the OTTAWA WAY
GUILTY BY GENDER IN CANADA’S CAPITAL
Demetrios (Jim) Angelis does not make for a typical criminal: a religious Greek Orthodox Christian born in Montreal, a law-abiding man, a doting father of two with two master’s degrees in administration, who speaks four languages, and who lived in New York City and Montreal before moving to Ottawa to study in local universities and work for the federal government.
A jury convicted him in 2010 of murdering his unfaithful wife in 2008, and obliged the judge to sentence him to life in prison at the notorious (but now-closed) Kingston Penitentiary, home to Canada’s worst criminals. The jurors were convinced that he intentionally suffocated Lien Le in front of their kids while they sat on the living room couch watching TV.
The social and news media mocked, shamed, and condemned the former nurse (who was nearly castrated by his wife Lien) even before the jury returned with their guilty verdict. But was it really murder, or was it something else?