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spaminator

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HUNTER: Why Gabby Petito's disappearance got so much publicity
Author of the article:Brad Hunter
Publishing date:Sep 23, 2021 • 10 hours ago • 3 minute read • Join the conversation
Gabby Petito is pictured in a photo provided by the FBI
Gabby Petito is pictured in a photo provided by the FBI PHOTO BY HANDOUT /FBI
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“Was the victim at any time a blond?”— New York tabloid reporter at morning NYPD press briefing, 1990’s.

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Gabby Petito became the most famous missing woman in America overnight.


The pretty, flaxen-haired Long Island woman was young, bubbly and had a heavy social media presence. She was also white.

Chances are you have never heard of Pepita Redhair. The Navajo woman vanished mysteriously in March 2020 from Albuquerque, New Mexico. Aside from some local coverage there has not been a media feeding frenzy.

Why the difference?


Some critics are calling it the “Missing White Woman Syndrome” as if the amount of melanin in their skin makes a difference. It is, however, a legitimate question: Why the ink and airtime for Gabby but not someone like Pepita?

One of the main reasons isn’t the colour of her skin but geography. Gabby was a New Yorker, which meant the New York tabloids were going to cover her disappearance and these raucous newspapers have an out-sized influence on the American conversation. Plus, she lived in Florida, another major media market.

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Still, the search for Gabby ended in tears in a lonely national park in Wyoming on Sunday. Her boyfriend, Brian Laundrie, who cops call a person of interest in her disappearance and murder, has also vanished.

Pepita Redhair. CNN is nowhere to be found in disappearance of New Mexico woman.
Pepita Redhair. CNN is nowhere to be found in disappearance of New Mexico woman. PHOTO BY HANDOUT /TWITTER
According to a government report, in Wyoming, where Petito’s body was found, just 18% of Indigenous female homicide victims get newspaper coverage, compared with 51% for white female and male victims.

Missing and murdered Black, Hispanic and Indigenous women don’t get the kind of coverage that Gabby Petito has had. And that rubs many the wrong way — as it should. Their lives are not worth less than a toothy Tennessee cheerleader who disappears.

In this country, we’ve had our own agonies with this and spent hundreds of millions of bucks on the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls inquiry. Nothing concrete has emerged from this horrific crisis other than feel-good lip service to assuage guilty white people in the Annex.

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Last April, I wrote about a parallel inquiry in the United States that not only tries to do better but vowed to bring justice to these women and girls.

Gabby Petito, right, and beau Brian Laundrie.
Gabby Petito, right, and beau Brian Laundrie. PHOTO BY GABBY PETITO /INSTAGRAM
The first Native American Secretary of the Interior, Deb Haaland, announced the formation of the Missing and Murdered Unit within the Bureau of Indian Affairs Office of Justice Services. It will not be compromised of bureaucrats (see Canada).

Instead, top homicide detectives from around the country, tribal police, the FBI and the U.S. Marshals will aim to solve these horrendous crimes.

University of Western Ontario criminologist and cold-case expert Michael Arntfield told me in April it was unfortunate so little has been done in the way of investigations in Canada

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“We should explore the same approach, ask the same questions and maybe solve some cold cases of these women and girls, ” Arntfield said.

“In the U.S., they aren’t just indulging in politics and going through the motions of solving these terrible crimes. They actually mean business.”

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Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie.
Was Gabby Petito boyfriend's hike a 'ruse' to help him escape?
Brian Laundrie and Gabby Petito on first date.
Witness saw Gabby Petito's missing fiance 'acting weird'
Gabby Petito, right, and beau Brian Laundrie.
GABBY PETITO CASE: 911 caller saw boyfriend 'slapping the girl'

The term “Missing White Women Syndrome” shares the casual cruelty of so many of the bonfires ignited by the left. That smirking righteousness when you interchange the words Indigenous, Jewish, Latin or Black with white, well, you sound awfully racist.

But real life isn’t a hashtag as the relatively sane amongst us know.

Pepita Madalyn Redhair is 29 and vanished on March 29, 2020.

She is 5-foot-1, 141 pounds, with brown hair. She has a dinosaur tattoo on her right forearm, a koi fish on her left forearm and several other unspecified inkings.

bhunter@postmedia.com

@HunterTOSun
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spaminator

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Was Gabby Petito boyfriend's hike a 'ruse' to help him escape?
John Walsh questions what proof there is that the young Florida man was actually at his parents' home

Author of the article:Brad Hunter
Publishing date:Sep 23, 2021 • 13 hours ago • 2 minute read • 13 Comments
Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie.
Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie. PHOTO BY GABBY PETITO /INSTAGRAM
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The boyfriend of murdered YouTuber Gabby Petito has done a vanishing act and now detectives fear he may have left the country.

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For most of the past week, FBI agents and local police have scoured a Florida nature reserve for any sign of Brian Laundrie, 23.


One expert said Laundrie could be “almost anywhere.”

His parents are now under the microscope after they finally told cops last Friday that their son had gone for hike on Sept. 14 and hadn’t returned. That gave him a three-day head start if he planned on running.

The latest developments come as Gabby’s stepfather, James Schmidt, made a small memorial at the site where the 22-year-old’s remains were found.

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Brian Laundrie and Gabby Petito on first date.
Witness saw Gabby Petito's missing fiance 'acting weird'
Brian Laundrie and Gabby Petito on first date.
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Gabby Petito, right, and beau Brian Laundrie.
GABBY PETITO CASE: 911 caller saw boyfriend 'slapping the girl'

Schmidt left a stone cross and flowers at the Spread Creek Dispersed Camping Area in the Bridger-Teton National Forest, according to The Independent.

