Any person can find themselves wayward and fallen into a life of vice. However, it seems that some people just can’t help but fall deeper and deeper, starting as a small-time criminal and then getting themselves into bigger and way more serious trouble.
This seems to be true for a Canadian man who schooled himself in the art of finance, but unlikely for the reason of helping others. Instead, he decided to take the easy way out and it led him to become one of the most sought after and despicable criminals of decades to come…
Perhaps Albert Johnson Walker was doomed from the beginning. He was born in 1946 and grew up in Paris, Ontario. As a young man in Canada, Walker had a troubled youth and eventually dropped out of high school.
Walker had hoped the workforce would suit him better. Unfortunately, he couldn’t find a job that worked for him, either. Finally, he found something that stuck when he took a job as a bank teller. The young man would quickly learn that he enjoyed working with other people’s money…
Walker worked for a trust company and filed people’s income tax returns. After two years, Walker grew more confident and decided he was tired of working for other people. He wanted to be his own boss and establish a freelance bookkeeping business.
On His Own
Of course, he would have to call his company “Walker Financial Services Incorporated.” The next few years were good to Albert Walker and over the course of a decade, he grew Walker Financial into a major operation. His company now had six different branches and dozens of employees. Walker had built his own empire from the ground up…
Yet when you’re way up, you never think you will come down and Walker felt completely invincible. Then, in 1986, the unthinkable happened and one of the stock deals Walker invested in completely collapsed. And investigators quickly realized it was the result of shady business practices— and all Walker’s fault.
Walker was charged with fraud against 70 of their Canadian clients, swindling them out of about $3.2 million. However it wasn’t until four years later that he was finally arrested. In 1983, Walker was charged with 18 counts of theft and money laundering…
Over the years, he went from a greedy bank robber to one of Canada’s most wanted criminals. Interpol even named Walker the second-highest on their list, as well. Yet Walker only proved to be a truly despicable man when it was revealed that he had made his way all the way to Harrogate in North Yorkshire.
He had fled there with his second-eldest daughter, who was now posing as his wife. And her two young children as his own. It was also disturbing that the paternity of Walker’s grandchildren had not even been revealed…
Walker was living under the alias of David Davis and soon tried to embark on a completely different career path. Canadian man Ronald Joseph Platt was a local television repairman who trusted Walker into agreeing upon a partnership with him. Posing as Davis, Walker even fronted Platt money to return to his home country for a trip.
However, Walker would need his driver’s license, birth certificate and signature stamp before going into business. That’s because as soon as Platt left for Canada in 1992, Walker had already had another evil plan in place. Once the TV personality was out of the country, Walker quickly assumed his identity…
Back to England
Years went buy and Platt had no idea what his “friend” Walker was up to back in the States. By 1995, Walker had found himself in too deep and knew he had to come to drastic measures. Much to his pleasing, he then learned the real Platt was hard on his luck and completely out of money, having to return back to England.
On July 20, 1996, Walker invited Platt out for a fishing trip, but he had no intention of making it the fun-filled day he had promised. They were the only two people on the boat and Platt had nowhere to hide. Walker murdered his “business associate” in cold blood. He then tied the boat’s anchor to his lifeless body and threw it overboard into the sea…
Two weeks went by before a fisherman cruising the English Channel by fisherman spotted Platt’s rotted corpse. However, Walker had not gotten away with murder just yet. The only identifiable object on the body was a Rolex wristwatch, which was engraved with a special serial number that belonged to the real Ronald Platt.
By examining the date on the Rolex, which had a reserve of two to three days of operation when inactive since it was fully waterproof, British Police were able to determine the time of death. With just a small margin of error, Walker was apprehended shortly thereafter…
Walker finally saw his day in court by the Spring of 1998 in the village courtroom of Teignmouth, England. On 27 April 1998, Walker insisted he was innocent. Later that year, he was found guilty of murder and received an automatic life sentence.
Walker was able to evade police, posing as the husband of his own daughter and using the identity of the man he murdered for many years, but they finally won. In fact, if Walker had not been convicted of the gruesome killing, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office would have transferred him back to Canada to face his fraud charges all over again…
In 1998, award-winning journalist Bill Schiller of the Toronto Star released a book detailing the story of Albert Walker called A hand in the water: The many lies of Albert Walker. That same year, another award-winning Toronto Sun-journalist named Alan Cairns released a second book called Nothing Sacred: The many lives and betrayals of Albert Walker.
The notorious and murderous criminal’s story also made for a perfect made-for-TV movie and the film AKA Albert Walker, which documented Walker’s criminal history and arrest and eventual arrest was released in 2002. The National Geographic-produced documentary Interpol Investigates – Body Double also examines Albert Walker’s terrible crimes.
People were certainly fascinated by the Canadian con man and murderer’s story. In 2000, a theatrical play by Peter Colley, Stolen Lives, The Albert Walker Story, was performed at the Blyth Festival in Blyth, Ontario in 2000. His wife, Barb, even cashed in on her villainous ex-husband’s story and wrote a book titled Dancing Devil – My twenty years with Albert Walker, about their life up until he ran away from Canada with their daughter and changed his identity.
On February, 22, 2007, after more than two decades of unthinkable crimes, Walker finally found himself behind bars in a Canadian prison, facing more charges of fraud, theft and money laundering Walker started serving his life sentence at Kingston Penitentiary, plus the four additional years he was sentenced for fraud and one year for violations of the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act of Canada.