Canadian Taxi Driver Homicides: Data Sources Previous page    Next page • Analysis and Documentation

Data Sources

Nearly all the information in Canadian Taxi Driver Homicides comes from newspaper databases and clipping files.

However, data from surveys (such as Statistics Canada's Homicide Survey) and from other sources, such as Worker Compensation records, provide an estimate of the total number of cases and point to cases that have not yet been uncovered


1. Homicide Survey: 1991 to 2013

2. National Data Sources before 1991 3. Other Data Sources

1. Homicide Survey: 1991 to 2013

1.1. Statistics Canada Homicide Survey

Statistics Canada's Homicide Survey has been gathering homicide data systematically since 1961 but the survey has identified workplace homicides (including taxi driver homicides) only since 1991.

For the most part the numbers of homicides recorded by the Homicide Survey agree with the number of cases identified in Canadian Taxi Driver Homicides. There are discrepancies, however, arising from differences in criteria for inclusion. The discrepancies are identified and explained under Homicide Survey Cases, below.

The following table shows Homicide Survey numbers for taxi driver homicides from 1991 to 2013 according to the Homicide Survey. Since there has been no single published source, Homicide Survey data have been compiled from these three sources:

  1. Homicide in Canada (1.2, below)
  2. Table 25. Homicides against taxi drivers... (1.3, below)
  3. Stenning, Philip C., Fare Game, Fare Cop (1.4, below)

19916A, CSee Stenning (Source C) for locations of 1991-95 homicides
19923A, C
19937A, C
19944A, C
19954A, C
19970A, B
19982A, B1 Atlantic, 1 Prairies
19993A, B1 Québec, 1 Ontario, 1 British columbia
20002B1 Ontario, 1 British Columbia
20014A, B2 Québec, 1 Ontario, 1 Prairies
20031A, B1 Québec
20042A, B2 Atlantic
20054B1 Atlantic, 1 Ontario, 2 Prairies
20061B1 Ontario
20071A, B1 Ontario
20093A, B1 Atlantic, 2 Québec
20110ATotal for 1997-2011 only.
20141ANo occupational homicides

1.2. Homicide in Canada

Homicide in Canada is an annual issue of Juristat, a monthly publication of the Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics. Numbers of taxi driver homicides (or absence of) were reported in the following issues.

  • 1991-93 (vol. 14 no. 15, 1993, p. 18)
  • 1994 (vol. 15 no. 11, 1993, p. 16)
  • 1995 (vol. 16 no. 11, July, 1996, p. 10) (PDF)
  • 1996 (vol. 17 no. 9, July, 1997, p. 10) (PDF)
  • 1997 (vol 18 no. 12, October, 1998, p. 10) (PDF)
  • 1998 (vol. 19 no. 10, October, 1999, p. 11) (PDF)
  • 1999 (vol. 20 no 9, October, 2000, p. 15) (PDF)
  • 2001 (vol. 22 no. 7, September, 2002, p. 16) (PDF)
  • 2003 (vol. 24 no. 8, September, 2004, p. 11) (PDF)
  • 2004 (vol. 25 no. 6, October, 2005, p. 14) (PDF)
  • 2007 (vol. 28 no. 9, October, 2008, p. 12) (PDF)
  • 2009 (vol. 30 no. 3, Fall. 2010, p. 15) (PDF)
  • 2011 (vol. 32 no. 1, December, 2012, p. 16) [total for 1997-2011] (PDF)
  • 2012 (vol. 33 no. 1, December, 2013, p. 20) (PDF)
  • 2013 (vol. 34 no. 1, December, 2014, p. 17) (PDF)
  • 2014 (vol. 35 no. 1, November 25, 2015) (PDF -- no mention of occupational homicides)

No counts were published for 2000, 2002, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2010 and 2014. No count was published for the year 2011, but total of 23 homicides for the period 1997 to 2011 (the same total shown for 1997 to 2010 in source B) reveals that there were no taxi driver homicides recorded by the Homicide Survey in 2011.

1.3. Table 25. Homicides against taxi drivers…

Table 25. Homicides against taxi drivers as a result of their profession, by region, 1997-2010

A spreadsheet table containing data from the Homicide Survey provided to subscribing Canadian universities through Statistics Canada's Data Liberation Initiative for the use of researchers.

