvious. Myself, I would think either Doogie passed away natural causes and they disposed of the body or he was helped. That’s my–>>Bob: You say he was helped, he was killed?>>Yep.>>Bob: But what about the classic elements of a crime? Means, motive, opportunity. You might understand how the circumstantial aspects here could be persuasive to some. [ ♪♪ ]>>Bob: In fact, after several months of her investigation for the OPP, detective Erin Burke apparently was persuaded. In the police applications to search the lake at the Laan property, Burke swore a statement in which she explicitly states she believes the disappearance of 77-year-old Joan Lawrence was first-degree murder. And while many of the details in the documents we obtained were blacked out, in that search warrant application, two important names are right there in black and white. Who did Erin Burke identify as the suspects in Lawrence’s homicide? Her landlord David Laan and his uncle Ron Allen. But that was as far as it went. No charges would ever be laid in the disappearance of Joan Lawrence or any of the elderly men. So 20 years later, where are the members of the Laan family today? This is a Facebook photo of Kathrine Laan from a few years ago. We’ve found over a dozen different addresses for her in Canada and the U.S., from Ontario to Washington, Oregon, Florida, and Tennessee. She’s also recently been seen back in Muskoka in the town of Bracebridge. If her whereabouts are uncertain, it seems she may prefer it that way. As for Paul Laan, he teaches English at a Christian university in South Korea, with posts about exotic travel on a family blog.>>Paul!>>What are you doing?>>Look at me for a second, sweetie. You’re on video.>>Wow. Hi.>>Bob: Today, Walter Laan is in Toronto, recently released after an 11-year prison term unrelated to the Muskoka mystery. When the retirement homes went under, he continued his life of crime, invading the houses of elderly people and robbing them using a knife or a gun. He’s now a freelance repairman with an ad online advertising a senior citizen discount. And what about eldest brother David Laan, and Laan uncle Ron Allen whom the OPP named as the suspects in the first-degree murder of Joan Lawrence? Well, Ron Allen has apparently moved away from Muskoka. He’s never responded to our requests for comment. But we located David Laan in Toronto where he does plumbing and heating jobs along with his brother. We caught up with them recently when he stopped for coffee on the way to work.>>Mr Laan, hi, I’m Bob McKeown from The Fifth Estate at CBC News. We would like to talk to you about Joan Lawrence and the others who disappeared. I think you know that the Ontario Provincial Police have been investigating you over the years. They believe Joan Lawrence was the victim of a first-degree murder. And they believe you and your uncle, Ron Allen, are the suspects.>>Bob: When we asked, David Laan had not a word about what happened to the four elderly people who went missing. No explanation, not even a denial.>>You never reported them missing. Mr Laan respectfully declines our request for an interview. [ ♪♪ ]>>Bob: The Muskoka mystery began with the disappearance of the cat lady. To this day, those who knew her best insist she would never have simply walked away of her own accord as the Laans claim she did. Because she would never have abandoned her cats. Weeks later, when police searched the Laan property, there was a chilling scene. No sign of Joan Lawrence. But what they found were the remains of a number of cats who had been shot. We can’t know who pulled the trigger. To Joan’s friend Linda, it’s a final mystery in the story of the cat lady.>>I asked the police, and they said it’s an on-going investigation, they couldn’t tell me what happened to the cats.>>Well, at least some of them, I don’t know the exact number, were found with bullets.>>God. She would have died for her cats but maybe that’s what happened. Oh, she wouldn’t leave her cats.>>Bob: 20 years, four people gone, no one held accountable. Ontario cottage country still haunted by the Muskoka mystery. [ ♪♪ ]

Murder in Cottage Country – The Fifth Estate
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100 thoughts on “Murder in Cottage Country – The Fifth Estate

  • August 20, 2019 at 5:14 am
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    Just follow the $$$$$
    Easy
    We all see it
    Makes me think the cops were in on it

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  • August 20, 2019 at 1:44 pm
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    “She professed to be a Christian, and to do this when you profess to be a Christian is…so…Unchristian.” Understatement, if ever I heard one. 😱🙀🤨😏😬🤔

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  • August 20, 2019 at 1:46 pm
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    Shameful that they never investigated the missing elderly people! Light sentences for big crimes! Disgusting!