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“We did go – the small cross with flowers was made by Jim and myself,” friend Gary Rider told the newspaper. “That larger cross was not done by anyone connected with the search or recovery of Gabby.”

YouTuber Gabby Petito was found dead in Wyoming.
YouTuber Gabby Petito was found dead in Wyoming. PHOTO BY GABBY PETITO /INSTAGRAM
Meanwhile, an expert believes Laundrie may have used his parents as patsies in his escape plan.

“People that are trying not to get caught for something sometimes use people, right?” Chris Boyer told Insider. “So he may have told his parents that’s where he’s going. They may be telling the authorities that in all honesty, but he lied to them.”

Cops have named Laundrie as a person interest in Petito’s death.

The pair were traversing the country in a van and were posting their adventures on YouTube.

“There’s any number of ways that he could have hitchhiked or somehow found a collaborator to give him a ride somewhere,” Boyer said. “He may not even be in Florida. He’s had eight days to be on the run right now. He could be almost anywhere.”

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Police tape is seen outside the family home of Brian Laundrie, 23, in North Port, Fla., Sept. 22, 2021.
Police tape is seen outside the family home of Brian Laundrie, 23, in North Port, Fla., Sept. 22, 2021. PHOTO BY SHANNON STAPLETON
When Laundrie returned home alone, he immediately lawyered up and refused to cooperate with detectives.

Former America’s Most Wanted host John Walsh told CNN he thinks claims Laundrie hunkered down at home were a “ruse” and a “red herring.” He questions what proof there is that the young Florida man was actually there.

“Has anybody seen any confirmation that he was in that house?” Walsh said. “All this time, the FBI and the North Port police have been going on the word of Laundrie’s parents and their lawyer that he’s in the house.”


The time gap is a “great amount of time to prepare for an escape” and to have “scrubbed the van,” Walsh said. “My philosophy is, he never went to the swamp … His parents and the lawyer … bought him four days to get out in front of this.”

bhunter@postmedia.com

@HunterTOSun
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spaminator

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Gabby Petito's boyfriend charged with using her bank card; arrest warrant issued
Author of the article:Reuters
Reuters
Dan Whitcomb
Publishing date:Sep 23, 2021 • 5 hours ago • 3 minute read • Join the conversation
Gabby Petito, right, and beau Brian Laundrie.
Gabby Petito, right, and beau Brian Laundrie. PHOTO BY GABBY PETITO /INSTAGRAM
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Gabby Petito’s boyfriend, whom police have sought for six days in connection with the 22-year-old travel blogger’s death during their cross-country road trip, was charged on Thursday with fraudulently using her bank debit card.

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A search warrant was issued for Brian Laundrie, 23, after a grand jury in U.S. District Court in Wyoming indicted him on a single count of unlawfully using the card and Petito’s personal identification number. He was not charged in her death.


“While this warrant allows law enforcement to arrest Mr. Laundrie, the FBI and our partners across the country continue to investigate the facts and circumstances of Ms. Petito’s homicide,” FBI Denver Special Agent in Charge Michael Schneider said in a statement.

“We urge individuals with knowledge of Mr. Laundrie’s involvement in this matter or his current whereabouts to contact the FBI,” Schneider said.

The indictment accuses Laundrie of spending $1,000 or more on the card between Aug. 30 and Sept. 1. Petito was last seen alive on Aug. 24. Investigators appear to believe she was killed sometime from Aug. 27-30.

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Americans have followed the case closely in the media since Petito was reported missing by her mother, Nicole Schmidt, on Sept. 11. Ten days earlier Laundrie returned home to North Port, Florida, without her from the road trip.

Petito’s body was discovered on Sunday near the remote Spread Creek Dispersed Campground in Bridger-Teton National Forest in western Wyoming. Coroner’s investigators have ruled her death a homicide, but have not revealed the cause of death.

Police and FBI agents using divers, tracking dogs and helicopters have been searching for Laundrie in the Carlton Reserve wilderness area near North Port since Friday, when his parents told them that he had gone there to hike three days earlier.

Search teams ended a sixth day of searching the alligator-infested wilderness as darkness fell on Thursday, saying they would resume the search on Friday.

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SUSPICIOUS TEXT MESSAGES

The FBI on Thursday asked for information from members of the public who may have had contact with Laundrie or Petito at the Spread Creek Dispersed Campground from Aug. 27-30.

Petito’s remains were found less than 1,000 feet (300 m) from where, on the evening of Aug. 27, another pair of travel bloggers caught video images of the couple’s 2012 white Ford Transit van parked along a dirt road.

Petito, who was documenting the couple’s “van life” road trip on social media, posted her final photo to Instagram on Aug. 25, the same day that she last spoke to her mother by phone.

The family believes the couple was headed to Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming at the time.

Schmidt received text messages from Petito’s phone on Aug. 27 and Aug. 30, but suspects that someone other than her daughter sent them, according to investigators.

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In one text Petito’s grandfather is referred to by his first name, which Schmidt says was out of character for her daughter. The second message said only “No service in Yosemite,” the national park in California that Petito and Laundrie are not believed to have visited during their trip.

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Gabby Petito is pictured in a photo provided by the FBI
HUNTER: Why Gabby Petito's disappearance got so much publicity
Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie.
Was Gabby Petito boyfriend’s hike a 'ruse' to help him escape?
Brian Laundrie and Gabby Petito on first date.
Witness saw Gabby Petito's missing fiance 'acting weird'

Petito and Laundrie, who met at a Long Island, New York, high school, left New York in early July heading west, and posted on social media as they traveled through Kansas, Colorado and Utah.

