January 29, 2009
Vancouver, British Columbia
The body of William Canning (65) is found following a knife attack

Canning’s body was found in the home of his friend Nirmala Devi Arjun after Arjun called 911 twice to report his death. Police searched the home to find a meat cleaver and a bread knife — presumed to be the murder weapons — in the kitchen sink. Police further searched the surrounding area before telling the public there was “no danger to the other people in the community.”

It was determined Canning had been killed with over 50 wounds inflicted by the knife and cleaver, and had been attacked the night before his body’s discovery. Evidence at the scene showed he had been wounded in one room, moved to another room as the attack continued, and collapsed in Arjun’s bedroom.

Arjun was taken into custody and questioned about the incident, and she explained that Canning would often look after her dog while she was at work. She was released later the same day.

A year and a half later, Arjun was arrested and charged with Canning’s murder. “Homicide investigations are typically very complex and can take a long time,” Const. Lindsey Houghton explained to reporters, “but now we’ve made an arrest, and we’re very happy about that.”

Arjun was convicted of second-degree murder, which, in Canada, carries a mandatory life sentence with a minimum of 10 years and a maximum of 25 years to be served before the inmate reaches parole eligibility. The prosecution requested Arjun be required to serve 12 years before parole while the defense requested 10. British Columbia Supreme Court Justice Gregory Bowden stated that, due to the “extreme violent” nature of the killing, Arjun would be required to serve 12 years before being eligible for parole. Justice Bowden also noted during the sentencing phase that Canning’s murder had no explaination and no apparent motive.

Nirmala Devi Arjun v. Her Majesty the Queen. May 2, 2016. Archived: https://www.scc-csc.ca/case-dossier/info/sum-som-eng.aspx?cas=36568
Fraser, Keith. “Cleaver killer gets life sentence.” The Province [Vancouver, British Columbia]. April 29, 2014
“Jury finds Nirmala Arjun guilty in 2009 Vancouver murder.” Asian Journal. November 8, 2013. Accessed: January 29, 2021. https://www.asianjournal.ca/jury-finds-nirmala-arjun-guilty-in-2009-vancouver-murder/
“Jury finds accused guilty in 2009 Vancouver murder.” The Vancouver Police Department. November 7, 2013. Accessed: January 29, 2021. https://mediareleases.vpd.ca/2013/11/07/jury-finds-accused-guilty-in-2009-vancouver-murder/
“Woman charged in death of New Westminster man.” The Vancouver Sun. July 30, 2010
“Arrest made in murder.” The Province. July 30, 2010
Lindsay, Bethany. “Vancouver woman charged in 2009 murder she reported.” CTV News. July 29, 2010. Updated: May 18, 2012. Accessed: January 29, 2021. https://bc.ctvnews.ca/mobile/vancouver-woman-charged-in-2009-murder-she-reported-1.537101

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