Fatal Fare – The Murder of Cabbie Lucie Turmel

Guest Post By Ian: Check out his FB Group HERE

In the early morning hours of May 17, 1990, a high-speed car chase occurred in the small town of Banff, 80 miles west of Calgary in Alberta, Canada. Two cars raced through the sparsely populated streets at speeds reaching 80 mph. The nearly two-mile chase ended when the driver of the pursued car drove down a dead-end street. He abandoned the vehicle and fled on foot into the woods.

The police often encounter such a situation. In this instance, however, it was a cabbie, not a cop, chasing the criminal. One cab had been stolen and was being pursued by another. But the taxi theft was the least of the perpetrator’s crimes.

As the chase ensued, police came upon a gruesome scene two miles away. The body of a young woman lay in the street. Twenty-one-year-old taxi driver Lucie Turmel, whose cab had been stolen, had been brutally stabbed to death.

DNA was recovered from the scene, and everyone who was asked willingly submitted a sample . . . with one exception.

It would take undercover police work and subterfuge to identify the killer of Lucie Turmel. Lucie grew up in La Vie, Quebec, Canada. She moved to Banff, a popular resort town in the mountains, in the fall of 1987 and worked part-time as a driver for the Taxi Taxi Cab Company.

On May 16, 1990, Lucie began her shift at 8:00 p.m. She had a good evening, clearing over $100 in tips working Banff’s busy downtown tourist district.

The evening of May 16 had been mundane for Lucie; the morning of May 17 would be murderous.

At 1:40 a.m. the morning of May 17, Lucie arrived at the Works Night Club, a popular hangout of young people, hoping to pick up patrons as the club’s closing time neared. Her friend and fellow cab driver, Larry Landreau, had the same thoughts as he was already parked at the club.
They chatted for a few minutes before a young man, and two young women got into the back seat of Lucie’s cab.

Lucie called in her destination to the dispatcher, Bruce Farienchek. She said goodbye to Larry and drove away for what would be her final fare.

After completing a couple more fares, Larry called Bruce to say he was calling it a night. He was surprised when his supervisor told him that Lucie had not yet checked in.

Both Larry and Bruce attempted to contact Lucie by radio, but she did not respond. After about 20 minutes, as it was after 2:00 a.m. and all of the bars and clubs had closed, Larry drove around Banff looking for Lucie. He found no sign of her at her last reported stop or her home.

However, while driving less than a block away from Lucie’s home, Larry came upon her cab. He initially felt relieved, as he thought Lucie might have been bringing one of her neighbors home. As he drew closer to the cab, however, he noticed it was being driven erratically; as he drew nearer, he could see it was not Lucie behind the wheel.

Larry tailed the cab for two miles, cornering it at the end of a dead-end street. He caught a brief glimpse of the driver as he fled into the woods. All Larry could make out was that he was a white male.

As Larry was giving chase to the stolen cab, police responded to a report of a body lying in the middle of Squirrel Street, two miles away. When police arrived at the scene, they thought it was likely someone drunk who had passed out in the street. As they neared the body, however, they saw a pool of blood. Lucie lay lifeless, having been repeatedly stabbed in her neck.

Police learned of the cab chase two miles away. They found blood splattered on the front seat, dashboard and steering wheel when they examined the stolen taxi. Lab tests, however, determined none of the blood was Lucie’s.

Police surmised Lucie and her killer had struggled, and the perpetrator had cut himself and bled in the cab, which he stole after killing Lucie. It was unclear whether the killer was Lucie’s last fare or someone who flagged her down.

The murder occurred in a sparsely populated area of Banff in the early morning hours when most people were sleeping. No one reported seeing or hearing anything.

On the evening of May 17, eighteen hours after Lucie’s attack, the murder weapon, a rare kind of hunting knife, was found in a resident’s driveway at the end of a dead-end street. Police learned the knife, wiped of fingerprints, had recently been stolen from a Banff Spring Hotel employee and theorized the killer may have been from out of town.

Lucie’s wallet was also found nearby, but all of her money was missing. Robbery appeared to be the motive for her murder.

The value of Lucie’s life to her killer was little more than $100.

