Albert Muckle


This is perhaps the most heartbreaking case I’ve ever followed. When I heard voices exploding over the police radios about a woman found unconscious and sexually assaulted on a Banff riverbank, I knew it was bad. But I never imagined how many lives would be ravaged. Prior to reporting at the Herald, I was the editor of The Banff Crag & Canyon. Besides the murder of cabbie Lucie Turmel, this is one of the worst crimes to have rocked the mountain resort town.

I received my first subpoena over this story. My files were seized by the Crown and I was punted off the story as a potential witness on the stand. It forced me to miss the dramatic dangerous offender hearing that turned into a national story. I had tracked down Albert Muckle’s old girlfriend who told me about watching him fly into a rage and beat a man unconscious for no particular reason. Muckle was never charged for the vicious assault, and I guess the Crown had to make sure they had some evidence that he was DO material.

The subpoena is now serving as the liner in my cutlery drawer.

Julianne Courneya, Muckle’s victim, remains in a persistant vegetative state and cannot speak. Her father says she communicates with him through her eyes.

‘A fork in the road': Drifter who admits to brutal rape tells how he came to Banff
Monday, September 26, 2005

Sherri Zickefoose 
Calgary Herald  ©

The cold steel doors locking Albert George Muckle inside are also welcoming him back home — he was born behind prison bars 25 years ago.But while destiny has seemingly steered him back to the place from which he came, it was a chance encounter and a free ride that delivered the heavily-tattooed drifter from the outskirts of Calgary to Banff on July 9.

Less than 48 hours later, Muckle raped a six-weeks pregnant hotel worker and nearly choked the life out of her with the strap from her purse. He left the 20-year-old lying half-clothed on a muddy riverbank and bought himself a 3 a.m. snack of chips and salsa using money from her wallet.

The mountain resort was the last place the B.C.-bound hitchhiker should have drifted, but like trouble waiting to happen, he blew in cold and mean.

“I was at a fork in the road,” Muckle told the Herald in several interviews from the Calgary Remand Centre, where he is awaiting sentencing for attempted murder and aggravated sexual assault. His victim, who cannot be named, is entering a persistent vegetative state in an Ottawa care centre.

Muckle was torn between two destinations, neither of which included the tourist town brimming with young summer workers.

Fresh off a crystal methamphetamine binge in Williams Lake, B.C., Muckle says he was agitated as he hitchhiked to Kamloops July 8, on his way to his angry girlfriend in Penticton.

“She wanted to talk. That freaked me out. I was about to lose my girl.”

An invitation to visit a sister he’s never met in Ontario was a tempting diversion from his romantic troubles, he says.

Muckle changed his route and thumbed a ride east, only to change his mind again in Calgary after meeting a Banff rooming house manager. Rent is free in exchange for chores, and Muckle, using one of his many aliases, accepted the offer and the ride. He decided to find work in Banff before hitching to see his girlfriend of six months.

It was a decision that ravaged lives. It snuffed out a young Ontario couple’s plans of marriage, chasing careers and raising a child already on the way. It robbed an Ottawa family of a sunny and chatty 20-year-old now imprisoned behind a wall of sleep that is interrupted only by body-contorting seizures.

“She was actually really cool and very down to earth,” says Muckle, describing the young woman he met in the early hours of July 11. He had been roaming Banff’s streets smoking pot and drinking, making passes at women all night. Then, just before last call in front of Aurora nightclub on Banff Avenue, he crossed paths with a friendly young hotel worker.

“Her friends brought her up to me,” he says. “She was asking me about my tattoos and I asked for a smoke.”

It was a chance meeting that would horribly alter the young woman’s life and ultimately fulfil her attacker’s destiny.

Crown prosecutor Patricia Yelle is now working to have Muckle classified as a dangerous offender — a label that can lock him up for life — but he insists he’s no menace.

“I am nowhere near violent or dangerous enough,” says Muckle, who began a four-year prison sentence in 1999 for getting drunk and stabbing a Kenora, Ont., area cab driver twice. He battled in Stony Mountain jail’s gang war and was transferred in 2002 because of it. He was caught hiding an X-Acto knife and a shank in his cell. He admits starting a prison riot and arming himself with a baseball bat during a standoff with police and guards as a young offender. Still, he shrugs off the notion he is a dangerous and violent man.

“I know I got that beat. They don’t have enough on my record. I laughed, they got f–k all.”

For his part, the drifter who grew up on the rough Wabaseemong (White Dog) First Nation Reserve and in Kenora, Ont., blames a relapse with hard-core street drugs for the attack that has left his comatose victim hooked up to a feeding tube in an Ottawa care centre.

“When I ended up in Banff, I was irritated, aggravated. It’s not good to be coming down from crystal meth with so much on your mind,” he says.

