Friday, October 14, 2011

Inroads of Darkness


The plan was in place. He and his wife would be driving to Pearson Airport that summer day in 1984 to pick up a nephew from Germany. At a certain point returning to London they would leave the 401 for a secondary highway where they would encounter a seemingly broken down vehicle. They would stop, offer help. The hitman would go for his gun and Helmuth Buxbaum would be rid of his wife, Hannah.

This became one of the most notorious murder trials to go through the criminal courts in my home town. Eddy Greenspan would receive much publicity as counsel.

Buxbaum a wealthy owner of a network of Seniors' rest homes and a prominent leader in an Evangelical church, had slipped into a dark, secret second life. Cocaine, prostitutes, pimps, dealers, bikers, crazy alibis, whole weekends lost without account. What had been the threshold for declension leading this man to conspiracy to commit murder? To the readers of the London Free Press this was a modern-day Jekyl and Hyde.

But the plot was doomed at the outset. In the pandemonium, the visiting nephew had ducked down in the back of the car, but he had heard Hannah exclaim right before the gunshots, "Oh Helmuth, not this way!" In fact she had used a nick-name of endearment which escapes me now.

Numerous questions arise for the church and community. About peril, pretension, backsliding, heart condition, thresholds, entrapment, demons, lustful society, sufficiency of grace, repentance anew, fellowship support.

Buxbaum died behind bars in 2007.

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