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  • August 20, 2019 at 1:49 pm
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    Sounds like a police cover up to me! Wow! Investigate their checking accounts!

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  • August 20, 2019 at 3:12 pm
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    Omg!!!!! Judge was paid off. They should find a neglect charge. Nothing. These people will pay. They are guilty. Too obvious. This is very sad. The murderer / murderers kept cashing the deceased people. I hope these people get theirs here on earth. A caring person would talk ; a guilty person will be evasive in this situation. Well, thats criminal, no arrests?

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  • August 20, 2019 at 11:56 pm
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    They probably died of old age and the place hid the bodies so they could keep cashing their retirement checks. Why kill a 70 year old when he is going to die soon anyway? I know people have done stupider things, but I think they hid the bodies to keep cashing the checks. Not as many people sleeping on the floor in that overcrowded house if a few of the tenants are buried in the woods.

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  • August 21, 2019 at 1:39 am
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    Makes me very sad.

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  • August 21, 2019 at 10:35 am
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    A cat lover would NEVER leave their cats

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  • August 23, 2019 at 3:13 am
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    Canada needs to revise their laws! Those ppl are just theives. These Laan ppl are cons who need to be in jail!

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  • August 23, 2019 at 8:39 pm
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    Id look for any area that was used as a firepit on the property, most likely burned the bodies and crushed the bones up a long time ago. Throwing them in the lake would be too obvious and careless

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  • August 24, 2019 at 1:16 am
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    This narrator is so affective: every other word ending with on a sing-song question mark.. Tiresome!

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  • August 24, 2019 at 11:56 am
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    Again and again pretending to be Oh sooo religious… In the name of god, right? Religion at its best no matter which religion it is. Hypocrites, backstabbers, and worse…

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  • August 24, 2019 at 7:32 pm
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    It seems like the police from Ontario is an upper jaw. These investigational videos make them look like 3rd world country police…. Useless.

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  • August 24, 2019 at 11:09 pm
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    white privileged

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  • August 24, 2019 at 11:38 pm
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    Shame on this whole town. Obviously the police are corrupt. 4 people missing and no one held accountable shame on the police! Karma.

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  • August 26, 2019 at 1:20 am
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    If that guys Nephew cared so much why was he homeless before he moved to this place? He doesn't have a spare room or even a sofa for his uncle to sleep on?

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  • August 26, 2019 at 5:53 am
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    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unorganized_Centre_Parry_Sound_District sure they were "sworn in 1971 as a County" but i put links all over this thread.
    I want people to understand how they got away with it.

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  • August 26, 2019 at 12:35 pm
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    New subscriber and I'm having a bank holiday Monday watching their videos sit back and have a cuppa while binge watching

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  • August 26, 2019 at 1:22 pm
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    OMGosh that older lady with long blond hair totally looks like the female serial killer Aileen Wuornos!! Woooah!!!

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  • August 26, 2019 at 7:20 pm
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    11 minutes into the video and wth? I hate the Laans!

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  • August 26, 2019 at 7:58 pm
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    Fifth Estate nice job on "bothering" the Laans. Everyday, everywhere they go people should be asking WHERE ARE THE ELDERLY PEOPLE?????

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  • August 26, 2019 at 11:41 pm
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    Why was David Laan driving her to the food bank when her meals were supposed to be included with her monthly rent?

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  • August 27, 2019 at 5:28 am
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    Those people will stand before God someday…..

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  • August 27, 2019 at 11:21 am
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    Never trust anyone else who claims to be religious

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  • August 27, 2019 at 7:07 pm
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    Saddest Story I’ve Ever heard . Just makes me Sick .

