Sergeant

Ronald E. McKean

Collingwood Police

October 12th, 1977

Age: 33 / 11 years service plus 3 years Metro Toronto

 

Ronald E. McKean was married with 3 children.

 


Circumstances

On the night of October 12, Sergeant McKean and his partner Constable Cliff Lipsett received information concerning an escapee from Warkworth Penitentiary, Gerald Chater. The report indicated that the escapee and a friend were seen loitering near the main entrance of the Anchor Inn. The friend was William Fredrick who had escaped from Collins Bay Maximum Security Federal Prison. He and Charter had committed a knife point robbery of the Collingwood Gas Station on October 10, 1977. Fredrick subsequently purchased a 12 gauge shotgun which he sawed off. They were waiting for a cab with the intent of commandering it and going to Peterbourough to commit more robberies. Upon arrival the officers decided to approach from different directions. Sergeant McKean arrived first and came face to face with the suspects, grabbed one with each hand by the scruff of the neck and began to walk them towards the cruiser. Charter broke away and fled and a scuffle took place with Fredrick who drew the shot gun from his pants, placed the muzzle against the Sergeant’s chest, pulled the trigger and killed him instantly. He then fled the scene and was arrested the next day.


On September 19, 1978, William Fredrick plead guilty to First Degree Murder and was sentenced to life imprisonment without eligibility for parole for 25 years. In 1989, Fredrick commenced an early release application, under the provisions of Sec. 745 of the Criminal Code of Canada. This provision allows First Degree murderers to apply for parole after 15 years. The court denied his request because he had not yet completed his 15 years. He reapplied when eligible and in October of 1996 the hearing proceeded. The hearing lasted three weeks and submitted the family of Constable McKean, Ann and three children, Elizabeth, Trevor and Christopher through the pain and anguish that Ann had gone through nineteen years before. The jury denied the application forcing Fredrick to complete his sentence. The Canadian Police Association has led a fight to have Section 745 repealed on behalf of the families of the victims.