On Aug. 12, a 911 caller reported that Laundrie was slapping and hitting Petito in front of the Moonflower Community Cooperative in Moab, Utah.

Moab police stopped the van on a highway near Arches National Park. Body camera footage showed Petito crying as she described an argument that escalated into her slapping Laundrie as he drove. The officers did not detain the couple but told them to spend the night apart.
 

spaminator

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Did Gabby Petito's missing fiance escape to Toronto?
Flight attendant posts photo taken outside unidentified Toronto hotel

Author of the article:Brad Hunter
Publishing date:Sep 24, 2021 • 20 hours ago • 2 minute read • 20 Comments
A screengrab from a TikTok video shows Brian Laundrie, left, and a lookalike spotted in Toronto.
A screengrab from a TikTok video shows Brian Laundrie, left, and a lookalike spotted in Toronto. PHOTO BY CWLYNN /TIKTOK
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A photo posted by a flight attendant of a man outside a Toronto hotel looks chillingly like the fiance of murdered YouTuber Gabby Petito.

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The woman said that the man — who looks similar to Brian Laundrie — appeared “flustered,” the U.K. Sun reports.


According to the tabloid, the woman, who uses the handle @cwlynn, took to TikTok and said she saw the man Monday.

He then got into a car and drove away with another man and woman.

The flight attendant shared the snapshot of the balding man who was sporting a lot of facial hair and wore a mask around his chin. The sharp-eyed woman then told staff at the unidentified hotel.

Gabby Petito, right, and beau Brian Laundrie.
Gabby Petito, right, and beau Brian Laundrie. PHOTO BY GABBY PETITO /INSTAGRAM
Petito, 22, of Long Island and Laundrie, 23, of Florida embarked on a cross-country trip in early June but by August their relationship appeared to be souring, according to friends and witnesses.

The YouTuber was last heard from near the end of August and her mom reported her missing on Sept. 11. Her remains were found last Sunday at a national park in Wyoming and cops are calling her death a homicide.

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Laundrie is a person of interest in her disappearance and death. The FBI have announced an arrest warrant for his “activities following the death of Gabrielle Petito.”


In the interim, Laundrie has vanished. His parents say he told them he was going for a hike in Florida but didn’t return. They didn’t report him missing for three days.

Laundrie has been charged with one count of use of unauthorized access devices — a Capital One debit card, which he allegedly used about three days after Petito was last seen alive.

Missing poster for Gabby Petito who disappeared in August.
Missing poster for Gabby Petito who disappeared in August. PHOTO BY HANDOUT /AWARE
Back in Toronto, the flight attendant said a hotel worker told her Laundrie’s doppelganger “didn’t know where he was going and he had the wrong hotel.”

The woman posted the image alongside one from Laundrie’s Instagram page.

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“You can see the dip in his mustache and the ears are bent down (in her photo), but my ears bend down when I wear a face mask,” she said on TikTok. “It looked so much like him — it made me feel really nauseous because I’ve never seen him in person, like many of you haven’t, and this is exactly how I imagined he would look.”

She added: “I did inform the hotel (that she thought it was Laundrie) and the employees at the hotel didn’t have any idea about the case, which was concerning.”

Meanwhile, another woman has come forward claiming that she too picked up Laundrie hitchhiking in Wyoming in August.

Norma Jean Jalovec told Fox News that she was going to drop off Laundrie in the Spread Creek Dispersed Campground — the area where Petito’s body was found Sunday.

And then he changed his mind and attempted to “get out of the moving car.”

bhunter@postmedia.com

@HunterTOSun
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Blackleaf

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Status Quo bassist Alan Lancaster dies aged 72

26th September 2021
BBC News

Alan Lancaster of Status Quo performs at 02 Apollo Manchester on April 5, 2014 in Manchester, England


Status Quo founding member and bassist Alan Lancaster has died aged 72, the band's manager has confirmed.

Lancaster had several international hits with the group during the 60s and 70s including Rockin' All Over The World and Whatever You Want.

Manager Simon Porter said: "This is such sad news."

Lead singer Francis Rossi said: "Alan was an integral part of the sound and the enormous success of Status Quo during the 60s and 70s."

Rossi and Lancaster began performing together in the 1960s under a number of different band names before settling on Status Quo.

The group went on to have four UK number one albums, according to the Official Charts Company.

He said in a statement: "We were friends and colleagues for many years and achieved fantastic success together as the Frantic Four alongside Rick Parfitt and John Coghlan.

"Although it is well documented that we were estranged in recent years, I will always have very fond memories of our early days together and my condolences go to Dayle and Alan's family."

Mr Porter gave his "sincere condolences" to Lancaster's wife Dayle and the family.

"It was an absolute pleasure to be able to reunite the original line-up for two sell-out tours in 2013-14 and to give Status Quo Frantic Four fans a final legacy and such a lasting memory," he said.

"Although Alan was not in the best of health even then, he got through the tours with determination and grit and was a pleasure to work with."

Status Quo bassist Alan Lancaster dies aged 72 - BBC News
 

spaminator

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What Happened to Gabby Petito?
S34 E2 42min TV-14
"48 Hours" goes inside the disappearance of Gabby Petito and the hunt for Brian Laundrie. CBS News national correspondent Jericka Duncan reports. Air Date: Sep 25, 2021
 

Blackleaf

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John Challis, best known for playing arrogant second hand car dealer Boycie in the classic BBC sitcom Only Fools and Horses (1981-2003), has died of cancer aged 79.

