Bathurst Manor Plaza – CIBC Robbery

CIBC – Wilmington Plaza Robbery – July 24, 1964

During a bank robbery of a CIBC on Wilmington Avenue in Downsview on July 24, 1964, Mathew Kerry Smith, 24 shot and killed Jack Blanc aged 58. As a disguise Kerry wore a Beatle wig sold in Toronto dime stores that summer during Beatlemania. Jack Blanc, a fur cutter and a former Canadian and Israeli Army veteran was a customer in the bank and took the bank’s revolver from an employee and pursued Smith into the street, not knowing the revolver had only four rounds loaded in it. Smith who was armed with a handgun and a military FN assault rifle, shot Blanc dead in the exchange of gunfire. He was captured in January 1965, sentenced to death, but sentence was commuted as per practice then.

A manhunt ensued for the “Beatle Bandit”. He was captured with great fanfare.

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3 thoughts on “Bathurst Manor Plaza – CIBC Robbery”

  1. Some of these don’t appear to have been published previously, do you have any information on the source? or the identity of the man and woman walking west up Overbrook Place? Thanks!

    1. Many were not published but were located in the archives of the Toronto Star. I have no details on who the people are in the photos.

  2. Thanks very much for the prompt reply! There are also unpublished photo negatives in the Toronto Telegram archives up at York University.

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