Haines was born in Antigonish, Nova Scotia and attended Morrison High School there. He began researching murders from around the world, past and present, as a hobby. His "Crime Flashback" column made its debut in the Toronto Sun in 1972 with a column about Lizzie Borden. Over the next 35 years, he researched over 2,000 crimes and his "Crime Flashback" column was syndicated across Canada and in several Latin and South American countries. He also wrote 27 true crime books and a memoir, The Spitting Champion of the World, about growing up in Nova Scotia. Readership of his syndicated column was over 3 million per week. He lived in Toronto, Ontario with his wife Marilyn. He retired in 2006.
- Bye Max Haines Toronto Sun Family: 1971 - 2011, 23 May 2007. Retrieved 20 May 2011.
- The Derrick Murdoch Award: Past Winners Crime Writers of Canada. Retrieved 1 Mar 2016.
- Legendary crime writer Max Haines dead at 86 Toronto Sun. Retrieved 1 Oct 2017
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