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Hey prime members, you can binge eight new episodes of the Mister Ballin podcast one month early and all episodes ad free on Amazon Music. Download the Amazon Music app today. One morning in November of 2011, a wheelchair bound woman and her full time caregiver were at home when there was a knock on the front door. The caregiver got up and walked over to the door and opened it up, but there was no one there. And when she looked up and down the road, she didnt see anybody walking or driving away, which was kind of odd. But then she looked down and noticed there was what appeared to be a gift sitting on the front porch, but there was no tag on it. So the caregiver brought the gift inside and put it on the kitchen table and told the woman she was caring for that because this package was not labeled for now, they shouldnt open it. However, later that day, when the caregiver was not paying attention, the woman in the wheelchair was so curious about what this gift was that she grabbed the gift, went into the other room and opened it up.


And the second she did that absolute chaos ensued. But before we get into that story, if you're a fan of the strange, dark, and mysterious delivered in story format, then you come to the right podcast, because that's all we do. And we upload twice a week, once on Monday and once on Thursday. So if that's of interest to you, please offer to teach the Amazon music follow button how to ride a bike. And the second they actually start to get it, go ahead and stick a huge branch into their front wheel as they drive by. Okay, let's get into today's story.


I'm afoul Hirsch. I'm Peter Frankopan, and in our podcast legacy, we explore the lives of some of the biggest characters in history. This season, we're exploring the life of Cleopatra, an iconic life full of romances, sieges, and tragedy. But who was the real Cleopatra? It feels like her story's been told by others with their own agenda for centuries. But her legacy is enduring, and so we're going to dive into how her story has evolved all the way up to today. I am so excited to talk about Cleopatra, Peter. Love Cleopatra. She's an icon. She's the most famous woman in antiquity. She's got to be up there with the most famous woman of all time. But I think there's a huge gap between how familiar people are with the idea of her compared to what they actually know about her life and character. So for pyramids, Cleopatra and Cleopatra's nose follow legacy now wherever you get your podcasts. Or you can binge entire seasons early and ad free on wondery.


Some stories were never meant to be heard. Beneath the visible world of parliaments, politicians, and civil servants lies an invisible state filled with secret operatives playing to very different rules from wondery. I'm Indravama, and this is the spy who this month, we open the file on Noor and Iat Khan, the spy who wouldn't lie. When Germany invades France, Noor and her family are forced to flee to Britain. But Noor decides she can't just sit out the war. So she accepts one of the most dangerous spy missions of World War Two, a job that will put her deep into enemy territory. Follow the spy who now wherever you listen to podcasts. Or you can binge the full season of the spy who wouldn't lie early and ad free with wondery plus.


On November 24, 2011, 23 year old Victoria Shaktay sat in her wheelchair at the dining room table inside of her apartment in Innisfail, Alberta, Canada. On the kitchen table sat a fresh pizza, and then a balloon was tied to the back of one of the chairs. Victoria and her full time caregiver, Marlene Punenbayan, were celebrating. Marlene, who was originally from the Philippines, had just received her permanent residence status in Canada. This meant that Marlene now was able to receive a range of social benefits provided by the country, and she could now take steps towards becoming an official canadian citizen. So this was a huge deal for Marlene, and Victoria was just so happy for her. But despite being such good friends and having so much in common and just really getting along, the two women really could not have looked more different. Victoria had dyed red and blonde hair. She had a pierced nose, and she loved wearing really bright colors, in particular red. As for Marlene, she was much more modest. She had dark eyes and dark hair that she always kept perfectly combed. And then, even when she wasn't working, she dressed very sensibly.


But for anybody who knew these two, Victoria and Marlene seemed like sisters most of the time. And Victoria relied on Marlene more than anybody else in her life. When Victoria was just 16 years old, she had been in this terrible car accident. Her friend, who was driving, was speeding at over 140 mph when they lost control and flipped the car. The accident had left Victoria a quadriplegic, which meant she suffered significant paralysis below her neck. Now, at the time, Victoria's friends and family were obviously so relieved that Victoria had survived the accident. But, I mean, looking at her paralysis, you know, her friends and family were worried that Victorias life would ever go back to being even close to what it used to be. But even at a young age, Victoria had always been very resilient and put her faith wholly in God. And so, through the years of extensive medical treatments, she always stayed positive and strong. And over time, she had actually regained some movement in her arms and hands. And she had sort of built a new life for herself. Now, that life was very different from the one she had growing up, but she still cherished it.