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spaminator

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Utah police knew Brian Laundrie hit Gabby Petito, new audio reveals
The Moab City Police Department is now under investigation for its handling of the “domestic dispute”

Author of the article:Denette Wilford
Publishing date:Sep 27, 2021 • 13 hours ago • 2 minute read • Join the conversation
Brian Laundrie and Gabby Petito standing outside their white van in front of Monument Rocks.
Brian Laundrie and Gabby Petito standing outside their white van in front of Monument Rocks. PHOTO BY BRIAN LAUNDRIE /Instagram
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Newly released dispatch audio shows the Utah police officers who pulled Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie over in August were told he was the alleged aggressor, not Petito.

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“RP (reporting party) states seeing a male hit a female, domestic,” the dispatcher clearly says in audio obtained by KSTU at 4:38 p.m. MT on the day of the incident.


“He got into a white Ford Transit van, has a black ladder on the back, Florida plate.”

An officer is heard asking for the witness’s contact information and victim location, and the dispatcher again indicates that Petito was struck, KSTU reports.

“Phone number is (redacted), name’s (redacted),” the dispatcher said at 4:42 p.m. “I’m not sure (inaudible), but the female who got hit, they both, the male and the female, both got into the van and headed north.”

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A screengrab from a TikTok video shows Brian Laundrie, left, and a lookalike spotted in Toronto.
Did Gabby Petito's missing fiance escape to Toronto?
Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie.
Was Gabby Petito boyfriend's hike a 'ruse' to help him escape?
Gabby Petito is pictured in a photo provided by the FBI
HUNTER: Why Gabby Petito's disappearance got so much publicity

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Despite the 911 caller telling dispatchers he saw a man slapping a woman outside the Moonflower Community Cooperative, officers considered charging Petito after seeing scratches on Laundrie’s face, reported Fox News.

Utah law states that officers are required to make an arrest or issue a citation when they have “probable cause to believe that an act of domestic violence has been committed,” reported the network.

Instead, cops made no arrests, nor did they issue any citations. Rather, they chose to separate the couple for the night. Police drove Laundrie to the Bowen Motel in downtown Moab and left Petito with the van.

The Moab City Police Department is now under investigation for its handling of the “domestic dispute” between the couple as a “breach of police department policy.”

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Brett Tolman, a former attorney in Utah, told Fox the officers likely will face disciplinary action.

“I think they will find that they sort of manipulated the situation to not take someone into custody,” said Tolman. “I think the fact that they had another eyewitness that is not involved in it, and is objective, and said ‘he hit her’ … you’re going to have a majority of officers take him into custody.”

On Sunday, FBI agents returned to Laundrie’s Florida home to gather personal belongings of the missing man for DNA testing, reported the New York Post.

This comes after an earlier raid this month where agents left the home with several items after questioning Laundrie’s parents.


The latest FBI visit came as hundreds of mourners honoured Petito at a memorial service in Long Island, where she grew up.

“The entire planet knows this woman’s name,” her father, Joe Petito, said during the service, according to the Post. “And she’s inspired a lot of women and a lot of men to do what’s best for them first.”

He added, “If there’s a relationship that might not be the best for you, leave it now.”

dwilford@postmedia.com
 

Blackleaf

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England 1966 World Cup winner Roger Hunt dies aged 83

BBC News
28th September 2021

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Former Liverpool and England striker Roger Hunt has died at the age of 83.

Known as 'Sir Roger' to Liverpool fans, Hunt was part of England's 1966 World Cup-winning side and is the club's record league scorer with 244 goals.

The forward won 34 England caps, scoring 18 international goals after making his debut in 1962 when Liverpool were in English football's second tier.

Hunt played in every game of the 1966 World Cup and scored three times to help England out of their group.

"Roger Hunt comes second to no-one in his importance in the history of Liverpool FC, that much is clear," said Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp.

Liverpool players wore black armbands in their Champions League group game against Porto in Portugal on Tuesday.

 

spaminator

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Gabby Petito's boyfriend was 'mad at the world' day before she vanished: Witness
Author of the article:Brad Hunter
Publishing date:Sep 28, 2021 • 9 hours ago • 2 minute read • Join the conversation
Brian Laundrie and Gabby Petito standing outside their white van in front of Monument Rocks.
Brian Laundrie and Gabby Petito standing outside their white van in front of Monument Rocks. PHOTO BY BRIAN LAUNDRIE /Instagram
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The day before YouTuber Gabby Petito vanished her temperamental boyfriend reportedly was a grey, throbbing muscle of resentment at a Montana watering hole.

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Brian Laundrie, 23, has now himself disappeared and is wanted in connection with Petito’s murder as law enforcement scours the U.S. looking for him.


Now, a 44-year-old Louisiana man is describing the chilling encounter he had with Laundrie at Bullwinkle’s Saloon in West Yellowstone, Mont. on Aug. 26.

Sitting at the bar was Laundrie, wearing a hoodie and drinking by himself, Hunter Mannies told the New York Post. He was giving off an “uncomfortable vibe,” Mannies said, as Laundrie moaned about Southerners and Republican voters.

“He was just mad at the world, it seemed like. I didn’t pay attention to him other than that he and this other couple were the only ones in there,” Mannies told the Post.

Petito disappeared the next day.

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Brian Laundrie and Gabby Petito on first date.
Brian Laundrie and Gabby Petito on first date. PHOTO BY GABBY PETITO /Instagram
At the bar, Mannies, along with a friend and the other couple, were enjoying a few drinks got together.

