The accused, Jason Wayne MacRae, (DOB: May 12, 1973) and the victim, Paula Ann Gallant (DOB: December 5, 1969) were married July 5, 2003. The couple had one child, Anna Paul MacRae, born January 6, 2005.
They resided together at 41 Silver Maple Drive, Timberlea. Jason MacRae worked in the call centre at Nova Scotia Power and Paula Gallant was a grade 3 teacher at Beechville Lakeside Timberlea School. At the time of Paula Gallant's murder, the couple were preparing to purchase a new home on which they had an accepted offer.
On December 27, 2005, at 8:12 p.m., Jason MacRae contacted the Halifax Regional Police to seek advice, reporting that his wife had failed to return home from shopping. About 45 minutes earlier, MacRae had contacted his wife's sister, Lana Kenny, to inquire of his wife's whereabouts, telling her she had been gone since about 2:00pm. Ms. Kenny had spoken with Paula at about 1:30p.m., and Paula had said she was not going out. This was the last known conversation with Paula Gallant. Ms. Kenny went to her sister's home, and together with Jason MacRae, began phoning Paula's friends, and checking her bank and credit cards on-line for indication of use. Jason MacRae left his home and allegedly drove to the Costco store where he reported Paula had gone to purchase diapers, to see if her car could be located. Family members and friends began a search for her.
Having turned up nothing, MacRae called 911 at 10:14 p.m. and
reported his wife as a missing person, prompting an RCMP response. Four
of the friends and family members searching for Paula, brothers-in-law,
Paul Kenny and Alain Blackburn, sister Lana Kenny and friend, Andrea
MacLean, went to the school where Paula taught, walking distance from
the MacRae-Gallant residence. There, at 12:30 a.m. on December 28,
2005, they located her locked vehicle. Calls were relayed back to the
residence, and to the RCMP, and Jason MacRae attended the school while
Paula's sister, Lynn Blackburn, remained with Anna. With his
brother-in-law, Paul, Jason MacRae banged on the doors of the school,
seemingly to try and determine if Paula was inside. Once the police
arrived, and a second set of car keys were obtained from the residence,
the vehicle was opened. The body of Paula Gallant was found laying in
the fetal position in the trunk under a grey blanket. She was dressed
in jeans and a black nylon jacket with her shoes positioned near her
head. Her purse and car keys were inside the passenger compartment of
the vehicle. She was not dressed in appropriate clothing for the
weather, as she had been when she was observed out earlier in the day.
An autopsy was performed on the body of Paula Gallant. The
cause of death was determined to be asphyxiation and the method of
death, strangulation. Significant findings included marks on her neck,
petechial hemorrhaging in both her eyes and a contusion on the back of
her head. There were no signs of defensive wounds. There was biological
material found on the crotch of her jeans. She was wearing only one
earring. The degree of brain swelling observed was consistent with an
interval of at least several minutes between a lack of oxygen supply and
Jason MacRae was formally interviewed by police on December 28,
2005, January 10, 2006, January 11, 2006, January 30, 2006, and on
February 8, 2006, when he was arrested. In each interview, MacRae
claimed that he had no knowledge of his wife's murder, and maintained
that she had left their home at about 2:00 p.m. on the date in question
to go shopping, never to return.
Throughout the extensive investigation, Jason MacRae remained
the primary suspect in the murder of his wife, though there were no
indications of previous domestic violence, or serious marital discord,
and friends and family members described a loving marriage.
Investigation did determine that an on-line gambling debt of $700.00
that MacRae had hid from his wife, and blamed his brother for, was a
source of friction between the couple. Police were easily able to
re-construct the last days of Paula Gallant's life, which were not
marked by anything out of the ordinary. She and Jason MacRae spent
Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and part of Boxing Day, together with their
daughter Anna, at the home of her sister and brother-in-law, Lana and
Paul Kenny, and their children, along with sister and brother-in-law,
Lynn and Alain Blackburn, and their children. The holidays were
relaxing and joyful, by all accounts, marking Anna's first Christmas.