And Victoria's life had only gotten better when Marlene had become her caregiver and physiotherapist three years earlier. In addition to helping Victoria with her physical therapy, Marlene helped prepare food. She got Victoria ready for the day, and she kept the apartment clean. Marlene also helped look after Victoria's seven year old daughter, Destiny. Back at the kitchen table, Marlene and Victoria ate their pizza and talked about how exciting it was that Marlene was now one step closer to becoming a canadian citizen. After they finished eating, Marlene got up and began to clean the kitchen. And Victoria wheeled herself down the hall to her daughter's room. Destiny's door was cracked open, and Victoria could see her daughter sleeping soundly. Victoria smiled. There were times when she looked at her daughter and just felt like bursting out into tears of joy, because she believed her daughter really was a miracle. When Victoria had gotten into that car accident, she was four months pregnant. Victoria had been pinned in the wrecked car for 45 minutes before emts could get to her. And by the time she was taken to the hospital, she feared she had lost the baby. But five months later, her daughter had been born happy and healthy.


Victoria chose the name Destiny because she felt like it had been her destiny to have this little girl. Then years later, Victoria and her daughter had moved to the small town of Innisfail, which is said to get its name from an irish word that meant isle of Destiny. So watching her daughter sleep soundly that night, Victoria felt like, you know, everything that had happened in her life, including the accident that paralyzed her, had happened for a reason, and that she was meant to be exactly where she was right now with destiny and with Marlene. Later in the evening, Victoria was starting to feel worn out, so she asked Marlene for some help. Victoria said she needed to make an important phone call, so Marlene pushed her down the hall to a small home office, and then she left. That way, Victoria could have some privacy on her call. Then Victoria called her financial advisor, Brian Malley. Brian had been a friend of the family for years. He ran a successful construction business, and he had played a huge role in making Victoria's ground floor apartment more wheelchair accessible for her. Brian also owned a small financial firm in town where he worked with locals and people in the area, helping them invest, balance budgets, and manage their money.


And managing money had been another major way that Brian had been helping Victoria. Years after her accident, Victoria had sued the person who had been driving the car that hit her, and she had been awarded a settlement of about cad575,000. With so much money, Victoria had turned to Brian for some guidance, and he had worked to help her make some smart investments and to limit her spending. Brian answered the phone, and for a few minutes, he and Victoria just caught up on what was going on in their lives. Victoria told him the good news about Marlene becoming a permanent residential. And Brian told Victoria that he was excited because he was making the two hour drive to Edmonton for business and so his wife could go to the opera. After a few minutes of this, Victoria finally brought up the reason that she had actually called. She needed Brian to move several $1,000 from her investment account into her checking account to cover her rent and bills and things like that. Victoria immediately heard Brian exhale sort of frustratedly. He told her he was getting concerned about her spending and that her investment account had really begun to dwindle significantly over the past year.


Brian tried not to sound too harsh, but he told Victoria that he really couldnt understand why she wasnt sticking to the budget they had laid out for her. Victoria fell silent for a second, and then in a very quiet voice, she said to Brian that the reason she needed more money was to help her family. Brian said he totally understood how important taking care of family was to Victoria. But he said, you know, youre one of five kids and youre giving too much money to your siblings. Now, even though Brian did not specifically say this, Victoria knew what Brian was really saying was there was one sibling in particular that Victoria was helping that Brian did not agree with, and that was one of her brothers. The young man had a very serious history of drug use, and Brian was very sure he was just throwing away the money Victoria was giving him to feed his drug addiction. But ultimately, you know, Brian knew it was Victoria's decision what she did with her money. And so Brian said he would call his office and see what he could do about moving the money. But he urged Victoria to really think hard about whether it was worth giving away all this money.


After Victoria hung up, she found herself thinking about her family. After she had gotten that court settlement, her first instinct was to use that money to better the lives of everybody in her family. And she had done that, and she was really happy about it. And so even though she knew Brian was making a good point that maybe it was not the best decision to give all her money away to her siblings, she just felt like she had to. And in fact, she couldn't even imagine not helping her siblings or her family out at this point, in particular, her brother, who was struggling with drugs. In fact, Victoria believed her kind of red flag brother deserved the most help out of anybody because of his drug use. A couple of minutes later, Victoria called out to Marlene and asked her to come into the study. When she did, Marlene took Victoria and wheeled her to Victoria's bedroom. There, Marlene massaged Victoria's legs like she did every night, and then she helped her get ready for bed. They talked through their plan for the following day. Destiny had to be at school early, and then Victoria wanted to go see her stepfather.


