Woman that kill their husband gets life! Read the Courts Document
Justice for John Ruffolo (PT. 2)
His wife tried to hire a hit man to kill him. When that fell through, she gave him a drug overdose and dumped his body in a culvert. Last week -- seven years later -- Ruby Ann Ruffolo was finally found guilty
By Louise Dickson, Times Colonist November 21, 2010
With Johnson hightailing it back to town, Ruby turned to her other tenant, Murray. A former heroin addict, Murray was watching Fatal Attraction when Ruby and Kirkland burst into his room. Kirkland, who was very drunk, leaned into his face and told him John had suffered an overdose and they wanted help putting him in the car. Outside, the women pointed to a body lying beside a red car that had been backed into the driveway. "I saw him and I grabbed his arm and it was stiff," Murray testified. "I threw the hand down and I went, excuse my language, 'F---! F---!' and I went running into the house. I was going to phone police, but they came running in after me. I was on the floor on my hands and knees saying, 'No, no, I can't help you. I don't want to be involved in this.'" Murray told Ruby to take John to the hospital, but she and Kirkland refused, saying they wanted to dump his body, Murray testified. "Ann pulled one arm. Vivian pulled the other. And they said, 'You can't tell anyone. This is a pact and we're going to carry this to our graves,'" said Murray. He recalled Ruby saying that the spouse is always blamed for the crime so she had to get rid of the body. Ruby Ann Ruffolo was handed an automatic life sentence, with no chance of parole for 25 years.
Ruby Ann Ruffolo Guilty of First Degree Murder (VIDEO) A News
Victoria -- Clutching a photo of her late son John, Lois Ruffolo walks out of BC Supreme Court surrounded by family. This morning her former daughter-in-law, Ruby Ann Ruffolo, was found guilty of first degree murder.Ruffolo killed her husband John with an overdose of heroin in October 2003. His body was found in a ditch off Humpback Road. She was charged just months later, but the case took seven years to conclude because of countless delays over the courts of two seperate trials.
Madame Justice Mary Humphries wasted no time announcing her verdict. In seconds it was over, the courtroom broke out in applause, and Ruffolo was sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 25 years.
In her judgement, Madam Justice Humphries said John Ruffolo died in his home. She said that Ruby Ann Ruffolo had a motive to kill him and she had the means to plan and carry our the offence.
What drove Ruffolo to kill her husband? The Judge concluded the marriage was on the rocks and she wanted all the money. But the verdict offerse little closure for John's parents who say the case should never have dragged on so long. "He's missed seven birthday's while she waked free for seven years on bail," lamented his mother Lois.
Now, the Ruffolo family focusses on mending a relationship with John and Ruby Ann's daughter Jovanna, who left the court house sobbing this morning, and they remember John as a loving person who didn't deserve to die at the age of 36.
Woman killed cheating husband with overdose of heroin
A Vancouver Island woman has been found guilty of adulterous murdering her husband with a lethal dose of heroin.
Found guilty of first-degree murder in B.C. Supreme Court
A Vancouver Island woman has been found guilty of murdering her adulterous husband with a lethal dose of heroin.
Saanich resident John Ruffolo was drugged to death at home on Oct. 19, 2003. His body was discovered by a hiker six days later in a remote wooded area in the Victoria suburb.
His wife, Ruby Ann Ruffolo, was arrested after a five-month investigation that revealed she sedated her husband with an antidepressant mixed into a protein shake before injecting him with an overdose heroin.
She was found guilty of first-degree murder in B.C. Supreme Court on Thursday, when she was sentenced to life in prison with no parole for 25 years.
Justice Mary Humphries wrote in her decision that Ruffolo, now 54, had ample motive to kill her husband, who had had more than one affair with other women and was planning to leave his wife to be with a co-worker.
The marriage was on the rocks, witnesses told the court, and Ruffolo was worried about the financial implications of dividing up the family's numerous rental properties, which had largely been paid for with her money but were in his name.
"Many witnesses testified to her preoccupation with the division of property...and Ms. Ruffolo's desire to keep John Ruffolo from having any of it, rather than divide it with him in a divorce," Humphries wrote.
"Ms. Ruffolo's reaction, when faced with the possible breakdown of the marriage, was to consider the death of John Ruffolo rather than divorce, and to ask others for assistance."
The judge also wrote that Ruffolo blamed her husband for her son's suicide by hanging in the family's backyard in 2002.