Paula Gallant and Jason MacRae returned to their home with Anna on
December 26th, and were intimate. On December 27th, Paula Gallant
visited her sister Lana in the morning, dropped by a hardware store, and
began to do some painting in preparation for listing their home for
sale. She thawed chili from the freezer for supper that evening.
In the years following his wife's murder, Jason MacRae
continued to reside in the home he once shared with his wife, along with
his daughter Anna, and his mother. The mortgage on the home was paid out
by insurance. He collects monthly C.P.P. and N.S.T.U. survivor benefits
on behalf of himself and Anna, and received a one-time C.P.P. death
benefit ($2,500.) MacRae submitted a claim on his wife's life
insurance policy of $100,000. but was denied by the insurer. He did not
pay the bill for her funeral expenses ($5,500.), nor put a headstone on
her grave. The unsolved homicide generated intense media interest over
the ensuing years. Against the advice of legal counsel, MacRae gave an
interview to the Chronicle Herald newspaper in December, 2007, in which
he described himself as "heartbroken", and "trying to get through
day by day" without the woman he described as "my best friend" and
"my life". On the same date, he issued the following public
We live in a very close-knit community, everyone says
"Hi" to everyone in the street, and there are always people on
the streets in our neighbourhood, everyday.
I can't understand how something like this tragedy
could have happened in the middle of the day, and no one see anything.
If someone knows something and is afraid to come
forward, it is not too late. Any information, even the smallest detail,
may lead to a break in this case.
My little girl is growing up without her mother because
we have a killer walking amongst us. I do not want this to happen to
If anyone knows anything about this case, please contact
the police or Crime Stoppers.
MacRae contacted the C.B.C. national news program, The Fifth
Estate, saying, in an interview, "maybe something done nationally
might create more awareness and actually bring something to light" (to
catch her killer)
In October 2009, a covert under-cover RCMP operation was
undertaken. Through the means of a ruse, MacRae was introduced to an
undercover officer who, over time, befriended him and purported to offer
him work for a crime syndicate. An undercover operation began,
utilizing a number of scenarios to gain the trust of MacRae. In April,
2010, MacRae voluntarily quit his job at Nova Scotia Power to work
full-time for the alleged crime syndicate.
On August 6, 2010, MacRae met with an undercover operator he was
led to believe had learned that the police had something on MacRae, had
connections and could possibly make his "problem" go away. The
undercover operator maintained that he was the head of the crime
syndicate and that MacRae would have to tell him everything about what
happened to his wife, in order for him to understand MacRae's
situation and what the operator would have to do to assist MacRae.
Pursuant to a Judicial Authorization under ss. 184.2 and 487.01 of the
Criminal Code, this interview was both audio and video recorded,
unbeknownst to MacRae.
Jason MacRae disclosed the following details to the undercover
operator with respect to the events of December 27, 2005:
? He killed Paula Gallant on December 27, 2005, between
2:00 and 2:30 p.m. at 41 Silver Maple Drive, Timberlea, Nova Scotia.
? He describes the layout of the house and the basement
? He and Paula were arguing about a debt on his Visa and
that he lied to Paula about it. This argument took place in the
basement of 41 Silver Maple Drive.
? He said Paula was on the computer, sitting on a chair,
back to him when he went upstairs and returned with a piece of 2 x 4
wood and struck Paula on the back of her head while she was seated.
? He described how he hit the wall with the wood while he
was swinging it towards Paula.
? He states Paula did not go down after being struck but
turned and stood up and faced him and screamed.
? He states he then grabbed her from the front around the
neck and pushed her back into the laundry room area.
? He states he strangled her for a couple minutes with
? He states Paula may have peed herself as her pants were
? He states he knew she was dead because he put saran wrap
around Paula's face and head to see if she was breathing and left it
there for about 20 minutes.
? He states he covered Paula with a sheet and left her in
the laundry room.
? He states he went upstairs and fed his daughter, Anna,
while Paula was in the basement.
