Canadian Taxi Driver Homicides: About the Web Site Previous page    Next page

About Canadian Taxi Driver Homicides


Site Contents

This web site is made up of two main groups of pages:

(1) Driver Profiles

The profiles describe individual taxi driver homicides and their victims, based on available information. The main source for most of these cases is news articles.

(2) Documentation and Analysis

These pages consist of the following:

Drivers by Name. An alphabetcal list of drivers with links to their individual profiles.

Drivers by City / Town. A list of drivers by province or territory and city or town. These locations refer to the driver's home base, which in most cases is also the scene of the homicide.

Driver Topics (not yet available). Discussion of various topics related to drivers (e.g., age of drivers, taxi driving experience).

Homicides by Date. A chronological list of homicides.

Homicide Categories. A description of the five categories into which these homicides are divided, with links to Driver Profiles.

Homicide Topics (not yet available). Discussion of various topics related to homicides and perpetrators.

Documentary Sources (not yet available). Bibliographies of news articles and other documentary sources related to each homicide case. Each Driver Profile has a link to related documentation.

Data Sources. Statistical data sources that give total numbers of homicides for a locality (Canada, or a province, territory, city or town) for an identified time period.

Topical Index (not yet available). An index to topics in Driver Topics and Homicide Topics.

Name Index (not yet available). An index to persons other than drivers mentioned in Driver Profiles and other pages on this web site. See also Drivers by Name.

About Canadian Taxi Driver Homicides

Purpose

The Canadian Taxi Driver Homicides project seeks to gather information on all job-related Canadian taxi driver homicides. The purpose is:

  • to commemorate the victims, who are all too frequently lost from view;
  • to help document the seriousness of the problem of violence to taxi drivers; and
  • to examine details of cases to see if they suggest means of avoiding similar tragedies in the future.

A Montréal taxi driver attaches a black flag to his radio antenna in memory of Ziad Bouzid.
(TVA Nouvelles, November 26, 2013)


Criteria for Inclusion

As the Canadian Taxi Driver Homicides list has grown over the years it has occasionally been difficult to decide whether or not to include certain cases. After some thought it has seemed most helpful for research purposes, and for the purpose of commemorating drivers killed in the line of duty, to adopt two broad criteria for including homicides:

  • The victim was on duty as a taxi driver at the time of the homicide, or

  • The victim's occupation put him or her in harm's way.

Within these two broad parameters, homicides are divided into five Homicide Categories based on motive, circumstances and other factors

Names of killers and suspects are deliberately omitted from these pages. Our intended focus is the victims of violence. Identifying killers is like inviting them to the funeral.

History

The Canadian Taxi Driver Homicides project has its origin in research that Charles Rathbone (a San Francisco taxi owner/driver) carried out over a number of years up to the end of 1997 using news reports and other sources to identify cases of taxi drivers murdered on the job and to gather information about them. Mr. Rathbone created a database of several hundred cases including about 60 from Canada.

Terry Smythe, founder and long-time moderator of TAXI-L, posted the names of the victims from Mr. Rathbone's database on the TAXI-L web site as the "In Memoriam" list.

Later, Mr. Smythe systematically mined several years of TAXI-L discussion archives for references to cases from January 1, 1998 to 2003. Nearly all the cases posted to TAXI-L up to 2003 were supplied by Mr. Smythe himself as part of his efforts to harvest significant taxi-related news items from the Web. He used this ongoing update to the In Memoriam list to calculate a rough murder rate for taxi drivers, with the proviso that the rate covers only reported cases. The fact is that many homicides escape reporting by the major news media. In 2003 Mr. Smythe turned over maintenance of the lists to Mr. Rathbone, who amalgamated them into one list, the Taxi Driver Memoriam List on the renamed Taxi-Library.org site.

Acknowledgements

This web site is built on the work of news reporters, researchers and others who have created the documentary and data sources on which the Driver Profiles are based.

This site has also depended the libraries and other organizations that made these sources available, and to the staff members who facilitated access.

We have also benefited from friends who supplied information and supported the project in other ways.

The contributions of all these individuals and organizations is gratefully acknowledged.