Edwin Alonzo Boyd was a charismatic criminal who led one of the most infamous bands of crooks in Canadian history.
Edwin Boyd grew up fast after he left home in his teenage years. He headed west to “ride the rails”, and spent several years in near poverty, with several arrests for panhandling and petty theft. When the Second World War began in 1939, Boyd found another chance. The Canadian Army was looking for soldiers and it wasn’t asking a lot of questions. Boyd became a motorcycle courier, and gained a love for freedom and adventure that would get him in trouble when he returned to civilian life.
Between 1949 and 1952 Boyd fell in with Toronto’s underworld. He was arrested for a series of bank robberies and thrown into Toronto’s Don Jail. Once behind bars, his career only flourished, when he met two other members of the gang that would take his name. The Boyd Gang became Canada’s most wanted criminals. Their antics were almost like something out of a comedy – until their legacy turned fatal, and two gang members were sent to the gallows. This presentation includes some rarely seen news footage and personal photographs taken from Boyd’s own family photo albums.
If you’re interested in this subject, you may also enjoy the True Crime presentation called “Toronto Noir”, and the one on the History of Policing, Prisons and Capital Punishment in Toronto.