? He states after finishing feeding his daughter he goes
outside to see if anyone is around. He returns to the basement, pulls
the sheet off Paula and sits her up and puts a black pullover
windbreaker jacket on her and puts loafer type shoes on her.
? He states he wraps Paula in the beige sheet and slides
her out a window adjacent to the driveway.
? He states he puts Paula in the trunk of her car, a Chevy
? He state he covers her with a grey blanket that is taken
from an emergency kit in the trunk of the car.
? He states one of her shoes fell off and picks it up and
puts it in the car next to Paula.
? He states he left his daughter in her highchair and
drove the car over to BLT school and parked it there. He backed the
vehicle into its parking spot. He describes leaving the keys in the
console between the driver and passenger seats. He then runs home.
Near his home he stops near the mailbox.
? He states he takes his daughter and goes for a drive
around 4:00 p.m. He states he went to the area of Halifax Shopping
Centre and got rid of the 2 x 4 and the saran wrap by throwing them in a
? He states he went to the Credit Union and deposited
$100.00 dollars into an account he had.
? He states he went to a Needs Store on the way home and
? He states he had a small nick on his hand after getting
? He states the next day, he found Paula's earring in
the laundry room. He took it upstairs, and disposed of it in a garbage
can at a Tim Horton's three days later. (This earring had also been
observed by others, at the same time)
? He states at the funeral he checks Paula's nails and
observes they had been clipped.
Following this discussion, the undercover operator persuades
MacRae to provide a re-enactment of the crime, in the house, in order to
assist in understanding how the crime boss can best help MacRae to elude
justice. On August 9, 2010, Jason MacRae disclosed the following
details to the undercover operator about his crime; this interview also
audio and video recorded.
? He went to the basement of his home and indicates that
Paula was sitting at the computer.
? He states that they argued once he told her about his
gambling debt and lying about it. He shows how he went up the stairs
and grabbed a 2 x 4, came down the stairs, and with a right hand swing
shows how he hit Paula in the back of the head.
? He shows the operator the damage to the wall indicating
specifically which spot it was that he hit just prior to hitting Paula
in the back of the head. The damage to the wall is about the same
height as the operator's head as he sits at the computer desk. He
also indicates that he patched the wall later the same day of the
murder. He shows the patch work which is still visible.
? He shows the operator how he strangled Paula by
demonstrating on one of the operators. He grabs the operator by the
front of the neck and pretends to strangle him in the same manner he
strangled Paula. He pushes the operator back into the laundry room
floor and onto the floor.
? He states he squeezed as hard as he could.
? He states that while Paula was on the floor, she said,
"what are you doing, stop."
? He states he pushed her into the left side of the
laundry room away from the door way with her head further from the
laundry room door.
? He describes how Paula made gurgling noises after she is
lying unconscious on the laundry room floor.
? He states he could hear his daughter waking from her nap
on the baby monitor as he strangles Paula.
? He states she was making some gurgling noises after
? He describes how he went upstairs and got the saran wrap
and wrapped Paula's head with it 3 or 4 times to make sure she
? He states he covers her with a beige bed sheet.
? He states that after wrapping Paula's head in saran
wrap, he goes upstairs and gets his daughter up and fed her lunch in her
? He then states after about 20 to 30 minutes he finishes
feeding his daughter and leaves her in the highchair and then goes
outside and checks for possible witnesses or neighbours.
? He states he goes back inside and back downstairs to the
basement, sits Paula up and puts a blue windbreaker on her and shoes on
her and wraps her in the beige blanket and slides her out a window by
? He shows the operators the window and indicates it is
driveway level and the cars trunk is right next to the window and the
car was backed in the driveway.
? He states as he moves Paula from the driveway to the
car, a shoe falls off and he picks it up and puts the shoe in the trunk
next to her.
? He states he places Paula in the trunk of the car.
? He demonstrates how he placed Paula in the trunk to the
operator by moving the operator into the same position. He places the
operator on their left side in the fetal position facing away from him,
indicating this is how he placed Paula in the car.