Then after that, they said good night to each other. And then Marlene stepped out of the room. For a little while, Victoria just lay awake in bed, feeling more stressed out than usual. And the reason she was stressed was about her money. You know, she was thinking about what Brian said and whether or not it was a good idea to be giving all her money to her siblings and her family. And Victoria, you know, she hated thinking about money. It really stressed her out to begin with. But she also told herself that she was going to see her stepfather the following day, and he always had great advice for her, and so maybe he would have some great financial advice. And so with that in mind, and also Victoria's steadfast belief that, you know, no matter her problems, God had a plan for her, you know, Victoria was able to eventually drift off to sleep the next morning. So. November 25, 2011, Victoria and Marlene woke up early and made destiny breakfast and got her off to school. Then back at the apartment, Marlene helped Victoria get ready to go see her stepfather. But right as they were about to leave, there was a knock at the front door.


Marlene walked across the living room and opened the door, but there was nobody there. She looked out into the street, but didnt see anybody walking off. Then Marlene looked down at the porch and she saw there was this large, shiny, green and gold gift bag that had no tag on it. And so Marlene just picked it up and stared for a second, you know, wondering who had sent it and who it was for. Marlene walked back inside carrying the gift, and she told Victoria that she didnt think it was a good idea to open it right now because they had no idea where it came from. But Victoria thought Marlene was acting paranoid. To Victoria, this gift was clearly just an early Christmas present. Marlene disagreed and even suggested they should call the police. Victoria rolled her eyes and said that was a huge overreaction. But she could tell Marlene felt really uncomfortable about this gift, so Victoria promised she would not open it up. Marlene put the gift in the kitchen, and then she and Victoria left and went to go see Victoria's stepfather, who lived only a few minutes away. When they got there, Victoria's stepfather greeted the two women with a huge smile on his face, and he welcomed them into his home.


A few minutes after they got there, Marlene helped Victoria to the shower. Victoria's stepfather's shower was actually much more accessible than her own, and so Victoria really enjoyed using it anytime she visited. But the shower also gave her an excuse to catch up with her stepfather. The two had been very close since he came into Victoria's life when she was a young girl, and she often turned to him for advice. So after her shower, Victoria told her stepfather about the money issues she was having that she spoke to her financial advisor, Brian, about the day before. And just like Brian, Victoria's stepfather was also pretty visibly concerned about the fact that Victoria's money was dwindling so quickly. He told her that it was noble, that she liked to help everybody she loved, but she needed to remember that that money was hers, and taking care of herself and her daughter should really be her priority, not everybody else. They talked a while longer, and then eventually, Victoria asked him if he knew anything about the early Christmas present that had just shown up on her doorstep. At this point, Marlene jumped into the conversation and told Victoria's stepfather that there hadn't been a card or a tag or anything on this present, and she hadn't seen who had left it at the door.


And then Marlene said, you know, I told Victoria that we should not only not open this gift, but we should also call the police and let them handle it. And as Victoria's stepfather listened to this, he, too, started feeling pretty paranoid about this gift. And he told Victoria that, yeah, you should call the police and definitely do not open that bag. You don't know what it is. Victoria couldn't believe what she was hearing. Why was everybody so worried about this early Christmas present? Come on. But at the same time, Victoria did not want to upset people, so she told her stepfather that she would not open the gift. A little bit later, Victoria thanked her stepfather for having them over. She told him she loved him. And then she and Marlene headed home. They got back to the apartment just before 09:00 a.m. Marlene walked right to the kitchen and began washing dishes from breakfast. She grabbed a plate off the counter and began running water over it when suddenly there was this huge bang that echoed through the apartment, and the entire apartment shook, and parts of the ceiling began coming down. And Marlene, you know, she began screaming.


Cause she had no idea what was going on. She figured this must be an earthquake, but she didn't know. And so after a second of just pure terror and shock, Marlene turned and ran out of the kitchen and went into the living room, yelling out for Victoria, because, again, she has no idea what's going on here. But when Marlene saw Victoria, she was slumped forward in her wheelchair, and blood was pouring out of her neck. And so Marlene just ran through all the dust and the smoke in the room and went out the front door and just started screaming for help at the top of her lungs. A neighbor who lived not far from Victorias small apartment building had come out of his house after hearing that very loud noise. And now he looked up the street, and he saw Marlene screaming for help. And so the neighbor immediately grabbed his phone, dialed 911, and ran to Marlene. And when he reached Marlene, he could see very clearly that she had cuts on her body and she was bleeding. But Marlene kept saying, somebody needs to go inside. Victoria needs help. And the neighbor happened to be a former volunteer firefighter, so he ran into the apartment without hesitation.


