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.