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  • August 29, 2019 at 4:32 pm
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    Wtf!!!! Humans are evil and stupid… ashamed of being one. My experience has been that the religious families have the most to hide and the least trusting… they hide behind the “word”

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  • August 30, 2019 at 12:07 am
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    Honestly what a sin. They will soon feel the wrath of The Most High. Evil hypocrites

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  • August 30, 2019 at 1:14 am
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    God will not let them get away with it.
    Even if man's justice fails.

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  • August 30, 2019 at 5:46 pm
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    i bet they chopped them up and feed them to her mutiple cats .

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  • August 30, 2019 at 8:40 pm
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    Ooh

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  • September 1, 2019 at 12:39 am
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    I wonder, did they ever pay back all that money they were ordered to??? Probably got away with that as well. Had to be family members or a payoff in that police Dept or court house ! Or are Canadian courts just that stupid and lenient????

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  • September 1, 2019 at 6:44 am
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    That's some shoddy police work. They couldn't prove forgery on the signatures? No identification was needed for closing out their accounts?
    They are willing to give a 50,000 dollar reward to find the four missing elders. Why not use money for social work and match up elders as room mates in homes that they rent?

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  • September 1, 2019 at 10:39 am
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    Religion again raising it's ugly head,why do so many usa documentaries always use religion !

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  • September 2, 2019 at 3:27 am
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    "AND TO DO THIS WHEN YOU PROFESS TO BE A CHRISTIAN IS…. SO UNCHRISTIAN" im sorry i cant. i cant. genocides were done in the name of god. priests rape children and have no punishment. constantinople was sacked during a crusade, one of their own cities, by the crusaders. religion is the biggest scam in the world, no matter which religion it is.

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  • September 2, 2019 at 10:56 am
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    The police being paid off by the family?

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  • September 2, 2019 at 9:13 pm
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    I can’t take the narrator 😖

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  • September 3, 2019 at 10:03 am
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    What’s with the secrecy of police in Canada???? More like coverup.

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  • September 3, 2019 at 10:24 pm
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    Evil comes in all shapes and colors

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  • September 4, 2019 at 8:43 pm
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    You can't get into a person's bank account given by social security. The owner of the property must give the renters a beneficiary letter to the social security administration. That's incredible that no one had been charged for that alone, then you take it to the next level. They are going to answer to our Lord. And, what's hidden & done in secret will get theirs in a huge way.

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  • September 4, 2019 at 11:55 pm
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    It's enraging when a prosecutor or police force won't move forward with such an obvious case of QUADRUPLE freaking murder. The circumstantial evidence is so blatant and glaring..and TONS of it. From the money being taken, to them staying on their property, to them all disappearing yet no one reports a single one. Good on Fifth Estate, but this needs to be an even bigger story. The sad thing is they purposely picked on old people who don't have enough family and friends to raise a stink. It shouldn't be this way, but often times it's the friends and family of a murder suspect who don't allow a case to go without an end and keep pushing and pushing. This is just laziness to me. What do you have to lose in bringing this before a grand jury? Sad and pathetic.

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  • September 5, 2019 at 2:23 am
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    Fifth state get a new narrator please !!!

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  • September 5, 2019 at 3:36 pm
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    Don’t trust Christians

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  • September 6, 2019 at 3:23 am
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    The Toronto police and members of the judicial system aided and abetted in the deaths of at least 3 of those seniors and the crimes against subsequent seniors in the years that followed by not persuing and handing down significant jail sentences for at least the financial crimes they could easily prove against the various members of this family. Public officials merely gave them a slap on the wriste and allowed them to continue with their predation of the elderly. Sad commentary on how the most vulnerable in society are treated, but awesome for fiscal and population control. More evidence of the rapid decline of humanity. RIP to these missing people. They were all "somebody."

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  • September 6, 2019 at 1:00 pm
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    Its such a beautiful place… They really could have done good by the elderly community…. This is so sad & such a waste! 😥

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  • September 7, 2019 at 12:14 am
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    When will people realize just because someone goes to church and spews a few bible verses that doesn’t make them good people!

