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"BUX" 2007 Obituary


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BUXBAUM o@ca.on.middlesex_county.london.london_free_press 2007-11-03 published
Convicted wife-killer BUXBAUM dies in jail
By Joe BELANGER, Sun Media, Sat., November 3, 2007
Helmuth BUXBAUM, a church-going, millionaire nursing home operator whose double life of sex and drugs imploded with the contract killing of his wife, has died.
Focus of one of Canada's most sensational murder trials in the mid-1980s, he died in prison at age 67.
An official at Warkworth Institution near Peterborough said BUXBAUM died Thursday after being transferred to Kingston Penitentiary Regional hospital because of unspecified health concerns.
Free Press reporter Chip MARTIN, who covered BUXBAUM's trial that ended with a life sentence for the murder of his wife, Hanna, said he was struck by BUXBAUM's double life. "On the one hand, he was a very good family man, a very good businessman and, on the surface, a very religious man and a leader in his faith community," said MARTIN.
"That he had a dark side to his personality -- that he could hang around a bunch of low-lifes and let them exploit him for money in exchange for drugs and sex -- was a real revelation," said MARTIN, author of Buxbaum: A Murderous Affair.
During the trial, BUXBAUM, who had built a Komoka-based nursing home empire from scratch, was described as a cocaine addict who preferred the company of young prostitutes and was desperate to do away with his wife, whom he found dull and unattractive.
MARTIN offered another description of Hanna.
"His wife was a wonderful woman and mother who stood up to him and paid the price with her life."
BUXBAUM reportedly sold the business before his conviction for $23 million.
The Crown's case centred on money, saying nearly $2 million had disappeared from BUXBAUM's bank account and that he had recently taken out a $1-million life insurance policy on his wife.
Hanna BUXBAUM, 48, was shot in the head by a gunman at the side of a highway in July 1984 while a nephew, Roy BUXBAUM, sat in the car.
They had stopped, supposedly to help people having car troubles.
It was later learned BUXBAUM planned the killing earlier in the day, but it was foiled when a police cruiser pulled up after the cars had stopped on Highway 402.
They left and drove to Pearson International Airport to pick up a nephew. The shooting was staged when they returned later that day.
BUXBAUM denied he hired a drug dealer as the hit man.
But at trial, drug dealer Rob BARRETT testified BUXBAUM offered $25,000 plus expenses and a house for someone to kill his wife.
BARRETT said he offered the contract to Pat ALLEN, another London-area drug dealer. ALLEN, sentenced to eight years, testified he agreed to perform the killing, but backed out and let Gary FOSHAY take over.
FOSHAY was convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 25 years.
In a later appeal, rejected by the Ontario Court of Appeal, the defence argued BUXBAUM was insane at the time of the killing because of a stroke suffered two years earlier.
The nephew, Roy, who later sued BUXBAUM, could not be reached for comment.
Despite being behind prison walls, BUXBAUM never quite faded from the limelight, his name regularly resurfacing in the media as recently as January 2005 in a documentary about his lawyer, Eddie GREENSPAN, and in June 2000, when a reporter wrote about BUXBAUM advocating for the rights of seniors in prison.
In that story, BUXBAUM said he still dreamt about reconciliation with his six children and his grandchildren, but knew it wouldn't be easy.
"After so many years, it's like I don't exist," he said. "I'm an inconvenience. They've built their own lives and their own careers. They don't need me."
In the article, BUXBAUM complained about life in prison, especially for seniors.
"There is no mercy in Canada," BUXBAUM said.
"We've lost our mercy, and these old people must die a lonely death in prison."

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BUXBAUM o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2007-11-03 published
Hired wife's killer, jailed millionaire dies
By The Canadian Press, Page A12
Kingston, Ontario -- Helmuth BUXBAUM, a millionaire Ontario nursing home operator convicted in 1986 of the contract killing of his wife, has died.