? He states he covers Paula with a grey blanket from the
emergency kit that was in the trunk of the car.
? He details that the shoes fell off while putting Paula
in the trunk.
? He demonstrates how he placed both shoes next to Paula
in the trunk.
? He directs the operators over to BLT School, indicating
and travelling the route he took on December 27, 2005, and indicates
this was between 3 and 4:00p.m.
? He shows how and where he parked the car.
? He shows that he backed the vehicle into a parking spot.
? He walks with an operator the route he took on foot back
to 41 Silver Maple Drive, crossing the soccer field and using the path
to Tiger Maple Drive and to his house at 41 Silver Maple Drive.
? He describes that he ran from the corner of the school,
across the soccer field, onto Tiger Maple Drive and then walks when he
gets to Silver Maple Drive.
? He walked past his house to the mailbox on Silver Maple
Drive at Red Maple Drive then returning to 41 Silver Maple Drive.
? He describes that he stopped by the mailbox so that if
anyone saw him outside he could state he was getting the mail.
? He describes how he left the car keys in the console
between the passenger and driver's seat.
During the re-enactment, MacRae was asked questions by the
undercover operators about whether he had planned the murder. The
following exchanges occurred:
p. 55 line 1334 - 1345
Voice 3: Um. Just curiosity, like 'cause, I, I___. At
what point, did, did you know you were gonna fuckin' whack her? (Short
MacRae: Um. Honestly, I had thought about it before. I
didn't think I would ever do it. Um, then, yeah. I pretty much knew
I was gonna do it when I did it.
Voice 3: But did you wake up that mornin' and say I'm
gonna tell her and I'm gonna fuckin' whack her right after, or
Voice 3: It just happened like that?
MacRae: Just ah, yeah. It just happened.
Voice 3: But you thought about it before?
Voice 4: Yeah
p. 56 line 1355 - 1375
MacRae: Um, so yeah, I had had thoughts about it but I
didn't think I would ever do it, but
Voice 3: How long before that did you have last thoughts
that you were gonna whack her?
MacRae: The last time I had thought about it?
Voice 3: Yeah
MacRae: Oh, it was ____, Um, yeah, a coupla days before
that probably (Short laugh)
Voice 3: A couple days, did you
Voice 3: But, you were thinkin' like. Doing it that
MacRae: Um. (Sighs) Yeah, if I , I'm tryin' to
think. I thought of it _____. I actually thought to myself how, how
could I do this if I actually did do it.
And ah, yeah, that was pretty much my _____
Voice 3: Like what, what, what was it like
MacRae: ____, Yeah, like I had thought about like, do I
wake up in the mornin' one day and just grab her or, in bed. And
then, I had some different ideas and then that day it just
Voice 3: So what, your ideas. Well, was it , was it like
what you did, or hit her, or choke her, or shoot her
MacRae: To choke her, that was my idea, to choke her
p. 59/60 line 1432 - 1453
MacRae: Honestly, when I look at this (looking at picture of
Paula Gallant and Jason MacRae) I usually, think like, fuck, one day we
Voice 3: Yeah (Clears throat)
MacRae: Like, we were really happy one, at one time. ____.
She's just, she was _____everything in the apartment
Voice 3: Yeah
MacRae: Nothin' could be out like, fuckin'. Forget to take
somethin' downstairs as soon as I finished with it, she'd get on my
Voice 3: Oh Really?
Voice 1: She really needed to be perfect, kinda like you
(name of undercover operator omitted) .____ (Short laugh)
Voice 3: Um, um. That, that, that, that ah, that. A lot
of women are that way though anyway ____, But did you ah, like when you
were ah, thinkin' thinkin' about it. I mean did ya know that, this
is not gonna last. One
day she's fuckin' dead, or?
MacRae: Um, I had, honestly yeah. I think I did
Voice 3: You did what?
