Canadians have a hard-won international reputation for being a friendly, polite and generally lovely bunch of people. Centuries of apologising for everything and giving citizens in the northern United States relatively easy access to free health care have helped the whole world grow fairly fond of Canada. This high regard, however, may be on the verge of collapsing, thanks to one eccentric and extremely grisly cook.
According to a report in the Chronicle Herald, a 20-year-old Canadian man is facing two gruesome charges of possessing a stolen skeleton and interfering with human remains after he was allegedly found boiling the bones and drinking the resultant broth. Lucas Dawe, who was apprehended after a witness passed on the details of his crime to authorities, has also been accused by said witness of licking the bones after they’d been stewing in the pot.
The police initially became involved in the macabre incident after discarded human remains were discovered by the T’railway walking trail, near the All Saints Parish church cemetery in Conception Bay South. The subsequent investigation revealed that Dawe had broken into the cemetery and made-off with the remains of an unidentified man from the 1800s. He carried the corpse a little way, before preparing his meal a little way down the trail.
The Archdeacon of the Anglican Diocese of Eastern Newfoundland and Labrador, Sam Rose, was understandably shaken by the crime. Speaking to reporters during the aftermath of the incident, he said, “When someone buries their loved one in a graveyard, there's the assumption this will be their final resting place as we say in the liturgy, so when this happens in such a shocking violation of that sacred act, it was [shocking] for me, personally.”
Perhaps unsurprisingly, this type of crime is almost unheard of in the 26,000-strong Conception Bay South community. Local chief medical examiner, Dr. Nash Denic, said that the incident was the first alleged grave robbery he's seen in Newfoundland, adding that, "Cases like this, this is the first time that I know of and I was involved in in Newfoundland," in an interview with CTV news.
Despite the many horrific aspects of the story, relatively little is known about Dawe’s motivation for the crime. The Chronicle Herald also reported that his trial has been postponed for a second time this week, after he was unable to find a lawyer to represent him. They also revealed that an embarrassed Dawe was escorted into court by sheriffs with his head underneath his coat, and asked the officers to guide him into the courtroom because he couldn't see where he was going. Whether he manages to keep his face obscured throughout the duration of the trial remains to be seen. For now, however, the law continues to have several bones to pick with the accused.