Once he was inside, there was all this dust and smoke in the air, and it really made it hard to breathe, and he began to cough. But eventually, after walking through the haze, he saw Victoria in her wheelchair. And so he rushed over to her, and he saw she wasn't moving. And so he reached down to check for a pulse or any sign of life. But after a few seconds of just looking at Victoria, it was clear she was already deceased. And so the neighbor ran back out of the house and sat down next to Marlene, who was collapsed on the ground crying, and just took her hand and tried to comfort her as best as he could as they waited for the emergency personnel to arrive.


Have you ever felt like escaping to your own desert island? Well, that's exactly what Jane, Phil, and their three kids did when they traded their english home for a tropical island they bought online. But paradise has its secrets, and family life is about to take a terrifying turn.


You don't fire at people in that.


Without some kind of consequence.


And he said, yes, ma'am, he's dead. There's pure cold blooded terror running through me.


From wondery, I'm Alice Levine, and this is the price of paradise, the real life story of an island dream that ends in kidnap, corruption, and murder. Follow the price of paradise wherever you get your podcasts or binge the the entire season right now on wondry plus.


Hi, I'm Anna.


And I'm Emily. And we're the hosts of terribly famous, the show that takes you inside the lives of our biggest celebrities.


And we are really excited about our latest season because we are talking about someone very, very special.


You're so sweet.


A fashion icon.


Oh, I actually just put this on.


A beautiful woman yogurt.


Not Mike.


Someone who came out of Croydon and took the world by storm.


Don't tell them where I live.


A muse, a mother, and a supermodel who defined the nineties.


I don't remember doing the last one.


Wow, Emily. Not you, obviously. I mean Kate Moss.


Oh, I always get us confused because.


You'Re both so small.


How dare you?


We are gonna dive back into Kate's nineties heyday and her insatiable desire to say yes to absolutely everything life has to offer.


The parties, the Hollywood heartthrobs, the rockstar bad boys. Have I said parties?


You did mention the parties. But saying yes to excess comes at a price as Kate spirals out of control and risks losing everything she's worked for. Follow terribly famous wherever you listen to podcasts, or listen early and ad free on wondery. On Apple podcasts or the wondery app.


Seconds later, fire trucks, police cruisers, and an ambulance roared through the small town of Innisfail, and they arrived in front of Victoria's apartment just minutes after the neighbor had made that 911 call. First responders helped Marlene and the neighbor off the lawn and then tended to Marlene's cuts. There was no active fire going on inside the apartment, but still, firefighters were the first to go inside. And when they got in there, they quickly identified that clearly an explosion had happened inside of this apartment. And from what they were seeing, the explosion had not been accidental. Someone had set off an incendiary device, and so the firefighters went back outside, and they would contact local, regional, and national authorities about what they had just found inside of the apartment. Not long after those calls, members of the explosives disposal unit arrived. Members of the are national and regional canadian police officers trained to detect, disarm, and dispose of explosive devices like bombs. Several officers filed out of a truck in front of Victorias apartment. They wore these huge 90 pound bomb suits made from protective materials like Kevlar, and they had helmets and blast shields that covered their heads and faces.


Several of Marlene's neighbors had come out onto their porches to watch, and from their perspective, it almost looked like a group of astronauts had invaded their street. Inside of Victoria's apartment, the explosives unit did a thorough sweep of every room to make sure there was no longer a bomb threat, and they concluded that the apartment was clear. And so it was time now for investigators and forensic analysts to take over. Corporal Kenmore deep de Hill of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, which is Canada's national police force, arrived at Victoria's apartment apartment with several forensic investigators right behind him. De Hill quickly met with the officers who had gotten to the scene first, and they filled him in with information they had taken from Marlene. They told him the woman who had died inside the apartment was Victoria Shaktay. She was 23 years old, and she was a quadriplegic. The officers also said that Marlene had told them about some sort of mysterious gift that had been dropped off outside of the apartment earlier that morning without any kind of card or tag on it. Dehill nodded and then scanned the street. The neighbors had now gotten even closer to the scene, trying to figure out what had happened.