MacRae: I pretty much decided that this is, was gonna
have to be done
Voice 3: Like, whack her, or divorce her, or
MacRae: Um, You know, I can't believe ____
Voice 3: You were gonna whack her?
p. 60/61 line 1457 - 1480
Voice 3: like when did you think you were gonna do it
for. If you knew you were gonna whack her?
MacRae: Um, I think, like I say, it was probably only a
couple weeks, maybe a month, that I actually started havin' ideas of,
of doin' it
Voice 3: Yeah. But you, you knew you that. That was
gonna happen, you just didn't know when or
MacRae: Um. I had pretty much decided. Yeah, it was
gonna happen but. I don't know if I actually knew that I would go
through with it
Voice 3: Yeah
MacRae: I mean, it was one day, I was like, fuck yeah,
I'm gonna fuckin' do this and then the next day, no I can't do
Voice 3: But that ___, that, that mornin', like ah.
Okay, she bitches at you for whatever. Money, money. When you got up
that morning, did you know you were going to whack her, or?
MacRae: No (Clears throat) No, in fact, like. When we
got up that mornin' she went out. She went to the hardware store to
get some stuff and then she came back. And then like I say, she
wasn't in the door five minutes and she was just bitching at me about
something and like, I think something just went off and I said, okay,
apparently today is the day.
Voice 3: (Short laugh)
Voice 1: (Short laugh)
Voice 3: Did you like ah, did you say, okay today's the
day and then you just happened to see the wood. Or you saw the wood and
say okay, now this is it
MacRae: I saw the wood and said, yeah, this is it
During his meeting with the alleged crime boss, MacRae described
his wife's murder as a "big fight, it got out of control" telling
the crime boss, "you realize I loved her, I really did" (transcript,
August 6, 2010, p. 36, 37) He elaborated on the fight in the following
p. 48 line 1160 - 1169
Voice 1: Okay. And then you guys had this argument, and
you choke her. You guys weren't getting along or what?
MacRae: (Sighs) No, I mean, we were gettin' along fine, it
was. It was little things. Um. Little petty things, um. Like we'd
have little arguments, but nothing too major. Um. But then she had
just found out that I had just lost a bit of money gambling
Voice 1: Um hmm. So she probably wasn't too happy
MacRae: ___ no, she wasn't happy about that
Voice 1: Is that what you guys argued about?
MacRae: Basically, yeah
p. 64 line 1557 - 1572
Voice 1: Um. I'm just tryin' to think here what else
it could be. (Sighs) so you were sayin' this started over some
Voice 1: How'd she find out about that?
MacRae: Um. I actually ended up telling her. I lied to her
about it at first and told her that I lent my brother the money
Voice 1: Oh, 'cause this was money out of your bank
MacRae: Yeah. And then ah. Ah, she just kept asking me and
Voice 1: I imagine when she found out she was probably
pretty pissed, eh?
MacRae: She was really pissed
Voice: Yeah, women generally don't understand that stuff too
MacRae: No they don't
Voice 1: So, was that when that happened, right then
MacRae: Ah, yeah _________
Voice 1: This argument about the money?
MacRae: Just, pretty much, yeah
In his 2006 police interviews, MacRae denied any link between
this gambling debt and his wife's murder. He initially maintained the
story that the debt was his brother's, but eventually admitted that he
lied and that the debt was actually his, but maintained that Paula died
never knowing the truth. He described that fact as "something (I)
have to live with everyday...I lied to Paula about something." He
stated in 2006 that he knew he had to tell her, but did not want to
bring it up over the holidays, so his plan was to tell her after New
Year's. He said she would not have been too happy if she found out
and would have been surprised, but they would have worked it out.
Jason MacRae was arrested on August 17, 2010, and interviewed
under caution. In his cautioned interview, MacRae made no specific
admissions, but did not deny involvement in his wife's murder.
A warrant to search 41 Silver Maple Drive was executed the same
day. A portion of drywall was excised where MacRae had showed the
undercover operators he had made repairs to the drywall, and the
drywall displays damage, beneath the repair work, consistent with the
act described by MacRae.