1.4. Stenning, Philip C. Fare Game, Fare Cop

Philip C. Stenning, Fare Game, Fare Cop: Victimization of, and Policing by, Taxi Drivers in Three Canadian Cities. Report of a Preliminary Study (Canada, Department of Justice, 1996). Free download as Microsoft Word file or PDF from

Dr. Stenning's study focused on Vancouver, Halifax and Winnipeg. He obtained Census Metropolitan Area locations for 19 of the 24 taxi driver homicides that the Homicide Survey recorded between 1991 and 1995 (p. 3). The remaining 6 homicides were designated as being "outside Canada's 25 Census Metropolitan Areas".

The following table identifies and locates all 24 homicides according to Canadian Taxi Driver Homicides. In some cases (St. Jérome, Maple Ridge, Loretteville) the city or town locations within the larger Census Metropolitan Areas are shown in brackets.

Note that the Homicide Survey identifies the scene of the homicide as the location while Canadian Taxi Driver Homicides locations refer to the home base of the driver. In the case of Octavio Velasquez, based in Montréal, the homicide took place in Arnprior, ON. In the case of Dorion Simon, based in Flin Flon, MB, the homicide took place in Creighton, SK.

Census Metropolitan AreaDeathsNames
Edmonton AB3Gerald Edward Fischer
Trevor O'Dell
Ivan Soproniuk
Halifax-Dartmouth NS1Bill Crawley
Ottawa-Hull ON/QC1Malek Moussa
Montréal QC6Jean-Claude Audette
Michael Christopoulos
Nizafed Deljanin
Roland Goyer
Fernand Lachance (St. Jérome)
Fernand Talbot
Québec QC2Richard Coté
Fernand Pelletier (Loretteville)
Thunder Bay ON1Joel Mutungu Ngugi
Toronto ON3Anthony Ekunah
Norman Washington Ennis
Robert Nancoo
Vancouver BC2William James (Jim) Burton (Maple Ridge)
John McKechnie
City / TownDeathsNames
Arnprior ON1Octavio Velasquez (Montréal, QC)
Barrie ON1Fred Shapcott
Creighton SK1Dorion Simon (Flin Flon, MB)
Iroquois Falls ON1Kin Sing Kwong
Rouyn-Noranda QC1Mario Drolet

1.5. Homicide Survey Cases

The following table compares the number of taxi driver homicides recorded by the Homicide Survey (HS) compared with the number of cases identified in Canadian Taxi Driver Homicides (CTDH) for years in which there are discrepancies. Explanatory notes follow the table.


2002: Marc Gauthier was not idenfitied as a taxi driver homicide victim in the Homicide Survey. In answer to an inquiry in February, 2006, Mia Dauvergne, Homicide Survey Manager, confirmed "that the discrepancy lies in the criteria being used to define occupational homicides.... [In] most cases, the victim will have been working at the time of the incident, however, there will be some instances where the homicide was occupation-related but the victim was not actually working at the time of the killing (e.g. an off-duty police officer who is killed out of revenge). Conversely, there will be other unusual instances where a victim is working but the homicide is not related to the occupation;(e.g. a woman who is killed at work by her husband because of a marital dispute).

The specific reason for excluding Mr. Gauthier is unknown because the Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics cannot comment on specific cases for reasons of confidentiality.

2003: Mohamad Nakib-Arbaji was not identified as a taxi driver homicide victim apparently because of the circumstances of his death. He was killed in a convenience store at the end of his shift while attempting to apprehend a robber.

2004: Thuarfikar Alattiya and Brian Russell Wheldon were not identified as taxi driver homicide victims apparently because they were targeted by their killers for personal motives.

2006: Tahir Khan was not identified as a taxi driver homicide victim apparently because he was a victim of vehicular homicide.

2008: Antionio Lanzellotti was not identified as a taxi driver homicide victim apparently because he was a victim of vehicular homicide.

2009: Donald Bothwell was not identified as a taxi driver homicide victim for unknown reasons.