“The convo got into hunting and guns and politics,” Mannies told the Post, adding that Laundrie burst into the conversation without being invited.

“The guy just looked mad and then at some lull in the conversation, he said, ‘Stupid Southerners and f***ing Republicans.'”


The other couple responded: “Stupid Southerners? She and I both have ‘Dr.’ in front of our names. Do you?”

Mannies said he laughed and asked Laundrie where he was from and he introduced himself.

“I said, ‘Let me ask you this, New York. What did you expect to find in a small mountain town in the middle of nowhere Montana? Did you expect to find a bunch of Democrats?'”

MORE ON THIS TOPIC

Brian Laundrie and Gabby Petito standing outside their white van in front of Monument Rocks.
Utah police knew Brian Laundrie hit Gabby Petito, new audio reveals
A screengrab from a TikTok video shows Brian Laundrie, left, and a lookalike spotted in Toronto.
Did Gabby Petito's missing fiance escape to Toronto?
Gabby Petito is pictured in a photo provided by the FBI
HUNTER: Why Gabby Petito's disappearance got so much publicity

That appeared to be the end of the matter but Mannies said Laundrie was emitting a “weird vibe.” His friend thought Laundrie “had that serial killer look.”

“He was overly invested in our conversation. We felt watched,” Mannies said. “He wasn’t talking to the bartenders. He was there alone. It just stood out as odd.”

bhunter@postmedia.com

@HunterTOSun
 

spaminator

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Swedish 'Mohammad' cartoonist Lars Vilks killed in car crash
Author of the article:Reuters
Reuters
Publishing date:Oct 04, 2021 • 16 hours ago • 1 minute read • 11 Comments
Swedish artist Lars Vilks, known for his drawing of Prophet Muhammad, takes part in a freedom of speech discussion in Helsinki, April 14, 2015.
Swedish artist Lars Vilks, known for his drawing of Prophet Muhammad, takes part in a freedom of speech discussion in Helsinki, April 14, 2015. PHOTO BY VESA MOILANEN/LEHTIKUVA /REUTERS
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STOCKHOLM — Swedish artist Lars Vilks, who stirred worldwide controversy in 2007 with drawings depicting the Prophet Mohammad with the body of a dog, was killed in a car crash near the southern town of Markaryd on Sunday, police said.

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Vilks, 75, who had been living under police protection since the drawings were published, was traveling in a police vehicle which collided with a truck. Two police officers were also killed.


“This is a very tragic incident. It is now important to all of us that we do everything we can to investigate what happened and what caused the collision,” Swedish police said in a statement on Monday.

“Initially, there is nothing that points to anyone else being involved.”

Most Muslims consider any depiction of the founder of Islam as offensive.

Since the publication of the cartoons, Vilks had been living under round-the-clock police guard following threats against his life. He had a bounty put on his head and his house was fire-bombed.

In 2015, one person was killed in Copenhagen, Denmark, at a meeting meant to mark the 25th anniversary of an Iranian fatwa against British writer Salman Rushdie, which Vilks attended.

Vilks was widely seen as the intended target.

Vilks had said that the cartoons were not intended to provoke Muslims, but to challenge political correctness in the art world.
 

spaminator

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Citytv icon Peter Silverman dead at 90
'We solved many things for people just by making one phone call'

Author of the article:Mark Daniell
Publishing date:Oct 07, 2021 • 4 hours ago • 2 minute read • Join the conversation
Citytv reporter Peter Silverman pictured in 2005.
Citytv reporter Peter Silverman pictured in 2005. PHOTO BY STAN BEHAL /Toronto Sun
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Famed TV icon and consumer advocate Peter Silverman has died at the age of 90.

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“He believed in Tikkun Olam, the Jewish philosophy that you were put on Earth to repair the Earth and help others,” his wife, Chess, told CityNews.


Silverman was best known as the host of Silverman Helps, which aired on Citytv from 1989 to 2008.

The segment saw Silverman, who began his career with Global before joining Citytv in 1981, tangling with an assortment of bad business owners on behalf of wronged customers. In one segment, he went viral after he tussled with an optician accused of selling counterfeit glasses.

“Oh, I’m sorry. Did I hit you? Did I hit you?” Adam Plimmer yelled at Silverman in 2007. “Get outta here.”

Silverman never backed down saying, “I’m a hard person to hurt.”

In another episode, he warned an overzealous offender who tried to manhandle him to “Watch it, buddy!” The line became one of his most popular catchphrases.

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“We solved many things for people just by making one phone call,” Silverman told the Sun in 2008.

When Silverman Helps was cancelled just a year shy of its 20th anniversary, Silverman told the Sun’s Joe Warmington “it hurt.”

“In my mind I was hoping to get a one-year extension from Rogers so I could make it 20 years,” the two-time Gemini nominee and 2005 winner of the Edward R. Murrow Award for broadcast excellence said. “But even if it was to end Aug. 31, that would have been okay with me too. But to be called in and have our segment pulled as of that second was not pleasant.”

In 2009, when Silverman was awarded the province’s top honour, the Order of Ontario, he said, “I am deeply honoured and touched.”

After losing his job at Citytv, Silverman went on to host a radio show on CFRB.

mdaniell@postmedia.com
 

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Charges upgraded to first-degree murder against man accused in law firm stabbing
Author of the article:Kevin Connor
Publishing date:Oct 12, 2021 • 14 hours ago • 1 minute read • Join the conversation
Banting graduate Julia Ferguson, 29, died in a Toronto hospital Sunday, after she was stabbed while working as a receptionist at Toronto criminal defence law firm Hicks Adams LLP. A Toronto man is charged with second-degree murder in her death. (Supplied/ Postmedia Network)
Banting graduate Julia Ferguson, 29, died in a Toronto hospital Sunday, after she was stabbed while working as a receptionist at Toronto criminal defence law firm Hicks Adams LLP. A Toronto man is charged with second-degree murder in her death. (Supplied/ Postmedia Network)
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A man charged in the death of a female employee at a downtown law firm had his charges upgraded to first-degree murder on Tuesday.