Muckle‘s violent future was foretold by a national parole board in 2002.

“You are considered to be a high risk for violent and non-violent offending, and have a significant alcohol-abuse problem,” the board wrote while recommending his parole to a native healing lodge in Montreal. In the end, Muckle walked away from Wasekun lodge carrying a lead pipe and hitchhiked to Kingston, Ont., to turn himself in.

A week after he was released from a B.C. prison last year, he hitched a ride to Calgary and stole a bottle of Southern Comfort from a liquor store on March 18, 2004. Police had no problem later spotting the six-foot-one native with a tattoo across his forehead. Muckle was arrested at the Drop-In Centre where he calmly gave police a fake name. Rather than appear in Calgary court, he hitchhiked to Vancouver’s seedy downtown eastside and introduced himself around as Lance Anderson, one of his aliases.

He lived on the streets and flopped with other drug addicts for months. To support his habit, Muckle says he worked for drug dealers as a “bill collector.” Others remember him as a wild-eyed thug who stole for fun, giving gifts of clothing and even a Sony Playstation to street friends.

A former girlfriend remembers a volatile Muckle beating a man unconscious before her eyes.

The man “said something to offend Albert, which drove him to the point of uncontrollable rage. He beat him senseless with a glass bottle. I heard nothing but a hollow sound every time the bottle came down to connect with the guy’s head,” says the woman, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

“By the time the fight was over, Albert took my hand and told me to run. He was running from the police because you could hear the sirens coming. I never witnessed anything so horrible in my life. The guy was in a coma for about a week or two.”

Muckle recalls the beating, but says he didn’t stop kicking until the walls were red because his girlfriend had been threatened. He was simply defending her honour, he says.

“There is a method to my madness.”

- – -

Muckle‘s mother, Nancy, gave birth to at least eight babies, losing them all to children’s services.

She was a violent alcoholic who died in 2003 and left many of her children suffering from the affects of fetal alcohol syndrome, he says.

“Sober, she was harmless and quiet as any shadow on the wall.”

Muckle says the only freedom he has ever known was as a newborn being nursed by his mother before being taken by children’s services.

“First six months was my freedom,” he says. “That’s pathetic — that was all I was given.”

From there, Muckle became a problematic ward of the Crown, a constant runaway who fled from the families who took him in. When he ran, he bolted to his older brother Edward.

“They put me in a group home for stabilization, but there were guys in there who had already been in institutions,” he recalls. “From then on, my criminal career started. They put me in that environment. I was treated like a government mule. I didn’t have a childhood.”

Muckle was 11 when he committed his first crime: stealing a woman’s purse with a 12-year-old group-home friend in the Kenora area.

The two forged a life-long friendship. Getting drunk by age 12 and hanging around with a crew of gang members on the reserve at 14 only toughened Muckle up.

One of his earliest charges was for assault and possession of a weapon. When he was 17, he robbed a fellow Woods Homes group home resident at the Brentwood LRT station in Calgary, threw him to the ground and threatened him with his fist.

After he got out of a young offenders centre, a heavily inebriated 18-year-old Muckle stabbed a Kenora-area taxi driver. He later said he had no memory of the event.

“The offence was brutal and caused serious physical and psychological harm to the victim,” the parole board wrote in documents obtained by the Herald.

With the violence in his past, Muckle was a significant risk to harm someone due to his unreasonable fear of being hurt and his habit of carrying weapons.

The board also concluded he may be suffering from an anxiety disorder and was institutionalized.

“I hate to admit it, but it’s true,” he says.

Muckle‘s rocky beginning in a Kingston jail for women and an unstable childhood in foster families and group homes have led him full circle to a world that friends say he understands better than the one beyond the corners of a concrete cell.

“I think he’s just scared of the outside world,” says Stuart Burnard, an Ontario friend of Muckle‘s since they met as troublesome 12-year-olds in a group home east of Kenora.

“That’s because he’s been in and out practically his whole life. He’s just looking for that security. That’s all.”

Since he was arrested July 12 trying to hitchhike out of Banff, Muckle has refused advice from two legal aid lawyers and pleaded guilty from the beginning, not because he is remorseful — in fact, he tells people he didn’t assault his Banff victim — but because he thought he was speeding up the court process. He wants to serve his time in Kingston, where he says the rules are easier to follow.

“It doesn’t matter who you are inside. It’s all a part of prison politics. I play a positive role or I play a negative role. It’s part of survival.”

- – -

Muckle has exhibited an artistic bent at times in his tumultuous life. As he puts it, “I’m a really creative person.”