2. National Data Sources before 1991

2.1. Homicide Survey: 1961 to 1990

Prior to 1991 the Homicide Survey did not record the occupations of homicide victims (although both occupation and educational level was recorded for suspects). However, the Homicide Survey did record the specific location in which homicides occurred. Eight homicides occurred in taxicabs between 1961 and 1967 and another 15 homicides between 1968 and 1974, for a total of 23.

These were reported in Homicide in Canada: A Statistical Synopsis (Ottawa: Justice Statistics Division, Statistics Canada, June 1976; Catalogue no. 85-505).

Table 4.15 (page 53) is entitled "Solved Murder Incidents Occurring During Robberies: Type of Establishment or Person Robbed, Canada, 1961-74, 1961-67, 1968-74".

Solved murder incidents "are those in which the police have laid a charge and those which were cleared otherwise (e.g., suspect committed suicide)."

The table's introduction states:

"The largest occupational group of victims is that of taxicab drivers. Overall, it is in small retail establishments that robbery murders are most likely to occur. The combined total of banks, trust companies, armoured trucks and business firms which were the locus of a robbery murder is approximately equal to the number of taxicab drivers robbed and murdered over the 14-year period. An examination of unsolved robbery murders indicates a similar profile of victims."

There are some limitations that suggest cases may have been left out:

  • From 1961 to 1973 only murders were recorded. From 1974 on, all homicides were recorded including manslaughter and infanticide.
  • Only "solved" homicide cases are included. Although the introduction states that the vicim profile for for unsolved homicides is the same as for solved homicides, the report's section on unsolved homicides (pp. 70 to 73, tables 4.23 to 4.25) does not provide a number for unsolved taxi driver homicides.
  • Data reflect only taxi driver homicides which occurred during robberies. This presumably excludes homicides that were committed in the course of other crimes (e.g., sexual assault, or the killing of witnesses), or homicides that had a personal motive.
  • On the other hand, if all we know is that the homicide occurred in a taxicab, it is possible that one or more victims may have been a passenger rather than a driver. In reality, however, it is highly probable that all victims were drivers.

Canadian Taxi Driver Homicides lists nine taxi driver homicides as occurring between 1961 and 1967 (one more than the Homicide Survey) and 19 as having occurred between 1968 and 1974 (four more than the Homicide Survey).

Without information about the geographic locations of the homicides, it is impossible to determine which of the Canadian Taxi Driver Homicides cases are reflected in the Homicide Survey data. However, there is a possibility that the underlying survey data exist and may be accessible.

2.2. Occupational Surveillance in Canada, 1965-1991

Aronson, K.J.; Howe, G.R.; Carpenter, M.; and Fair, M.E. Occupational Surveillance in Canada: Cause-Specific Mortality Among Workers, 1965-1991 (Catalogue no. 84-546-XCB). Ottawa: Statistics Canada, 2000. (CD-ROM containing Microsoft Excel spreadsheet files.)

Data from a national survey conducted by Employment Canada between 1965 and 1971 were used to create individual records for 457,224 men and 242,196 women, representing about 10% of the labour force for that period.

The records constituted occupational histories of the individuals for the years surveyed (excluding 1970, for which the data were lost).

These records were compared with the National Mortality Database for 1965 to 1991. The comparison yielded mortality data for nearly 116,000 of the men and over 26,800 of the women. The result was a database linking occupational and cause-of-death data for each of these individuals.

Because the Canadian Standard Occupational Classification was radically changed in 1971, the combined data had to be grouped separately by the 1961 and 1971 classifications codes.

The individuals in this study included 1,280 male and 36 female taxi drivers and chauffeurs for the years 1965-69 (1961 occupational code 552) and 107 male taxi drivers and chauffeurs for the year 1971 (1971 occupational code 9173).

The mortality data recorded only one taxi driver homicide, the victim being one of the 1,280 males in the 1965-69 group. However, although he was identified as a taxi driver in 1965-1971, there is a strong chance that he was not driving a cab at the time of his death.

It is also possible that individuals identified with other occupations may have become taxi drivers after 1971. If they were murdered and turned up in the National Mortality Database their deaths would be associated with whatever occupation they held between 1965 and 1971 rather than with taxi driving.