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  • September 7, 2019 at 2:00 am
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    Its clearly obvious something sinister has happened

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  • September 7, 2019 at 4:51 am
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    I'm not sure I can stomach where this is headed. The vulnerable is a damming if they were children. This family had better run to the safety of a prison cell. It is criminal but the law states if you willing hand over your money or control of it to another. Even if you are being defrauded. Then you only have a civil suit against the other party. You must sue them in small claims court or get a lawyer to process your case if over 5k in damages and or theft. And this is if you can find them and serve them. The vulnerable have very little financial, health or mental means to do this. Legal aid only affords you 1/2 hour or so free advice. You need a trusted champion if you cannot do it yourself. Don't be very trusting of strangers or even close friends unless life long. Better yet try to set up a trust fund for yourself with a credible institution while you are young. Put 25 dollars a week away into it and specify your wishes while you are young and of sound mind. See a major bank investment councilor for good free advice. My best friend does this for a major bank.

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  • September 7, 2019 at 8:18 am
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    And they all look like nice, normal people in the wedding photos. But they always do, don't they?

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  • September 7, 2019 at 8:20 am
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    Anytime someone advertises their religiosity, I immediately become suspicious.

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  • September 7, 2019 at 8:33 am
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    I live in Arkansas in a one-bedroom apartment that's much larger than Joan Lawrence's hovel, and I also pay less in rent than she did. That poor woman!

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  • September 7, 2019 at 8:41 am
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    I hate to say this, but there are ways to dispose of bodies to ensure there are no traces left. If you place a body in a vat of acid long enough, it can be reduced to nothing but sludge and then poured out.

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  • September 7, 2019 at 9:02 am
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    Shamefully, there is a lot of cultural disrespect for senior citizens, especially poor ones, who are incorrectly viewed as no longer useful, which is probably why these heinous crimes go unpunished. If a cop was dead, the priorities would be altogether different.

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  • September 7, 2019 at 9:08 am
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    Thank you Fifth Estate for doing everything in your power to expose the Laans and warn other senior citizen targets. Too bad the police and justice system aren't doing their jobs.

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  • September 7, 2019 at 9:09 am
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    So obvious they did it. Murdered 4 people for their money. Christians-no , Just evil. Sniffer dogs should cover 10 square miles. !0 plus Shepard's to do a through search. But they will be caught come judgement day. I want front seat for this one. 💀💀💀💀👀😎

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  • September 7, 2019 at 9:13 am
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    The women at the end knows something. Watch her smile. She was acting.

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  • September 7, 2019 at 9:32 am
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    What if 2 OPP'S , 1 fire chief and 1 politician goes missing in the same street with all having the same land Lord. The killer would be found in 48 hours , but no bodies. Go Freemasons. Satan has you covered. 😈

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  • September 7, 2019 at 8:05 pm
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    cat ladies are disgusting and wretched

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  • September 7, 2019 at 8:18 pm
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    Cat Lovers are Beautiful And Caring

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  • September 7, 2019 at 8:25 pm
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    The Lovely cat Lady, was murderd along with her 30 cats ( poor woman)

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  • September 7, 2019 at 8:36 pm
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    ucktober

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  • September 7, 2019 at 9:30 pm
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    No wonder I have never had the desire to visit Canada. There, the police 👮 don’t care much about the elderly. That’s the reason they didn’t do a serious investigation neither on the death of “the cat lady”, nor on the other elderly people who “disappear”. Was the church’s volunteer woman involved romantically with someone handling the investigation?

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  • September 7, 2019 at 9:48 pm
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    Why would they keep calling her “cat lady” being that that’s known to be a derogatory term.

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  • September 7, 2019 at 10:09 pm
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    They probably got away with murder. So sad… The police was most likely involved as well considering the fact that the woman investigator refused speaking to the fifth estate crue and previously was transferred from that area. FBI? ANYONE? PLEASE TAKE THIS STORY SERIOUSLY!