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On Thursday, Sept. 2, at 1:52 p.m., Toronto Police were called to the law firm of Hicks Adam LLP at 238 King St., E. for a stabbing.


Police located law firm employee Julia Ferguson, 29, suffering from a stab wound and she was rushed to hospital but died three days later.

Osman Osman, 33, of Toronto, turned himself in to police and was charged with attempted murder followed by a second-degree murder charge after Ferguson’s death.

Police have said this wasn’t a random attack.

Hicks Adman has not commented on this case.

On Tuesday, Osman appeared in College Park court where his charges were upgraded to first-degree murder.

Julia Ferguson, 29, was stabbed Sept. 2, 2021 while working at law firm Hicks Adams LLP on King St. E. in Toronto. She died Sept. 5.
Julia Ferguson, 29, was stabbed Sept. 2, 2021 while working at law firm Hicks Adams LLP on King St. E. in Toronto. She died Sept. 5. PHOTO BY HANDOUT /Toronto Police
“The investigation is ongoing and further evidence was uncovered that supported the upgraded charge. The case is before the courts and no further details with be released at this time,” said Const. Jen Sidhu.

His lawyer has said in court Osman has mental health issues.

He has been remanded in custody.


A GoFundMe page was set up for the Ferguson family and has raised $78,348.

“Even in her passing Julia will be helping others seeing that she decided to be an organ donor. She felt it was important to give anything she could to those in need. She will live on in our memories and through those she has and will help,” the GoFundMe said.
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Michigan man dead after horrific accident with wood chipper
Author of the article:Denette Wilford
Publishing date:Oct 21, 2021 • 13 hours ago • 1 minute read • Join the conversation
Deputy Chief Curt Lawson of the West Bloomfield Police Department during a news conference.
Deputy Chief Curt Lawson of the West Bloomfield Police Department during a news conference. WJBK
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A horrifying mishap with a wood chipper has left a Michigan man dead.

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The 48-year-old man, whose identity has not been released, was working as part of a three-person crew at a home in West Bloomfield, Mich., on Tuesday morning, reported WJBK .


Police received a 911 call from one of his co-workers, saying the man “had been found inside of a wood chipper,” said Deputy Chief Curt Lawson of the West Bloomfield Police Department.

When emergency crews arrived, the man was conscious and was treated by paramedics, who fit him with a tourniquet.

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They transported to a local hospital but he died en route, according to the news station.

An investigation by the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration is being conducted separately from the one open by police.

Officers took witness statements into account and are looking at all the evidence, including whether the equipment had malfunctioned, but it may have simply been a tragic accident.


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“Every indication at this point is that his jacket may have been caught on a branch that was being fed into the wood chipper,” said Lawson.

“Our hearts go out to the workers on the scene and of course the victim’s family.”
 

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Nurse, 65, dies a few years after Yonge St. van attack left her paralyzed
Author of the article:Kevin Connor
Publishing date:Nov 05, 2021 • 12 hours ago • 1 minute read • Join the conversation
Amaresh Tesfamariam, 65, who was paralyzed in the April 2018 Yonge St. van attack, passed away and was laid to rest on Thursday, Nov. 4, 2021.
Amaresh Tesfamariam, 65, who was paralyzed in the April 2018 Yonge St. van attack, passed away and was laid to rest on Thursday, Nov. 4, 2021. GoFundMe
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A woman paralyzed in the 2018 Yonge St. van attack has passed away and was buried Thursday.

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Hundreds attended the funeral of Amaresh Tesfamariam at the Medhaine Alem Eritrean Orthodox Church on Ramsden Rd. in York.


In April 2018, ten people were killed and 14 others injured when a white rental van plowed into pedestrians on Yonge St. near Finch Ave.

It was driven by Alek Minassian, 25, of Richmond Hill.

The violent act left Tesfamariam, 65, who used to be a nurse, paralyzed.

Her life was drawn out and stolen, said Lily Cheng, co-founder of the We Love Willowdale organization.

“The community came together and she wasn’t alone these past years, Cheng said. “The whole story is sad and quite upsetting.”

A GoFundMe page, set up after she was injured, said “Amaresh is warm, caring, hilarious and a phenomenal nurse whose presence is a light in the lives of those around her.”

“This fund is being set up for her because her life has taken an extreme change for the worse. She’s an elderly woman who lives on her own with no kids or husband.”
ala snackbar. 🪦 :(
 

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Ontario Senator Josee Forest-Niesing dies at 56 after battle with COVID-19
Author of the article:Canadian Press
Canadian Press
Publishing date:Nov 20, 2021 • 6 hours ago • 2 minute read • 25 Comments
Senator Josee Forest-Niesing.
Senator Josee Forest-Niesing. PHOTO BY HANDOUT /Josee Forest-Niesing
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OTTAWA — Josee Forest-Niesing, a lawyer and Ontario senator, has died shortly after being hospitalized with COVID-19. She was 56.

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Forest-Niesing’s office said earlier in the week that the Sudbury, Ont., senator returned home last Saturday after being admitted to hospital with the virus.


The statement noted she was fully vaccinated against COVID-19 but was considered especially vulnerable due to an autoimmune condition that had affected her lungs for the last 15 years.

