Canadian Taxi Driver Homicides: Keith Edward McCallum and Eric Spicer Previous page    Next page • Driver Profiles

Keith Edward McCallum

Dartmouth, Nova Scotia / December 23, 1975

Mr. McCallum, 23, was apparently waiting for a fare in the parking lot of the Holiday Inn shortly after midnight when Dartmouth police corporal Eric Spicer drove up to investigate a car break-in.

Corporal Spicer, 28, struggled with a suspect who disarmed him and shot him to death. Mr. McCallum tried to escape but was pursued and shot by the murderer, presumably because he had witnessed Corporal Spicer's killing.

A 22-year-old man was arrested and convicted of both murders. He was released on parole in 1989 and committed suicide in 1994.

In September, 2005, London, Ontario police announced that they had solved the 15-year-old murder of a young woman through DNA analysis. Although they refused to name the killer, they revealed that he had been convicted of the double homicide of a police officer and a taxi driver in Dartmouth in 1975.

Lynda Shaw, a 21-year-old engineering student, was driving from her Brampton home to the University of Western Ontario on Easter weekend in 1990 when she vanished from a rest stop on highway 401. Six days later her burned body was found in a woodlot about 10 km from the rest stop. She had been raped, beaten and stabbed.

Over two hundred police officers were involved in the investigation. Hair samples were gathered from known criminals in the area, including McCalllum and Spicer's killer, and compared with hair and semen evidence found at the crime scene. However the hair samples were rejected for DNA analysis because they had been clipped from the donors and did not contain the follicles necessary for testing.

A review of the case in 2004 determined that about half the samples contained enough follicle for testing. In July 2005 a match was found that pointed to the killer. Police had interviewed the man at the time of Shaw's death but nothing in their interview led them to believe that he was her murderer.

At a press conference in September, 2005, police read a scathing statement from Lynda Shaw's mother.

"I feel that Lynda and our family have been betrayed by a federal judicial system that put a cold-blooded murderer back on the street," she said. "Lynda was a victim of our justice system and, in particular, of a parole board that acted irresponsibly in releasing this man from prison."

Keith McCallum. (Source: Toronto Globe & Mail, December 24, 1975, p. 9)

Ontario's assistant privacy commissioner challenged the police decision not to release the killer's name. "If the individual had been living I assume that he would have been charged, and it's routine practice for police to release the name of individuals who are charged," he said.

Police continued to investigate the case, looking for possible accomplices who helped the killer dispose of Ms Shaw's body.