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  • September 8, 2019 at 12:11 am
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    This is pretty awful. The only consolation I can take from this dreadful tale is that Joan Lawrence's memory is now immortal. She'll be remembered well and the Laan's are now infamous.

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  • September 8, 2019 at 1:04 am
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    Anyone else find it funny how the woman being interviewed doesn't bat an eyelid when speaking about her presumably dead friend, along with 3 other human beings but breaks into tears when hearing about the fate of the cats?

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  • September 8, 2019 at 3:38 am
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    Someone if not all the family in the business should be charged with something. Four missing people off their land! Them cashing their SS checks. How stupid are these detectives?

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  • September 8, 2019 at 5:50 am
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    This is a job for illegal wiretapping and other dirty tricks…

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  • September 8, 2019 at 7:11 am
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    Any time I hear the term "Christian" or "religious" I just know that the worst is going to happen

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  • September 8, 2019 at 8:30 am
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    The louder the christian voice the more corrupt in my book

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  • September 8, 2019 at 11:39 am
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    More and more we are seeing people committing some of the worst acts, hiding behind the guise of religion…. I'm sick of it. Let's call it what it is… A CULT!! And some of the worst, hypocritical, wicked, compulsive lying, back stabbing people you'll encounter are "christians". I don't think Christians even know their own god they claim to serve or anything his book says. Or maybe I'm bitter from my own experience with a church family but trust is something I will never have again. You can hardly trust your own blood. I trust my children, myself, and my mother but it doesn't extend further than that, because when I was naive and trusting, I was taken advantage of, abused, shunned, and betrayed…

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  • September 8, 2019 at 4:53 pm
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    low-down shameless deprived family.

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  • September 8, 2019 at 7:44 pm
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    The church is FULL of wolves. They do that because Christians are trusting and forgiving. God gives you discernment for a reason namely to use it. That's not judgement!

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  • September 8, 2019 at 8:36 pm
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    When they DO CONVICT these people of crimes against the elderly at least punish them. Basically they are inconvenienced only by requiring them to show up to court. Truly sad state.

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  • September 9, 2019 at 12:47 am
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    FFS! It's called hypocrisy! it's very common among people who call themselves Christian. I am not even slightly surprised.

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  • September 9, 2019 at 5:09 am
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    Usually the more people profess their faith, the more hypocritical they actually are.

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  • September 9, 2019 at 11:13 am
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    the police never solved this? that should speak volumes !!

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  • September 9, 2019 at 11:43 am
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    The cruelest monster on the earth is the human being 😭😭😭😭😭

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  • September 9, 2019 at 2:40 pm
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    This is a perfect example of keystone cops !!! Canada has a history of this , to think how easy it would be to follow up on this yet the monkey Canadian police havent bothered , but why? This is rotten to the core !!

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  • September 9, 2019 at 2:50 pm
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    I CAN ONLY ASSUME THE POLICE ARE INVOLVED IN THIS AND THIS FILM CREW WOULD NOT DARE MENTION THIS? I FEEL FOR THE CANADIAN PEOPLE

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  • September 9, 2019 at 2:53 pm
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    This is a perfect example of keystone cops !!! Canada has a history of this , to think how easy it would be to follow up on this yet the monkey Canadian police havent bothered , but why? This is rotten to the core !!

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  • September 9, 2019 at 9:47 pm
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    That narrators voice…….nightmare.

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  • September 9, 2019 at 11:40 pm
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    Funny to hear praise of investigators when they all did a crappy job. A person willing to live that way and pay that much for it, to keep 30 cats in an 8X10 is mentally ill. And it's no life for cats.