Warkworth Institution, southeast of Peterborough, Ontario, said in a release yesterday that Mr. BUXBAUM, 68, died Thursday after being transferred to Kingston Penitentiary Regional hospital.
Cause of death was not given.
Mr. BUXBAUM was sentenced February 13, 1986 to life imprisonment for the murder of his 48-year-old wife and business partner, Hanna, after a 68-day trial filled with lurid testimony from a rogues gallery of hookers and drug dealers.
Mr. BUXBAUM, an outwardly respectable churchgoer, was an acknowledged cocaine addict with an appetite for young prostitutes. Testimony indicated he also had a bank account from which $2-million had vanished, and he had recently taken out a $1-million life-insurance policy on his wife.

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BUXBAUM o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2007-11-13 published
He was a pillar of society who put a contract on his wife
In 1984, he arranged the attack, delivered his wife to the scene of the crime and watched her plead for her life before being shot in the head in front of their 14-year-old nephew
By Noreen RASBACH, Page S8
His 68-day trial was nothing less than a Canadian sensation, with newspapers detailing the unlikely ways he used cocaine and the lurid testimony about his unseemly trysts with prostitutes.
In the end, the verdict was quick and damning: The jury took only 12½ hours to find Helmuth BUXBAUM, then 46, guilty of first-degree murder for arranging the 1984 contract killing of his wife and business partner, Hanna.
He didn't just arrange the attack, but drove her to the scene of the crime and watched her plead for her life before being shot in the head. The murder took place at the side of a highway near their home in Komoka, a small town outside London, Ontario The couple and their 14-year-old nephew, Roy, stopped to help the occupants of a car that appeared to have broken down. They were immediately ambushed. When a gunman pulled Hanna out of the car, the long-suffering wife of Helmuth BUXBAUM looked at him and said: "Please honey, no, not this way." She was 48.
"It was a big deal at the time; it was a huge story," said Heather BIRD, who covered the trial for the Toronto Star and wrote a book about the case, Conspiracy to Murder: The Helmuth Buxbaum Trail. "It was also a really, really sad story and a very seedy story."
Prominent Baptist
The tawdry details that came out in Mr. BUXBAUM's trial were in stark contrast to his reputation: Successful businessman, prominent Baptist, devoted family man. He and his wife had built a business operating nursing homes that had made them millionaires, while also raising six children, one of whom was an adopted daughter from Costa Rica. "He was well-known in the community," recalled Greg CALCOTT, the investigating officer in the case who recently retired from the Ontario Provincial Police. "He was wealthy and an absolute pillar in the church."
For her part, Mrs. BUXBAUM was known for her extensive charity work. "She was legitimately loved and respected in the community as being the exemplar Christian woman," Mr. CALCOTT said. "She used to stop street people and buy them clothing.
"That, in contrast to his hypocrisy, brought a lot of interest" to the case, he added.
The case may have been irresistible, with its sex, drugs, money and religion, but Mr. BUXBAUM wasn't. The man who was repeatedly unfaithful to his wife almost from the start of their marriage was anything but charming.
"There was nothing charismatic about Mr. BUXBAUM that I saw," Ms. BIRD said.
Mr. CALCOTT agreed. "He came across as arrogant, but he also came across as very childlike - and I don't mean that in terms of innocence. [He had] a kind of naive understanding of what was happening."
That led to his being taken advantage of by the drug dealers and prostitutes with whom he associated. "He liked the idea of being a big-time operator," Mr. CALCOTT said. "I know that Robert BARRETT [who was convicted of conspiring to kill Mrs. BUXBAUM after testifying he hired the killers] used to get him $1,000 of cocaine and Mr. BUXBAUM would pay him cash. BARRETT would get the cocaine and keep three-quarters of it and give the rest to Helmuth, saying that's what $1,000 of cocaine would look like. Of course, he had nothing to compare it to, so he took it on faith.
"I think that everyone in that group who was dealing with him was ripping him off one way or another," Mr. CALCOTT said.