The murder of John Ruffolo
About a month before the murder, Ruffolo met with a one-eyed man named Robert Johnson at a Victoria community centre to ask him to kill her husband.
Johnson thought it was a joke and refused.
"But having seen a TV program the night before on ‘hot capping,' that is, injecting a large amount of heroin, told her that would be a good way to kill someone," Humphries wrote.
He suggested that $150 worth of the drug would be enough to do the trick
Ruffolo's tenant and friend Vivian Kirkland told the court that Ruffolo pressured her to use her connections to buy the heroin.
After the deed was done, Ruffolo asked Johnson to come to her house to help with some "heavy lifting." When he arrived, he found John lying dead in the driveway of the family home at 994 Tulip Avenue. Ruffolo told him her husband had died of a heroin overdose.
He refused to help move the body, and told the court he left immediately.
But Kirkland and another tenant, Douglas Murray, testified that they helped Ruffolo lift the body into her car. Kirkland drove more than 15 kilometres with her landlord to dump the dead man in a culvert running under Humpback Road.
Kirkland pleaded guilty in 2007 to offering indignity to John's remains for her role in moving the body.
The investigation and trial
Ruffolo reported her husband missing the day after the murder, and told police that he was depressed and possibly using heroin.
"Every witness who had known John Ruffolo was asked if they ever saw him display any indications of drug use or drug dealing, particularly heroin," Humphries wrote.
Forensic scientists later found that John Ruffolo died of a lethal mix of heroin and the antidepressant amitriptyline. They also discovered bruising and puncture wounds where the heroin was injected on both elbows.
Johnson visited the police a week after John Ruffolo's body was discovered, and told them what he knew.
But despite the testimony of Johnson, Kirkland and Murray, Ruffolo has denied having any involvement in the murder.
"She said she left him sleeping at home on the morning of Sunday, October 19, 2003 and assumed when she returned that night after a long day of looking after the rental properties that he had gone to work," the judge wrote.
The defence argued that there were no eye-witnesses to John's death, and described the Crown prosecutors' evidence as "almost ridiculous" and its suggested motive as "nonsensical."
Defence lawyers suggested that John may have gone into to hiding because he owed money to drug dealers. They brought witnesses who said they had sold heroin to John, and another pair who said they saw him at a local restaurant four days after he was supposedly murdered.
But the judge rejected that theory, writing that there were "many difficulties" with it, particularly the idea that he would let himself be seen in a popular pub while he was running for his life.
"I am satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt that the only rational conclusion is that Ms. Ruffolo either injected the heroin herself, or if Vivian Kirkland participated, she did so with the assistance and encouragement of Ms. Ruffolo," Humphries wrote.
"The only rational conclusion to draw from the evidence...is that the killing of John Ruffolo by administering drugs to him was intentional."
This was Ruffolo's second trial for her husband's murder -- the first ended in mistrial last year.
The Ruffolos had one daughter, Jovanna, who is now 20 years old.
After years of legal wrangling, Ruby Ann Ruffolo of Saanich was found guilty of the first-degree murder of her husband and sentenced to life in prison with no possibility of parole for 25 years.
Ruby Ann Ruffolo released on $50,000 bail
Ruby Ann Ruffolo, charged with murder in the death of her husband John, was released on $50,000 bail Thursday afternoon.
Conditions were set earlier in the day in B.C. Supreme Court in Victoria. Ruffolo will have to obey a curfew and avoid people who may be connected with the upcoming trial. The 47-year-old, who normally uses her middle name, was arrested last Friday and is facing a charge of first-degree murder.
John Ruffolo, a 36-year-old former prison guard, was found dead on an isolated stretch of Humpback Road in Langford last Oct. 25. He had been missing for five days. The couple's 12-year-old daughter is in the custody of the Ministry of Children and Families.
Also charged with first-degree murder and still in custody is Vivian Marie Kirkland, 43, also known as Marynissen. Her next court appearance is scheduled for April 5.
2004 Times Colonist (Victoria)
Suspects in Ruffolo murder appear in court
VICTORIA -- Two women charged in the death of John Ruffolo of Saanich have made their first court appearances. Ruffolo's widow, 47-year-old Ruby Ann, is charged with first degree murder. She has been remanded in custody until March 11 for an arraignment hearing. Also charged with first degree murder is 43-year-old Vivian Kirkland, who will remain in custody until April 5. Ruffolo -- who was 35 -- was found dead by hikers last October 25. Last week, the police conducted a raid on his home.