[Next column]

Cabs in the funeral procession of Daniel Bryce
(Prince George Citizen, October 20, 1984, p. 1)

2.3. Employment injuries and occupational illnesses, 1972-1981

Employment injuries and occupational illnesses, 1972-1981: including preliminary data for 1982 by Jim Wong. Labour Canada. Occupational Safety and Health, 1984.

This publication was compiled from provincial Workers Compensation data. It contains data on fatalities (including homicides) from 1975 to 1981, except in the case of Quebec for which data were unavailable for 1978 to 1981.

Table 1.36, p. 59 is entitled "Fatalities in Canadian Industry by Type of Accident" which "includes deaths arising out of occupational illnesses, and deaths of workers who were on pension for an earlier disabling injury." The miscellaneous column of this table includes "Homicides, suicides, bites, stings, unspecified."

Table 1.35, p. 58 ("Fatalities in Canadian Industry by Occupation") includes the category "Transport Equipment Operation".

There seems a possibility that the unaggregated data may still exist and provide information about taxi driver homicides. The criteria for inclusion (eligibility for Workers compensation benefits) will differ from that of the Homicide Survey so the number of identified cases will likely differ.

2.4. Special Report on Occupational Mortality, 1931-32

Special Report on Occupational Mortality in Canada, 1931-32 (Ottawa: Dominion Bureau of Statistics, Vital Statistics Branch, 1937).

Gives numbers of deaths by occupation for "ten important causes" and another "fifteen causes for which rates have not been computed". Homicides are not included and taxi drivers are grouped with "Chauffeurs, drivers, delivery men, etc." Data, based on the 1931 census, are broken down into five age groups (20-24 to 55-64). Also gives total population of males in each occupational group as well as death rates.

The usefulness of this source for identifying taxi driver homicides depends on the existence and availability of the original data.

2.5. Vital Statistics Branch Annual Reports, 1924-1927

Vital Statistics Branch Annual Report, 1924, 1925, 1926 and 1927 (Ottawa: Dominion Bureau of Statistics, 1926, 1927, 1929 and 1930).

The reports for these four years give numbers of deaths by occupation for five selected causes (accident, suicide, cancer, pneumonia and tuberculosis). Data are broken down by 5-year age groups (under 15 to 75 and over). Homicides are not included, and taxi drivers are buried in "Chauffeurs, Drivers, etc." which seems to include delivery truck drivers. Total deaths for all causes are given in the 1925, 1926 and 1927 reports.

The usefulness of this source for identifying taxi driver homicides depends on the existence and availability of the original data.

3. Other Data Sources

3.1 Taxi Driver Safety in Alberta (1985)

Keith Smith, Chairman, Working Group on Taxi Driver Safety. Taxi Driver Safety in Alberta, the Report and Recommendations of an Interdepartmental Committee of the Alberta Government. Edmonton: Research and Education Branch, Occupational Health and Safety Division, Alberta Dept. of Workers' Health, Safety and Compensation, February, 1985.

This study was carried out in response to a series of three taxi driver murders in 1984. Among other statistics, the study reported that a total of nine Alberta taxi drivers were slain between 1975 and 1984, four in Edmonton, four in Calgary and one elsewhere (presumably Medicine Hat). All of them now seem to be accounted for in the Canadian Taxi Driver Homicides list:

Jim Morris was killed in Edmonton shortly after the study was published in 1985

3.2. British Columbia Workers Compensation Board

The Workers Compensation Board of British Columbia reports lists fatalities by cause and occupation (including taxi driver homicides) in it annual statistical report.

The Board accepted 9 claims for taxi driver homicides between 1978 (the earliest year recorded) and 1999. No taxi driver homicides were recorded between 2000 and 2013. The years of claim and (presumable) victims are as follows:

1978Thomas Man Tang
1979Gregory Paul Belliveau
1984Daniel Bryce
1984Frank Harry Gold
1988Roche Charles (Rocky) Frie (died 1987)
1988Kenneth Scott
1992John McKechnie
1996David Malloy
1999Mehdi Nasnain Naqvi

The death of Rocky Frie in November 1987 was represented by one of the 1988 claims.

The WCB figures for 1978 to 2013 tally with the Canadian Taxi Driver Homicides list with two exceptions -- Jim Burton and Alan Martin-MacDonald.