Police received a tip from a man saying his former roommate, Ryan Love, had owned a knife similar to the one used to kill Lucie Turmel and that he had once worked at the Banff Spring Motel as a housekeeper. Love refused to submit his DNA for testing.

Two police officers went undercover and befriended Love. After two-and-half years of earning his trust, they finally caught the break they needed.

In November 1992, the undercover officers seized a handkerchief discarded by Love; DNA matched the blood found in Lucy’s taxi.

In 1994, Love, 18-years-old at the time of the murder, was convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced to 20 years life in prison. His appeal that the DNA evidence used to convict him was obtained illegally was rejected in 1996. An appellate court ruled the evidence was lawfully seized because he willingly discarded the handkerchief.

In 1996, after his appeals were exhausted, Love confessed to killing Lucie, saying he had been high on alcohol and drugs at the time.

Love confirmed he was the man seen by Lucie’s co-worker, Larry Landreau, getting into Lucie’s cab on the morning shortly before she was murdered. Love said Lucie had dropped the two women seen getting into the cab with him at a house party shortly after that. They had no involvement in Lucie’s murder or any knowledge that Love intended to kill her.

Love also confirmed he killed Lucie for her money, determined to be $130. He said he was perpetually broke and wanted to impress his family at a family reunion the following day by arriving with money.

In September 2012, Ryan Love was granted day parole and transferred from a minimum-security prison to a halfway house under curfew.

Under the conditions of his day parole, Love was ordered to undergo psychological counseling, refrain from drugs and alcohol, and forbidden from contacting Lucie’s family.


THIS LIST OF LINKS IS NOT AN ALL-ENCOMPASSING SOURCE CITING. ALL OF THE INFORMATION USED IN THIS ARTICLE CAN BE EASILY FOUND ONLINE. LINKS BELOW WERE USED AS SOURCES AND ARE RECOMMENDED READING FOR SYNOVA’S READERS. SYNOVA STRIVES TO CITE ALL THE SOURCES USED DURING HER CASE STUDY, BUT OCCASIONALLY A SOURCE MAY BE MISSED BY MISTAKE. IT IS NOT INTENTIONAL, AND NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT IS INTENDED.

Further Reading:
Calgary Herald
• Montreal Gazette
• Quebec Journal
Unsolved Mysteries


More About Our Wonderful Guest Blogger:

Ian Granstra is a writer and a native Iowan now living in  Arkansas.Growing up, he enjoyed watching real-life crime shows and further researching the stories featured. He wrote about many of them on his personal Facebook page, and several people suggested he should start a group featuring his writings. Ian founded the Facebook group “Murders, Missing People and More Mysteries” in August of 2018 he writes about many cold cases. The group also features many current criminal cases in the news. When Ian isn’t writing, he enjoys exercising, traveling and collecting sports cards. He’s also a big animal lover (his Facebook nickname is “beagle lover.”)


Support Synova’s Cause:

EACH WEEK SYNOVA HIGHLIGHTS OBSCURE COLD CASES ON HER BLOG AS A VICTIMS’ ADVOCATE WITH MISSOURI MISSING ORGANIZATION. SHE NEVER CHARGES FOR HER SERVICES. IF YOU’D LIKE TO SUPPORT HER IN THIS WORTHY CAUSE, PLEASE CHECK OUT THE AFFILIATE LINKS ON THIS PAGE. BY PURCHASING ONE OF HER BOOKS, OR USING THESE LINKS YOU WILL BE SUPPORTING SYNOVA’S WORK ON COLD CASES AND WILL ENSURE HER ABILITY TO CONTINUE TO GIVE A VOICE TO THE VICTIM’S FAMILY.


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Missouri’s Black Widow on the Run

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia




When a small-town girl dreams of escaping Independence, Missouri, and grows bored with her Mormon husband, what can she do? Divorce wasn’t an option, and her affairs were becoming cumbersome. She staged a murder and blamed it on their two-yr-old. The murder of James Kinne would ignite a bloody tale only Hollywood could conceive. Unfortunately, this story is true, and after the death of at least three, a media circus, and prison escape, the blood-thirsty vixen disappears. What happened to Sharon Kinne? Is she still out there luring men to their graves? 