“She therefore obtained the two doses of the vaccine as soon as possible, being warned however that the effectiveness of the vaccine would be reduced due to her medical condition and that she would have to take extra precautions,” read the statement released Tuesday.

Despite her vigilance, she fell victim to the virus, her office said.

In the statement, Forest-Niesing thanked the medical personnel who had cared for her, and urged Canadians to get vaccinated.

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“Senator Forest-Niesing would like to remind all Canadians of the importance of vaccination and remains convinced her fight would have been much different if it had not been for this protection,” read the statement released Nov. 16.

George J. Furey, the speaker of the Senate, confirmed her death in a statement on Saturday, in which he described Forest-Niesing as “an ardent and passionate defender of access to justice in both official languages.”

A lawyer by trade, Forest-Niesing is described on the Senate’s website as a proud Franco-Ontarian who had recently discovered her Metis heritage.

“In addition to practicing law for nearly 20 years at a law firm providing services in French, she has contributed to her community as a member or chair of numerous boards of directors, including the Art Gallery of Sudbury, the Carrefour francophone de Sudbury, and the University of Sudbury,” the biography read.

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She also belonged to several associations that promoted access to French-language legal services across Canada.

She had represented Ontario in the Senate since October 2018.

Several politicians, senate colleagues and members of the legal community went online Saturday to express their sadness at her death.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he was thinking of her loved ones as they mourn.

“On behalf of the Government of Canada, Sophie and I extend our deepest condolences to the family, friends, and colleagues of Senator Forest-Niesing, a dedicated public servant and a champion for minority language communities,” he said in a written statement.

“Witty, graceful, a passionate champion of Franco-Ontario, and of human rights and social justice, she brought intellectual rigour and compassion to every debate,” wrote Alberta Senator Paula Simons on Twitter.

Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly also expressed condolences to Forest-Niesing’s family on Twitter, describing her death as “a great loss for the Franco-Ontarian community and for Canada.”

Details of a memorial service were not immediately available.
 

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Nebraska zoo's three 'beloved' snow leopards die of COVID-19
Just a few thousand snow leopards are estimated to be living in the wild

Author of the article:Washington Post
Washington Post
Reis Thebault
Publishing date:Nov 15, 2021 • 5 days ago • 3 minute read • 21 Comments
Everest the snow leopard at the Lincoln Children's Zoo.
Everest the snow leopard at the Lincoln Children's Zoo. PHOTO BY LINCOLN CHILDREN'S ZOO /Facebook
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The three big cats delighted visitors to the Nebraska zoo for years – pouncing on pumpkins during Halloween, preening for pictures and lounging on rocks in their enclosure.

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The Lincoln Children’s Zoo has described the snow leopards as silly, bubbly and handsome. They were one of the zoo’s main attractions, delivering a dose of mountain majesty to the Great Plains.


But on Friday, the zoo announced that the leopards – Everest, Makalu and Ranney – had died of complications from COVID-19, about one month after the animals had tested positive for the coronavirus. While scientists are still studying the effects of the virus on animals, members of several species have been infected and died in zoos around the world. Snow leopards are considered vulnerable to extinction, with just a few thousand estimated to be living in the wild.

The Lincoln cats “were beloved by our entire community inside and outside of the zoo,” the zoo said in a statement. “This loss is truly heartbreaking, and we are all grieving together.”


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Two Sumatran tigers, Axl and Kumar, were also infected, but the zoo said Friday that they “have made a seemingly full recovery from their illness.”

The zoo will remain open to the public. The park said it has strict coronavirus protocols in place for animal areas, including mask use for staffers working inside. An investigation did not determine the cause of the outbreak, it said.

It is possible for humans to infect cats with the coronavirus and for cats to pass it on to other cats, according to the Cornell Feline Health Center. However, the Cornell center said, there is not yet evidence that cats can infect people. The Food and Drug Administration classifies the risk for animal-to-people spread as low.

Last month, the park said its animal keepers had “observed symptoms consistent with the virus in felids,” which can include coughing, fatigue and loss of appetite. They collected nose swabs and fecal samples, and the cats tested positive soon after, the zoo’s first and only cases.

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In a statement in October, the zoo said the infected animals were being treated with steroids and antibiotics, but it did not say whether they had been vaccinated. Zoetis, a former Pfizer subsidiary based in New Jersey, has provided an animal-specific coronavirus vaccine to zoos across the country. The Lincoln Children’s Zoo did not immediately respond to an interview request.


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The three snow leopards’ exploits have been documented in dozens of the zoo’s social media posts over the years. A video from last year shows Everest executing a backflip onto a pumpkin, and a 2015 post celebrating his recent arrival noted that he “quickly became a guest favorite with his playful and energetic personality.” Ranney, meanwhile, had a penchant for posing for photos belly-up and snoozing on stones.

Since April 2020, when a tiger tested positive for the coronavirus at the Bronx Zoo, dozens of animals in captivity in the United States have become infected. This month, the Denver Zoo reported the world’s first two coronavirus cases in hyenas, and the St. Louis Zoo found eight positive cases among its big cats, including in two snow leopards.

Snow leopards have also been infected at the Louisville Zoo and the San Diego Zoo, where 9-year-old Ramil began having a cough and a runny nose in July. Abroad, the virus has killed a lion in India and two tiger cubs in Pakistan.


Alex Herman, vice president of veterinary services at the Oakland Zoo in California, where big cats are getting vaccinated, told The Washington Post last month that it is important to get animals the shots to help slow the spread among all species.

