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Classification: Homicide
Characteristics: Paranoid schizophrenic
Number of victims: 1
Date of murder: August 1, 1995
Date of arrest: Same day
Date of birth: October 2, 1951
Victim profile: Brian Smith (famed sportscaster)
Method of murder: Shooting (.22 caliber rifle)
Location: Ottawa, Canada
Status: Found not criminally responsible. Remanded to mental health center. Released 2006

Jeffrey Arenburg (October 2, 1951) is a Canadian gunman, who shot and killed broadcaster Brian Smith in Ottawa on August 1, 1995.

Arenburg, who was paranoid schizophrenic, had gone to Smith's employer, CJOH, because he thought the station was broadcasting messages in his head. Smith was the first broadcast personality that Arenburg saw and recognized coming out of the building.

Following the shooting, police found a list of other Ottawa media personalities in Arenburg's apartment, and an official at the city's press club noted that he had previously ejected Arenburg from the club three times for loudly demanding to see various people on his list. He had also been turned away from the Parliament Buildings several times.

Before moving to Ottawa, Arenburg had been a scallop fisherman in Nova Scotia. He had physically assaulted a radio station manager in Bridgewater in 1992, again citing messages being broadcast in his head.

Arenburg was found guilty of assault and fined $300 or two weeks in jail in the earlier incident, but never showed up for his trial. He had already skipped town and moved to Ottawa; the authorities in Bridgewater decided that it was not worth their while to track him down.

Arenburg was found not criminally responsible in Smith's death, due to his mental condition. He was remanded to the Oak Ridge Division of the Penetanguishene Mental Health Centre. Smith's murder led to renewed calls in Canada for strengthening of the government's gun control legislation.

In 2001, the Ontario Review Board began to grant Arenburg 72-hour release. He applied for full conditional release in 2004.

As of June 2005 he had been living in the Barrie area with his brother since March 2003, and had recently graduated from a community college.

The Ontario Review Board granted Arenburg an absolute discharge from the mental health centre in Penetanguishene in November 2006. According to CFRA, the board heard that he no longer poses a significant risk to the community and no longer suffers from the symptoms of paranoid schizophrenia.

On November 29, 2007, Arenburg was arrested after assaulting a U.S. customs officer in Buffalo, New York at the Peace Bridge International Crossing. According to officials, Arenburg attempted to enter the United States on a commercial vehicle as a passenger and was denied entry due to past criminal convictions.


Brian Smith's killer jailed after border guard attacked

U.S. customs officer punched in the face; widow's fears come true

Andrew Thomson and Gary Dimmock, The Ottawa Citizen

Monday, December 03, 2007

Jeffrey Arenburg, the paranoid schizophrenic who shot and killed a famed Ottawa sportscaster in 1995, is in trouble with the law again after a U.S. border guard was punched in the face last week, CTV reported last night.

Mr. Arenburg used a .22 calibre rifle to hunt down Brian Smith, a former NHLer turned CJOH sportscaster, in the parking lot of the TV station on Aug. 1, 1995.

Mr. Arenburg was spared prison and instead sent to a mental hospital. He was released last year with no restrictions.

Alana Kainz, Mr. Smith's widow, has lived in constant fear that Mr. Arenburg would reoffend.

"I knew it would happen eventually," Ms. Kainz said yesterday. "I expected this. I really did."

According to U.S border officials, the man they jailed is named Jeffrey Arenburg, born on Dec. 30, 1956. According to Citizen files, the man who killed Brian "Smitty" Smith was born in 1956.

Mr. Arenburg is being detained in a Buffalo, New York, jail cell. According to Kevin Corsaro, a U.S. Customs and Border Protection public affairs officer, Mr. Arenburg was flagged after trying to enter the U.S. aboard a commercial bus.

Mr. Arenburg said he had planned to shop in the Buffalo area.

Once border guards ran his name in the computer system, they realized Mr. Arenburg had been refused entry in the past because of criminal convictions. Moments later, they showed him into an interview room.

According to Mr. Corsaro, Mr. Arenburg allegedly lost control and punched a border guard in the face, leaving him with a cut upper lip. Mr. Arenburg was quickly subdued and taken to a jail cell. The officer was taken to hospital.

Assaulting a federal officer carries a fine and/or imprisonment up to one year.

The border guards will now forward Mr. Arenburg's case to immigration enforcement officials and he will appear in bail court as early as today.

Privacy laws prevent the details of those convictions from being released to the public, said Mr. Corsaro.

Mr. Arenburg is being detained at the Erie County Holding Center, a maximum security facility in downtown Buffalo that houses 680 inmates, pending criminal prosecution by the U.S. Attorney's office.

Born in 1956 in the farming hamlet of Upper Northfield, 100 kilometres southwest of Halifax, Mr. Arenburg was the fourth of five boys. His family raised cattle and sold produce.

Mr. Arenburg, a grade school dropout, left the family farm and tried his hand at fishing scallops in Digby, N.S.

Years later, he walked into a Nova Scotia radio station and asked to see the manager. He claimed the station was sending out a frequency that broadcast propaganda messages in his head. He then punched the station manager.

Three years later, Mr. Arenburg killed Mr. Smith.

Mr. Smith was a pro-athlete but really gained fame as a legendary sportscaster in Ottawa at CJOH, now called CTV.

Mr. Arenburg was sent to a Penetanguishene mental health centre in 1997 after being found not criminally responsible for shooting Mr. Smith.

Mr. Arenburg had already been granted a conditional discharge in May 2004, which required him to report to the centre once a month, take a regular urine test, not consume alcohol or non-medical drugs, not own a weapon, and live in Barrie with his brother.

The Ontario Review Board gave Mr. Arenburg an absolute discharge in November 2006, meaning he was free to live where he wanted without restrictions.

The board ruled Mr. Arenburg no longer posed a significant risk to the community, had taken his medication faithfully for nine years, and hadn't displayed any aggression or psychotic episodes. He was no longer required to visit a psychiatrist, though the board heard that Mr. Arenburg had found a doctor in Barrie and realized his need for continued care.

He was volunteering two days a week for the Canadian Red Cross, and planned to find work in Alberta and be closer to his daughter. However, the review board's final report suggested there was a 24-per-cent chance he would offend again within 10 years of release.

The Crown and Mr. Smith's widow opposed the full discharge, wondering how the mental health centre could change its opinion on Mr. Arenburg's risk level from a similar hearing in 2005.

"Once he's out of the system, he's out of the system," Ms. Kainz, a former Citizen reporter, said yesterday. "I think the review board has some questions to answer."

Neither Mr. Arenburg's brother nor James Lunnie, the Midland lawyer who handled his review hearing, could be reached for comment yesterday.

The Ottawa Citizen 2007


Jeffrey Arenburg


Jeffrey Arenburg is shown arriving at the Royal Ottawa Hospital under police guard in a 1995 file photo. (Sun Media/Derek Ruttan)


The victim

Broadcaster Brian Smith



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