That artistic side was showcased in an art exhibition featuring downtown eastside Vancouver residents last year. His pencil drawings drew high praise from one reviewer, who said on http://www.straight.com: “Albert Muckle‘s densely worked pencil drawings, some of them set down on the backs of creased envelopes, display a master engraver’s attention to detail and a tattoo artist’s obsession with the fantastic.”

His poetry, some of which he recited during a public reading, mixed violence with humour.

Muckle now spends his days sketching elaborate scenes — a gnarled, old tree with a skull embedded in it among them — on the backs of envelopes, visitor request forms and any other scrap of paper that comes his way. He also scratches out free verse and paces back and forth in his cell.

Toughened by a rough life on the reserve and in jails, Muckle wears his tattoos like armour. He gave many of them to himself, mainly out of boredom.

His knuckles spell out THUG and LIFE. The so-called tribal forehead tattoo that sweeps down to cover his right cheek is there to hide scars, he says. They cover two pentagrams and the letters that spell Lucifer he scratched into his own forehead in jail.

As he awaits his Oct. 27 sentencing hearing, Muckle says he knows he’s never coming back out. He blames everyone but himself for that.

“I’ve spent two-thirds of my life in institutions, and now I’m going to spend the rest of my life here,” he says. “Can anyone even conceive of that fact?

“I was born in jail and I will die in here. That’s not right. I will die even if it’s by my own hand.”

Family in ‘living hell’ after attack: Father says setting up a trust fund and alternative therapies offer hope after assault on daughter in Banff
Wednesday, August 16, 2006
Sherri Zickefoose
Calgary Herald

Weeks after a judge declared his daughter’s Banff attacker a dangerous offender to be locked up in prison indefinitely, an Ottawa father is breaking his silence to reveal his family’s ongoing torment.The past year of upheaval has shaken the family like an earthquake since his 21-year-old daughter Julie was discovered left for dead in Banff’s Central Park on July 11, 2005.

Since then, her father, mother and sister have watched helplessly as Julie nearly died three times and was given last rites at Foothills Hospital. Her condition stabilized in January.

Her father visits her bedside daily in a private care facility in Ottawa, talking to her and reading Harry Potter aloud.

He tucks her into bed every night.

This is his family’s new life. This is Julie’s recovery.

“We haven’t come forward because it’s been pretty traumatic. Everybody goes through situations where it’s a personal tragedy, but when you have a criminal case, it just compounds it even more,” her father told the Herald from Ottawa.

“We’re going through a living hell.”

To help offset the crippling costs of her therapy, the family is setting up a public trust fund, to be called Julie’s Recovery. They hope it will be established this week.

The young woman’s identity is protected under a court order, so the Herald is using only her first name.

The senseless attack has left the once vibrant and athletic young hotel worker hooked up to a tracheostomy tube.

Julie can’t speak or otherwise communicate, and her fragile body is wracked with daily seizures, coughing fits and teeth-grinding headaches.

“She is trapped and this is absolutely heartbreaking to witness,” her father said.

Doctors say the former soccer and hockey player is sliding toward a persistent vegetative state and she may never recover.

“And I thought, why don’t we stop her then? This is actually what I’m thinking.”

After seeing a spark in her eyes occasionally, her father says he’s holding out hope that alternative therapy may be the answer.

His daughter’s seemingly hopeless prognosis has inspired him to spend hours on the Internet researching modes of therapy for brain injury around the globe, including hyperbaric oxygen treatment in the United States.

“We came to realize that the traditional sick-care system was not structured to provide the specialized care that our daughter required,” he said.

She has been accepted as a patient by a prominent American doctor, her father says.

But those therapies are not covered by health care or insurance, he says.

And commercial airlines won’t fly patients with trachs; he’s facing a $20,000 cost for an air ambulance flight alone.

“We have made a commitment to our daughter to do everything in our power to help her,” he said.

That vow to care for Julie focuses on tiny but important details.

In her private room, her radio plays and the window blinds are drawn up during the day.

On nice days, he takes his daughter outside in a wheelchair to feel the sun on her face.

Together, they watch Friends, one of her favourite television shows. Aromatherapy massages with lavender and chamomile relax her, he says.

Once a week, she gets a bath.

“All the nurses note how much she enjoys her bath and how she says thank you with her eyes,” he said.

“Since the bath is obviously therapeutic, I was absolutely astounded when my request for one additional bath per week was turned down due to a lack of resources.”

Those struggles aside, the family has also fought to retain privacy as the high-profile case made headlines across the country.

In Banff, Judge Sandra Hamilton granted the vulnerable family’s request to keep the eloquent words of their victim impact statement off the public record.

News that their daughter had unknowingly been a few weeks pregnant when she was attacked was also hurtful, they said.

