Canadian Taxi Driver Homicides: Brian Russell Wheldon Previous page    Next page • Driver Profiles

Brian Russell Wheldon

Whitehorse, Yukon Territory / June 19, 2004

At about 6:50 p.m. on Saturday, June 19, Whitehorse RCMP received a 911 call from a motorist who reported that a cab driver was being attacked on Range Road at the intersection to the Mountain View Golf Course.

When police arrived at the scene they found an older model van operated by 5th Avenue Taxi in the ditch. Mr. Wheldon's body was discovered nearby.

About 40 minutes later police arrested a 23-year-old man. The man was walking along Range Road about a kilometre from the murder scene. He was charged with first-degree murder.

The killer claimed that he had attacked Mr. Wheldon because on a previous occasion the taxi driver had insulted his girlfriend.

A wreath in Mr. Wheldon's memory was placed at the scene of the crime a few days later.

In August a preliminary hearing date was set for January, 2005. The Crown prosecutor told the court that as many as 54 witnesses might be called.

Mr. Wheldon worked the night shift at 5th Avenue Taxi for about two years. Previously he had driven for Global Taxi and the now-defunct Co-op Cabs.

Manager Marica Macdonald described Mr. Wheldon as easy to get along with and as someone who liked his job.

"He was always chatting up a storm," MacDonald said. "He liked to strike up a conversation with anybody, make you feel as comfortable as possible."

Police characterized the attack on Mr. Wheldon as an isolated incident but drivers interviewed by the local media saw it as symptomatic of the abuse and violence they experienced on the job.

"Whatever means that they [the drivers] take to protect their safety I would support," said Whitehorse mayor Ernie Bourassa, "But I don't think it's our job to mandate or legislate that requirement."