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Quebec crimes stretch back three decades

For 20 years, Gerald Gallant lived a seemingly quiet life in the small town of Donnacona, outside Quebec City. Townsfolk noticed his stutter and his passion for cycling the back roads, but otherwise he seemed an "ordinary Joe," in the words of the town's Mayor.

In fact, the fit man with his carefully groomed beard was a cold-blooded contract killer, one of the worst Quebec has ever seen. Working primarily for enemies of the Hells Angels motorcycle gang, Gallant was responsible for 28 killings and 13 attempted murders between 1978 and 2003, police say.

After investigators finally caught up with him in 2006, he decided to talk, and yesterday the Surete du Quebec announced the arrests of 10 people allegedly connected to Gallant's killings. They were still seeking an 11th suspect, Gallant's friend and former cycling partner Jacqueline Benoit, who is wanted on two charges of murder and one of attempted murder. Among those arrested yesterday are prominent organized-crime figures Raymond Desfosses and Frederic Faucher, each of whom faces six murder charges.

It was a 2004 tip to the RCMP that signalled the beginning of the end of Gallant's career as a hit man. Two years later the Surete du Quebec succeeded in matching Gallant's DNA-- taken from a cup he used at a restaurant -- to evidence found at a 2001 murder scene. But by then he had left the country. Then, in May, 2006, police in Switzerland arrested Gallant, 58, for credit-card fraud, and when Quebec police confronted him with the murder evidence against him, he started talking.

In February, 2008, he pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in the 2001 death of Yvon Daigneault, a Ste. Adele bartender whom Gallant killed in a case of mistaken identity. He is serving a life sentence with no chance of parole for 25 years. To read the rest of the article: http://www.calgaryherald.com/news/Police+arrest+biker+slayings/1432612/story.html

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