On July 25, Hamilton sent drifter Albert Muckle to prison as a dangerous offender for aggravated sexual assault and attempted murder.

Her family chose not to read the 26-year-old convict’s written apology.

They are still struggling to fully grasp the surreal story of a bizarre-looking tattooed stranger who was sentenced in a courthouse that sits in a Banff shopping mall.

They prefer to focus their energy on their daughter and to be thankful for all the public and professional support they have received.

“I want her back,” said her father. “That’s what I’m hoping for.”

18 comments

  1. Danelle Muckle · · Reply

    he is my uncle, i feel really bad of what he did and feel awful what that girls family must feel too. i never really new him, but my mom told me some stuff about him that made me laugh. he has a great sence of humor, our whole family does. My grandma wasn’t the best mother to him.I love him anyways no matter what he did. he’s my uncle and he’s family. thats all im going to say.

  2. Reality Check · · Reply

    Do you realize that since you two have never met, it could have been you that he attacked? Would you still love him then? There are many, many people who have horrible childhoods — but we all have choices. At many points in his life, when faced with choices, he would always chose the wrong one. When does it become about accountability for actions? “Oh, his mommy didn’t give him orange juice in the morning, and he had to wear hand me downs, and he didn’t get the CEO job with microsoft because he dropped out of high school — that’s why he stabbed the girl 80 times. He’s just misunderstood.” Seriously? The more excuses and justifications society makes, the further away we are from humanity.

  3. Charlene Marion · · Reply

    What is humanity without its flaws? We as individuals are forced to carry a portion of this story with us that we have all come to learn by word of mouth, the written word, or through personal experience. Our opinions do not matter to those who were involved, or to those that were involved in his life before or after these tragic events. There are no excuses to be had but by those that seek justification for themselves, as they do for others. Through anger, or petty squabbling, hypocrites that we are… our words will do nothing to ease anyone else’s pain, but merely place the blame on others that we see fit. We are all guilty of something or another and led by poor choices in life… do we not learn? What is done is done. Life goes on. We can only hope and pray that we become stronger in number and that we as individuals make better choices be it now… or later. Bottom Line: We all hope for the best.

    1. Ninoska@live.ca · · Reply

      - “What is humanity without its flaws?”
      Draining your car battery because you forgot to turn the headlights off is a “flaw”. Attacking, raping and murdering someone is not a character flaw. He spoke with her that night. She asked him about his tattoo. He said she was nice to him. He raped her, beat her so brutally that she lost the baby she was carrying inside her, and left her naked, broken body in a ravine. He wasn’t even man enough to kill her. He left her brain dead. A complete vegetable who cannot even breathe on her own. She was just a kid. She still is. But now, she looks like a bloated, bruised, and unresponsive middle aged woman. She has a hole in the middle of her throat where the tube of the ventilator goes in so that the machine can breathe for her. Every 6 hours, this hole has to be suctioned so that she doesn’t choke on her own saliva — because she also lost the ability to swallow. Every six hours, the primitive part of what’s left of her brain fights the nurses who suction her because she probably thinks it’s him, wrapping his hands/paws around what used to be her small, beautiful, delicate neck, choking her to death.

      THAT is the ONLY portion of this “story” I choose to carry with me.

      You are correct that our “opinion” doesn’t matter; opinions is for cowards and the parasites of society. What matters, is ACTION.

      His childhood, AT THIS POINT, is completely irrelevant. HE IS NOT A CHILD. He is a grown man. He was a grown man when he CHOSE and DECIDED to leave her body hidden in a ravine. And after he used her body for his own sexual satisfaction, and beat the baby out of her, He made the choice to not even call police or ambulance to let them know where she was.

      There may be more than one person responsible for the abusive and deprived childhood he had. It was not at all his fault that he had crappy parents. It was not his fault that the “system failed him”. But it was completely his fault that he voluntarily made the choice and committed to raping and killing another human being.

      Yes, we all make “poor choices” in life; some of us dropped out of school, some of us go backpacking across Europe and marry a guy from Paris, some of us forget to turn the iron off in the mornings. But all of our choices have consequences. And simply “being sorry” does not magically grant us a high school diploma, or an annulment, or an unscorched shirt. We all have to atone, and be accountable for our “poor choices”.

      A few days ago, five bodies landed at CFB Petawawa; four dead soldiers, and one dead female reporter. Some may say that perhaps they made “poor choices” by joining the military and fighting some ridiculous “war on terror”, which got them killed. But here’s the really twisted part, they died so that this rapist/murderer can be housed in a well lit, well heated, well cleaned place where he guaranteed 3 meals and two snacks a day, and on-site health care, the choice to occupy his time with pursuing an education… and so many other injustices society has imposed on him.

