Canada Stabbing Fugitive Has 59 Earlier Convictions

Myles Sanderson remains at large after deaths of 11 in Saskatchewan
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 6, 2022 11:18 AM CDT
Canada Stabbing Fugitive Has 59 Earlier Convictions
Damien Sanderson, left, is dead, and his brother, Myles Sanderson, is at large.   (Royal Canadian Mounted Police via AP, File)

Tuesday is day three of the manhunt in Canada for 30-year-old Myles Sanderson, suspected in a brutal stabbing spree in the province of Saskatchewan. Police say Sanderson and his brother Damien killed 10 people and wounded another 18 in and around James Smith Cree Nation and in the nearby town of Weldon, reports the CBC. On Monday, Damien was found stabbed to death himself, and police say the wounds weren't self-inflicted. The latest:

  • Long record: The CBC reports that Myles Sanderson has no fewer than 59 convictions over the last 20 years or so for offenses including assault, assault with a weapon, robbery, and assaulting a police officer. His parole records also document instances of rage, including when he forced his way into an ex-girlfriend's home and punched a hole in a door.
  • Substance abuse: Sanderson started using cocaine at 14 and has struggled with substance abuse since "late childhood," per the story, based on parole records. "Your regular use of cocaine, marijuana, and hard alcohol would make you 'lose your mind' and ... you can be easily angered when drunk, but are a different person when sober," states one parole document.

  • Unclear motive: Police say Sanderson and his brother stabbed their victims at 13 different locations over the weekend, per the AP. No motive has been established, but leaders of the Indigenous community pointed to long-standing issues of drug and alcohol abuse plaguing the community. "This is the destruction we face when harmful illegal drugs invade our communities, and we demand all authorities to take direction from the chiefs and councils and their membership to create safer and healthier communities for our people," said Bobby Cameron, chief of the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations, per USA Today.
  • Forgiveness? The AP collects this quote from Ivor Wayne Burns, a resident of the James Smith Cree Nation: "We have to forgive them boys. When you are doing hard drugs, when you are doing coke, and when you are doing heroin and crystal meth and those things, you are incapable of feeling. You stab somebody and you think it's funny. You stab them again and you laugh."
  • On the run: The body of Sanderson's brother was found near one of the earlier crime scenes, and police say Sanderson himself may also be injured and seeking medical aid. Police haven't specified whether Sanderson is suspected of murdering his own brother. As of Monday afternoon, police suspected he was still in the provincial capital of Regina, reports the Regina Leader-Post, though new tips about possible sightings were diminishing. Schools were open on Tuesday, but they were deploying special security precautions, per the Leader-Post.
(More Saskatchewan stories.)

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