Canada’s Little Known Serial Killer — John Martin Crawford

Liam Hall
7 min readSep 22, 2020
John Martin Crawford

John Martin Crawford is a little different than other serial killers that you read about. While the stereotype of a serial killer is that of a person with above-average intelligence, smart enough to stay one step ahead of the police. Craving attention or fame, often they will send letters to media or police accepting responsibility for their crimes. Ted Bundy and The BTK Killer Dennis Rader come to mind.

The truth isn’t in line with the stereotype though. Ed Kemper is said to have an IQ of around 140+, but this is actually abnormal for a serial killer. According to the Serial Killer Information Center, the average IQ of a serial killer is 94, putting them on the lower side of average. John’s parents sent him to see psychologists at Vancouver General Hospital because of his behavioral problems and poor performance in school.

Ed Kemper, and extremely smart, and physically imposing serial killer, is said to have an IQ around 140+

John himself never really seemed to crave the attention that other serial killers did. Consistently he has refused interviews with various news outlets and only seems to talk when required with the court-appointed psychiatrist. Not that they can get anything useful out of him, he consistently changes his story, and it’s hard to tell if he is telling the truth or is making up more lies.

As a boy, John Martin Crawford burned himself pretty badly when he was playing with a lighter, leaving him with scars on his upper chest, neck, and arms. This became a focus of bullying with the other children his age. He was also molested by various babysitters at least twice. It is no wonder that as a child he was afraid of the dark.

By 12 years old, John was turning into a bear of a man and now bullied the smaller children. He starts sniffing glue and talking to himself. His glue sniffing was like a ritual for him. He would go out into the woods, sniff glue out of a paper bag and talk to himself or some inanimate object nearby. Often discussing his expectations with himself or some object near him. John once told an addictions counselor that his most meaningful religious beliefs were traditional First Nations ones.

Liam Hall

I like to write about crime, among other things. Studying computer security. Join Medium using my referral link