Wife, another woman charged with murder in Ruffolo case
Ruffolo: Found in dense bush
Two women were charged Saturday with the first-degree murder of John Frank Salvatore Ruffolo -- including his widow Ann, who has publicly denied several times that she killed her husband.
Also charged with first-degree murder is Vivian Marie Kirkland, also known by the last name Marynissen. Police say the women know each other.
The two women remain in custody and are to be in court on Monday morning, when they could seek their release on bail.
A 40-year-old man arrested Thursday has been released.
Both Kirkland, 43, and the man, who police will not identify because he's not been charged with anything, knew John Ruffolo before his death.
Ruffolo never showed up for his night shift as a Brink's guard the evening of Oct. 19. The 36-year-old was reported missing Oct. 20. His car was found two days later at the Knockanback Grill at the junction of Wilkinson and Interurban roads, about a kilometre from the Tulip Avenue home he shared with Ann Ruffolo and their 12-year-old daughter.
On Oct. 25, a hiker walking in the woods found Ruffolo dead in the dense bush off Humpback Road, an isolated Langford road some 11 kilometres from where his abandoned car was found.
Initially, his death was classified as suspicious. An autopsy was done, but the cause of death wasn't disclosed, even to the family.
West Shore RCMP and the Saanich police, who are jointly investigating the case, upgraded that "suspicious" category to homicide in January, after receiving the results of additional forensic tests done after the autopsy.
Saanich police Const. Chris Horsley said the department won't disclose what those findings were, citing the integrity of the investigation and any trials.
The arrests top a lengthy investigation that has many in the public speculating about the killing.
Rumours about Ruffolo have been flowing since his body was found. He is said to have run an escort agency in Victoria and had a troubled rooming-house business. He was also known for both selling and using drugs, and rumours surfaced of old enemies he had made during his former job as a guard at Wilkinson Road jail.
He lost that job in 1999 after being convicted in provincial court of 23 counts of brokering property deals without a licence.
Ann Ruffolo told friends police began tailing her soon after her husband's body was found. Saanich police confirmed that it was their police car following the 47-year-old woman, but offered no further explanation.
On Wednesday, police searched the Ruffolo home.
Ann Ruffolo and Kirkland were arrested on the public sidewalk outside a medical building in the 900-block of Esquimalt Road on Friday afternoon.
First-degree murder -- that which is planned and deliberate -- is the most serious form of murder. It carries a mandatory life sentence with no parole eligibility for 25 years.
2004 Times Colonist (Victoria)
Police conduct search of victim's home
Wednesday, March 03, 2004
Anne Ruffolo, whose husband John was murdered last fall.
The widow of a man murdered last fall broke her silence in a television interview Wednesday, the same day Victoria-area police conducted a search at the family home.
Anne Ruffolo's husband John died last October. His body was found five days after he was reported missing.
Saanich Police say it was a homicide but have never released the cause of death.
There have been rumours Ruffolo was poisoned. According to the search warrant, the items authorities were looking for included the blender and protein powder Anne used to make John's morning shakes.
Anne Ruffolo says according to tenants in the family's rental properties and a recent column by the Times Colonist's Jody Paterson, police believe she is a suspect.
"According to that column and according to four tenants that I've spoken to, the police have told them right from the beginning of this investigation, without any proof, that, 'Oh, Anne must have hired a hit man,'" Ruffolo says.
"I would never do that to John."
Police have not yet publicly identified any suspects.
John Ruffolo owned an apartment building and several rental properties around Victoria.
Anne Ruffolo says some of the tenants are drug dealers. One of the drug dealers, she says, threatened to kill John two weeks before he disappeared. Anne says it was because John confronted the tenant about dealing drugs from the house.
Ruffolo says at the moment she's just trying to hold herself together and take care of the rental properties.
"I miss John a lot," she says. "Everything's just overwhelming without him."
2004 CH TV, with files from Canadian Press
Ruffolo's widow arrested in his murder
FILE - Still image of Anne Ruffolo taken from her Wednesday interview with CH News. CREDIT: CH TV
Saanich police have arrested three people in the murder of Saanich businessman John Ruffolo last fall. One of those arrested is the victim's widow.
Anne Ruffolo was taken into custody in downtown Victoria Friday. The names of the other suspects, a man and a woman, have not been released.