“Humans are being devastated around the world. Animals are being devastated by it as well,” she said. “It’s one health.”
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'SNL' writer and cast member Peter Aykroyd, brother of Dan, dead at 66
Author of the article:WENN - World Entertainment News Network
Publishing date:Nov 22, 2021 • 18 hours ago • 1 minute read • 5 Comments
Peter Aykroyd is pictured in "The Java Junkie" sketch on "SNL."
Peter Aykroyd is pictured in "The Java Junkie" sketch on "SNL." PHOTO BY SNL /Twitter
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Former Saturday Night Live writer and cast member Peter Aykroyd has died aged 66.

A tribute aired during Saturday’s episode of the late-night sketch show, with a clip from the 1979 Tom Schiller short Java Junkie being shown, in which Peter played the role of coffee addict Joe.


The show’s Twitter account also posted the video with a tribute card at the end, writing “Peter Aykroyd… 1955-2021 SNL ’79-’80… The Java Junkie. (sic)”

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Peter was the younger brother of comedian Dan Aykroyd. No further details surrounding his passing, including a cause of death, are known at the time of writing.

Peter joined SNL in 1979 during its fifth season and, alongside the team, was nominated for Outstanding Writing in a Variety or Music Program at the 1980 Emmy Awards.


As an actor, he starred in the likes of 1985’s Spies Like Us, 1993’s Coneheads, and 1999’s Justice. He co-wrote the 1991 flick Nothing But Trouble with his brother, who also helmed and starred in the movie alongside John Candy and Demi Moore.

Peter also co-created the long-running Canadian sci-fi series Psi Factor: Chronicles of the Paranorma, which ran between 1996 and 2000.

Dan, who also appeared on SNL between 1975 and 2013 in various roles, is yet to comment on the sad news.
 

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Death of Wiarton Willie, the albino weather-predicting groundhog, confirmed
A Groundhog Day festival has taken place in Wiarton since 1956

Author of the article:Denis Langlois, Postmedia News
Publishing date:Nov 24, 2021 • 18 hours ago • 3 minute read • 14 Comments
Ontario Premier Doug Ford posed for pictures with Wiarton Willie Feb. 2, 2020, in Wiarton.
Ontario Premier Doug Ford posed for pictures with Wiarton Willie Feb. 2, 2020, in Wiarton. PHOTO BY DENIS LANGOIS /Postmedia
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Wiarton’s famous weather-predicting albino groundhog has died.

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A tooth abscess caused Wiarton Willie’s untimely demise prior to his annual Groundhog Day prognostication earlier this year, according to South Bruce Peninsula Mayor Janice Jackson.


The town finally confirmed the news of his death Tuesday — more than nine months after the red-eyed rodent was noticeably absent from a pre-recorded Prediction Morning video — saying Willie’s “big brown understudy” will be making the next Feb. 2 prediction.

“Albino groundhogs are rare and between not having a replacement, COVID banning gatherings and Willie’s 65th anniversary, we felt it was a great opportunity to pay tribute to the history of Wiarton Willie, so we shot a cute video,” Jackson said.

“We have been searching for an albino ever since, but when the end of the summer was approaching and groundhogs would soon be hibernating, our window of opportunity was quickly closing, so we adopted a brown groundhog.”


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The new Wiarton Willie was found locally and is living in the “understudy home,” attached to the Ross Whicher Centre in Wiarton.

“We are just getting to know him, however, he’s an insatiable eater, about four years old and very curious,” Jackson said.

The town is still searching for an albino groundhog, she added.

South Bruce Peninsula also announced Tuesday that Prediction Morning will be returning to an in-person format.

“We look forward to gathering together for a live event in 2022. It will be great to be able to celebrate Willie’s prediction together, as a community,” Jackson said in a statement.

Each Groundhog Day, people gather in Wiarton to see if Willie will see his shadow — heralding six more weeks of winter — or does not see his shadow — indicating an early spring.

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Due to the pandemic, the 2021 prediction was recorded and posted online.

Jackson announced in the video it would be an early spring after tossing a woman’s fur hat in the snow.


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Willie’s absence sparked speculation that the groundhog had died.

A town-issued news release only added fuel to the speculation. It began with “Is Willie alive or dead? Would you question the Easter Bunny or Santa Claus?”

The most recent albino Willie, found on a farm in Oro-Medonte, took over the role of Canada’s most-famous weather prognosticating groundhog in 2017.

He forecasted when spring would arrive in 2018, 2019 and 2020 — a month before COVID-19 was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization.

Before stepping into the spotlight, he had served as an understudy, with the name Wee Willie, until his predecessor’s death in 2017.

Town officials had tried to find an understudy for their new Willie and even offered a $1,000 reward in 2019 for anyone who could find a “Willie-in-waiting.”

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Wee Willie’s predecessor, who had been captured in a live trap in the Markdale area, forecasted the arrival of spring from 2007 to 2017.


Before that Wiarton Willie, the town had received three new Willies from the Ottawa area, but two of them were found dead in late 2003. They may have frozen to death or succumbed to some consequence of water seepage into their tunnel.

The third groundhog served as Wiarton Willie until 2006 when he died of an infection at age eight.

His predecessor had died in 1999 — just two days before his big prediction. Festival organizers, at the time, said he was 22 years old.

Since no stand-ins were available, organizers decided to present to the world a stuffed groundhog, in a small wooden coffin with coins over his eyes, on Groundhog Day.

A Groundhog Day festival has taken place in Wiarton since 1956 when the event’s founder, the late Mac McKenzie, decided to throw a mid-winter party in a local tavern with some friends.