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David John GORTON





Classification: Mass murderer
Characteristics: Jealousy
Number of victims: 5
Date of murders: September 16, 1997
Date of arrest: 12 days after
Date of birth: 1960
Victims profile: Heidi Challand, 28 (his fiance) and her children Robert, 12, David, 9, Calvin, 6 and Jewel, 2
Method of murder: Beating with an axe
Location: Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada
Status: Sentenced to life in prison with no parole for at least 25 years on December 11, 1997

Sept. 19, 1997: Heidi Challand and her four young children were bludgeoned to death with an axe in their Black Creek home on Vancouver Island. Challand's partner John Gorton was later convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison with no parole for at least 25 years.


David Gorton (6)

As the family of Heidi Challand wiped their tears, David Gorton, her fiancee, pleaded guilty on December 11, 1997, to murdering her and her four children. David, 37, told police he "snapped" because he thought his fiancee -- who he was to marry a month later -- was being unfaithful. Not one to hold back bludgeoned to death her and four of her children with an ax.

A veteran in bloody manhandling of his lovers, evidence presented in the British Columbia Supreme Court showed that in 1977 David lured his 16-year-old girlfriend to a secluded spot and stabbed her 19 times. She was hospitalized for a month.

In 1983, he attacked his then-wife with a knife and served two years for aggravated assault.


Canadian Familicide

September 19, 1997

Police launched a nationwide manhunt after a woman and her four children were found bludgeoned to death were discovered at the family home in Black Creek, a tiny rural community between Courtenay and Campbell River on of Vancouver Island.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police said they were looking for the woman's common-law husband, 37-year-old David John Gorton. Although the autopsies are yet to be performed, Staff Sgt. Russ Grabb said the deaths appear to have taken place three to four days ago.


David Gorton Mass Murderer

Mass murderer David Gorton pleaded for God's mercy Tuesday as a judge sentenced him to life in prison for the axe-murder of his fiance and her four children. 

"I am sorry for what I've done and I pray God will forgive me and have mercy on my soul," Gorton said softly as he stood shoeless in front of a judge and a courtroom packed with relatives of his victims. 

Gorton, who is on a suicide watch in prison, pleaded guilty to the first-degree murders of Heidi Challand, 28, and her children Robert, 12, David, 9, Calvin, 6 and Jewel, 2. 

The victims were bludgeoned repeatedly in the head last September after Gorton became suspicious that Challand was having an affair.



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