herald

Wednesday 22 August 2018

Irish crook (75) married 19 women in three countries

AN IRISH conman who married at least 19 women in three countries has finally been jailed in Canada.

Oliver Killeen (75) pleaded guilty to one count of bigamy in a Toronto courthouse after he admitted that he was already married to Agnes Cloney when he wed nurse Barbara Daniels (70) in 1978.

Ms Daniels' daughter, Julia Lafleur, was the main instigator behind the court case. Over the years, she had meticulously gathered enough evidence to eventually convince the Canadian authorities to prosecute him.

"I emailed MPs and MPPs. I emailed the prime minister's office. I emailed [police chief] William Blair. I emailed the mayor of Toronto," Ms Lafleur said.

Killeen, from Castlebar, Co Mayo, turned himself in to the police in February 2009 and last week was sentenced to 90 days in jail, to be served at weekends on account of his age.

Killeen's lawyer assured the court that he was repentant. However, the grandfather's only words to Ontario Court Justice John Moore upon hearing his sentence were: "I regret the mess I find myself in."

Barbara Daniels, who lives in Ottawa, was unimpressed by his short speech: "I don't think he has any remorse," she said. "It's just a big inconvenience to him."







Children

Killeen emigrated to Canada in the 1950s with his first wife, Castlebar native Mary. They had nine children before she died at the age of 38 in 1974.

The same year, he wed Agnes Cloney. The marriage is reported to have lasted just 10 days, and four years later he tied the knot with Ms Daniels, who left him in 1985 and was shocked to discover that she could not divorce him because he was still married to Ms Cloney.

He then spent the next two decades marrying women in Canada, Britain and Ireland, seducing them and then disappearing after conning them out of their life savings.

In 2001, his behaviour was questioned when it emerged that he had set up a bogus psychologist's practice in Ireland.

He fled the Republic and was then pursued by police in Britain. He served a sentence there for bigamy and even became the subject of 2006 TV film, The Conman With 14 Wives.

After completing his sentence, he returned to Canada, which angered Ms Lafleur, who wanted justice for her mother.

It is believed even more women have fallen prey to the ageing lothario -- he has hinted he married too many women to count.

"I get bored and women have a sell-by date. When you're as good as me, they can't [keep away]," he reportedly said in 2006. "They say they're hypnotised. And that is true."

acampos@herald.ie

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