Canadian True Crime Podcast examines heinous crimes of Kingston’s Richard Joyce

Canadian True Crime is Canada’s top indie podcasts and was named the fifth podcast overall in Canada for 2023. Host Kristi Lee visited Kingston on Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2024, for a public pre-screening of her next episode. Submitted image.

Content warning: This article refers to historic cases of murder, sexual assault, and abduction, which may some readers may find distressing.

With over 55 million downloads, Canadian True Crime is Canada’s top indie podcast and was named the fifth podcast overall in Canada for 2023, according to Apple Podcasts. Podcast host Kristi Lee visited Kingston on Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2024, for a public pre-screening of her next episode, at the invitation of Keri Kehoe.

Lee, who is originally from Australia but has lived in Canada for over a decade, founded the podcast as a personal passion project in 2016 and is its primary researcher, writer, and producer. She was contacted by Kehoe last year around the time Kehoe was preparing her victim impact statement for the upcoming parole hearing of the man who sexually assaulted her as a child in 1990, Richard Charles Joyce. Two episodes of the podcast resulted from Kehoe’s story.

Lee was on hand this week to preview Episode 151 of the podcast. Episode 150, “The Nozzles Gas Bar Murder,” was released last month and is the first part of the double episode about four related monstrous violent crimes committed by Joyce.

Joyce and a partner were convicted of torturing and killing Yvonne Rouleau in 1991 at the gas bar in downtown Kingston. After Joyce had spent years in prison, it came to light through DNA evidence that he was also a serial child rapist.

As to how the connection between Lee and Kehoe took place, Kehoe said she has a friend who is a big fan of Lee’s podcast, and the friend reached out on Kehoe’s behalf to Lee, asking if she would like to feature the crimes of Richard Joyce to raise more public awareness. Kehoe wants to be sure every possible victim who has not yet come forward knows that it is never too late to do so. She is joined in her quest by some members of the Rouleau family and the families of the other child victims of Joyce, whose names are still protected by a publication ban.

Lee said this is not the first time she has been involved with victims of crime, but this time was different.

“This is the only time I’ve ever been asked to be involved in a case like this that involves survivors of childhood abduction and sexual assault,” she said.

As a mom of two kids aged nine and 11 (the same ages as the three children known to have been abducted and sexually attacked by Joyce), Lee said she had misgivings because she knew it would be a hard conversation, but “I really couldn’t ignore Kerri’s strength and determination and all of her organizing and advocacy work that she has been doing.”

Canadian True Crime podcast host Kristi Lee (left) took an emotional journey to Kingston at the invitation of survivor Kerri Kehoe (right). Submitted photo.

Lee did all of the background research with Kehoe’s help; then she started working full-time on this case just before Christmas. As a result, she said, “I’m part of Team Kerri.”

Kingstonist caught up with the podcaster and her subject by telephone while the two of them were in the car together. Just at this point in the interview, Kehoe cut in that they had reached the street where Richard Joyce dropped her off in the summer of 1990 after abducting and sexually assaulting the then 11-year-old.

“This is the road he took me down…. where he dropped me off… He abruptly parked right… on that corner and let me out. So as you can see, on this road, I was running along all the back of these houses,” explained Kehoe, as an air of tension seized the conversation.

Kehoe remembered sensing the shocked and confused eyes of the neighbours as she ran past in her dishevelled state: “I jumped over this fence right here, and the back of my townhouse is just a little ways in there.”

“Wow, did you catch that?” an obviously moved Lee asked the reporter over the phone.

Lee indicated that, having reviewed all the materials provided and the parole board hearing, “I believe that Richard Charles Joyce is a very dangerous man. Calculated.” She is sympathetic to Kehoe’s allegation that the parole officer falsely claimed Joyce was seen as a model prisoner and given positions of trust.

Kehoe considers this a miscarriage of duty and is pursuing it with the Parole Board of Canada.

Lee said that, in her opinion, Joyce “has been… avoiding having a psychiatric report that would diagnose him with pedophilic disorder and likely antisocial personality disorder, otherwise known as psychopathy. He has claimed that it’s depression that caused him to do these things.”

“I’ve worked with quite a few cases on the victims’ side, doing episodes, and this is not abnormal,” Lee observed, going on to say, “[Victims are] all receiving the same kind of treatment with their journeys in the criminal justice system.”

She concluded with her thoughts about the impact of the criminal justice system on victims: “We all know that the… system is set up for the criminal; there is no place for for victims and survivors. They’re often treated like an afterthought, and it should not be like that. The criminal justice system is further re-traumatizing these people who’ve already been through enough.”

Episode 151 of Canadian True Crime airs Friday, Feb. 16. 2024. Episode 150, “The Nozzles Gas Bar Murder,” is already available online. For more information or to listen to the episodes, visit the Canadian True Crime website.

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