      Life does go on. Regardless of what happens or what we do to each other, life will always go on. Dinosaurs existed and were annihilated, civilizations rose and fell, humanity “evolves”, and for those who are not dead, life does go on. But maybe we can do a bit more than just “hope and pray”. At some point, we, as a society, decided what would be the penalties for breaking the rules we set and agreed to follow as a society — maybe it’s time to re-evaluate those penalties. Because when we have civilized societies doing things to each other that even animals don’t do to each other, it’s not working. The mentality that has allowed it to get to that point is not working anymore.

  4. Anangosh Kwe · · Reply

    I was the Native Liaison Officer when Albert was in Kingston. We developed a good rapport. We shared poetry, and art, and talked about his dreams and aspirations. I am very familiar with his personal and criminal past, and must say that it is characterized by substance abuse leading to poor and often violent outcomes. His outbursts of aggression are truly tragic…but even more tragic is the pain that he carries inside himself. Albert has been falling through the cracks since he was born. In no way to I excuse his actions, but we cannot simply blame him because it is much deeper. It’s all too easy to lock him up and throw away the key, and pretend that all is well. Our disgustingly inadequate so-called justice system has produced Albert and many other young men like him. WE created the circumstances that allowed him to evolve into a young man brimming with hate and anger. He is a tortured man, and when considering guilt or innocence for his crimes we must accept equal blame for his actions. When Albert has a moment of peace in his mind and heart, he is gentle, and funny. When he has reprieve from his self-hatred he is caring and giving. I wish that people could see that his actions are monstrous, but he is not a monster. He has always haunted me because I know that this all could have been prevented. There are Alberts in all of our lives. Please do not walk past them. Please do not let this happen to them. Stretch out your hands, open your hearts, and do everything you can to keep a young person from entering the system. And to the families and friends of his victims; may Creator bring you peace. I cannot imagine the hurt you have suffered, nor do I judge the feelings you have towards Albert. I just hope that in some quiet moment, you might remember that Albert is someone’s child also.

    1. Ninoska@live.ca · · Reply

      “Albert has been falling through the cracks since he was born.”

      There are many who have fallen “through the cracks”, there are even those who had no cracks to fall through, and from the moment they were born, were condemned to a short life of living, existing, and dying on the streets. There are countries where there are ABSOLUTELY no social safety nets whatsoever, and there is no such thing as social welfare. There are countries where people grow up and have only ever known a life of war and violence. Not surprisingly, most members of those societies go on to perpetuate the cycle, because they simply don’t know of any different way of life. But the amazing part is that even out of those societies, good people are created.

      You are right, we cannot keep locking them up and throwing away the key. The “system” failed them, and by simply trying to forget them, the “system” continues to fail society. Funds and resources are wasted keeping the criminal alive. Julie’s family, the girl he attacked, raped, strangled, and left her brain oxygen deprived, have to resort to public fundraising to finance Julie’s hyperbaric treatment, so that she could regain some function of her brain. At this point, she’ll probably only regain the ability to breathe on her own, if she’s lucky. So at some point, our society decided that it was much more important to keep this man alive, well cared for, well fed, and safely housed, rather than give this girls family some peace and tranquility. Our system is in fact “disgustingly inadequate”. And we will continue to produce more Alberts because they have absolutely no incentive to not turn out differently.

      Adolf Hitler also liked “art and poetry”, and I’m sure that those who loved Hitler also witnessed his moments of “gentleness and funniness”. He was probably also a “tortured man” which made him into the monster who destroyed Europe and sadistically shred and ripped apart so many innocent lives.

      A clown is funny because he does funny things, that’s what makes him a clown. Albert is a monster. His actions were monstrous, because they were committed by a monster. If you take a moment to think about what he did… try to put yourself in the bar that night, with the music playing, and everybody having a good time. Can you see her there with her friends from work? They’re at the table, talking and laughing, drinking and going over the shift they just finished. She is young, with long hair. She works out at the gym, and likes to look good. She’s pretty and sexy. She’s doing what all girls her age do when they go out, they’re enjoying the idea of men appreciating her beauty. She talks to Albert. She’s polite, and chatty. She asks him about his tattoo, but the music is so loud, she can barely hear his explanation.

      Now put yourself in the woods, and you see her lying on the the ground, on the freezing mud. She’s on her back, and he’s on her. He just kicked her in the stomach, and she fell over when she couldn’t breathe. By the time she’s able to breathe again, he’s already ripped open her shirt and she’s crying now. She’s crying and trying to fight him off, trying to roll away, trying to grab something, anything, that she can use to help her. It’s a primitive reaction all animals have. We fight. But a small part of us is praying. She wants to wake up, but instead she feels him rip his way inside her and using her body like an animal.

