1944: Galeazzo Ciano and four other Italian Fascists 1871: Kawakami Gensai

1951: Albert Guay

January 12th, 2008 Headsman

On this date in 1951, Albert Guay was hanged in Canada for one of the earliest commercial airline attacks — bombing a Canadian Pacific Airline flight to murder his wife.

Stuck in a loveless marriage with little recourse to divorce, Guay‘s loins burned for a young mistress.

He engaged a watchmaker colleague, Généreux Ruest, to make a bomb, and the latter’s sister, Marguerite Ruest-Pitre, to air freight it on the doomed plane. Both would maintain their innocence of the plot, but after Guay’s own conviction, he implicated both — possibly in an attempt to delay his own hanging.

A time bomb in the luggage hold of this airplane took 23 lives on September 9, 1949, for which three people were executed — and inspired a copycat crime with 44 more deaths and one more execution.

Guay had intended the plane to explode over the St. Lawrence River, eliminating the forensic evidence, but a slight delay before takeoff laid the damning debris over the land. The flight’s entire complement of four crew and nineteen passengers — including three top executives of the Kennecott Utah Copper Corporation — perished.

The crime had ample media attention both north and south of the Canada-U.S. border — flight still being something of a terrifying novelty for the general public. Guay’s purchase of life insurance for his wife on the day of the trip was not especially inculpatory, but a standard procedure for air travelers.

Guay’s last words caught the irony of his celebrity: “Au moins, je meurs célèbre” (“At least I die famous”).

A few years after this day’s events, an American attempted a similar crime, with similar results.

On this day..

Entry Filed under: 20th Century,Canada,Capital Punishment,Common Criminals,Crime,Cycle of Violence,Death Penalty,Execution,Famous Last Words,Gallows Humor,Hanged,History,Infamous,Milestones,Murder,Notable for their Victims,Notable Jurisprudence,Notable Sleuthing,Pelf,Sex

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4 thoughts on “1951: Albert Guay”

  1. Robert Crestohl says:

    Albert Guay was the lowest scumbag who ever lived. If I had been the executioner, I would have positioned the noose so that his neck wasn’t broken and he would have slowly strangled to death. My his rotten soul rot in hell forever!!!!!

  2. Rayan Alam says:

    What an asshole, instead of just killing his wife he had to go fcking overkill and blow up a plane with children on it

  3. McBride William says:

    Albert Guay was a man who was a man who deserved to die on the Gallows. I hope when he died he chocked to
    Death. I would not want to know his neck snapped making a fast death.

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