Robin Marc Smith (inset, 2007 booking photo) had a 30-year career as a Grinch – and he was remarkably good at it – so it’s surprising to see him don a Santa hat so that he can break, enter and give. Smith organized a charity event in a small eastern Ontario town in which a band of holiday ‘bandits’ broke into the house of a needy family. The group of about a dozen people knew the single mom wasn’t home because she had taken her two young children to visit a mall Santa. The group left gifts and $500 cash behind and no clue to their identity. Local media around Tweed, a small village 200 kilometres east of Toronto, reported the feel-good story but with no mention of Smith’s infamous past. Smith tells me (hear the full interview after the jump), that everyone in the Tweed area knows about his past.
In September, a razor-wire topped gate at Bath Institution will slide open and inmate Bill MacNeill will walk out, a free man. Not willingly. MacNeill is scheduled for automatic, early release after serving two thirds of his prison sentence. He doesn’t want it. “I was sentenced to two years and I want to do the two years,” the 45-year-old life-long criminal told me in an interview at the medium-security prison just west of Kingston. (MacNeill explains his strange request, in a video after the jump).
Pity the poor superintendent – he knows not what he does. At least, that’s how it looks to me. A senior officer in the Ontario Provincial Police, Supt. Gary Couture, an officer of sufficient rank that you’d expect him to know better than to wade into dangerous territory with a wonky claim, has stepped in a pile full.