      What should be haunting you at night is not him, it’s her. Her parents who probably hate themselves for even letting her take a job so far away when she just graduated from school. If only… If only… That is what is going through their minds EVERY night. That is what’s haunting them every minute they are awake and asleep.

      Your request that they remember that Albert is also someone’s child is nauseating.

  5. Ndn Gal · · Reply

    NOTHING can excuse Albert’s actions. Indeed they are terrible, awful, horrifying, and would not have been done by someone who sees the world like those of us on the outside see it. My point is that Albert also has a story, and it’s an important one. Many of us just write him off. It’s easier for our human minds to do that instead of trying to find a way to understand how such terrible, inexcusable acts can be committed. We start to realize how fragile we are…we start to feel vulnerable, and scared. Damn right we should feel vulnerable and scared! But we are all guilty of his crime.

    More than half of all offenders are in our communities right now are on some form of ‘release'(. Many of these offenders have not had an easy time in jail. Many of these offenders are more screwed up, and dangerous than when they went in. Correctional programs to not work. There is no rehabilitation. In fact, studies show that offenders who follow their correctional rehab plans are actually at higher risk for re-offending, and re-offending in a worse manner. I should note that offenders who follow their correctional plan get out earlier too.

    Now set all that aside. Let’s talk about colonization and cultural genocide, residential schools and any kind of sick and twisted abuse you can think of. How do you think that this sort of thing affects multiple generations of Aboriginal People?

    Have you ever been to a reserve? Have you ever been to Whitedog, Ontario? Well, guess what, it’s still a nightmare in terms of living conditions. There is one dirt and gravel road into the community. Housing is inadequate and in ill repair (with no money for fix ups). People are lucky to find clean water…it’s a lot safer to drink booze. The school is falling apart. It’s run down with busted windows and drafts in the winter time. And you can forget about a decent grocery store, with food that people can actually afford. Kids come to school with no breakfast and no lunch. There aren’t enough teachers to teach all of the subject areas in all of the grades. So, very rarely does anyone finish Gr.8, let alone move on to high school. If by some miracle there is a bright student who wants to go to high school they must face the difficult decision of leaving behind everything that they have ever known to move to an urban area in the south (like Kenora or Winnipeg).

    Now compound this with the feelings of self-hatred, guilt, and shame that was born through colonization and cultural genocide. Add to this to little or no education. Include a pinch of addiction, and a pinch of mental illness (probably FAS, and or others). What sorts of people do you think come from this? People who commit crimes, usually to fuel an addiction, which probably began with boredom. And these are people who probably were raised with their own families. Imagine children who are taken from that environment and tossed into a White family, who doesn’t understand them or the challenges they face. After a while you start to resent the fact that White people start out in life (in Canada) with every possible advantage.

    In our so called civilized society, kids like Albert start out at a huge disadvantage. Juvenile Detentions, Jails, the Provincial Jails and the Federal Penitentiaries are not a life of ease and privilege as some might believe. Unless, you are a pimp or a drug dealer life is HARD! The food might as well be pig slop. There is no nutrition in it whatsoever (actually pig slop would be healthier). Everything is processed garbage and sugar. A diet like that isn’t exactly tasty, nor is it brain food. This diet has a very negative effect on the human body, the human brain, moods, and behaviours. When you get to jail you need to decide really fast how you are going to play your cards. If you try to go straight, and become a good citizen then you become a target. You WILL be raped, prostituted and used as a drug mule. So, you need to align yourself right away with a group or family (which are essentially gangs).

    Fast forward through years of incarceration, and being socialized to live like an animal (which is the only way I can describe the prison culture). They do not know how to relate to women, or how to have healthy relationships. Their only understanding of sex comes from pornography (and/or their own experiences of being raped in jail). Violence, black mail, manipulation, intimidation is all business as usual. What happens when an offender reaches his Warrant Expiry Date, like Albert? They are tossed out, with nothing. They probably found him some used clothing, gave him a few bucks that he might have accumulated in his prison account, maybe some shoes that didn’t fit right. Then he is walked to the big steel door. The door is opened, he walks through and the door closes. He is abandoned (yet again) to find some sort of way to survive. Oh ya, and don’t forget that these guys have addictions they need to feed, many have mental illness, many have no education, no social skills, and are essentially the same child that entered. So, what the hell do we as a society expect from these guys?

    Albert’s story may be a bit different than this, but it is important. People like Albert are the forgotten victims of our ‘justice system’ and so called ‘civilized society’. It does not excuse his poor decisions in any way. However, we need to realize that every single Canadian is responsible to what happened to that innocent, and beautiful young woman. She should be a call to action and proof that there can be no justice unless and until there is social justice.