In 1982, after suffering a stroke, Mr. BUXBAUM's behaviour spun out of control.
By the end of the trial, the entire country knew all the sordid details - that he had sexual relations with more than 100 prostitutes (sometimes two or three at a time), that he wanted to have sex with young girls and boys, and that he was a regular user of cocaine which he injected into his ankle and even his penis. The court heard, too, that he disparaged his wife to the prostitutes.
"Even though he did have all that money, there was nothing glamorous about him or his story," Ms. BIRD said.
Helmuth BUXBAUM grew up in Germany as the youngest in a family of 10 children. At his trial, he recounted how his family spent some time in refugee camps; when he came to Canada at 19, he arrived with no money and only one pair of shoes.
He went to work and studied, part-time, for his Grade 13 diploma. In 1960, he met Hanna SCHMIDT, after being introduced by his parents. They had a lot in common, especially their Baptist faith and hard childhoods. Hanna, who was born in Poland, stopped her formal education at 8, when she was sent to a Russian concentration camp with her mother and brother. She was to spend five years in camps, before being released and eventually reaching West Germany, and later Canada. When Helmuth met her, she had already spent seven years working at a meat-packing plant in Kitchener, Ontario
They married in June, 1961, with dreams of becoming medical missionaries. Two years later their son Paul was born, and not long after that Mr. BUXBAUM finished his diploma and decided it was time to go to medical school. The family moved to London, where he enrolled at the University of Western Ontario as a pre-med student. By Christmas he had dropped out of the program, saying it was too difficult. Instead, he pursued a bachelor of science degree, which he received in 1967.
All that time he was supported by Hanna, who scrimped and saved and managed to purchase a house, then a three-suite apartment building and a farm. Eventually, the couple went into the nursing-home business, where they made their millions.
They raised six children, with Mrs. BUXBAUM fighting to keep the family together despite her husband's repeated romantic dalliances. In June, 1984, he packed his bags but she persuaded him to stay. A month later, on July 5, 1984, she was shot by the side of the road.
A little more than two weeks later, on July 23, the police charged Mr. BUXBAUM with murder.
Children Devastated
The shooting devastated his children. The older ones appeared frequently at his trial, but weren't in court to hear the guilty verdict. Their family friend and pastor, Rev. Douglas DAKIN, who was looking after the children during the trial, said at the time that the children "didn't know what to say" about the verdict. "They didn't know what to do if he got out, and they didn't know what to do if he stays in." Reached this week at his home in Komoka, Mr. DAKIN refused comment on both his and the children's behalf. "They all decided not to say anything."
After Mr. BUXBAUM's conviction on February 13, 1986, the case became even more provocative. During the trial, he had not allowed his first lawyer, Edward GREENSPAN, to play up the fact that he had suffered a stroke and how it had affected his ability to reason. Later, he hired another legal heavyweight, Clayton RUBY, who persuaded him to base his appeal on it. Mr. RUBY argued that Mr. BUXBAUM's stroke had rendered him mentally disabled, and that he was insane when the murder occurred. The proof? Mr. BUXBAUM's refusal to allow an insanity defence to show that he was, in fact, insane. The Supreme Court of Canada refused to hear the case, which effectively ended Mr. BUXBAUM's appeal options. Requests to various justice ministers to review the conviction were denied.
Back In Court
There were other legal battles, too: He took on Mr. GREENSPAN to get back some of the $1-million-plus he had paid in legal fees (which his lawyer James CARTHY suggested were the highest ever in Canada.) Mr. BUXBAUM lost.
He was sued by his brother for involving his nephew in the shooting scheme - and for the teen's "severe and traumatic mental and emotional upset and nervous shock" after witnessing his aunt's murder. The nephew won $400,000, which was reduced by $65,000 upon appeal.
Mr. BUXBAUM also fought for control of his wife's $2.8-million estate, objecting to his children's plan to invest the money in Florida real estate.