"Members of the Saanich Police Detective Division and members of the West Shore RCMP Major Crime Unit have made three arrests in the last 48 hours," said Saanich Police Const. Chris Horsley Friday.
"Last night a 40-year-old male was arrested, and today, a 43-year-old female and a 47-year-old female. All parties were arrested in direct connection to the Ruffolo murder."
John Ruffolo disappeared October 20. His car, a red Ford Tempo, was found outside a Saanich pub four days later. The next day, Ruffolo's body was found in the woods off Humpback Road.
Police raided the Ruffolo family home on Wednesday, taking several items including a blender, protein powder and the keys to the Ford Tempo. Friday, police confiscated the car.
In an interview with CH News Wednesday, Anne Ruffolo denied any involvement in her husband John's disappearance and murder.
Ruffolo said she didn't know why police believe she has something to do with the murder.
"I gain nothing from Johnny's death," Ruffolo said.
Friday afternoon, police seized videotapes of that interview from CH News.
The Ruffolos' daughter is being cared for under the direction of social services.
All three suspects in John Ruffolo's murder will appear in provincial court in VIctoria Saturday.
Rumours abound in unsolved homicide
Sunday, February 29, 2004
At first glance, he seemed like a regular enough guy: Wife, 12-year-old daughter, average-looking home in Saanich. Juggling four part-time jobs was a little unusual, but not unheard of these days.
But then John Ruffolo turned up dead last fall, his body found near the Humpback water reservoir in an isolated area rumoured on the streets to be a popular place for getting rid of "problems."
Then came word of the escort agency he'd been running in Victoria, and the troubled rooming-house business he had going on the side. Drugs entered the picture; Ruffolo was known for both selling and using. Rumours surfaced of old enemies Ruffolo had made during his former job as a guard at the provincial jail on Wilkinson Road.
Four months since hikers came across his body in a Langford forest, police still don't know who killed John Ruffolo. But there's no shortage of possibilities.
West Shore RCMP aren't saying anything, including how Ruffolo died. Even Ruffolo's family hasn't been told a cause of death. His body was returned to them and cremated a few days after he was found, but the results of the autopsy remain secret.
"It's a need-to-know kind of thing," says RCMP Staff-Sgt. Jack Henzie cryptically.
As for whether there are suspects in the killing, Henzie says there definitely are. "But nothing I'm prepared to discuss."
His widow Ann is presuming she's on the list, as police have been following her since her husband's body was found Oct. 25. One time, they pulled her over and reported on the police radio that a "suspect to the Ruffolo murder" was being questioned. Tenants of the Ruffolos say they've been told by police that Ann is suspected of hiring a contract killer.
She vehemently denies having anything to do with her husband's death, and urges police to "look for the truth" instead of assuming that they know it.
But with fingers pointing in all directions, that clearly hasn't been easy.
A renter at the Quadra Street house that Ruffolo operated for years as an escort agency says the talk he's hearing is that an angry tenant killed the 36-year-old, in retaliation for being evicted. It's possible: The tenants at this particular house haven't had heat since Jan. 10 when the furnace oil ran out, and worse things than that are said to have been endured by tenants at some of Ruffolo's rooming houses.
Over at the Esquimalt Road apartment complex he owned, the rumour is that John's death was drug-related. No, says another tenant -- he was killed to settle an old score from his jail-guard days. He lost that job in 1999 after being found liable in B.C. Supreme Court for running an illegal landlord-tenant matching service.
The story has been strange from the start. Ruffolo's family went to bed on the night of Oct. 19 thinking John had left to pull a night shift with Brink's Victoria, where he was biding time while trying to land a job as a customs officer. In fact, he never showed up for his shift, and was reported missing the next morning.
Three days later, his vehicle was found parked at the Knockanback Grill, a Wilkinson Road restaurant about a kilometre from his home.
It's unknown whether it was parked there all along, although acquaintances say that either Ruffolo's wife or parents, who also lived nearby, would surely have spotted it earlier if that had been the case.
Two days after that, hikers came across his body in dense bush off Humpback Road, 11 kilometres away from where his vehicle was found. How he'd died wasn't immediately evident, and police initially wondered if they had a suicide on their hands.
But whatever was in January's forensics report changed their minds. Ruffolo's death was upgraded soon after to a homicide -- a term that means somebody killed him, but makes no assumptions around intent.
And that's where the case remains.
"I have a feeling John had it coming, but I don't know," says one longtime tenant. "This world's a strange place."
Times Colonist (Victoria)