  6. Social justice · · Reply

    Ndn Gal- Seemingly acting as his lawyer finding any small issue possible in his life that DID, apparently, “make him” into such a misunderstood rapist and scum of the earth is disgusting. Insinuating all people of society are responsible for his actions and his actions alone is absolutley unreal. He’s the forgotten victim here, right. Dissmissing his “poor decisions”, since all he ever did was just simply decide poorly what his next daily criminal move would be, as something I am responsible for? Or my neighbour or all Canadians in general? I’m holding back vomit. Our “human minds” have to “write off” this sickening excuse for a human being because his actions display that of a twisted sick creature who is undeserving of any of the benefits of living in this country, and unwilling to change into someone who is worthy of being able to breathe clean air. Unlike, say, a young, innocent girl with a positive bright future who is breathing with the help of a tracheotomy tube. Being activley unwilling to change or right his life in any positive capacity other then befriending Native Liason Officers an having them, like the victim, falsley believe he is a good natured soul an trustworthy makes me wonder why he wasn’t locked away at the earliest age possible, left to collect dust in a padded cell where the only one left around to become victomized by him would be himself. This seemed inevitable there would be a helpless victim in his future- Am I the only one who sees this? But thankfully it wasn’t “Ndl Gal”‘s daughter, mother, or relative, or there would be absolutley no support for poor Albert the rapist an attempted murderer. Attempted because he couln’t kill her like he wished, possibly because fate wouldn’t allow that as there is seemingly some justice in the world, be it hidden or otherwise. I don’t know if his actions or the people who defend him are more nauseating. He isn’t white an grew up in a poor area with an alcoholic mother, which resulted in, as we know from the thousands of kids in related cases, nothing but a terrible upbringing. We should therefore understand he will lie, steal, rape an attempt murder, likely again and again, AND should let it slide. Maybe we should imply he should have become a pimp or drug dealer too in order to lead a more positive lifestyle and help the conditioons he lives in. And that once he is caught an convicted and in jail where he belongs, he HAS TO continue his consistent and ever positive lifestyle, as it has produced so much good for him, that he has no choice but to join a gang. Forget education or jobs inside, because we can’t “… forget that these guys have addictions they need to feed, many have mental illness, many have no education, no social skills, and are essentially the same child that entered”, and in this case want to remain that way. Because if he reforms it is 100% fact he will be raped an used as a drug mule. And we should prevent that clear and obviously undisputable fact because poor little Albert the rapist, like you or me, doesn’t deserve any harm, particularly the same harm inflicted upon his innocent victim(s). And in the end you will find another case and argue the justice system is failing another murderer. You clearly have never crossed paths with one, or been victimized by “people” like abert. If you had I know I wouldn’t be responding to your notion that Alberts story is sad and tragic and we should all feel for Albert. Maybe even give him a free condo beside your loved ones for being a victim of society and its judicial system-it just seems like the least we can do for Al. Doen’t it? You undoubtedly would be okay with that. Because, quite clearly, he is the victim. He isn’t guilty after all, as one intellectual genius with extensive knowledge of cultural genocide and colonization put it, “…we are all guilty of his crime.”

    1. Social Justice…
      Apparently you do not understand the meaning of the words. Sounds like you live in the fantasy that most Canadians live in; that life in Canada is just great, and all us poor Indians need to do is stop being victims and ignorant savages. All we need to do is pull ourselves up by our boot straps. It’s obvious that you don’t know any real Ndns, and that you’ve never stepped foot inside one of our wonderful Federal institutions. This isn’t about Albert. It’s about the thousands of other Aboriginal young people who are beat down, mentally ill, and suffering from the generational affects of abuse. It’s in our blood before we are even born. I was able to break the cycle after many years of healing. The only way I was able to do that healing work was because I never lived on the tiny reserve my grandmother left, and because I reclaimed my culture. Yes, there were addictions and abuse in my family, but I was given opportunities that my cousins were not. I am the exception and not the rule. Without a lot of luck, and many many chances to heal most of us never break the cycle. Aboriginal people make up roughly 2% of the Canadian population. However, Aboriginal people make up 22% of the population of offenders housed in Federal penitentiaries. Why do you think that is? Why don’t you try picking up a book? I would suggest “Pedagogy of the Oppressed” for starters. Then go out and find an Indian person and ask them to tell you their story, and really listen. Then if you can manage that, I dare you to take a trip to Whitedog, Ontario (Albert’s community), and spend a day or two there. Then, and only then you might have a teeny tiny bit of understanding about social (in)justice.

      1. Ninoska@live.ca · ·

        “This isn’t about Albert.” WRONG! This is about Albert. A rapist and murderer, and his victim. THAT is what this is about. HE raped! HE killed! HE walked away! HE broke her body! HE acted alone. HE is accountable. HE is responsible!