In the early 1990s, he gave a number of interviews from prison. He complained he had not had a fair trial. He was pursuing yet another attempt to get a justice minister to review his case. He believed he should be the subject of a royal commission.
At Kingston Penitentiary, his prison job was to wash convicts' underwear; when he moved to the medium-security Warkworth Institution, he learned to use a computer and tutored illiterate prisoners. He married again while in prison, but the marriage didn't last.
Not a lot was heard from Mr. BUXBAUM until 1993, when papers around the country ran a story about a personal ad in placed in the Kingston Whig-Standard newspaper. The man who arranged a hit on his wife, watched her get shot in the head, and shattered his family of six kids in the process, was seeking a new companion. Describing himself as "a Christian, generous, caring, loving man," he was seeking someone who was pregnant or had a baby recently but had no man in her life. He was willing to be "a supporting father for your child and a husband-father for yourself."
It's not known whether there were any takers.
Helmuth BUXBAUM was born on March 19, 1939 in East Prussia, Germany. He died of undisclosed causes on November 1, 2007, at Kingston Penitentiary regional hospital, in Kingston, after being transferred there from Warkworth Institution, near Peterborough, Ontario He was 68. He leaves six children, sons Paul, Mark, Phillip and Daniel, and daughters Esther and Ruth.

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BUXTON o@ca.on.grey_county.owen_sound.the_sun_times 2007-12-28 published
MAITLAND, Donald " Don" McFaul
At the Collingwood General and Marine Hospital on Wednesday December 26, 2007. Donald McFaul MAITLAND of Clarksburg, in his 79th year. Beloved husband of the former Nan MUSGRAVE, of Clarksburg. Father of Marsha WATTS (Tony) of Sunderland; Christopher (Penny) of Collingwood and Charles of Ravenna. Grandfather of Trevor, Virginia, Meghan, Claire, Laura, Tyler and Eric. Predeceased by a sister Frances. The family will receive Friends at the Ferguson Funeral Home, The Valley Chapel, Thornbury on Sunday from 2-4 p.m. Members of Royal Canadian Legion, Branch #281 Beaver Valley will conduct a memorial service at the funeral home on Sunday at 1 p.m. followed by a Masonic service, Beaver Lodge, Thornbury #234 at 1: 30 p.m. A funeral service will be conducted at St. George's Anglican Church in Clarksburg on Monday December 31st at 1: 30 p.m. with Canon William BUXTON officiating. Interment of cremated remains will take place at Thornbury-Clarksburg Union Cemetery at a later date. As your expression of sympathy, donations to the Canadian Diabetes Association would be appreciated and may be made through the funeral home.

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BUXTON o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2007-11-27 published
SKELLY, Vlasta
Beloved mother of Andrei SULZENKO, generous and loving grandmother of Alexa and Ben SULZENKO, glorious mother-in-law of JoAnne SULZENKO, Tracy PATTERSON and Joseph SKELLY, Michael SKELLY, Sylvia BUXTON and their children, Sebastian and Jocelyn, and sister of Boris KERSTING. Died peacefully in Toronto at Perram House early on Sunday, November 25, 2007 after a struggle with cancer.
Vlasta was an astute consumer credit manager, an award-winning bridge player, a fine cook and baker, an avid reader of fiction and "The Economist", and a tennis aficionado. She was predeceased by her husband, Joseph (Zefi) SKELLY, and by his sister, Zina PRISTER.
The family thanks Elizabeth TANASKOVIC, Tracy PATTERSON and Felix KREICHMAN for their Friendship and support. The family is grateful to Perram House and Toronto Western Hospital for their compassionate care. Donations in Vlasta's name to Perram House, 4 Wellesley Place, Toronto, M4Y 2K4, are welcome. At her request, there will be no service, and cremation will take place. A celebration of Vlasta's life will be held at a later date.
Vlasta was a beautiful, sweet woman, who made few demands on life, and whose petite shoes will be impossible to fill.

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