(5 January 1948 – 7 November 1976) was a Canadian spree killer
who, in 1967, avoided Canada's then-mandatory death penalty
for capital murder
by being found not guilty by reason of insanity
. Abandoned by his teenage mother soon after his birth in Windsor
, Ontario, Lamb had an abusive upbringing at the hands of his step-grandfather, leading him to become emotionally detached from his relatives and peers. He developed violent tendencies that manifested themselves in his physical assault of a police officer at the age of 16 in February 1964, and his engaging in a brief shoot-out with law enforcement ten months later. After this latter incident he spent 14 months, starting in April 1965, at Kingston Penitentiary
, a maximum security prison
in eastern Ontario.
Seventeen days after his release from jail in June 1966, Lamb took a shotgun from his uncle's house and went on a shooting spree around his East Windsor neighborhood, killing two strangers and wounding two others. He was charged with capital murder, which under the era's Criminal Code
called for a mandatory death penalty, but he avoided this fate when the court found, in January 1967, that he had not been sane at the time of the incident. He was committed for an indefinite time in a psychiatric unit. Over the course of six years in care at Penetanguishene Mental Health Centre
's Oak Ridge facility he displayed a profound recovery, prompting an independent five-man committee to recommend to the Executive Council of Ontario
that he be released, saying that he was no longer a danger to society. The Council approved Lamb's release in early 1973 on the condition that he spend a year living and working under the supervision of one of Oak Ridge's top psychiatrists, Elliot Barker. (Full article...