The officers pushed them back and told them they needed to stay a safe distance away from Victorias apartment. Amidst this growing crowd, de Hill saw Marlene. She was sitting with first responders with a blanket wrapped around her shoulders. He could tell she was in shock. Dehill wanted to talk to her, but first he wanted to get a better idea of what he was dealing with. So he thanked the officers he was talking with for their help. And then Dehil stepped inside the apartment. Forensics analysts told him that they had already found pieces of a galvanized steel pipe, traces of gunpowder and a lantern battery, clear signs of a homemade bomb. Dehill tried to take in the entire scene. Parts of the walls and floors had been ripped apart. Pieces of furniture had gaping holes in them. Debris were scattered everywhere, and strands of plaster hung down from the ceiling like confetti. But the real horror was where Victoria was, in the dining room. Dehill walked into the dining room and approached Victoria. She was sitting in her wheelchair with her head slumped forward. Dehill saw multiple serious wounds on Victorias neck, as well as bloodstains on her skin and all over her torn clothes.


Dehil didnt want to jump to any conclusions, but he had been a member of the major crimes unit for years, and he knew that homicides involving pipe bombs like this were often connected to drug gangs. But that just didnt make sense to de Hill. The victim was a young woman who was paralyzed and who had no criminal history at all. Why would she be mixed up with a drug gang? Corporal Dehill made his way down the hall to the bedrooms. He looked into destinys bedroom. And all he could think was how glad he was that Victorias little girl had been at school when this happened. Minutes later, someone shouted for Dehil out in the dining room. So Dehill stopped what he was doing and he walked down the hall to the dining room. And when he got there, Dehill saw a forensics officer crouch down, staring at something on the ground. She was staring at something that she just uncovered from the dust and the pieces of the ceiling that had fallen to the floor. And she could not believe what she was looking at. Dehill knelt down beside her, and he looked at what she was staring at.


And what he saw was a piece of paper with Victoria's name written on it in colored ink. Marlene had previously told the officers that this Christmas present they received did not have a tag on it. But this piece of paper definitely looked like a tag that would go on a gift, at least two to Hill. The forensics officer told de Hill that finding a scrap of paper like this, fully intact after an explosion was almost unheard of. And that little piece of paper gave Dehill a jolt of energy because it could possibly offer a handwriting sample of the bomber. And even more importantly, potentially, there could be the bombers DNA on the paper. So the forensics team bagged up the piece of paper for testing and then continued looking for evidence all throughout the apartment. Later that day, Dehill finally stepped outside of the apartment, and the fresh air felt like it might knock him over. He hadnt realized how difficult it was to breathe inside of the apartment. Dehil caught his breath and then noticed Marlene standing by the road with several officers. The wounds that Marlene had suffered during the explosion wound up being quite minor, so she was able to answer any questions that the officers had.


And so Dehill saw this as his chance. And so he walked over to her and introduced himself. Marlene wiped away the tears from her face. And then she told de Hill that she had warned Victoria not to open that gift. And so when Dehil heard this, he followed up with, well, Marlene, why were you so worried about this gift? Did you think somebody was planning to attack Victoria? But Marlene would say in response to this that her suspicion about the present had nothing to do with fear that somebody was out to hurt Victoria. She just didnt trust the fact that this present had been dropped off completely randomly a month before the holidays with no tags on it, nothing. It just seemed like something was off about this gift. And then after that, Marlene just sort of broke down. She told the Hill that people loved Victoria and looked to her as an inspiration. Victoria had endured so much for someone so young, but she never let anything stop her. In fact, Victoria often went out of her way to help other people who needed it, whether it was by giving money to her family or volunteering at her church.


She was just a very thoughtful person. Dehill told Marlene how sorry he was for her loss and for what she had been through that morning. With the explosion, Dehil knew Marlene was physically okay, but he was sure she would never get over what had happened. Then he thanked her for her time and walked back towards the apartment. And as he was on his way, one thing Marlene had said to Dehil really stood out to him. That Victoria apparently gave money to her family. Money. Family and murder often went hand in hand. So De Hill instructed members of his team to begin looking into victorias financial situation. And he asked others to track down members of her family for questioning. De Hill still had not formed any serious theories or opinions about who could have delivered this pipe bomb. But he thought maybe in this case, a family dispute over money that maybe erupted into violence might make more sense than a drug gang putting out a hit on somebody like Victoria. So De Hill just needed to figure out who all Victoria was giving money to and who would have benefited from her death. On the night of Victoria's murder and during the following day, Corporal de Hill and members of his team had contacted and took statements from Victoria's family and friends.