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  • September 10, 2019 at 2:20 am
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    Landlords can live like kings with all the old people who worked hard to get somewhere in life,I seen this in my city the LAWYERs build 40 units houseing and take 90 percent of elderly checks and call it affordable housing legal extortion and the city gos along with it

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  • September 10, 2019 at 5:18 am
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    This is absolutely despicable it makes me want to cry! I have spent my life taking care of the elderly and these people are worse than scum, they should all be in prison for life! How on earth were there no charges? Not even for neglect of the elderly? Criminals in the US go to prison without bodies due to evidence…..There is a truckload of motive, means and opportunity here. These people were disposable to them! what is the deal with the OPP!? This family very obviously abused and neglected these folks after seeking out those who were desperate and weak! How horrific!!!💔💔💔

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  • September 10, 2019 at 4:33 pm
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    These evil demon people will eventually pay BIG TIME for what they did. No doubt about it….

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  • September 10, 2019 at 6:31 pm
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    If these evil people are not hold accountable here and now…THEY WILL SUFFER IN GRIEF AND AGONIZING PAIN FOR ALL ETERNITY1 THAT'S THEIR SENTENCE FROM THE ALMIGHTY!
    HE NEVER FORGETS OR FORGIVES EVIL
    NO MATTER WHAT!
    AND THERE'S NO jesus TO RUN TO EITHER!
    HOW AWESOME IS THAT FACT!?

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  • September 10, 2019 at 6:42 pm
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    They should take about 4 or 5 hound dogs back there to search.

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  • September 10, 2019 at 7:36 pm
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    I have to unsubscribe. Never any real answers.

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  • September 10, 2019 at 7:45 pm
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    They know someone to never spend a day in jail for that type of theft.

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  • September 10, 2019 at 10:30 pm
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    By the looks of it, they've likely moved on to the more lucrative operation of international sex trafficking of children.

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  • September 10, 2019 at 11:01 pm
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    I am a crime show junkie however Canadian crime shows can be difficult to watch because no matter how heinous the crime I know that the killer will not get the death penalty and will likely have a chance for parole. Also, I saw a video of Paul Bernardo in prison. He seems to be quite comfy with his TV, books and cigarettes. I believe he even asked for furlough a time or two. Dont know if he got it but just the thought that it could be possible for any killer to me is a travesty.

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  • September 10, 2019 at 11:25 pm
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    $700 for a lady & 30 cats actually sounds reasonable.

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  • September 10, 2019 at 11:30 pm
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    Aside from that cop who interrogated Russel Williams I think the entire OPP is inept.

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  • September 10, 2019 at 11:59 pm
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    This makes me so sick!

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  • September 11, 2019 at 1:14 am
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    So….just how is the Fifth Estate connected to the CBC or Wikipedia?…….both of whom cannot be trusted. I like the idea of exposing corruption, but we must always be vigilant and research for ourselves. This Documentary seems to overwhelmingly prove the corruption they are focusing on. I think we must find out if there are reasons they might focus on certain people or groups, are they trying to take down a competitor or someone that has spoken out against a particular politician or industry? Always question everything.
    Oh, I see……. the CBC owns and controls the videos put out by the Fifth Estate. Why don't they just call it "CBC Video Documentaries" or something similar so as to be more transparent?

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  • September 11, 2019 at 1:16 am
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    Man, have watched a lot of these shows and have decided if you’re going to be a criminal, Canada is the place to live. No punishment to speak of.

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  • September 11, 2019 at 1:22 am
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    TO YOUTUBE: I HAVE BEEN USING CAPTIONS FOR A WHILE NOW AND WOULD LIKE TO KNOW WHY THEY MUST BE BUNCHED UP IN SHORT SENTENCES MAKING THE CAPTIONS APPEAR IN A BOXEY FORMAT?? WHY NOT ALLOW THE SENTENCES TO RUN ACROSS THE BOTTOM OF THE VIDEO SO WE CAN ACTUALLY "SEE" MORE OF THE VIDEO?

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  • September 11, 2019 at 3:17 am
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    I can’t watch this 😭 very upsetting! humans are evil 👿

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  • September 11, 2019 at 4:22 am
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    Perhaps they could have searched with radar or sonar.

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  • September 11, 2019 at 4:29 am
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    Kathryn's crimes were VERY Christian. Christians con others with bizarre promises, they cannot keep, in return for money. Oddly most people consider this completely respectable.

    Reply

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