Prior to 1978, taxi drivers were lumped together with other related occupations, such as ambulance, hearse and pilot car drivers. Fatality claims (not necessarily for homicides) were reported for this group in the following years between 1955 and 1977: 1955, 1956, 1965, 1967, 1971, 1973 (2), 1975, 1976 and 1977.

The 1967 claim may have been for either James William (Sonny) Johnson or Eugene Scott Prince.

The 1973 claim may have been for Muk Chee Tam.

3.3. Occupational Mortality in British Columbia, 1950 to 1978

Richard P. Gallagher and others. Occupational Mortality in British Columbia, 1950 to 1978 (Statistics Canada, April, 1986, catalogue number 84-544).

Decedents aged 19 years or younger were excluded from these studies, along with a small number of death records excluded due to invalid age or sex data. Any taxi driver homicides represented by these records would have been eliminated from the study, but the likelihood of such homicides is probably small. The studies cover both work-related and non-work-related homicides.

The 1950 to 1978 report analyzed 457,083 BC death records by occupation and cause of death. A total of 8 taxi driver deaths due to homicides was recorded -- 1 for the period 1950-59, 4 for 1960-69 and 3 for 1970 to 1978.

Five of the eight deaths are presumably:

leaving three unidentified -- one from the period 1950-59 and two from 1960-69.

3.4. Occupational Mortality in British Columbia, 1950 to 1984

Richard P. Gallagher and others. Occupational Mortality in British Columbia, 1950 to 1984 (Cancer Control Agency of British Columbia and Workers Compensation Board of British Columbia, 1989).

The 1950 to 1984 report was based on an analysis of 536,636 BC death records (though data for only the 320,423 male deaths were published). A total of 11 male taxi driver homicides was recorded for the whole period, meaning 3 deaths for the period 1979 to 1984. These are presumably:

Dr. Nhu Le of the B.C. Cancer Agency reports that two female drivers were murdered between 1979 and 1984, but these would seem not to be occupational homicides.

Nashter Dhahan, 25, was a homemaker and part-time cab driver. She was found strangled to death in a Vancouver parking lot on February 9, 1980. The case remains unsolved. Police suppressed details of the crime because of similarities to other murders of Vancouver women.

Kathleen Joan Helm, another young woman, had driven for Bonny's Taxi in Burnaby for at least two years. She suffered some bad experiences during the night shift and when six drunken men stole her purse she decided to quit on July 9, 1984. Thirteen days later she disappeared. Her nude body was found on Cates Park Beach in North Vancouver on July 22, her face mutilated. Police suppressed details of the crime. Ms Helm had worked as a military transport driver and hoped to become a semi-trailer driver. She was survived by her mother, three sisters and a brother.

3.5. Occupational Mortality in British Columbia, 1985 to 1994

Nhu D. Le and others. Occupational Mortality in British Columbia, 1985-1994 (BC Cancer Agency and Workers Compensation Board of British Columbia, 2000).

Taxi drivers are lumped in with truck drivers and bus drivers. A total of 22 homicides for all three groups was recorded. Data for female deaths was not reported.

The missing data were supplied by Dr. Nhu Le. A total of seven taxi driver homicides (all male) was recorded for this period, of whom four are accounted for in the Canadian Taxi Driver Homicides list:

Of the three remaining, at least two and possibly all three were not occupational homicides. Henry Janzen and Lynn Anderson were murdered in their homes in 1988 and 1994 respectively (below). This leaves one homicide unaccounted for.

Henry Janzen, 28, a Matsqui taxi driver, was murdered by a 17-year-old ward of B.C. Social Services who lived in Janzen's house. Mr. Janzen was shot in the back of the head as he lay on a couch. His body was then taken to a vacant house, splashed with gasoline and set on fire. The killer first claimed to have shot Mr. Janzen in self defense but after the murder he wrote a note to his girlfriend saying he acted because Mr. Janzen allegedly made insulting remarks about her. The man was sentenced to life in prison with no possibility of parole for ten years.