And they all basically said the same thing. They loved Victoria. She was a beautiful person and an amazing mother, and they couldn't imagine who would want to hurt her. And Victoria's family were very upfront about the financial aid she had given them all since she'd received her court settlement. But they all insisted that they never wanted to feel like a burden to Victoria and that she helped them because it was something she wanted to do. Now, despite how honest the family and friends seem to to hill, he couldn't actually just rule them out because they seemed like good people. The reality was they still needed more information to get to the bottom of Victoria's financial situation to see if that played a role in whatever happened to her. And in conversations with family and friends, Dehill had learned that Victoria had a financial advisor, Brian Malley, who would obviously have a much fuller picture of victorias. Finances. And so Dehill reached out to Brian and asked him to come meet him at a nearby police station. Brian was a 55 year old guy who was quite tall and had graying hair. He was known for being very polite and outgoing, traits that had really helped him grow his business.


Brian told Dehill that he'd actually been a friend of Victoria's family for years. And he had really gotten to know Victoria when he did construction work on her apartment to make it more wheelchair accessible. He also said when he and Victoria began working together on her finances, that also really brought them together, so they were legitimately good friends. Dehill asked him about his investment strategy for Victoria. And Brian would say, you know, the strategy was very standard. His goal was just to add to the money that Victoria already had. That way, her and her daughter could be taken care of in the future. And then he also asked Brian if he could think of anyone who might have wanted to hurt Victoria. And when he asked that question, it was the first time Brian seemed to hesitate. And for a second, Dehill actually thought maybe Brian just didn't hear the question. And he was about to ask it again. But then Brian shook his head and broke the silence and said he just could not imagine anybody wanting to do this to Victoria. It just really didn't make sense. Dehill would ask Brian a few more questions, and Brian would do his best to answer.


And then eventually, Dehil thanked Brian for coming in, and Brian got up to leave. But even before Brian made it out the door, Dehill found himself thinking how strange it was that Brian had hesitated when he was asked, you know, is there anybody out there that you think might want to hurt Victoria? Everybody else who Dehill had asked that question to, family, friends, witnesses, had all pretty much immediately said, no, there's no one. Nobody would want to hurt her, or certainly, I don't know anybody who would want to hurt her. And Brian had basically had the same answer. But again, he had hesitated. And so it could have just been, you know, a brain fart or he zoned out or something, or maybe there was something more to the hesitation. And so de Hill decided he was going to get to the bottom of it. And de Hill did not need to wait long to get his answer, because the following day, Brian contacted Dehill. And what he said cast Victoria's murder in a whole new light. Brian told the Hill that one of Victoria's brothers, who she gave money to all the time, had a very serious drug problem.


Hed been addicted to crack for years. But that wasnt all Brian also thought there was a real chance that Victorias brother was a drug dealer and that he had gotten on the wrong side of some pretty serious drug gangs. And so by the time de hill hung up with Brian, he felt like he had just caught his first major break in this case. One of dehills initial thoughts about the crime scene was that the type of homemade bomb used to kill Victoria was often used by people in the drug trade. So de Hill wondered if it was possible that Victoria's brother owed money to drug dealers or had encroached on their territory when dealing drugs on his own or something. And if that was the case, maybe those drug dealers killed Victoria to send a message to her brother. And so soon after this call with Brian, de Hill raced off to go speak with Victoria's brother. And when he did and actually began talking to him, the young man tried to be as helpful as he could. And he admitted openly to struggling with drugs in the past. But he said he never dealt drugs to anyone.


And the idea that he had connections to major drug gangs was laughable. Dehil was not ready to just take this guy at his word. But one thing Dehill definitely noticed was Victoria's brother was visibly angry that somebody even suggested that he had something to do with his sister's death. He told Dehill he loved Victoria probably more than he'd loved anybody else in the world. And so after this meeting ended, de Hill did not think he had just gotten any closer to solving the case. However, at the same time, he wasnt ready to just drop the possible connection between drugs and Victorias murder. And so for now at least, that was still the best lead he had on December 3, 2011. So a week after Victorias murder, 250 people gathered at a funeral home to say their final goodbyes to Victoria and to celebrate her life. Dehill and other police officers attended the funeral as well. It's common for investigators to go to funerals of murder victims to see how their friends and family and other potential suspects behave. Dehill listened to the people who were closest to Victoria talk about what an unbelievably amazing person she was.


And as he listened to this, he just struggled to understand how someone as wonderful as Victoria ended up with a homemade pipe bomb getting delivered to her house. Now, de Hill had continued to pursue Victoria's brother's possible connection to drug gangs. And in doing that, he had discovered that years earlier, Victoria had made an anonymous call to the police about her neighbors dealing drugs. But de Hill still didn't know if that call had anything to do with her brother, or if somehow the neighbors had figured out who made the anonymous call and then took their revenge on Victoria. But De Hill just could not fathom why any drug dealer would wait years to exact their revenge for a phone call to the cops. That didn't really amount to much. A procession of mourners made their way towards Victoria's casket. But de Hill focused on Victoria's young daughter, destiny. Whoever had done this to Victoria, whether they were connected to the drug trade or not, had robbed this little girl of her mother and robbed her of a safe, happy childhood. Seeing destiny struggling so hard just to talk about her mother made Dehill so mad.


