Michael Wayne McGray

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Michael Wayne McGray
Michael Wayne McGray

(1965-07-11) July 11, 1965 (age 53)
Criminal penaltyLife imprisonment
Span of crimes
CountryCanada, U.S.(alleged)

Michael Wayne McGray (born July 11, 1965) is a Canadian serial killer convicted for killing seven individuals, and claims to have killed eleven others, between 1984 and 1998.

Early life[edit]

McGray was born in Collingwood, Ontario, but was raised in Argyle, Nova Scotia.[1]


On 1 May 1985, McGray murdered 17-year-old hitchhiker Elizabeth Gale Tucker in Digby County, Nova Scotia, while he was nineteen-years-old.[2] Gregory George Ashford had been interviewed previously in connection with this murder.[3] In 1987, McGray killed Mark Gibbons, an alleged accomplice in a Saint John, New Brunswick robbery.[2]

The National Parole Board expressed concern in 1995 about McGray's problems with anger and substance abuse, and that McGray disappeared for more than a year while on parole, "which clearly indicated a serious breach of trust and a blatant disregard for conditions of release."[4]

On 29 February 1998, McGray was arrested for the murder of Joan Hicks and her 11-year-old daughter Nina in Moncton, New Brunswick, which occurred the day before.[5] He later confessed to stabbing Robert Assaly and Gaetan Ethier in 1991, whom he met at a gay bar in Montreal while on a three-day pass from prison.[5] He pleaded guilty on 20 March 2000 to the murder of Hicks.[2] McGray claims to have killed 11 other victims across Canada, including Halifax, Saint John, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Calgary, Vancouver, and the American city of Seattle. He claimed that he would provide information to the authorities on the killings in exchange for specific demands being met.[6][2]

In May 2001, McGray was charged with a sixth murder, the 1985 killing of Elizabeth Gail Tucker in Nova Scotia. This charge occurred as a result of several interviews he gave the previous year; as a result of the interviews, police across the country re-opened cold case files.[7] McGray blamed his urge to kill on beatings he received as a child, and warned he would kill again if he did not receive proper treatments.[8]

In November 2010, following a transfer to the Mountain Institution medium-security prison in Agassiz, British Columbia, McGray killed his cellmate, 33-year-old Jeremy Phillips. The Crown prosecutor related that McGray claimed that Phillips invented a false hostage-taking scenario where McGray would tie him up, and Philips would then be brought to an infirmary; McGray complied with the plan, and then strangled Philips. Lawyers of the victim's family doubted the claims, as Phillips was scheduled to be released on parole, while two inmates related that Phillips had requested to not be held in the same block as McGray, but prison officers denied the request. A resulting coroner's inquest recommended that serial killers be housed in single cells. The Ste-Anne-des-Plaines Institution, which was reputed to be the highest-security prison in Canada, housed McGray in 2012.[9]