Canadian Taxi Driver Homicides: Fred Shapcott Previous page    Next page • Driver Profiles

Fred Shapcott

Barrie, Ontario / October 1, 1993


On the night of Friday, Oct. 1, 1993, Deluxe Taxi driver Fred Shapcott, 46, picked up a fare from a Barrie doughnut shop. Early the next morning his body was found in his cab in an industrial area. He had been stabbed to death.

Two days later friends of 85-year-old retiree Ellsworth Beers entered his Peel Street home and discovered his body along with the bodies of his 22-year-old granddaughter Pam Constable and her 28-year-old friend Scott Seabrook. The young couple were bound and the woman had been sexually assaulted.

Police did not suspect that the Shapcott and Peel Street murders were linked until forensic evidence revealed the fact the following February.

Meanwhile, in late October while police interviewed hundreds of witnesses and suspects a man came forward and claimed to have seen people inside the Beers house as he passed by on his way home from a party on the night of the murder.

The 28-year-old man, an unemployed bodybuilder, was originally from Barbados but had lived in Barrie for twenty years. In all police interviewed him eight times but did not consider him a suspect.

On March 1, 1994, at 2:30 in the morning a Deluxe cab driver picked up a man at a convenience store and drove him to a house on Fox Run. Soon after the man entered the house a 15-year-old boy clad only in boxer shorts ran to a neighbour's house yelling for help. The neighbour shouted for the driver to call the police. He radioed his dispatcher and then walked to the house where he saw two people struggling inside. Police arrived in time to arrest the taxi passenger. A 40-year-old woman was taken to hospital suffering from multiple stab wounds. Police believed the man was attempting to buy crack cocaine when the attack took place.

The man turned out to be the helpful witness from the Peel Street murders. After some questioning he confessed to being the killer. On the night of the killings he was returning from a party under the influence of crack cocaine and looking for someone to rob when he saw a man and woman leaving the residence. Approaching them by means of a ruse he held a knife to the woman's throat, forced the couple back inside the house and tied them up. When the man attempted to escape the killer stabbed him multiple times. He then raped the woman and strangled her to death after which we went upstairs to where the elderly man was sleeping and stabbed him to death as well.

In May, 1997 the man was convicted of murder for the Peel Street killings and sentenced to life in prison with no possibility of parole for 25 years. He was the first killer to be sentenced under recent criminal code amendments delaying parole eligibility for an extra ten years in the case of rapist-murderers.

In June, 1998 the man pleaded guilty to murdering Fred Shapcott and was sentenced to life with no possibility of parole for ten years.