And he was also very frustrated that still he had not honed in on one or two major suspects yet. But still, Dehill tried to stay steady and level headed. He had plenty of information to work with. He just needed more time to figure out what it all meant. After the funeral, Dehil returned to the station and met with his team. He decided this case could very well hinge on the old adage, follow the money. If they could track where Victoria's money went after she gave it to her brother, it could lead them to the person or people they were looking for. So for the next several weeks, investigators looked into Victoria's financial transactions dating back to when she had received her court settlement. And investigators were able to follow a paper trail of where and when Victoria's money moved. And something they found set off a major alarm. Finally, Dehill had a full picture of what Victoria had done with her money, and he was almost positive he now knew who had killed her. Dehill wanted to act fast, but he also wanted his case to be airtight if it went to trial. So he needed a key piece of evidence that he still lacked.


Forensics investigators had managed to pull DNA samples from that piece of paper with Victoria's name on it that had somehow survived the explosion. So now de Hill just had to secure a DNA sample from his newly discovered suspect to see if the DNA matched. Almost six months after Victoria's murder, two investigators trailed their suspect from an unmarked car. The major crimes unit had secured a warrant that allowed them to conduct surveillance on Dehill's new primary suspect. The surveillance process had been very in depth, and it had taken a lot of time, but it convinced Dehill even further that he was right about who had murdered Victoria. So now these two investigators who were following the suspect needed to secure a DNA sample from this suspect to back up Dehill's theory. Eventually, the investigators saw the suspect turn off the street and pull into the parking lot of a fast food restaurant. The investigators could not believe their luck. This was the perfect place to get a DNA sample from inside their unmarked car. Out in the parking lot, the investigators watched the suspect get out of their car and walk inside the restaurant. The investigators waited a minute and then they too got out of their car and they went inside as well.


The investigators bought food just to blend in and then took a seat in a booth towards the back and kept an eye on their suspect. Eventually the suspect finished their meal, threw their trash into the trash can and walked outside. And at this point, the investigators sprung into action. They put gloves on their hands, walked over to the trash can and began fishing around inside of it until they pulled out a napkin the suspect had used to wipe their hands and mouth. And they slipped that napkin into a paper bag. And soon after that, the napkin was sent off for DNA testing. It took a while for the results to come back, but when they did, they showed De Hill exactly what he had been looking for. They were a match. De Hill had found Victoria's murderer. Based on DNA test results, evidence found at the crime scene, and police interviews, here is a reconstruction of what police believe happened on November 25, 2011, the morning that somebody murdered Victoria Shaktay. The sun wouldnt rise for hours, but the killer was already hard at work. They sat at a wooden table staring at their creation.


They had spent months collecting the necessary items to complete the project and now they were finally ready to finish it and put it to use. The killer took a big breath in and exhaled slowly through their mouth. They told themselves that staying calm was key. Shaky hands or sudden movements could be very dangerous. The killer slowly put the finishing touches on the pipe bomb, then backed away from the table and let out a huge breath and felt their shoulders relax. They reached down and picked up a white cardboard box off the floor and they carefully set the bomb inside of the box. They closed the box and then grabbed a piece of paper and a colored pen and they wrote the word Victoria in large, festive looking letters on the paper and then taped it to the top of the cardboard box. Finally, the killer picked up a large green and gold gift bag and placed the box inside. A few minutes later, the killer drove through Innisfail and arrived on Victoria's street. They drove a little ways past her apartment and then parked their car. Then after pulling their dark cap down to cover their face, the killer stepped out of the car and looked up and down the street.


It was empty, so they reached into the passenger seat and took the heavy gift bag containing the bomb, and they walked carefully towards Victoria's apartment. As they moved, they did their best to stay in the shadows and avoid the streetlights. Finally, the killer reached Victoria's apartment and they placed the gift bag down right in front of the front door. And then the killer knocked on the door and then turned and ran away as fast as they could. By the time Marlene opened the door, the killer was already gone. Hours later, at around 09:00 a.m. Victoria and Marlene returned from Victoria's stepfather's house. And right away, Marlene headed to the kitchen to do the dishes. But while she was at the sink, she didn't hear or see Victoria, who wheeled herself into the kitchen as well. And Victoria grabbed the gift bag off the kitchen table where Marlene had left it. She put it on her lap and then wheeled herself into the dining room. Victoria opened up the bag and saw there was a white cardboard box inside. She took the box out and let the bag fall to the floor. And when this happened, Victoria very likely saw that there was a tag on this box.