Sharon Elizabeth Hall was born in Independence, Missouri, on November 30, 1939. This suburb of Kansas City couldn’t hold the dreams of young Sharon, and everyone knew she wanted out. She loved reading fashion magazines and anything about Hollywood. She was a small-town girl headed to California. By the age of sixteen, the young blond-headed beauty was busy looking for a boy who would help her escape Independence. 

James Kinne was a polite, good-looking Mormon boy a few years older than Sharon, but he was in college, and it looked like he was going places. Could he be her white knight ready to whisk her away from small-town life? Manipulative from the beginning, Sharon took the young fervently religious boy head-on and quickly beguiled him into a torrent love affair over the summer. The next fall, however, he was headed back to college and seemed to have no intention of taking her with him. This behavior simply would not do. Sharon had other designs for the young man, and she wouldn’t stop.

That fall, James gets a frantic call from his summertime fling. Sharon was pregnant and now came social astigmatism. What could the good-hearted young man do? It was the 1950s. He was compelled to drop out of college and make things right by marrying Sharon. It’s at this point in the story a strange little side note pops in. In all the articles I’ve read and all the documentaries I’ve watched, I didn’t find anyone who focused on this point. 

To get married, Sharon had to be eighteen or have her parent’s consent. Sharon simply lied on the paperwork claiming she was an eighteen-year-old widow who lost her husband in a car accident. While this tidbit of info may seem unimportant, wait until the end of this story and tell me what you think. 

James and Sharon married on October 18, 1956. The expected child never arrived. Sharon hoped to get pregnant right away to cover up her scheme, but when this didn’t work, she simply feigned a miscarriage. She did finally get pregnant and gave birth to their daughter Danna in the fall of 1957. It was a good thing too. She would need her daughter in a couple of years for an alibi.

After conquering her mild-mannered man, she quickly realized he wasn’t going to bring her the life of luxury she had hoped for. Sharon began having a string of affairs almost immediately after her marriage. It didn’t take James long to decide he wanted a divorce, but his devout parents encouraged him to stay married. This decision frustrated Sharon even more. She wanted out of Independence, but she was stuck, and now she was also trapped in a marriage she no longer wanted. What does she do? The unthinkable.

On March 19, 1960, the police received a call about a shooting. James Kinne lay dying on his bed, shot by his own gun. When the police arrived, a distraught looking wife explains her daughter was playing with the gun, and it simply went off killing James. Police believed the woman; she was always convincing. A few days later, the investigators run a little test and have the child try to shoot an unloaded gun like the one that killed James. They hoped to discredit Sharon’s story but were surprised when the child was not only able to pick up the weapon, and she was able to turn off the safety and to pull the trigger. The police had no case against the widow. 

Two months later, another death drew the attention of the local police. A devoted wife and homemaker was found murdered near a lovers lane out on Phelps Rd. The victim was shot four times, her underclothes stolen, and her dress was pulled up around her chest. It looked like rape and murder, but something was off to investigators. Whoever had done this had thought it through enough to pick up the shell casings. It was beginning to look more like a planned hit. 

The victim was quickly identified as Patricia Jones, the wife of a local car salesman named Walter. Walter had recently sold a beautiful young widow a Thunderbird and quickly began having an affair with the vixen. The girlfriend was none other than Sharon Kinne. Kinne had just received $29,000 (worth $250,000.00 today) from the insurance company after her husband’s death. In fact, after a few days of investigation, the police discovered that Sharon was in the middle of trying the same tactics on Wayne as she did her husband years earlier. Sharon had confronted Wayne claiming she was pregnant and demanded that he leave his wife for her. When he refused, Sharon made other plans. While this story seems obvious, convicting the manipulative criminal would be another story.

Instantly, Sharon Kinne became an overnight sensation. The media was everywhere, and Sharon loved every minute of it. She was smug, arrogant, and beautiful. Some reports claim she owned the courtroom. When the jury found her “not guilty,” a juror tracked her down afterward and asked for an autograph. While the media loved her, the police weren’t finished. They were going to see that this woman was put behind bars. 