        She could have been your daughter. Your sister. Your mother. She is someone’s daughter. She is someone’s sister. She’ll never be anybody’s mother. In fact, HE killed her baby.

        When you violate someone else’s human rights, you lose the right to have them applied to you.

        Some time ago, we, society, decided that we were going to love a certain way. Not just white society. Not just Europeans. Not just Natives. Everybody, in their own groups decided that rape and murder was bad. Members of society were informed that if you decided to not live that way, you would be punished. But if you decided to adhere to the contract, you would be protected. You cannot pick and choose the elements that are most convenient to you. You cannot knowingly agree to live under the city’s laws, and decide that when you break those laws, it’s because they just don’t “jive” with you anymore.

        Can something be learned? For sure. Something can be learned from the Holocaust. Something can be learned from the earthquake in Haiti. Something can be learned from just about every single experience in life. But never to commemorate the legacy evil. Albert is evil. Regardless of what made him that way, the fact still remains that he is evil.

        If you’re native, you have no idea what it is to be saddled down with an astronomical student loan. You get education for free. THERE is the option to change the path of the past. The choice cannot be made for you. You come to it yourself, you commit to it yourself, you live it yourself, and you benefit from it. And then, you pass it on to the next generation.

        “Colonization” is an empty excuse. Look at all the civilizations in world history. That is the pattern of humanity. Civilizations rise, and civilizations fall. There is war, territory is conquered, peasants are enslaved. Some take a vicious boat ride across the ocean to be sold at auction and taken to harvest cotton. And some broker a deal in the grandmother’s medicine house. But at the end of everything, when you take your last breath, you want to know that you earned every single breath of your lifetime.

        It sucks that he had crappy parents. It sucks that his mommy didn’t give him enough orange juice. It sucks that his stepdaddy dildoed him. Nobody is denying the fact that crimes were commited against him also. But he chose to perpetuate those crimes. He chose to put that on the next generation.

        You can be forced to be a slave. You can be forced to fight a war you don’t believe in. You can be forced to do a lot of things. But only can choose to be subhuman. He chose. He continues to choose. What has he done to earn the privilege of continuing to live? What has HE done to heal himself?

      2. …Good for you. NDN Gal, your comments are out of context (considering the victims family may read this) and shameful.

        This isn’t the forum for this. In fact, the audience reading this wouldn’t give a shit about social injustice. It’s not about ‘NDN’s’ (nice term by the way) as you would put it.

  7. Mike Cumia · · Reply

    A short piece of rope and a tall tree would put an end to the Muckle problem.

  8. I was in banff working at safeway that week i was horrified what was put on the local news. Since moving back to ontario i havent heard much about what has happened to the victim or how she is doing. He is jut sick. Sicker than any person ive ever seen do something like this.

    I hope when muckle dies he goes straight to hell.

  9. i DONT THINK ANY EXCUSE SHOULD BE MADE FOR THIS MAN. I WORKED WITH JULIE AND SHE WAS AN AMAZING WOMAN. I CAN STILL PICTURE HER BEAUTIFUL FACE WHEN SHE WORKED WITH ME AND THE HALOWEEN AT HER HOUSE. i AM SO MAD AT THIS MAN FOR TAKING AWAY HER WONDERFUL LIFE. i HOPE HE ROTS IN JAIL OR BETTER YET HAS KARMA DO ONTO HIM WHAT HE DID TO HER. i LOVE YOU JULIE AND KNOW YOU ARE A FIGHTER. YOUR BEAUTIFUL SOUL IS STILL INSIDE THAT BODY. ILL BE THINKING OF YOU MY FRIEND.XO XO

  10. I lived in Banff at the time, when I wasn’t working in the Oilpatch. I was just turning 25. It’s been seven years and I still think about Julie. How disturbed I felt when I heard this story will never leave me.

    I now have a 6 year old daughter and can’t imagine what hell the family has gone through. I’ll always keep them in my thoughts and remain hopeful that Julie has found peace and comfort in them. Words can’t express the sympathy I feel for them.

    I have not yet but still plan to give financially to the family through the account set up for her.

  11. [...] As the Calgary Herald exclusively reports here, the convicted Banff rapist is trying to appeal his dangerous offender status. You can read extensive background here. [...]

  12. IWasaBanffgirl · · Reply

    I lived in the same duplex as Julie when this happened. I think of her alot. I just heard Muckle is up for parole. What a shame to even consider this. I hope he remains where he is. I always wonder how Julie is. If she is still fighting.

    1. You are mistaken about parole. Read my more recent post, Muckle Emerges for the facts. So many people are keeping Juli in their thoughts. Saddest story ever.

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