There was that piece of paper that said Victoria in colorful ink. And so for Victoria, this very likely confirmed in her head that Marlene and her stepfather were overreacting about this box. Clearly this was just an early Christmas present for Victoria and it was no big deal. And so Victoria ultimately opened up the box. And when she did, the box exploded. And by the time the explosion actually happened, the killer had already arrived in Edmonton, where he had business to conduct and where his wife was going to see the opera. Brian Malley, Victoria's family friend and her financial advisor, was her killer. It would turn out the image of a kind, outgoing, successful businessman that Brian showed the world was nothing more than act that he had spent years cultivating. In reality, Brian was a former cop who had been kicked off the Edmonton police force about three years after he had joined. Brian's first wife had divorced him because she believed he was a physical threat to her and their daughter. And his second wife had also divorced him because Brian was having an affair with a co worker. But somehow Brian had managed to hide all of that and he sort of reinvented himself when he had moved to the small town of Innisfail.


And soon he had established himself as a reliable construction worker and then later as an honest and trustworthy financial advisor. But the truth was Brian never really changed. And he made a habit out of using his clients money for his own gain, making risky and even illegal investments in the hope that he could make some big money on commissions, and he got away with it for a while. But in 2011, Victoria had started to wonder why her large investment account kept dwindling so quickly. When she had asked Brian about it, he just kept saying the problem was that Victoria gave too much of her money away to her family. But when Victoria continued to push him for more information about what was happening, Brian started to panic because he had actually invested over 90% of Victoria's money in a single, very high risk stock, and that stock had just cratered. So almost all of Victoria's money was now gone. And Brian had never consulted Victoria about doing this investment, so she had no idea what had even happened. He also obviously never disclosed the inherent risk of putting so much money into a single stock.


Basically, you can lose everything really quickly. Brian knew his actions violated multiple canadian financial laws, so he decided the only way to avoid getting caught and going to jail was to kill Victoria and pinned the murder on her own brother. Now, Victoria's brother had nothing to do with the murder, and it was never shown that he had ever dealt drugs. But ultimately, it was the investigator's initial pursuit of the brother's possible drug connection to this crime that had led de Hill and his team to uncover Brian's financial crimes. But even with all of this information about his financial crimes, de Hill needed something much more concrete to directly connect Brian to the murder. Luckily, that piece of paper Brian had written Victoria on and then taped to the bomb survived the blast. And DNA samples from that paper ended up matching the DNA sample taken from the napkin that Brian had thrown away when he was at the fast food restaurant. And so, after finding that match, Dehill and his team moved in and arrested Brian. Brian was ultimately found guilty of first degree murder and several charges related to constructing and delivering an explosive device.


He was sentenced to life in prison with a chance for parole after 25 years. Thank you for listening to the Mister Ballin podcast. If you enjoyed todays stories and youre looking for more strange, dark, and mysterious content, be sure to check out all of our studios podcasts. They are this one, of course, Mister Ballin podcast. And we also have Mister Ballin's medical mysteries. We have bedtime stories and also run fool. To find those other podcasts, all you have to do is search for Ballin Studios wherever you listen to your podcasts. To watch hundreds more stories just like the ones you heard today, head over to our YouTube channel, which is just called Mister Balin. So that's gonna do it. I really appreciate your support until next time. See ya. Hey, prime members, you can binge eight new episodes of the Mister Ballin podcast one month early, and all episodes ad free on Amazon Music. Download the Amazon Music app today, and before you go, please tell us about yourself by completing a short Survey have you ever wanted to just start again? Quit your nine to five, skip town, and go escape to a desert island of your dreams?


Well, that's exactly what Jane, Phil and their three kids did when they traded their english home for a tropical island they bought online at a bargain price. But soon they all discover that paradise has its secrets, because the locals claim the islands belong to them. And for Jane and Phil, family life is about to take a terrifying turn from wondry. This is the price of paradise, the real life story of an island dream that turns into a living nightmare, one which leads to kidnap, corruption, and murder. Follow the price of paradise wherever you listen to podcasts or binge the entire season ad free by subscribing to Wondry plus in the Wondry app or on Apple Podcasts.