Lynn Anderson, 32, a Prince George taxi driver, was killed in his home by a 19-year-old burglar on July 28, 1994. The killer was out on parole when he broke into Mr. Anderson's house. He hit his sleeping victim nine times with a hammer. Mr. Anderson regained consciousness but before he could escape the killer stabbed him 29 times. Then, while the killer was washing and changing his clothes a friend of Mr. Anderson's dropped in. The killer calmly told him that he could find Mr. Anderson downstairs and then escaped with a knife. He next tried to abduct two women in separate incidents. Both escaped but one suffered a deep cut to her hand. The killer was convicted of murder and sentenced to life with no possibility of parole for 20 years.

3.6. Homicide in the Workplace in Ontario (1985)

Gary M. Liss and Catherine A. Craig, "Homicide in the Workplace in Ontario: Occupations at Risk and Limitations of Existing Data Sources," Canadian Journal of Public Health, January/February, 1990, pp. 10-15.

This study used files from the Ontario Coroner's office and the Ontario Mortality Database to determine work-related homicides for the period 1975-85.

The study reported five taxi driver homicides. However, the Canadian Taxi Driver Homicides list now contains 12 Ontario homicides from 1975-85:

One of the purposes of the Liss and Craig study was to determine the limitations of existing data sources. The authors were aware that they might have missed some cases given the fact that Ontario workplace homicides were not identified directly in their sources. Workplace homicides had to be inferred from the location of death, which was not always recorded consistently.

3.7. Newspapers and Magazines

Though not statistical data sources per se, news reports and artricles occasionally provide information on numbers of homicides over a time period.

British Columbia

  • A newspaper report on Thomas Man Tang's murder (Vancouver Sun, March 31, 1978) said that Mr. Tang's death was the first taxi driver murder in five years (i.e., since the death of Muk Chee Tam).


  • John Rowland, "Confessions of a Big-Town Cabbie," Macleans Magazine, Oct. 1, 1951, pp. 26, 51.

    Apropos of the dangers of night shift driving, John Rowland wrote that in the Toronto area alone three drivers had been killed in less than a year.

    There are no specifics about the homicides or even the year in which they occurred, but presumably the incidents were relatively recent in 1951 when the article was published.

    Alfred Reddish (November 30, 1946) and Ralph Margeson (November 11, 1947) were both killed within a year of each other, but a Toronto Globe & Mail article on the Margeson murder refers to him as the second driver to be killed within a year.

  • "Metro police hunting two killers," Toronto Star, November 16, 1981, p. A1.

    An article on the murder of Peter Gamoulakos reported that his death was the first taxi driver homicide in Metro Toronto since the death of Robert Pearson in 1978.


  • "Taxi driver slain; killing baffles Montreal police," Toronto Globe & Mail, September 24, 1949, p. 9.

    An article on the murder of Ovila Legault reports that "This, so far as police could recall, was the first taxi-driver killing in Montreal in 22 years" (that is, since the death of Adélard Bouchard.

  • Boisvert, Yves. "Un chauffeur de taxi assassiné," La Presse (Montréal), May 15, 1989, p. A1.

    An article reporting the murder of Jean Marie Tremblay stated that he was the 11th driver murdered in greater Montréal in the previous ten years. Canadian Taxi Driver Homicides records only four homicides for greater Montréal between 1981 and Mr. Tremblay's death, which implies that seven homicides remain to be identified. However, this figure contradicts Marcel Laroche's article (below) which reports that 11 drivers were murdered in Montréal between 1978 and 1993, all of whom are identified in Canadian Taxi Driver Homicides.

  • Laroche, Marcel, "18 chauffeurs de taxi assassinés au Québec en 15 ans," La Presse (Montréal), Aug. 3, 1993.

    An article in La Presse reporting on the murder of Fernand Talbot noted that 18 Québec drivers had been murdered in the previous 15 years (i.e., between 1978 and August 1, 1993). Of these, 11 drivers were from the Montréal region.

    Mr. Laroche's total represented three more drivers than were accounted for in Canadian Taxi Driver Homicides. In response to a query, Mr. Laroche recalled that the three unidentified drivers died in the 1970s at Cowansville, Baie Comeau and Rimouski. He had no further details.

    All three drivers have now been accounted for:

    Aldéric Proulx, Baie Comeau, 1974/11/23
    Jean Maurice Tringle, Farnham (near Cowansville), 1975/06/06
    Jean-Eudes Gauvin, Rimouski, 1978/06/03