In January 1962, Sharon was again in the courtroom, but this time she was accused of murdering her husband. This time she was found guilty, but eighteen months later, it was overturned on a technicality. Sharon was released until a new trial could be set. The third trial ended up in a mistrial, and just before a fourth trip to the courtroom, Sharon slipped town and headed towards Mexico with yet another male fling. 

On September 18, 1964, Sharon was arrested in a Mexican hotel. On the bed lay a dead Mexican-American named Francisco Parades Ordonez. Sharon tried to escape after shooting Francisco but ran directly into the arm of the hotel employee. Enrique Rueda heard the gunshots and was on his way to see what was going on when the beautiful blond woman fled the room. She shot him in the arm in her attempt to flee, but Rueda pushed her back into the room and locked her in until the police could arrive. She tried to pull her normal games, but they didn’t work this time.

Not one of the Mexican policemen believed she had shot the man in self-defense. If Ordonez was trying to rape her, then why was he shot in the back? While searching the room, they found a couple of different guns and a small cache of ammunition. This finding earned Sharon the nickname “La Pistolera: The female gunfighter.”

Missouri’s Black Widow couldn’t seem to face justice in a rural court of law but faced it in the Mexican system. She was sentenced to thirteen years for the murder of Ordonez. It looked like a fitting end for the murderous vixen, but this story is far from over. 

On the night of December 7, 1969, the woman’s prison was having a movie night when the lights went out. After the electricity came back on, Sharon Kinne was nowhere to be found. The Black Widow had escaped, and she’s still missing fifty years later.

While Mexican authorities organized a search, it didn’t take long for them to run out of leads. The case is still open. Some believe she made it across the border into Guatemala, others believe she had inside help to escape the prison and is now back in America. 

While in prison for the murder of Ordonez, Sharon missed the fourth trial for the murder of her husband, James. If she were ever found, she could still face a murder trial half a century after the crime.

Missouri investigators couldn’t pin the murder of Patricia Jones on her because they never found the murder weapon. In the meantime, Sharon was acquitted of this murder. Unfortunately, the Mexican authorities found the gun when they searched her hotel room after the shooting of Ordonez. Ballistics matched the gun to Patricia’s case, but it was too late. Due to double jeopardy laws in this country, Sharon can never be tried for Patricia’s murder again. 

Where is Sharon Kinne? Is she still out there manipulating, conning, and killing her way through life? How many victims does she have? I have mentioned three, but remember that little lie she told to get married to James? Was she actually married before, and if so, was her 1st husband’s death an accident? 

Like so many tales, this one leaves us with more questions than answers. Sharon Kinne would be in her seventies now. It is quite possible she is still alive and living life as someone’s grandma. 


THIS LIST OF LINKS IS NOT AN ALL-ENCOMPASSING SOURCE CITING. ALL OF THE INFORMATION USED IN THIS ARTICLE CAN BE EASILY FOUND ONLINE. LINKS BELOW WERE USED AS SOURCES AND ARE RECOMMENDED READING FOR SYNOVA’S READERS. SYNOVA STRIVES TO CITE ALL THE SOURCES USED DURING HER CASE STUDY, BUT OCCASIONALLY A SOURCE MAY BE MISSED BY MISTAKE. IT IS NOT INTENTIONAL, AND NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT IS INTENDED.


Further Information:

Wikipedia

Murderpedia


Support Synova’s Cause:

EACH WEEK SYNOVA HIGHLIGHTS OBSCURE COLD CASES ON HER BLOG AS A VICTIMS’ ADVOCATE WITH MISSOURI MISSING ORGANIZATION. SHE NEVER CHARGES FOR HER SERVICES. IF YOU’D LIKE TO SUPPORT HER IN THIS WORTHY CAUSE, PLEASE CHECK OUT THE AFFILIATE LINKS ON THIS PAGE. BY PURCHASING ONE OF HER BOOKS, OR USING THESE LINKS YOU WILL BE SUPPORTING SYNOVA’S WORK ON COLD CASES AND WILL ENSURE HER ABILITY TO CONTINUE TO GIVE A VOICE TO THE VICTIM’S FAMILY.


Serial Killin’ Slut : The True Story of Sharon Kinne
“I’m just an ordinary girl.” The Sharon Kinne Story

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